That “Smoked Chocolate Porter” extract beer I brewed in June which tasted like total crap at the time (burnt chocolate campfire porter) has improved a lot. I had a bottle just a few weeks ago. It’s probably peaking where I’d say that it’s not getting any better than it was in November BUT the age has made that terrible campfire taste go away which is nice. I have too many of those bottles left which is a shame.
Anyway, that HUGE 22 or so pounds of grain Imperial Stout that I brewed after Thanksgiving that came in around 13-13.5% ABV was kegged before moving to the new house as transporting full carboys is just asking for trouble. It’s been sitting in my cellar for the past 2.5 weeks. Despite not drinking this month, I have poured an ounce or so of my home-brews after they carbonated to see how things were tasting (the joy of kegging beers is you can enjoy them an ounce at a time) and I took a sample of the flat stout at room temp.
It’s very heavy in body, lots of cocoa and just a hint of cane sugar. I was very impressed. The issue is the beer is pretty boozy and, being only a month old, it needs some time to age / balance just a bit. So, I picked up some medium char oak spirals and began today soaking them in about 10 ounces of Blanton’s that I had laying around..which unfortunately works out to about $20 in bourbon + $10 for the spirals.
I think the plan is to do two weeks of aging on spirals and then tap it and periodically taste it to see how the beer is doing adding an ounce of so of Blanton’s as needed until I get the desired taste. The Espresso stout with 20 or so ounces of espresso was really great! I’m looking forward to seeing how this one tastes for the upcoming stouts tasting at my place mid-February. The coffee stout and campfire porter will also make an appearance among some far better stouts from guys who know what they’re doing like Hill Farmstead, Lawson’s, Bruery and Struise.