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, December 05, 2006

The Crowbar, revisited

Have I made a better beer than Old Crowbar? Certainly nothing with a better name...

Wow. This was originally designed as kind of a riff on the great "Bigfoot." Like the Sierra Nevada model, this is hit hard with Chinook, Centennial, and Cascade. It has most of the same malts. In this case, 15 lbs of pale, 2 lbs of Carastan, 8 oz each Crystal 75 and Carapils.

That's a lot of specialty malts for a barley wine and I could try it again a little leaner and see what happens. Somehow or other this has come out great though.

Young, it was hoppy and vibrant, and not-un-bigfoot-like. After a brief awkward period where the hop had gone down but the malt hadn't smoothed out fully, it has developed into something really lovely.

At 20 months, it has a lingering veil of hoppiness up front, but the malt has taken over, projecting a vivid combination of aromas I just described in an email to a friend as a "plum/raisin/lapsang-souchong/earthy" thing. It's an overwhelmingly creamy, enveloping beer. The palate is full and just balanced by what's left of those pungent Chinooks--which also help to dry out and balance the finish. That's my one beer for the day and I'm happy.


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