In a previous blog (An Imp is Born), I described the early stages of the production of a home-brewed Imperial Russian Stout, and I mentioned that I had a bottle of a previous version of this beer, Ephemerale 2009 Imperial Russian Stout, which I was saving until Christmas. On Boxing Day, I finally opened it. It had been maturing for over two years and the bottle opened with a pleasing hiss. The beer poured black and smooth with a light brown head of tightly packed bubbles.
The aroma was rich dark chocolate, which followed through into the taste. Strong spirituous overtones were felt right from the start. The taste was very dark and bitter, with notes of alcoholic fruit and a hint of spice. Very warming with a real alcoholic punch. It’s fantastic. There is simply no way that this tastes like a home-brewed beer.
I wondered how strong it was, so I left a tiny drop of it to go flat overnight and dribbled it into a small vinometer which I use to get approximate ABV readings. Now it’s not a scientific instrument, and the values it gives can only be treated as approximate, but the level settled at around 11%.
I will be starting brewing my own beer in a couple of weeks, and I think I’ve just seen what I am ultimately aiming at.
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