Maturity in Strong Stout

IMG_20160704_172158Aging was an important component of porter in its English heyday. It was stressed that maturity didn’t mean sourness, although in practice some stale beer as it was termed did attain that quality.

The beer pictured is a good illustration of a strong porter which aging improves without leading to a vinegar palate. It is Alchimiste’s Imperial Stout, the well-known Quebec craft brewery, from Joliette. This has been in the fridge for about six months.

The result is a much more knitted beer than when new, with good malt sweetness and it lacks the rough edges I recall when purchased. I believe some raw barley was used and am reminded of a Victorian writer who said while he prefers roasted or brown malt to roasted (unmalted) barley, if you age the product long enough the result can be very good.  I have seen the proof of it, so to speak. This is a 7.9% Impy, by no means in the classic alcohol territory for the drink, but strong enough, more than strong enough.

It is, too, upwards of 90F outside…

The long sojourn au frigo also reduced the carbonation somewhat, a plus in this case.

Withal a fine example of traditional brewing which shows the merits of long aging.