Wednesday, January 14, 2009

An Old Kitty Kat


It's amazing to me how homebrew gets tucked away and sort of forgotten. This is the case with a beer I brewed back in August 2006 that I initially referred to as the Kitty Kat beer. My inspiration for the batch was Jolly Pumpkin La Roja, but the recipe evolved into something a bit different, with a much more spiced (and different) flavor than the JP brew. This beer was brewed fairly strong at an estimated 7 to 8 percent alcohol. I used an odd combination of spices for the batch; cardamom, fenugreek and black pepper. The full recipe is available here as a Promash summary.

Anyhow, I remember this beer having a really strong maple-like flavor from the fenugreek. Granted, I expected a maple-like flavor from this spice, but I seemed to miss the mark and added too much. It was almost undrinkable. It mellowed about a year after bottling to the point where this flavor wasn't as strong. Now, about two and a half years later, this beer has finally become more balanced and complex.

The fenugreek is still present in the nose mixed with a bit of booziness/alcohol and a dusty cola-like aroma of cardamom. The fenugreek is still the dominant flavor up front, along with caramel, but then caramel malt flavors fade into a tamarind-like fruity-tartness, then back to sweet caramel flavor that evaporates into a dry finish with a latent hint of pancake syrup on the back of the tongue. Pretty weird, I know, but it's good in small doses and it works quite well with Indian food as fenugreek is a common spice used in that cuisine.

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