Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Peon (Imperial Porter) -- Tasting Day

** This beer received bronze in the 2014 Philly Beer Week Mash Bash for Baltic Porters **

This is the last remnant of my dark beer brewing streak from this winter.  I'd never really been a fan of imperial stouts/porters, even after trying many, until my friend left a bottle of Great Divide's Oatmeal Yeti at my house.  Figuring I'd give it a try, I popped the cap and was totally blown away. The strange part is that after the Yeti I was changed forever and really enjoyed drinking imperial dark beers that I had previously despised.  Weird, I know, but the evolution of my palate is weird I suppose.

That being said, I went on a binge of brewing dark beers as previously acknowledged , and this was the last in the series.  Loosely inspired by both Oskar Blues Ten Fidy and Hill Farmstead Everett, I wanted to brew a somewhat boozy, roasty and thick imperial porter.  This is what I came up with after blending some aspects of various clone brews that I found online.

A -- Very deep black with almost no ruby color along the edges.  With a rough pour, you get a tan head around a finger thick that lasts for the first minute or so and then falls into a thin line ringing the glass.  No real lacing.  This should be improved upon for the next iteration.

S -- Roast, chocolate, slight alcohol and a touch of coffee/espresso.  Maybe a bit of toffee as well.

T -- Tons of everything you'd expect in an imperial porter, but without any of the flavors being extremely overpowering.  Definitely a slight touch of alcohol, chocolate, espresso, almond, caramel flavors.  Finishes with some sweetness due to residual sugars from the high finish gravity.  Might benefit from being a bit drier to bring out some more roast flavors.

M -- Extremely thick and viscous.  No real ability to feel the carbonation on this one, but that's entirely appropriate.

O -- This is a really well done beer.  Probably one of the better beers I've brewed.  If you are a fan of the style, this is a solid example.  I'll probably rebrew this in the summer and let it age until the weather turns a bit colder.  When the next major homebrew competition comes around I will definitely submit this.

The Peon (Imperial Porter)
5.25gal batch -- 90 minute boil
Est OG: 1.088
Est FG: 1.028
Est ABV: 7.95%
IBU: 37.5
SRM: 46.8

15.5lb Maris Otter
1.375lb Caramel 40L
1.375lb Roasted Barley
1.125lb Carapils
1.125lb Chocolate Malt
0.5lb Caramel 80L

0.85oz CTZ @ FWH (37.5 IBU)

1500ml starter of London Ale (WY1028)

Mash @ 159f for 75 minutes


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