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, November 27, 2007

X-Mas Beers 5

I'm struck by these Ridgeway beers. Wow. Just when you thought all British ales were basically subtle, along comes these whalloping huge holiday specialties. I had a Very Bad Elf a few weeks ago and loved it--forgot to take notes. It's essentially a strong pale ale brewed according to a historical recipe, I think with pale amber malt (a real oddity).

Now I'm having Lump of Coal Dark Holiday Stout. Given the name, it could be a touch darker. But then I've been drinking crazy homebrewed stouts that all have absurd amounts of roast barley. Lump of Coal is definitely black, but also quite translucent when light hits it. The malt character is tremendous though; I'd say it has more malt character than a keg of Guinness....

The malt aroma and heady flavor derive, I suspect from really liberal use of all those yummy intermediate malts: Brown? Amber? Various dark crystals? Anyway, you get a whiff of this intense rum-soaked fruitcake thing and it's basically everything lovely about the holidays with none of the senseless horror. I like it.


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