Tasting: #67 Koschei Imperial Stout

Eureka, its time for a beer tasting. Happy Holidays to everyone. Today’s beer was brewed in October 2012, filled in a Whisky barrel in late October and bottled/kegged 5 month later (in March 2013). Now, the beer spent roughly nine month in kegs/bottles and its time now for an official tasting. It’s the one and only Koschei Imperial Stout clocking in at a 12.3 ABV.

koschei_in_glasAroma: Mellow vanilla nose with hints of oak and Bergamot. Some alcohol in the nose. Hint of roasted coffee, coconut, honey and chocolate. Nice!

Appearance: Very viscous, dark black, clear with slight head (tapped from a carbonated keg). Nice lacing as well…

Flavor: Licorice, marzipan, dark chocolate, very subtle roast character. However not too much going on

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body, low carbonation level, finishes with lots or roasted malts, coffee, slight astringency and a nice, balanced bitterness

Overall Impression: This is a nice beer but too light on the palate in my opinion. The alcohol kind of shines through too much (really hate the nose burning alcohol sensation). However, I already fixed this in subsequent high ABV beers which turned out great. Was it worth maturing this beer in a barrel? I actually don’t know. Comparing this beer with beers matured on wood chips only, there isn’t a specific barrel character to pick up in this beer that is not present in wood chips matured beers. I for my part will only mature beers in barrels to strip the aroma character from the barrels to later on mature sour beers.

And to proof that I am not simply writing up nice words and praise our beers to the highest, the corresponding ratebeer ratings: http://www.ratebeer.com/beer/blackwell-koshei-imperial-stout/234334/. The second of this batch turned into a black Berliner Sour and is rated as well: http://www.ratebeer.com/beer/blackwell-saurerstoff/227882/

Since this is probably the last post for this year, I wish you all Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year. Prost to good beer and Prost to the new year to come!


BBA/EBY Brett Experiment Update 4

Hello everyone. This is the fourth update concerning the BBA/EBY Brett Experiment and should give you some preliminary results for some of the strains and be a reminder concerning the evaluation process. I hope the experiment is working fine so far. As mentioned in the last update (BBA/EBY Brett Experiment Update 3) the planned time points for the evaluation are

  • Month 1 (uncarbonated at bottling), Month 2, Month 6, 1 Year

and the results should be put into the following list

Whenever possible, please transfer all your data from whatever form you used to the Google Form mentioned above. If you include any other (commercial) Brett strains in the experiment, please use the same form and just mention the strain in the appropriate field (yeast code).

Preliminary results

As far as I know, two bloggers published first results so far.

If someone else published evaluation data on their blog (or wherever) and is not mentioned here, please let me know. For the Google Form above, only one person filled in information so far. A bit too early to make any conclusions so far

Small lab update

I would like to end with a short update about the current status of the EBY lab. I am still isolating new yeasts from various new beers (mostly from the US now) and am now especially interested to get some Lactobacillus strains as well. And I finally detected some living bacteria in a dreg sample (see picture below) which might be Lactobacillus (will not reveal the brewery/beer at this point). On the other hand, I got some non-Saccharomyces yeasts from various dregs as well. One might be especially interesting as it is from a brewery from the UK isolated from a barrel aged beer. And I am quite sure they did not add Brettanomyces artificially. In addition, I finally got my hands on a Berliner Weisse brewed with an old Brettanomyces strain isolated from a very old, traditional Berliner Weisse. Will see if I can manage to get some living yeast from the bottle though. Further on, I am playing around blending various strains and dregs to get some unique and aggressive blends. That’s it so far.

dreg001On yet another unrelated notice, I would be interested using the legendary Conan yeast for a future batch. However, it is impossible to get the beer in Europe to isolate the yeast myself nor any yeast shipped to Europe. If anyone out there willing to send me some Conan, please write an email. Thanks for reading and stay tuned