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.

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Belgians -are- easy

I love Wyeast 3787, even if it does stink up whole floors of your house and occasionally likes to escape from its carboy. It bottle conditions -so- quickly, and that redeems all. Plus the beers are great. I couldn't resist sampling my Belgian Dubbel at the one-week point, and it's already basically ready. Not that age won't help. But it was wonderful. Complex plummy, yeasty aromatics, little whiffs of chocolate and dark fruits. Nice body, plus deep, fruity, malty, toffee-ish flavors. Nice, drying finish. It's not that far off the Westmalle goal. Fuck yeah.

So this made me try Brother Shamus while I was at it, which I will report on as I sip it. Dead black--almost completely opaque. It's pretty seductive. The nose is a little like an imperial stout, but with less roastiness, more chocolate, and a lot of fruit and caramelly richness. On the palate it's got a lot of different shit going on: some fruity acidity, some fat, unctuous dark chocolate, a nice, firm bitterness holding it all together. I don't really remember Hercule Stout (the semi-model for this beer) that well, but this has got to be sort of comparable--it's too rich and interesting to be without its own merits. By the way, this proves that Crystal malts are critical for good stouts, particularly bigger stouts: this has 2 lbs 10 oz assorted Crystal malts, counting Special B, but not counting Carapils or Caramel Pils. That's a lot. There's also a full pound of roast malts, between roast barley, carafa, and chocolate. Which bears out my theory that it's almost impossible to overuse roast malts, pace many major authorities. As long as the mash'll convert, fuck it. So this beer is a success and I look forward to watching it evolve over the next year or so.

2 Comments:

Blogger Cyn said...

does it ever bother you that the genius of your blog goes vastly under-aprreciated?

11:29 PM  
Blogger Jason said...

Does it bother me? Not sure. I regard blogs as primarily narcissistic so I guess as long as I appreciate... Do you really regard it as genius?

8:48 PM  

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