Tuesday, August 11, 2009
I've sometimes wondered what would happen if France ever absorbed Belgium. One thing's for sure: they'd have better beers. I'm not sure why exactly the French make beers that are just so-so, while the Belgians, who are so nearby, make such great beers. Is it just the Flemish that make good beer? In Belgium, the Trappists brew a lot of really great beer, but they have abbeys in about twenty other countries, where they don't. Anyway, it's a mystery.
Duvel is excellent Belgian beer. It's extremely dark tasting and sort of bitter; the word they use on the bottle is "strong". I want to say that it's like drinking coffee, but not quite; it's more like liquor. It's about 8.5% alcohol, which might explain that. It's also, frankly, delicious.
The recipe is from the 1920s and hasn't changed at all. Wikipedia: "Considered by many the definitive version of the Belgian Strong Golden Ale style, Duvel is brewed with Pilsner malt and white sugar, and hopped with Saaz hops and Styrian Goldings, the yeast still stems from the original culture of Scottish yeast bought by Albert Moortgat during a prospection-tour in the U.K. just after WWI." The beer is also aged for two months in the brewery cellar.
Anyway, it's highly recommended.