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.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Pale Ale early returns

Trying out Cat's Paw Pale, which is just officially bottle conditioned. Reasonably pale, but with a lovely russet tinge to it from the Crystal 120 and/or the Caramalt. The nose isn't as hoppy as I might've expected. Nice little grapefruity, flowery hit of Cascade. Amazing how much a light-handed application of Cascade can produce a delicate, restrained, British type of effect. Rich malty palate overall. Tastes more like the last ESB I had than the last pale I had, which is to be expected with this grain bill. It has some nice nutty, delicately caramelly notes in the palate. It's a little unfocused in the finish and would certainly benefit from 2-4 weeks in the basement. I'm finding, in my experimental home-brew drinking, that the finish is usually the last part of a beer to come around. A lot of beers smell and taste good before the finish well. The hopping is very controlled--if I didn't know this was bittered with Chinook, I would never guess. This is a very balanced beer that just needs a few weeks to come together. I may have under-hopped it. I wouldn't mind a little more Cascade in the nose, but this is certainly going to come off as a very British kind of beer, which, American hops notwithstanding, I very much wanted it to. So, yeah, it's good but needs maturing. I have high hopes for it.


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