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 21, 2008

Holiday beers

I bought some holiday beers and have begun working through them.

As a sort of stupid tax I accidentally bought a year-old Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome. Wasn't that bad considering. It helps that they've finally broken down and started using dark bottles.

Much better was a Hook Norton 12 Days of Christmas. Gorgeous, toasty, brown ale with layers of flavor. Another new experimental beer was an Elysian IPA--not bad, but nothing to write home about. The immortal Sierra Nevada Celebration is lovely, as always.

Right now, on a less holiday-ish note, I'm drinking Stone's 8/8/08, which is effectively a Belgian-style IPA tripel (strong pale, they say). I think it's an awesome beer, quite comparable to IPA tripels brewed by Randy and me. It's fuller and richer than the La Chouffe version of this style. The hopping is high, but also balanced by a full, creamy body. I love what they've done here. The trick, as with any hoppy Belgian, is the age. When does the bubble-gum die down? Does it take too much of the dry hop with it? What's the perfect balance of dryness / ester character / hop? When the malt goes from slightly sweet to steely has the hop aroma already faded too much? These kinds of beers have odd little windows like that, but even it they're a little off, they're still pretty damned good.



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9:36 PM  

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