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, August 31, 2005

a good beer, a bad beer, and some mild ugliness

Today was irritating. I won't go into it. I tried to enjoy the irritation ironically and usually succeeded.

Tried to have a new beer to distract me. Dean's Beans Coffee Porter. Forget the brewery--the bottle's downstairs. It was pretty crappy. Thin. Kinda vaguely acrid without being all that roasty. Some kind of artifical coffee-ness. Poured out the second half.

Now working on my original Saison beer--very limited stash left on this. Having tried some other types of Saisons since, I really notice the presence of the hops. For one thing, there's some delicately spicy Saaz. There's also the Goldings I dry-hopped it with, which lend a distinctly Orval-ish slant to the nose. Note that someday when I do an Orval clone, massive Golding dry-hopping is critical. Not Styrian--East Kent. This beer is over-carbonated. I attribute that not to infection but simply premature bottling. I tended to rush things early on and this is only my third or fourth all-grain beer. It's really a very beautiful beer though. I'd have no qualms about making the exact same recipe sometime. I tweaked a couple things, but it's basically the Randy Mosher Saison from Radical Brewing. Nice job there R.M. At some point I should compare it to my non-spiced Dupont-yeast-using Saisons and see how I really feel about formulating these recipes. This used 1388 and spices, which I still really notice. Others have been more yeast-focused. I love the coriander here. Interesting beer to watch age. I miss the little sourdough twang it had before--but it's getting leaner and more minerally, which is also nice.

Oh, I also had an early bottle of the Autumn Saison. Looks like that might be my best Belgian to date and I'm glad I corked a case. The under-filled sample-me-first bottle was just beautiful. Wonderful malt character--very munich-y and rich and alcoholic without being heavy or bruising. Nice bracing hops; highly complex nose; lot of layers; looked great.


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