Chicagoist's Beer Of The Week: Brewery Vivant's Solitude

By Jason Baldacci in Food on Jan 10, 2014 7:00PM

2014_1_10_solitude.jpgIf you were trapped inside by the weather earlier this week, we've found the perfect beer for you to celebrate your reemergence into the world.

Solitude is a Belgian-Style Dubbel from Brewery Vivant, hailing from Grand Rapids, Michigan. It pours a deep ruby-amber color in the glass and the aroma is jam-packed with notes of dried fruits and baking spice. On the palate this beer is delightfully malt forward, letting those fruity aromas develop into specific flavors of raisins and figs along with a hint of licorice and a touch of cocoa powder. The hops are definitely toned down here, which is true to style for a dubbel. But we do pick up a little herbal quality towards the finish that compliments the prevalent yeast profile, which gives us a lingering note of allspice. At 6 percent alcohol content, Solitude is a little lean for a dubbel but the flavor profile is just as good as anything else that's brewed on this side of the Atlantic.

Dubbel is one of the Abbey Styles of beer that were traditionally brewed by Trappist Monks in Belgium along with Tripels and Quadrupels. Dubbels usually range from 7 to 8 percent in alcohol content, are amber in color and fruity and spicy in character. Tripels are usually 8 to 9.5 percent alcohol content, golden in color and are floral, perfumey and spicy in character. Quadrupels are almost always up over 10 percent alcohol content, medium-amber in color (usually slightly lighter than dubbels) and come with a certain richness that puts them in a class of their own. One of our favorite examples of a quadrupel is the Rochefort 10, were we've sworn for years that we pick up notes of baker's chocolate, toasted marshmallow and sweet graham cracker. These styles are difficult to brew and take a lot of time to develop before they're ready to drink, but we've seen more American brewers tackle them in the past few years, some with great success.

Solitude is available on draft and in cans, check beermenus.com to see where you can find it this weekend.