Duvel

3 12 2010

 So as to prove that I’m not some xenophobic “little Englander” I have decided to turn my attentions to the unsuspecting nation of Belgium.

 In particular I have in my sights their very good, indeed often excellent, selection of beers. I am starting with Duvel for no other reason than my own personal love of the stuff, even if too many bottles do result in the mother of all headaches.

 So where to begin, well Duvel is as I say a Belgian beer but it took its original inspiration from English ale of all things.

After WW1 English ales were getting fairly popular in Belgium and Moortgat decided to get in on the act so off they popped to Scotland and got their hands on some yeast and the rest is history…

I have seen Duvel listed as a Belgian Strong Pale Ale and this is probably the closest you will get to pinning a label on it, one thing is for certain at 8.5% it sure is strong, I have known more than one person snort at the diminutive 330ml bottle and knock it back only to find that it has knocked them out for the count – there is a reason it is called the Devil after all.

The aroma of Duvel is rather interesting you get strong citrus notes, some cider like apple, a bit of hay/grass and a strong clean alcohol element that comes through.

Normally I couldn’t give a rat’s arse about the branded glasses that breweries knock out seeing them as a nice little collectible but nothing more, not so this time. 

To really enjoy Duvel at it’s best you need to get your hands on the correct glass, it is the perfect size for starters allowing you to pour the whole bottle in with ample room for the impressive frothy white head; not only that the embossed D on the base of the glass helps create effervescence which aids that head in sticking around. As if that wasn’t enough of a reason the rounded glass helps fully release the flavour and aroma of the beer.

In terms of looks the beer is a lovely clear golden colour that could almost be mistaken for a lager, the carbonation is clearly visible (aided by that aforementioned D) and the pure white head stands tall and lasts throughout with impressive lacing.

The taste of Duvel is to die for; the malt is clean and crisp and lasts from beginning to end, the alcohol is warming and combines with the bitterness of the hops to give a refreshing dry finish that leaves you begging for another sip. There  are hints of pepper and a really pleasant earthiness that are present throughout along with the same citrus notes that you can pick up in the aroma.

There really isn’t a single thing that I can fault about Duvel and trust me I can normally pick holes in anything and everything, I wouldn’t go so far as to say it is the absolute best beer in the world but it damn close

5/5

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Let them eat cheese…

17 11 2010

In the midst of the biggest recession of recent times Ireland has fared quite badly and indeed is still suffering more than most as the government might end up having to  accept a handout bailout from the ECB and IMF.

Still it isn’t all doom and gloom for the impoverished people of the emerald isle as the government has very graciously decided to supply some much needed assistance to anyone that needs it.

In a gesture that will aid thousands of needy families the government has purchased 53 tonnes of cheese from the Irish Dairy Board and will make it available for distribution via 300 charities.

This latest gift of 53 tonnes will bring the total amount of cheese handed  out this year to 167 tonnes.

This magnanimous gesture will cost approximately €750, 000 of EU funding.

Some cynics might argue that those most in need of help at this time of year might have benefited more from fuel for heating or winter clothing but cheese it is.

HOW BAD ARE THINGS WHEN WE NEED FREE CHEESE!

If the economy in Ireland has reached such a new low that the gift of cheese is looked upon as being a big deal then I think that Mr Cowen and his cronies need to swallow their damn pride and crawl on their bellies with cap in hand to the IMF before it is too late.








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