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.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

New Wit, New DIPA, Belgian Tasting

The other day I drank a couple of my best Belgians with Buck, who has an extremely good palate/nose. He was a big fan of this crazy Belgian pale that I made with Roeslare yeast and lots of hops--it was a sort of tribute to De Ranke XX Bitter, but not at all a clone... It is just insanely aromatically complex and we conspired to jot down the following descriptors on the back of a paper plate. Most of the clever ones are his: Cherry, earth, sage, leather, general greenery, lanolin, retsina (brilliant!), anise, mint, and finally "coconut fading into rose petal fading into lavender." I adore this beer and am very proud of it. All those flashy aromatics are followed by an almost stark, bone dry palate and a lingering bitter finish. It's about as unique a beer as you'll taste and I kinda need to make more. This was a corked bottle, which I think helps... Should I make a Roeslare tripel too? What a yeast...

We also had an old Tripel which is an unusally dark toned example (in aroma and flavor, not color). It hits you with raisin and beet plus cream and mustard seeds. As it warms up the raisin/beet thing swings toward prunes and dates. This beer required tremendous patience, but it's paid off...

Tonight I sampled the first bottle of Pliny the Room-Mate. This will not prevent me from re-making Star Chamber DIPA but it is a worth competitor. It's huge and ball-breakingly hoppy.

Right now, I'm sampling the first pint of Dip Shit Wit, my first attempt at the Belgian Biere Blanche/Witbier style. It's nice and cloudy with a dense head. You get some spicing in the nose, but also some slightly obtrusive phenolics that may need a couple weeks to chill out. The palate texture is really splendid with just the right plushness (from the oats and raw wheat). Balancing the fatness of it is a definite little snap of appropriate acidity. This should be good before too long and it's not bad right now.


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