An Imperial Discovery

Lately I’ve been trying to streamline my old bottles of beer that I have made and found that I wish I’d been more organized in labeling them.

I have several bottles amongst my collection of something labeled 6007 which my naming scheme suggests that it is the 6th batch I brewed in 2007.  Holding the bottle up to the light showed that it was VERY dark.  Likely a stout.  Probably the 1.130 OG Imperial Stout that I could not fit even 1 more pound of grain in to my 55 qt cooler/mash tun. I think I used 30# of grain and my first runnings when I lautered were 1.085

As I recall, the final gravity on that one was about 1.04 which put it at around 12.5% ABV.   Also, that was my first attempt at something so big and I overpowered the yeast on it so it had carbonation problems when I tried to bottle condition.  I think that is why after a sampling bottles over the first few months showed that the carbonation was not coming up like I had hoed, I relegated the remaining bottles to the back of my shelf in the basement.

The other day, after 6 years, I pulled one out and shared it with a few friends, notifying them with a big disclaimer about how I don’t know if this is any good, not ever sure what it is..etc..etc..  I was pleasantly surprised by the carbonation.  It was a little soft, but for the style, it worked out OK.  Black with deep redish mahogany on the edges and highlights.  Nice warming aroma of dark roast and raisins.  Flavor was a bit oxidized, as I kind of suspected, but it was definitely drinkable and I’ll be going back through all my bottles and rounding up any remaining from that “vintage”.  They wont be getting any better.

I plan on cranking up production this year and this kind of lack of documentation and organization is not good.  Just lucked out on this one a bit.



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