Sunday, June 26, 2011

Being One, but not the Same (to quote Bono)

It occurred to me on Father's Day that if I have a Doppleganger, he lives in Belgium.  A Doppleganger is a body double (someone who looks just like me), but more like an evil twin.  I imagine my Doppleganger as not so much evil as unwitting.  Perhaps he is not my evil twin, but rather, I am his.

I imagine my twin living a quite provincial life amongst the farms in West Flanders or maybe a diamond merchant in Antwerp.  He is probably, like me, a quite boring fellow, but I am certain he has a beautiful shock of hair....not that he is concerned with it in the least.  He favors wine, you know, and considers himself quite a connoisseur. Living so close to France makes it easy.  He speaks Dutch, but understands French, English, and German.

Yes, this little fellow is so similar, yet different.  On this peculiar Sunday (Father's Day in the United States) we could find our hero in a quiet spot rediscovering a beverage from his past.  Usually, on summer days like this, he would favor a Bordeaux but his mind was on Burgundy, but feeling somewhat misplaced, he instead settled on a nice beer from his home country.  It was something that he was quite familiar with as he was raised on it, a specialty of his native Flanders, a somewhat sour beer with the flavor of dark fruits.  It was this beer that introduced him to the mellower and rounder flavor of wine as this beer, made the old way, was so much like wine, almost like a Burgundy's Doppleganger....similar, similarly made, aged in oak for over a year and often blended for the right consistency, similarly complex, similarly flavorful, but different, almost evil in its attraction, and made with a blend of bacteria and yeast natural to this unlike beer, so like perfect on this end of Spring day.

As he sat thinking of this evil twin of a beer, a somewhat dim witted fellow in the States was considering his options for a special treat this Father's Day.  He almost for no reason at all parted with almost $50 bucks for a four pack of Oud Bruin and another 4 pack of a beer demurely named The Duchess of Bourgonne, both beers of the Flemish Style (brown and red).  An unusual choice for this self described beer guy.  A guy who doesn't tend to like extreme beers, and tends to frown upon beers that don't taste like beer.

Truth be told.....Flemish Red and Oud Bruin have been a favorite of mine for a while.  I don't tend to get them (even when/where offered) as they are expensive, and don't satisfy my taste for beer.  They are my un beer beverages of choice.  They have a tartness from the bacteria but a fruitiness that make them refreshing.  At 6-8% ABV coupled with the expense, it is difficult to keep them around.  If you are not into sour beers, you may or may not enjoy them....I didn't immediately like them, but over time (approximately 5 years now) of hanging out at my local Belgian beer bar....I have begun to have an affair with the Duchess, and she introduced me to her Flemish cousin.

Now I dream of them at night....

Damn my Doppleganger....damn him to hell.

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