Tasting Notes: Toasty Winter Stout 18.11.13

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Appearance: Black with reddish brown highlights when you get to the bottom of the glass, just like Guinness (the beer on the right in the photo is Guinness). Lightly carbonated. The syringe trick provides the creamy head.

Smell: Malty and toasty, but reserved. There’s a faint floral hop aroma mixed in too.

Taste: Roasty malt flavours up front and a slightly bitter, balanced finish with some kind of light acidic note throughout (hops? pH? inevitable consequence of being juxtaposed with Guinness, which has essentially no carbonation?). I thought this one would end up with too much residual sweetness, but that didn’t happen at all, it has a nice balanced finish.

Overall: A simple roasty stout with a nice finish. I expect it will also improve after spending a little while conditioning in the fridge. To make these notes, I tasted it with Guinness, and Maja tried both of them blind (literally closing her eyes for the extent of the taste test). Guinness was described as having a bready aroma, and a sweeter, watery taste. This beer had a roastier aroma, a pronounced malty and acidic flavour, and less residual sweetness.

This one turned out very much like I expected it to, and will be a great after-work pint next term. The syringe trick and low carbonation work well to make it full bodied, but it doesn’t quite have the same thick oily mouthfeel that Guinness does. That’s likely not possible to completely recreate without a CO2/nitrogen kegging system. Next time I make a dry stout, I’ll swap the victory malt for carapils to contribute more body, throw in some chocolate malt, forget about the late hop additions, and add more base malt to bring the OG up to around 1048.

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