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.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Do I still have a blog? a.k.a. Belgian strong pale tasting

It's hard to keep up with brewing these days, let alone bullshit about it herein. I meant to do a deep and thought-provoking comparison between Duvel and my own Doctor Doom II, more or less a broad "clone" of Duvel, but my palate is sort of off and I'm just not feeling that thoughtful. My wife's contribution from the next room, when prompted for subtle observations on the contrasts between the two beers is "they're both nice." Oh well. I'll try anyway:

The commercial beer is a touch paler and a touch clearer--not surprising. Both heads are nice--theirs a little fluffier / lacier, mine a little denser. Both beers have a nose marked by subtly spicy, noble-type hops and a fruity note that seems to be to be pear-like. The pear note is riper in mine. The Duvel nose is a little brighter with a tiny little lemon hint, maybe? The palate probably comes down to a matter of taste, as to what one might prefer. The Duvel has a pretty lean palate; mine, while being, statistically, quite well-attenuated, is a little bit fuller and more rounded. Mine actually reminds me of some of those Canadian Belgian-style beers from Unibroue in precisely this respect.

I'm pleased with how mine came out and it will only get better, I hope. I should probably only have one a month as I find this style ages slowly and becomes really fantastic when 12-18 months old. We'll see. There are also 6 or 8 corked 750 ml bottles in the cellar.

Brewing has been a disaster lately as various aspects of my professional have eaten me alive this semester. I'm essentially out of draft beer for Christ's sake. . . But I've rebounded over the last two weeks, with three new beers fermenting. I have an IPA that's wildly overdue to be kegged and a tripel that's overdue to be bottled. The new beers are Obama's Presidential Brown IPA, "Seasonal Affective Disorder" Toasty Pale Ale, and "I'm Finishin' My Coffee" Stout (one of my trademark, clean-out-the-grain-bins, way-too-many-specialty-malt stouts). So things could be worse. Gotta keg / bottle those, bang out a couple of lagers, maybe a steam beer, finally make a fucking barley wine.... There's a lot to be done when grades are in. So it goes. So it goes . . .


Blogger Ben, aka BadBen said...

I'm glad to see that your still around and kicking. After a slow couple of months on the brewing side, I may have some time open up to hit it hard again, too. Life gets in the way of brewing (and blogging), sometimes.

2:52 PM  

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