Sometimes you have to eat crow. Delicious, delicious chocolate-cherry crow. Or, in my case, update your tasting notes on your chocolate-cherry stout!
Last month I blogged about an experimental batch of stout that I fermented with Kveik yeast (in the hopes of generating an orange-chocolate stout) and with Brettanomyces lambicus (hoping for a black forest stout). The original tasting notes for both beers was lacklustre. The Kveik-fermented beer was overly dry and lacked the strong citrus note I was hoping for. The brett-fermented beer was wonderful up-front, but faded to a harsh chalky finish.
The Kveik-fermented beer still sucks. But a month in the keezer has really turned the Brett-fermented beer around. So its time to update the tasting notes!
Appearance: Pours midnight black, with a thick viscous beige head.
Aroma: Aroma is a strong chocolate/coffee roasted aroma, with hints of stone fruits and earth.
Flavour: The flavour up-front is fabulous – rich, licentious chocolate and coffee flavours, malty, and a blast of cherry that makes it hard to believe that cherries were not added to the beer. The bold roast character typical of stouts is present, but is a minor player compared to the chocolate and cherries. The flavour hop addition adds an herbal character, but this has faded and is no longer out of balance.
But here is the really good news – the horrible, harsh, chalk-like character present early in the beer’s life has disappeared completely. I do not know if this was residual undissolved chocolate or yeast that settled out, or if it was a character that simply faded over time. But either way, it is gone. So after the initial sip fills your mouth with a wonderful chocolate-cherry character, the beer then fades to a malty-chocolate and fruit note that is absolutely wonderful.
Mouthfeel: This beer is rich, thick and sweet – both up-front, and in the aftertaste.
Overall: This is a much better beer than I originally thought. While it is not exactly what I was hoping for, it’s a good foundation for future attempts. It is a pleasure to drink, working wonderfully as an evening sipper.