Saturday, September 10, 2011

Blackout Beer - Duvel in the Dark

Last week's San Diego Blackout came and went without much impact or hoopla in my house.  We found candles and flashlights before it got dark, and located an Italian restaurant that was selling pizzas.  (I am going to make sure to buy some non-scented candles.)  It was nice not having the TV blaring for an evening, even for the start of the NFL season.  When I went out to get the pizza, I was amazed at how quiet it was.  People were out walking or sitting on their lawns or porches, with no noise other than conversation.  My daughter and I enjoyed a one-time star show, seeing stars and constellations we've only seen on night sky maps.  

I got home with the pizza just at dusk and went to the beer fridge, which had stayed closed and cold, despite over three hours in a summer garage.  I pulled out my bottle of Duvel Golden Ale that I had been saving for some unspecified occasion.  No power, pizza and candlelight seemed the perfect excuse to pop the cork.  I can't tell you how this beer looked, because everything in candlelight is some shade of yellow or orange, with plenty of shadows.  I do know it had plenty of foam that was slow to dissipate.  Duvel was effervescent, and the bubbles stayed concentrated throughout the whole bottle.  It had a strong yeast presence and a richness characteristic of a good golden ale, with a mild hop finish.  It was an excellent beer with strong flavor and an approachability missing from many big Belgians.  The beer geek will appreciate this beer and the novice will just grin and ask for more.

The beer went perfect with the evening.  It was mellow, but had an underlying complexity.  Its first taste was as good as its last.  I'd never had a bottle of Duvel before, even though it's widely distributed (Trader Joe's usually has bottles of Duvel at a reasonable price).  I plan on buying more of this beer and keeping a bottle in my beer fridge, you never know when it'll be needed.

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