A few weeks ago I brewed an experimental stout for a brewing challenge offered by my brew club. The challenge concept was simple – Iron Brewer; brew a beer using two ingredients drawn from a cap. I was lucky and got amaretto and grand marnier; almond and orange liquors which I worked into a stout.
The vision for the stout was a digestive; much like the liquors going into the beer. As such I wanted something bold, silky smooth and with a robust flavour and a balancing sweetness. This led to a stout recipe which had a lot of dark malts (60SRM’s worth), was mashed high to provide body, and which had equal amounts of each liquor added twice – at flame-out & at kegging.
I almost got what I wanted – the liquor balance could be better; instead of the 1:1 ratio I would have used 2:1 orange:almond, as the orange is too subtle and the almond bitterness is too strong. I would also increase the amount of total liquor by as much as 2-fold. In addition, I would add the lactose I had meant to add (but forgot to order) – the body is nice, but the silkiness of lactose would be a fantastic addition.
Appearance: Pours with a thick, brown, long-lived head. Beer is inky-black, even when viewed in front of a bright light.