Monday, July 01, 2013

Revisiting the Belgian Spiced Cherry Stout

I dug out another old bottle of homebrew yesterday. This time it was the Belgian-style Spiced Cherry Stout that I brewed back in 2009. I was amazed at how well this beer is holding up. Here are my tasting notes:

Plenty of carbonation; an amazing amount for a three-year-old beer. Sour cherry and curry nose. Yes, curry. More curry than cherry. A bit lactic and quite tart. Quite a bit of acid, along with hot alcohol. Will need to hit the antacids again tonight. Milk chocolate middle. Tart finish. Really need to try this again, but I doubt I could pull off a repeat of such a masterpiece.

Here are some of my earlier notes on this beer from November 2009:

Seeing that I didn't account for the fermentability of the tart cherry juice I used, I've gone back and estimated the alcohol content of this brew to be at least 9 percent alcohol. I knew I had a lot more alcohol in this batch than I thought after getting buzzed pretty good after a couple small glasses. That said, the alcohol content is not getting in the way of what I think will be a terrific beer. Even at just a couple months of age, there is a wonderful infusion of chocolate, roasted coffee and tart cherry flavors in this beer. There is also a slight cola flavor and a hint something else; sort of an undefinable complexity. I'm guessing this depth of flavor has to do with not just the Belgian yeast, but the subtle addition of cardamom and black pepper (about a tablespoon each.) This beer continues to sleep and shall do so for awhile; as at it's strength it should improve over the years.
I'm thinking the cardamom and black pepper is contributing the the "curry" aroma in this beer, as it each spice is part of the Indian spice blend known as Garam Masala. Perhaps I'll just go ahead add Garam Masala to this recipe if I ever brew it again.