Widmer‘s 84/09 Double Alt was actually a beer that showed up last summer to celebrate their 25th anniversary—but I missed it the first time around somehow. Fortunately the Brew Shop here in Bend still has a few bottles, so I snapped one up.
84/09 is basically a double-strength version of their famous and pub-only Altbier, the first beer they brewed and what was notorious, in the early days, for being the “only true Alt” brewed outside of Dusseldorf, Germany (at least, according to some aficionados). It’s 9.8% alcohol by volume and if you can still find a bottle or two I’d say grab them.
Appearance: Mahogany brown with red highlights when held up to the light. Woody putty head.
Smell: Old Ale notes, malty and alcoholic, spicy phenolic notes. Leather and molasses and a bit roasty.
Taste: Spicy and malty, tobacco, nutty and hoppy with spiced earthy notes. A touch hot with alcohol but with a nice sipping character.
Mouthfeel: Full-ish bodied with a dry finish and a bit of heat.
Overall: Warming, tasty, like a spicy, leathery Old Ale. A little different but nice.