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, November 21, 2007

Belgian X-Mas Beers

Working my way through a Shelton Bros. X-mas box.

First up: Brassere de la Senne X-Mas Zinnebier

Sounds like one of the brewers is Yvan de Baets and it's a very new, very small brewery, apparently him and another guy brewing under contract, actually, at someone else's brewery...

This is a lovely beer, vaguely reminiscent of Rochefort 6 to me?? At any rate, it has some of the chocolatiness of that beer, more chocolate than the medium amber color would tend to suggest. Emphatic, wildly spicy nose. Full, elegantly nutty malt character. Apple fruit. Awesome beer.

Second up: De Ranke Pere Noel. This is the only thing in the box I've had before. I had it, however, under suspect conditions (old magnum languishing on a shelf). Wasn't all that impressed. This time I am. It's really, really hoppy, particularly on the palate, where the hop character reminds me of some of Randy's beers (that is, arguably over-hopped, but in a good way). It's kind of copper colored. Piney/herbal hop-dominated nose, even drifting toward pleasantly medicinal; toasty malt character overbalanced by the strident hop flavor. Faced with a wide range of highly malty holiday beers, why not throw something like this into the mix? It's basically Belgium's answer to Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale. What the hell are they hopping this with?

Cheers y'all.


Blogger Trina said...

Our holiday tasting is starting with Anchor Christmas and Winter Welcome. The winter welcome is down right refreshing after the Christmas. The Christmas this year has a thick brown head and seems more chocolaty and less fruity than previous years.

12:13 AM  
Blogger Jason said...


The Winter Welcome is good this year. They finally switched to #$%*& brown bottles. It's about #$)&!^% time.

9:04 PM  

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