Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Leprechaun Stout

I brewed a special beer for St. Patrick's day, and called it Leprechaun Stout. Right up until the last 5 minutes of the boil, my plan was to just do a pretty typical stout, but right at the very end, I added 1/2 tsp of pepermint extract. My "logic" was something like: "This has to be special for St. Patrick's Day. Everyone wears green on St. Patrick's Day, but there is no way I am going to make a stout green. Mint is green. I will add peppermint to my beer." Not sure that all adds up, but that was my thought process. I added the peppermint.

For most of the fermentation process, I was sure that peppermint was a mistake. While tasting my first sample before bottling, my fears were "confirmed" .... The mint taste was way too strong. My sample at bottling time was not as bad, but still I thought "that is too minty".
But, my QA tastes got better. The beer got to tasting a bunch like a thin mint girl scout cookie. Too much mint for an everyday beer, but not a bad "dessert" beer. 

Today, I think the beer has the perfect amount of peppermint to compliment the dark roasty chocolate malts. This is no longer just a "not-bad dessert beer", but a good everyday brew. Maybe it is just my mood today, but today I think this is a great St. Patrick's Day Brew.  It still reminds me of a thin mint with the chocolaty dark malts and the now-not-so-strong peppermint, but it is a bit more restrained than it was.  I've never really had (or even really heard of) a beer with peppermint in it, but if I were to try one, this is how I would want the peppermint to come through. 

I am very glad that this beer turned out so nice.  Most beers to which I've tried to add experimental flavors have turned out a bit disappointing (the first batch of Girly Berry, Maple Brown Ale, Vanilla Porter).  This one, I might brew again next St. Patrick's day.  I may even put some peppermint in my next X-Mas Ale.

Happy St. Patricks's Day everybody!

Here is a photo of Connor after finishing off Tyler's birthday cake.  Sometimes I am frightened of this child.

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