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AHA Guideline

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Belgian-Style Dark Strong Ale

Belgian-Style Dark Strong Ales are medium-amber to very dark. Chill haze is allowable at cold temperatures. Medium to high malt aroma and complex fruity aromas are distinctive. Very little or no diacetyl aroma should be perceived. Hop aroma is low to medium. Medium to high malt intensity can be rich, creamy, and sweet. Fruity complexity along with soft roasted malt flavor adds distinct character. Hop flavor is low to medium. Hop bitterness is low to medium. These beers are often, though not always, brewed with dark Belgian "candy" sugar. Very little or no diacetyl flavor should be perceived. Herbs and spices are sometimes used to delicately flavor these strong ales. Low levels of phenolic spiciness from yeast byproducts may also be perceived. These beers can be well attenuated, with an alcohol strength which is often deceiving to the senses. Body is medium to full.


  • Original Gravity (°Plato) 1.064 - 1.096 (15.7 - 22.9)
  • Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato) 1.012 - 1.024 (3.1 - 6.1)
  • Alcohol by Weight (Volume) 5.60% - 8.80% (7.10% - 11.20%)
  • Bitterness (IBU) (20 - 50)
  • Color SRM (EBC) 9 - 35 (18 - 70)