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.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Two trivial beer notes

Two new beers I've had: Dogfish Head Aprihop is quite luscious--an IPA brewed with apricots. The last apricot beer I had was Pyramid, which I hated. Although maybe I need to try that again because people keep telling me they like that beer. . . Any rate, the Aprihop is beautiful: vigorously hoppy nose; wamer temperatures reveal a definite apricotiness in the nose, but it blends in really well with the citrus-y hops; nothing obtrusive or overly fruity. Fairly rich, malty palate for an IPA. I like this a lot. Maybe blending fruit with IPA cuts down on some of the cheesy lightness of your standard banana hefe-weizens and raspberry wheats and crap like that. I'm not saying those beers can't be good, just that I haven't had any that were.

In other news, I had another of the Smuttynose Big Beers, the same series that contains the Doppelbock from last week. The Mai Bock is even better. This is a -flawlessly- balanced beer. There's a little whiff of hops in the nose, a rich, but controlled malty presence, and an whiff of apricoty fruit (that's not the power of suggestion--I had this beer two days before the Aprihop). The palate is perfectly poised--profoundly malty but suave and precisely articulated. Their brewer does not screw around.

All four new beers are fermenting apace. The Singel is chilling; the IPA is dry hopping quietly; the Oatmeal no longer bubbleth over. The Belgian Stout slowed down awfully quickly which makes me nervous. But it started really fast and fermented with great vigor. It may have blasted through most of the sugars already. Hopefully it will continue steadily, if quietly, for a few more days. Can't imagine a yeast that vigorous would really stall. Doctor Duvel Strong Pale is lagering in the colder recesses of the basement where it will shortly be joined by my Pilsner and that damned smoke beer. Pale ale looks good in a premature tasting as well. No worries.


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