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 15, 2006

Travel Update

So, there's been pretty steady drinkin' during all the hangin' out here in the S.F. bay area. Let's try and reconstruct. . .

On the plane, after I got upgraded to first-class since they screwed me over, I had a Heineken (better than the alternatives), 3 gin and tonics, and a scotch on the rocks, which made the trip considerably nicer.

Once settling in here, we've been dangerouly prone to excess. I think we've had following:

Jeremiah's regular saison and apple saison were quite nice. His steam beer was unspeakable--the keg spoiled horribly somehow. Nice, foetid, boggy aroma. But the saisons were delicious--right on for the style. The apple one is a little different but I enjoyed its exceptionally dry spritiziness. He says it finished at 1.0005. And, no, that's not a typo.

We also had some cool commercial beers, Whole Foods being a fairly good source.

Cantillon Iris was marvellous--extremely hoppy, semi-lambic abnormality. I'm a fan.

A domestic saison (Farmhouse Brewing Co.) was mediocre. Nice aromatics, but not tight enough in terms of attenuation.

Zum Eurige Sticke Alt was a revelation. More on that when I taste another one and start planning an Altbier.

The new organic Belgian-style offering from North Coast (Cru d'Or) is quite nice. As with many domestic Belgians, it was maybe a trifle sweet, but it had a very 1762-ish nose.

Lagunitas Imperial Red was delicious. Goofy quasi-style, but great Columbus-y nose and flavors. Stats: 1072; 40.63 IBU; 7.6%.

Lagunitas Maximus IPA was heavy and a little tangy in a way I didn't love, but great hop nose and flavor.

Maredous 8, which I hadn't had in a while, was better than remembered. Extraordinary head texture--left these neat, chunky, gobby bits. Nice aromatics--dry, tightly articulated body.

A Girardin Geuze was absolutely top-drawer--not excessively sour, bone dry, white-winey-oak quality, brilliant complexity.

The Unibroue beer produced for Trader Joe's was good--kinda like Trois Pistoles I think, but maybe darker with more noticable black malts floating around.

Russian River's brett beer, Redemption, was also wonderful. Not about sourness, as some mistakenly anticipated. Just clean, dry, and psychotically carbonated, with a delicately funky nose. A very playful beer. Their Damnation was also good, but not as tight as I remembered overall.

I think that covers everything. I went for a run in the Berkeley hills today to work off some of the guilt and most of the hangover.


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