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Batch 25 Tasting Notes

Suggested serving size shown.

Suggested serving size shown.

Very nearly a year after brewing, I opened my first bottle of Batch 25.

I’m not quite sure how to describe this beer. If a fallen angel had sex with Summer Glau, and their love child was an alcoholic, this is what his urine would taste like. In a good way.

In all seriousness, the standard beer review vocabulary just breaks down at a certain point, and this stuff is well on the far side of that line. It really has more in common with a port than any beer I’ve had. Actually, it shares the broad strokes of its flavor with Raison d’Extra. Something like DFH’s 120 Minute, while having nearly the same alcohol content, is clearly hopped much more aggressively (no mean feat, given that this recipe clocks in at about 150 IBU).

It is lightly carbonated (1.5 vol), and when poured actually managed to drum up a couple wisps of off-white head that dissipated immediately. It is perfectly clear (twenty-four percent of the volume being ethanol can’t hurt), and a nice dark brown, showing ruby around the edges when held to the light. It is quite sweet, but a fairly generic sweetness as opposed to the melanoidin-laced maltiness of something like a doppelbock. The rest of the flavor profile is dominated by dark fruits: raisin; plum; cherry. As I said, the overall flavor is very port-like. Try as I might, I couldn’t find the whiskey or oak in the aroma or taste, but with everything else that’s going on it could very well have ended up tasting less balanced without them. It finishes surprisingly smooth, even vinous, with a very mellow alcohol warmth, and then a little lingering bitterness, which is the only unequivocal sign that this is in fact beer.

Oh, and even without the whiskey it’s one of the world’s ten strongest beers. (And #1 is an ice beer, which is so cheating.) So mission accomplished, I believe, even if I didn’t get to 25%.

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