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.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Valediction IX

Not every beer gets a valediction; this is a slightly arbitray process, but sometimes I feel a beer needs a good-bye and it's a good excuse to post something. This has positively got to be the last full pint--though the seemingly immortal keg has still not kicked--of what I called Rebar Porter (in vague tribute to some work on Randy's bridges), the second of two porters I've made with Dave Yarrington's Smuttynose porter recipe. I tasted this one alongside his and it is -not- a clone. Mine, despite having a prety high final gravity, feels a little leaner; his is fuller and much, much more chocolatey. And yet I've used the same grain bill. I think that we are using different chocolate malts (the beer has a lot of chocolate in it) and that this is the only logical explanation. I could also imagine omitting the subtle touch of finishing hops that I use and seeing if that helps.

Anyway, I don't care, because this is a lovely porter. The nose shows clean, restrained rostiness from the dark malts, marked by a suggestion of floral American hops (but it is hardly hoppy). There's also some underlying burnt fruit, suggestive of figs or prunes, and almost certainly derived from the liberal use of Belgian Special "B." The palate is fairly rich, with nice bitter-sweetness throughout. Not a beer for contemplation so much as it is for robust winter labor: toss one down after raking leaves in sub-40-degree and you could do a lot worse. This is a recipe to which I will return off and on for some time, tweaking this or that and looking for different specialty malt producers from time to time.


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