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.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005


I'm trying to analyze Jeremiah's T.B.S. It's a pretty good beer. The head retention is superb. Is that the wheat or the flaked barley? I'm guessing the latter, mostly. The nose has a little English ale fruitiness and some earthy, fuggle hoppiness. The palate is roasty, pretty well-balanced, and fairly dry, especially considering Jerm's supposed F.G. Believe it or not, I think TBS needs a little more body, a little more thickness and roundness. I think the weakness in our recipe formulation was shying away from crystal malts, which were a negligible part of the grain bill. I think the Special B left its mark on the nose, because I pick up some raisiny, dried fruit type stuff. The roast character is rich and omnipresent. I'm revising what I said about it needing more body. It's not body, it's roundness, whatever one means by that. I think taking an 1/8th of a pound off every specialty grain and adding a commensurate amount of, say, Crystal 75 would've done it. But, from this beer and the Porter I designed right before, I've learned not to be afraid of breaking rules about specialty malts. Strictly speaking, this has too much roast barley, but it tastes awfully good anyway. It just needed a touch more balance. Not a bad beer at all--I really enjoyed it. Moral of story: Stouts need crystal for roundness, but roasted malts are still not something to be a pansy about. Oh, and hoppy stouts work. The fuggles character really did something for this. It could've actually used a touch more bittering hops, but the late additions of fuggles were great.


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