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.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Brewday + Beerfest at Randy's

Had one of those typical disasters at Randy's the other day. Rick (his brother) was leaving to return home to the U.K. which apparently mandated that he and others get hammered.

I jotted down, and mostly remember tasting, the following:

Started with a choice pilsner (a specialty of the house).

Drank some old IPA's from keg: Ghost Warrior (a very pale Warrior IPA) which was delicious and the so-called "Cask IPA" (really an all-Simcoe beauty).

Then a string of Belgians: a fantastic 3787 pale which I've had 5 or 6 times and loved every time; a nice spring Saison; and a "Labor Day de Leuven." They were all good, but the 3787 sticks out in my mind...

Then a 1992 Courage Russian Imperial: volatile alcohol aroma; layered richness; savory licorice; dates and prunes. Basically astonishing.

By a planned maneuver, we compared my own 1856 Imperial. It needed to sit for 20 minutes for the carbonation to dissipate. It's not a "fizzy" beer per se, but it seemed like one next to the near-still Courage and that threw shit off. I noted down that mine smelled/tasted of candied dates and bourbon barrels. Considering the Courage has about 13 years on my beer, it was actually a closer contest than you'd think. Watch for the rematch around 2020.

Then we had the infamous CSIBS. This is Randy's beer from 1999. The acronym stands for "Camillo's something-or-other." It's an imperial stout tribute to a beloved grandfather. Beautiful beer.

Somewhere or other, I seem to have had a "Dark Bavarian Winter" from 2000, which was good.

I poured my Spruce beer to general acclaim, leaving one for Linda I hope...

There may have been other beers, but things got foggy around then.

Anyway, today I brewed an all-Ahtanum IPA, racked this year's Impeachment Pilsner to secondary, and kegged "What the fuck?!" Stout, which tasted astonishingly good actually. Apparently the coffee-and-chicory-at-shut-off routine has potential. We'll see how it comes out.

Then I discovered that a medium-old Belgian was heading south fast, tasted a couple other things, and reorganized the basement beer pile. I stashed a few things in the cooler for a "Mediocre Beer Party" and discovered that I had a lot less good beer in bottles than I'd like.

Looks like I had better rededicate myself to brewing...

Soon to bottle: Pilsner + the 2nd ed. of 1856 + Moreval.

Soon to brew: Smoke (tomorrow) + another IPA? + wheat beer + steam beer + barley wine + double IPA?

So much to think through....