Doctor Duvel

I'm like a sommelier, but for beer.

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Location: Upstate New York, United States

Favorite Beers: Orval, Samuel Smith, Duvel, Hennepin, Oude Gueze, Chimay, Dogfish Head, Anchor Steam, and anything made by Trappist monks.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005


Sometime I gotta brew me a doppelbock. I'm sitting here sipping S'muttonator, the admirable doppel bock from Smuttynose, which I was excited to see on a shelf in Syracuse, where I also found a bottle of De Ranke XX (Fuck, yeah!!). That will entail some very serious drinking and note taking since I'd like to brew a tribute to XX sometime in the next few months.

Anyway the S'muttonator doesn't screw around. Layers and layers of malt here... There seem to be different schools of thought on doppelbock color. Normally I lean toward the darker ones that have a little more roastiness from Carafa or whatever else. As I see it, there's two kinds of doppelbock. The roasty dark kind (Celebrator, Sudwerk) and the caramelly, deep amber kind (Optimator, Salvator). This one is of the latter sort, but I find it pretty compelling. It's a deep, brown-tinged amber, with a relatively thin head. It has a little more yeasty fruitiness in the nose than you'd ordinarily expect, but I kind of think that adds nuance to the typical, malt-only bock nose. It is massively malty, with layer after layer of caramelly, chewy dextrins. This comes in twenty-two ounce bottles and it actually starts to get fatiguing near the end--might be better to split one. It's really quite sweet. There's no a.b.v. listed but the consensus after nosing around on-line seems to be that it's 9.6-9.8, which shocks me. It does taste alcoholic, to be sure, but it hides it pretty well if that's an accurate figure. This could really grow on me.


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