This was the average score of my Devil’s Mother 2017 that I got from the Stout Bout competition. 23.6 out of 50. Which is not good.

I won’t lie to you, that stings. I entered the beer because the feedback I got from other homebrew club members was that it was worth entering. I rarely think my beers are that solid but when other people are telling me it’s good, maybe they’re on to something.

Contributing to the score is something else: there wasn’t a category that I felt an imperial milk stout could fit into and I didn’t have the courage to just call it an experimental ale. Experimental ales feel like the kind of thing you find someone using mugwort in, not strong versions of already existing styles.

Still, I have to take responsibility for that error-well, all the errors but that one in particular.

That said: The feedback I got was odd. ‘Pear esters’ appeared on two of the three forms, ‘peanut’ on one, ‘hot’ also was written down-that’s the term for being able to taste the alcohol- along with medium head retention.

Devil's Mother Milk StoutI figured I owed it to myself to taste this beer again with the comments I got in mind.

Nose definitely has a lactic quality; chocolate too. Chocolate milk might be too strong but still. I don’t get the fruit quality, nor peanut. Possible alcohol though?

Apple, veggie, these are not things I pick up. Roasted, definitely as a flavor and….I can detect a smidge of a sourness. Not like ‘milk gone bad’ in a sickness way but more like a Greek yogurt way.

The hot alcohol note-well, that I have to agree with. Is that a negative in an imperial? I don’t think so but as a basic milk stout? Yeah.

Other notes: toffee, dried fruit. I suppose there is some of that-I may need to work on upping the chocolate factor. This was the first Devil’s Mother that didn’t include coco nibs and that it likely to the detriment of the beer.

All in all, I have to admit that this is a good learning experience, even if things didn’t match up the way I hoped they would.

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