Duvel Green

I’ve been a big fan of Duvel Golden Ale out of Belgium for quite a while now.  It’s one of the classic beers out there that is always a treat to drink.  It is with giddy excitement that I get to give you my review on Duvel’s newest offering in the States.  Duvel Green on draught.

I had the opportunity to give it a try at BXL Belgian Cafe in NYC last night during their launch party, and I’m here to tell you that I am hooked!  It’s a fantastic, light Belgian Ale with wonderful fruity finish.  Definitely different from the Classic ale.

And those differences run the gamut from subtle to extraordinary.  Classic Duvel is a double-fermented strong golden-style ale with a powerful ABV or around 8.5%.  Duvel Green is made with the same exact recipe, however, they stop after the first fermentation process which results in a lighter, crisper ale with a lower ABV of 6.8%.

Duvel has actually been making this brew for years.  Their brewing process allows for them to taste the beer after the first fermentation and they have been enjoying it for a while now.  So they have been bottling it and selling it, but only at the brewery.  Now it is available on draught, here in the States.  Give it a try!

My Rating: 9 out of 10.

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Croxley Ales – Farmingdale

This past weekend we decided to pop in to the new Croxley Ales offering in Farmingdale which just opened up a couple of months ago.  There was a street fair going on in the afternoon, so traffic was a bit heavy going through town, but parking behind Croxley’s was ample.

I used to live in Farmingdale and I was a semi-regular at The Downtown.  That was the name of the joint prior to Croxley’s moving in.  I remember when it was a smaller joint and when it expanded next door to become the huge open space that it is now.  And that is exactly what it is…a huge open space.  Big garage door openings onto Main Street gives the place an even bigger feel than it had before.

As for the beers…I wasn’t extremely impressed.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to have a another beer pub on Long Island, but I just couldn’t help but think that they could take a few more chances with their offerings. They had four “seasonal” beers to compliment their effective regular draught beer selection of 68 beers.  But the four seasonals were Post Road Pumpkin, Blue Moon Harvest Moon, Sam Adams Octoberfest and Hacker Pschorr Octoberfest.  All decent or semi-decent choices, but nothing truly inspiring.

I had a Green Flash Hop Head Red to start with.  I had tried it earlier this month in the bottle and just wanted to taste any differences in the draught version.  It was delicious and slightly more hoppy.  Then I asked for the Grimbergen Double, but it had just kicked.  Rather than wait for them to put a new keg on, I ordered the Double Platinum Blonde from Ramstein.  Also delicious.

But looking at that menu once again, there isn’t a whole lot there that I would make a point to go there to try out anytime in the future.  It would be great if I still lived around the corner, but to  make the trek from where we live I need a bit more incentive.  Maybe something on cask.  I dunno, but it would have to be more exciting that the menu that Croxley Ales has.

Contrast that with the beers on tap at a bar we just happened to stumble into in NYC this past week.  It is called Marshall Stack.   We had the Lagunitas Censored (Kronic) Copper Ale and Hitachino Nest White Ale on tap on our first visit to the joint.  And it was Happy Hour so each draught was a $1 off.  OK…that might not be worth the trip over to Rivington, but it had less than a third of the taps of Croxley’s and afforded more unique choices.  In my opinion. 

As always, take that with a grain of salt.  Cheers! – Earl

Shipyard Pumpkinhead

It’s a funny thing.  Every year I try the Pumpkin Ale offering from Shipyard Brewing Co. out of Maine.  And every year I’m disappointed.  Must be a genetic defect on my part.

I tried it for the first time a couple of weeks ago and my string of un-impressed tastings has reached 4 or 5 years in a row now.  Then I started reading some great reviews of it online and even my guy at the local distributor claimed that it was his favorite Pumpkin Ale.  By far.

So tonight I picked up a sixer of it to give it a second (5th? 6th?) chance. 

Bad move.

While it possesses one of the more interesting aromas (a lot of spice…not a lot of pumpkin) out of any of the Pumpkins on the market today, that is where it’s appeal ends.  For me, at least.  It’s thin.  It’s watery.  It’s got no aftertaste whatsoever.  I relate it to the Coors Light of Pumpkin Ales.  It’s THAT weak.  Not necessarily awful, just weak and disappointing.

My Rating: 3 out of 10.