Tag Archives: imperial stout

Sympathy for the Devil(‘s Mother)

24424159773_2d24defe06_kThis is the third time in about a year I’ve taken a  swing at an imperial milk stout. The results are starting to speak well of my process, I’m happy to say.

The nose is like chocolate milk mix. The flavors run along with that, except with some coffee mixed in. However, it doesn’t have any acrid notes at all. There is some bitterness but it’s not very hop oriented at all. Of note: I avoided these bitter flavors by steeping the dark malts in cold water I was going to brew with the night before I brewed. Just filled up my pot of water and let it sit overnight with the malt.

As the beer warms up, it gets smoother but it also marks a rise in the coffee flavors of the beer. It’s a pretty significant shift away from the sweeter qualities but it’s still very good.

All in all, it tastes a lot like the second batch of Devil’s Mother, and that’s pretty cool! It’s a hell of an accomplishment to be able to replicate a beer.

However, what feels even better is the responses I’ve gotten from not only friends but other homebrewers. Everyone’s been really impressed with this beer and that has felt really good.

Brew date: 12/6/15

1lb Black Patent, 1 lb Chocolate .5 Blackprinz 4 oz cocoa nibs steeped overnight
3 lb 2 row
4 lb pale
7 lb LME
1 lb milk sugar

Hops: 2 oz Nugget hops @60

Yeast: White Labs London ale yeast, starter made

OG: 1.1

FG: 1.034

Bottle 1/1/16

ABV: 8.9%

On The Rail: The Commons

The interior of the Commons is so new, I have to stand at the rail. This is…uncomfortable. I won’t lie to you: this is a building for people who work for a living and I’m currently standing on cement. I see some tables to my right but those are new from my last visit. People stand around barrels and the space at the rail is limited. Nothing is comfortable for long.

But the 3rd anniversary bourbon barrel stout? Oh man. Bourbon soft in the nose, rising through the thin head. It doesn’t run into the middle though; the bourbon flavors appear in the finish, warm, a touch hot. There’s also a density there, the weight of malt and alcohol and chocolate that lingers.

And it’s the chocolate that really makes this beer. It’s sweet and delicious yet somehow this beer still feels light. I realize this contradicts what I just said but I think that is a testament to the quality of this beer. It doesn’t have a viscosity that I’d look for in a stout yet this is clearly not a porter. Almost. Maybe. No; when I cut my tongue through a mouthful of the 3rd Anniversary Stout. I get just enough resistance to know that it’s definitely in the stout style.

The bartender tells me a that this beer is one they’re going to make every year and I couldn’t be happier to hear that.

Because for this beer, I’ll stand. They’re getting chairs; should be here in a month or so but until then I’ll do what I have to to do enjoy this beer.

On The Rail: Lion’s Eye

I walked to the Lion’s Eye, the rain coating everything and as I cut through the park I passed by a man nonchalantly pissing. He had the courtesy to step off the path and turn away from me but I couldn’t help but laugh. Pissing in the rain: if that isn’t a metaphor for most of our endeavors, I don’t know what is.

I’m isolated at the Lion’s Eye. Apparently, rainy evenings are for  couples turned in towards each other which leaves me to sit, drip all over the floor and write. I get a Natian imperial stout. It feels thick, like pudding, and soft on my tongue. Easy to drink and tasty. I’m pleased; this tastes and feels like a stout and I often feel stouts are too thin.

As I sip the beer, a bit more coffee bite starts to show up on the finish. A dryness too, like chalk on the fingers. I am already thinking about my walk home, though; distracted, diverted. Trying to think of the path that will both lead me under trees and get me home quickly.

I remember being on a walk in the Sullivan’s Gulch area during the afternoon a few months ago. It was raining and I was making my way back to work when I hear the pum-pum-pum of a runner carrying a load. A little boy, 7 or 8, Transformers backpack bouncing on his back as he ran, came up next to me, matching my stride. Every so often, he would twist, as though trying to dodge something invisible.

“Hello,” he said.

“Hi. What’s got you running?”

“I’m trying to avoid getting wet,” he said.

“Ah. Makes sense. How’s that working out for you?” I asked him.

I could see him think about it through his jog, “Not super well.”

“Uh-huh. It’s like that, sometimes,” I said, knowing exactly why someone runs through the rain to not get wet.

The kid crossed behind me to my right side as we crossed the street. He kept pace with me, which is impressive for I do not walk slowly. As we came up to a house with a long driveway, I noticed a woman standing on the porch, arms crossed like she was waiting for someone.

“See you later,” the boy said, veering off into the driveway.


I can’t dodge raindrops and I don’t try to, anymore. Well. Most of the time.

The boys got that look

Off to the Concordia Alehouse with Fuz and baeza to play Magic and drink pints. It’s a guy’s night out, without all the stereotypical bullshit; we hang out and talk geekery and beer. It’s about as macho as your average floral convention.

There was, sadly, a pedantic draft selection so I suggested checking out the bottles, and lo and behold at number 16 is Meantime. Oh, it’s a porter, but who cares? Here’s a chance to have some British beer that I rarely have access to!

So Fuz and I split a large bottle and I pour it out for us:
It didn’t quite work out the way I’d hoped.

Still; the porter had applesauce notes that ran from the head (which we chewed on) to the actual drink itself. It was frothy and had the lightness of granny smith applesauce, and by god I’d totally order it again. Hopefully, I’ll pour it better next time.

As I continued to lose our Magic matchups, baeza found a beer that caught his attention; Alesmith‘s Decadence. An imperial stout, I was heartened to realize that it tasted like the stout I’d recently made. A touch of molasses and a definite alcohol warmth, but the parallels were surprising to me. Maybe I’m getting better at that whole making beer thing than I thought.

It was about this time that a woman with long, curly salt and pepper hair and an intelligent set of glasses came up to ask us what we were drinking. A fan of maltier beers, she was curious if the Decadence was good.  I handed over my glass; “Here you go,” I said cheerfully. (She also bashfully admitted that she played Magic with her friends at home.)

She smiled and we talked for a little bit, her asking us about the Meantime, and then thanking us and heading back to her table. A few minutes later, I saw the magnium of Decadence being opened at her table. Her companion looked over at me an laughed; “Had to get one so she’d quit taking yours.”