Monday, January 4, 2016

Courage RIS Tasting 2015 (Eight Years Old)

My Courage Russian Imperial Stout clone it its native environment.Christmas week is Massachusetts at my childhood home, meant drinking my annual bottle from our 2007 batch of Courage Russian Imperial Stout clone! Three bottles of this batch are all that is left in the closest, so I'm good through 2018! I thought there was a forth bottle, but on closer inspection it was a Scandinavian Imperial Porter brewed earlier that same year (not a bad trade, considering I thought I opened the last one of those a couple years ago!)

Courage RIS Clone 2007

Appearance – Opaque dark charcoal brown, other than the clear amber-red edges. Head is fine, haven’t noticed any appreciable deterioration with age.

Smell – The nose leads with earthy slightly-smoky Brett, followed by toast slathered with Nutella. Vanilla and clean booze as it warms. Good progression as it approaches room temperature, nice to have a sipper that changes as you slowly imbibe.

Taste – Sweetness is picking up as the hops continue to drop out: milk chocolate, molasses, and figgy pudding. Still some leather from the Brett, maybe even a little horse blanket. Toasted marshmallow in the finish, a character I don’t see mentioned in previous tastings.

Mouthfeel – Low-moderate carbonation and the body is still luscious, so still no sign that the Brett survived. This technique, fining and then chemically pasteurizing, is still my choice for a hint of funk without drying out a dark beer.

Drinkability & Notes – Thank goodness for the anti-oxidant properties of metabisulfite, no eight year old beer deserves to taste this fresh! I may need to start dosing clean beers intended for aging with a small amount. Time to rebrew this recipe, five gallons all for myself this time (that should take me to Christmas 2060 or so)!


CRUSADER1612 said...

I'm gearing up to make a batch of this myself. After a long time staring at this recipe....

the plan is to use Brett Clausenii or Bret Brux to get some brettyness into it.
I'll also be using S-04 at low temps to primary.
so, I have a question, you have such a high Mash temp, although your specialties are lower than normal stouts.
I was thinkingthe Stone IRS recipe
2lbs amber 1.3lbs choc and roast barley (although i'll be swappingthe roast out for carafa) with the addition of the dark candi as well.
will this work? I just want to make sure it well be ok, and with the extra special malts, i assume i'd be better off lowering my mash temp to 151-152F


The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

It is your call, personally I'd mash hot and give it more time with the Brett. The candi sugar will help it dry out. FWIW, I'd go Brett claussenii.

Anonymous said...

Interesting thing about the metabisulfite, i've used it in wine before (it is amazing btw how much abuse wine can take compared to beer partly due to the metabisulfite) but i have never dared to try it in beer.

Do you think it could help keeping my hoppy beers fresher, kinda correcting for my sub-par bottling and dryhopping techniques? (in terms of oxygen pick-up)

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

I don't think it could hurt, but I'm honestly not sure. I think it'd be best if you kegged, that way you wouldn't have to add more time to a beer that is best fresh even if it did extend the life a bit!