Golden colored, full-bodied, smooth, and rich. An ale to be aged well, saved for special occasions, and even then to be savored slowly.
Here is my recipe for a spiced dubbel, not patterned after any one commercial example but rather an amalgam of several but with a bit of a twist. It is moderately strong, medium dark, spicy from both the yeast and the flavorings added. I recommend aging it well, trying it several different times over the course of a couple of years. In effect you will probably find that you have brewed several different small batches in one, as the flavors really evolve over time.
Mead is, of course, easier to brew than beer, although it takes much longer for it to become drinkable, 13 months in this case. Part Belgian witbier, part mead, this is a nice introduction to the world of spiced meads, known as methglin.
A Belgian wheat beer base with equal parts coriander, cumin, ginger, wintergreen, and star anise; ground and mixed thoroughly to add just a hint of spice.
It is rich and dark but not black like an Irish stout. Sweeter than most stouts but with the unmistakable double tang of rye and caraway.
This recipe for a YPA came to me one summer afternoon after mowing the lawn. Yarrow, thyme, and savory have spilled out of my wife’s herb garden to become part of the lawn in one place, and they inevitably get mowed along with the dandelions and weeds. The aroma was amazing, and so is the beer.