Saturday, November 6, 2010

FW1/JDP2: Cafe Con Leche and the Scottish Scotch Ale

It took 10 minutes to pour this beer.
So all that hand wringing I was doing over the sour flavors in the stout proved unnecessary. FW1 tastes good. By no means is it a perfect espresso milk stout, but it is more than drinkable.
The biggest problem with the beer is it's over-carbonated. I did add a bit more dry malt for bottle conditioning than I normally do, but I did so because think many of my beers have been a bit under-carbonated. Well with the stout, it takes five minutes to pour and I've already lost one to gushing and another to detonation (the bottle cap didn't pop off, the upper half of the bottle did). That said, once it's in the glass and settles, it's tart and a bit bitter from the espresso, and the creaminess of the body comes through ... once the carbonation subsides.
Since it's a espresso milk stout, I've named it Cafe Con Leche. Because I got the wort from Mike Roy at Franklin's, this batch is a one and done, but it has motivated me to tackle another stout in the next few months. I'll probably wait until I wrap up my scotch ale experiments.

JDP2 on the left and JDP1 on the right.
Speaking of JDP2, well, it's OK. It is drinkable, but the 6.4 A.B.V. and light body make it more of a Scottish ale than the intended scotch ale. And because I dialed the malt back too far and cut the brown sugar all together, the rye is too pronounced. So back to the drawing board. I think I should have the recipe pretty well dialed in by the next batch.
That said, JDP2 benefited as much from the addition of bourbon as JDP1. As you can see in the picture, JDP1 (on the right) is much darker than JDP2. It's also flat, while JDP2 has a nice amount of carbonation. JDP1 is overly sweet and overly boozy, while JDP2 is a bit thin and the rye gives it too much of a bite. Yet ... YET ... the bourbon cuts through both giving the beers a nice balance without overwhelming either. Isn't bourbon great?

I rise the tasting glasses in a small amount of bourbon to simulate what the beer will taste like after aging in the bourbon barrel.


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