After Grimbergen night, I have to admit I wasn’t feeling too great this morning. Not a hangover so much as a stomach grumble. I felt for sure I’d finally succumbed to the aforementioned norovirus, and perhaps I’d spoken too soon when I wrote that beer would protect me.
But I revived a bit by lunch, which I spent with Ed, a journalist with tremendous experience and now with the European Voice here in Brussels. We had a lovely chat over a couple of Duvel ales at a restaurant on Grand Sablon, talking about pretty much everything, though not much about the beer. Luckily, I remembered to take the photo here with my phone and got his tasting notes by email.
I have to admit that Duvel was not really one of my favourites before the 40b40. I’d always found it a bit too strong in alcohol, which was not balanced by other tastes. But this time it was OK. I like the strong puffy head it makes, particularly in the official Duvel glass. Ed noted, “velvety, hoppy, seductive”. That seems a fair call to me. The hoppiness is wonderfully strong, and it all goes down very smooth.
Ed also gave me some important advice on aging. “Look”, he said, “40 isn’t so bad. Not as good as 30, of course...” Thanks, Ed.