Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Tasting Notes - Haskell's "BOD 09 XX"

Here are some tasting notes on a second bottle of Haskell's beer. (I posted my notes on what I believed was his Flander's Red a few months back.) This one was labeled "BOD 09 XX" on the cap. Judging only from what I poured into my glass, I believe this one is a bourbon-oak-aged imperial stout. I take the "BOD" on the cap to mean "bourbon-oaked d___"; the "09" to be the year (making this beer around 5 years old!); and the "XX" as a warning to the consumer regarding its alcohol strength.

Inspection: Not apparent in the pics, but the bottle was a high-fill. When I poured it (somewhat aggressively as it has low carbonation), a lump of something (oak?) followed the liquid into the glass.

Aroma: Vanilla extract, complete with rich dark-caramel alcohol notes. Some brown or turbinado sugar. Sweet. As it warms there are increased alcohol notes -- a little sharp, but not offensive.

Appearance: Black, black, black. Even held up to light I cannot see through this beer. Around the rim of the glass is a faint true-brown color, but it does not go into the liquid at all. No head whatsoever, despite a somewhat aggressive pour. What bubbles did form were a dark brown-sugar color, almost like the crema on a nice espresso.

Flavor: Rich and sweet. Up front there is a dark-sugar sweetness, with a nice touch of umami. Vanilla on the back end, that trails into a nice tannic oakiness. Some sawdust. Tongue-swelling alcohol that leaves the mouth a bit juicy. Surprising balance given how sweet it smells. A bit more carbonation would add a nice carbonic bite.

Mouthfeel: Rich and viscous. Could benefit from a touch more carbonation (but too much would get in the way of the beer).

Overall: I should have waited until after dinner to open this beer! A thick, decadent, well-aged beer that I'd be excited to replicate. A bit sweet for my taste, but I think carbing it up a bit more would help. I'm unsure what the ferm details were, but I'd be sure to control it during growth phase to limit the ethanol production. This was very similar to the base-beer for the Bourbon County varietals I has the fortune of tasting over Xmas. A real treat to sit and sip.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Aaron! I just came by to look up your quick souring technique, and whaddya know, tasting notes!

    Since I'm here I'll clear up the details. BOD actually stands for Bed O' Deer - it was based on an online recipe that I can no longer find and properly credit. And seeing as my brew journal was destroyed, it may be lost for ever.

    But you got the basics right - RIS aged on homemade oak chunks, vanilla, and minimal bourbon. Made in Dec 2009 - 12% ABV and 1.03 FG or maybe a tough higher, hence the sweetness - I think I pitched it on an 05 yeast cake with no temp control. Force carbed and bottled off the keg. This was the first "big" beer I ever made, came out pretty good for attempt #1. The chunk of something is embarrassing, probably oak or vanilla residue? Half the batch was bottled straight (no oak/vanilla) and it's definitely reached it's peak and may be heading downhill by now. I should start drinking more of it.

    In any case, thanks for posting the notes, always fun to get some feedback! I'll try to return the favor with your beers, they're still sitting in my fridge. And I'll make sure to comment on your quick sour technique!