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 07, 2007

Brown Ale Evaluation

It's another Smuttynose-inspired beer and I'm doing like I did in the last post, however dull that may be... It helps me think about what I am and am not doing well as a brewer.

Smuttynose Old Brown Dog v. Fall Down Brown (thanks to Trina for the name)

Fall Down is a touch deeper in color, more red and less copper. The Dog is a classic brown ale in my view: very clean, elegant lines; toasty, direct malt character; hops just to balance. Not surprisingly, my beer loses. It's good, but the Dog has a chocolatier, denser nose, and a slightly fuller mouthfeel that I prefer. Nevertheless, Fall Down is pretty solid. I may, next time I brew a brown ale of this type, pop up the chocolate malt just a touch to try and get a little more depth in the aromatics, perhaps mash another degree or two warmer to flesh out the body. Shouldn't be hard to do.

By the way, I've gone on a little spree. Last weekend, I kegged a pumpkin ale (can't wait...), brewed a big, super bitter red IPA, and an oatmeal stout (first in a long time). I also created this crazy experiment where I dumped a bunch of crappy, sour Belgian dubbels and sour Kolschs (blech) into a keg and added raspberries and some lambic dregs. It's intended to produce a kind of faux Goudenband type thing with the berry element. We'll see.


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