For this experiment, I took the lessons from the previous one and only poured two glasses at a time. This let us slow down and appreciate what was going on, which was as relief from the pressure of the last experiment. In addition: Old Rasputin is an imperial stout, which means it’s strong and benefits from warming up. Time would be on our side, if you will.
Now take a look at the head on the mug! I can’t explain that to save my life. I poured the beers at the same time but it’s clear that the brandy glass wasn’t allowing any head on this beer at all. Why was there such a different? No idea. But the nose is quite potent at first hit from the mug, moreso than with any other glass.
The girlfriend said the mouthfeel changes with foam. She preferred the foam here, even suggesting the pint over the schooner glass, because the head retention is better. The drink seemed smoother and she enjoyed it more.
The drinks from the brandy glass were warmer. This would happen in the mug eventually, but it took more time and that seemed to matter; the mouthfeel played a bigger role in the enjoyment of the beer and for some reason, the insulation provided by the mug was working in favor of the stout. The beer also would become too warm too quickly in the sniffer, which offered flavors that were less optimal and more roasted.
The pint and schooner glasses didn’t seem to change at all on initial pour, with the head being thicker in pint glass. Nose detection was minimal in these glasses but I expected that, given the style.
As it warmed up, the pint really made a difference. The end of the schooner glass still offered a carbonated bite, the pint didn’t and I thought the pint is better for that and she agreed. The stout became less pleasurable with a concentrated dose of carbonation at the end.
What was most interesting was that unlike the previous test, the mug glass fared the best for this style. The beer was kept a bit colder, so it didn’t suffer as much when you got to the end of the drink. The bountiful head gave a great first whiff but when it died down there was still a very drinkable beer.