Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Review: American Double Stout

First let me say that this beer did not carbonate in the bottles, I added red wine yeast at bottling along with sugar and it didn't turn out. I had bought some champagne yeast but couldn't find it so I used the red wine yeast figuring it would work. It did not. The first picture is of the flat dead beer. Zero carbonation developed in the bottle. I did what I could do; I used a clean empty two liter bottle and poured in the beer, I then used the carbonator cap to force carbonation of it.

Appearance: Rich, dark, nice tan head when carbonated. The beer coated the glass after drinking and the tan head remained as a ring throughout the experience.

Aroma: Somewhat limited; Roasty, and chocolaty. Rich is how I would describe it. Like a somewhat burned chocolate cupcake. Negligible bourbon, vanilla, or oak.

Flavor: Roasty! the roast flavor was upfront and had notes of bourbon and oak tannin. I never really got the vanilla from the beans or the oak. The chocolate wasn't as forward as I had hoped for. 

Mouth: The carbonation was on the high side for a russian imperial stout, it made the beer seem more alive that I'd have liked it to be. It was prickly where it should have been coating. The carbonator cap has its limits.

Overall: I am disappointed that the bottles didn't carb up. The flavors weren't as eye popping or distinguishable as I'd like. Aging for a year took some of the heat off but I think It could have gone even longer. I'll probably dump 2 of the three remaining bottles and save the last one for some future date. I'll resurrect it with about 8 psi carbonation and see down the road how everything turned out. I'd give the carbonated version of this beer a C/D because it was a roasty large imperial beer with plenty of alcohol. It lacked the bold bourbon flavors I had hoped it would have, and it didn't really offer the multi-dimensional roast/chocolate/vanilla flavors that I had hoped for. I've had worse imperial beers than this but I am dissatisfied with the outcome. We'll see next year what the second attempt yields.

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