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Recipe: AI / MoBroBrew 2011 - Smoked Vanilla Bourbon Porter (revision #3)

  • Started Brewing: Sep 04, 2011
  • Original Gravity: [Not given]
  • Primary Fermentation Complete (Estimated): Sep 12, 2011
  • Secondary Fermentation Complete (Estimated): Sep 19, 2011
  • Ready to Drink (Estimated): Oct 03, 2011

Notes From Sept. 4, 2011 (Brewing)

Gravity Reading: [Not given]

Brewed 9/4/2011 - Did a yeast starter 24 hours beforehand. Active fermentation started within 8 hours after pitching. Continued bubbling at a brisk rate for approximately 4 days after brewing. Then slowed to a more respectable pace. Kept in a cool room wrapped in a towel that was moistened in the mornings and evenings to try and keep the temperature down.

Bottled 9/19/2011 - Bottled today, tasted a small amount afterwards. Feedback is as follows:

(Me): Color is rich and deep. Heavy vanilla, chocolate flavors, hints of caramel. This is a dessert beer! A nice bitterness but not overpowering, smoky finish. I'd like the flavors to be slightly stronger but we'll see how it conditions. Will probably be awesome come November.

(Wife): Very aromatic. Light mouthfeel, not heavy. Will be interesting what happens in the bottle. Flavors are in a strange way more like coffee than stereotypical beer.

(Co-Brewer Buddy): Heavy chocolate nose! Wonderful flavor, slightly smoky, first taste is "green" but finishes with "brown". Light, but well flavored.

Notes From Oct. 4, 2011 (Other)

Gravity Reading: [Not given]

Really looking forward to this one. It's taken a ton of my self-control to hold off opening a bottle early.

Notes From Oct. 11, 2011 (Other)

Gravity Reading: [Not given]

Chilled and opened an initial taste test bottle yesterday (3 weeks of bottle conditioning). My initial notes.

Low carbonation makes for a beer with an extremely smooth feel on the tongue. Smokiness is there but not overpowering. Vanilla against the dark malt flavors gives it a bitter/sweet taste. Easy to drink. Slightly sweet finish, but doesn't feel too syrupy or stick on your tongue. Alcohol content is not ridiculous. I can't really taste the bourbon flavor which I had hoped for. It's possible it will come out more as the beer ages. Despite all that it's really phenomenal stuff! I'm upset that I'm intending to give most of it away!