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.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Valedictions III and IV

Ah, so painful.

I'm sitting in my SWELTERING office sipping beer...

My original U.S. IPA, Eastern Thing, is next on the chopping block. I like old IPA's and this one is a good 18 months old. The nose is earthy and floral--Chinook and Cascade and such have lost their sharp grapefruitiness and faded into a more ethereal forest-floor thing. And the malt character has worked its way into the aromatics more. The palate has this particular, old IPA quality that's hard to describe... It's still bitter. The hops are bracing and a little tannic, but there's also a malt warmth that makes this feel almost like a mini barley wine. It brings me back...

And this one is really gonna suck...

"Log Jammin,'" my Bamberger Rauchbier. The first of its kind. I tried to improve it on the second batch and it was not nearly as good. It was perfect. Why did I try??

I guess I wanted to compete with the insane sausage-y smokiness of Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier and that's really hard to do without a smokehouse. Next winter I will return to the original: A simple 1/2 Munich 1/2 Rauchmalt grist with a touch of Carafa for color. To wit, this:

Glorious, deep, crystal-clear amber. The nose has a pronounced, but not overbearing smokiness--very young, I remember it smelled a little like hot-dogs. Mature, it's always felt like a distant camp-fire with steaks and single malt. The palate has a terrific, very Munich-y maltiness. None of the thickness of caramel malts--just even, subtle, suave Munich. The smoke flavor carries through into the finish, which is both sweet and smoky. It's pretty much a perfect smoked lager.


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