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The Belgian Dubbel, also known as Trappist Dubbel, is a deep reddish-copper, moderately strong, malty, complex ale with rich malty flavors, dark or dried fruit esters, and light alcohol blended together in a malty presentation that still finishes fairly dry. Should not be as malty as a bock and should not have crystal malt-type sweetness. Similar in strength and balance as a Belgian Blonde Ale, but with a richer malt and ester profile. Less strong and intense as a Belgian Dark Strong Ale.
According to the Oxford Companion to Beer, the name dubbel may come from the medieval practice of marking beer barrels with "X's" to denote alcoholic strength, since most people were illiterate. The "XX" mark thus became known as "dubbel," and we still call it that today even though at least half of the brewers out there can read and write.