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, May 17, 2006

Some older beers

I sampled some older beers the other night to help me think about things that are and are not worth reprising. I had the final bottle of Holly's Chair, a rye brown ale. This had a nice malt character and a mysterious graininess (the rye). Good beer, but didn't wow me. Brown ale is not a favorite style though. Ruddy Brown, an India Brown Ale, was more interesting. It was quite spicy and hoppy. I may well brew this again. The kegged version was better as it got a Columbus dry hop. Next time I might dial the IBU's down just a little, maybe 10 lower? But the dry hop was what made it. I also had a bottle of 1909 Maclay's Oatmeal Stout, an Old British Beers endeavor. This was definitely the least successful of my historical forays. It's just somehow thin and dull and just a little tart. Blech. Another oatmeal stout was basically made from a More Beer kit recipe. It was quite good. If I tweaked it my goal would be to keep the richness while making it just a tad drier--this might involve a slightly cooler mash and some flaked barley--not sure.

Right now I'm working on a Sax-a-ma-phone. It's going through a bit of an awkward phase. It was great young, but now there's something a little funky going on in the nose. I may avoid this one for a month or two. It'll come around again though. Belgians... They are fickle mistresses.


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