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, April 25, 2005

Me vs. Smuttynose (IPA)

Yup, it's another IPA tasting. Why not wash away the cares of a lengthy Monday in such fashion? So my IPA is called "Eastern Thing," this being a somewhat labored "Big Lebowski" reference. On the bottle cap it just says CIPA for Chinook IPA, its signature hop; though Columbus and Cascade also made appearances, when you first-wort, bitter, and dry-hop with Chinook, it will kind of take over.


Smutty: Pale gold, even yellowish, with quite a bit of particulate matter. Thin head, but leaves lace.

CIPA: Deeper color--not actually a particularly pretty color really. Kind of basic amber, tending more toward brown than red or gold. Pale enough for style. Head is slightly more substantial.


Smutty: Flowers and perfume, floating on a resiny, grapefruity undercurrent. I think I get tiny hints of yeasty fruitiness peeping in somewhere too. Setting aside nuclear-strength IPA's, the volume of the nose is turned up to eight or nine of ten.

CIPA: This one goes to eleven. That doesn't make it better, but it really does -leap- out of the glass at you. The piney, resiny quality of Chinook that is so instantly recognizable dominates, but Chinook is more complicated than people think, plus I mixed in Cascade and Columbus. I get a melange of pine trees, woodsy undergrowth, grapefruit rind, and so forth.

Flavor and finish:

Smutty: Malt might be perceptible. Mostly, I get citrusy flavors, some clean, balanced bitterness, and a finish that swings back toward some sharp resiny components.

CIPA: Great mouthfeel. Massive, well, actually, excessive, hop flavor. The first-wort hopping (I guess) has imbued this with a gigantic hoppy vehemence. Finish is quite lingering and puckery.

So that's IPA. They're both really fuckin' hoppy, mine even more so. Realistically, I got a little carried away. Probably skipping the first wort step, or knocking down a couple of additions would've produced a subtler beer. But if you want to die surrounded by Chinook hops--as I sometimes do--it's really pretty yummy. So, yeah, Smutty is subtler and more complex, but mine is not an empty beer by any means. Let's give it a month or two.


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