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 08, 2006

Biere Darbyste

In an effort to cheer myself up (frustrating day) I poured a nice Belgian ale from my small commerical cellar, to whit: Brasserie de Blaugies's Biere Darbyste, an orange, ferociously cloudy, heavily sedimented, 5.8% abv, Belgian ale brewed with fig juice by a sub-microscopic brewery operated by a couple of Belgian school teachers out of their garage. The original brewer is Marie-Noelle Pourtois, but apparently her son has taken over as brewer.

I've had this before as well as a couple other beers from this odd little brewery. They tend not to stay in the bottle, but I conveniently forgot this fact and popped the cork in my office. After spraying beer around a bit I had to run downstairs and get a second glass and a roll of paper towels. As a result of this, the sediment is totally kicked up, but I almost think this is part of the house style. . . Unless it's some function of transit.

Because it's effectively a home-brew, this is on the rustic end of the Belgian range. The nose is dominated by an earthy, corky aroma which makes the beer feel a lot like a Saison. Their summery, quaffable Saison d'Epautre also has this note. The palate is just a little sour and brilliantly attenuated. Hop character is quite restrained. Earthy fruit flavors (the figs?). Profoundly spicey nose as it warms up. Some white wine elements--gooseberries, a la Sauvingon Blanc?

There's nothing predictable about this beer. I wonder if it'd be better on-site and less prone to explosion, but I still find it pretty compelling and fun to drink. So here's to garage brewers. Oops, I mean car-hole brewers. . .


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