To Begin Stout Day…

To begin International Stout Day, I decided to have my homebrewed pumpkin coffee stout for lunch.  The stout was brewed with pumpkins picked right across the street from my parents house in Seacoast NH at the wonderful Coppal House Farm.  The pumpkins were cheese wheel pumpkins, which are said to do well in pies, but to be excellent in sweet and savory food, such as pumpkin soup.  I plan to try a pumpkin saison/Belgian pale with them next year to test the claim out…  Anyways, the beer has been bottle conditioning for only 2.5 weeks, and clearly is in need of some more time to develop a head.  On the nose, this beer is suprisingly boozy for its approx. 7% ABV with a good lick of spicy alcohol commingling with the sweet fruity pumpkin notes while the roasted notes bring black and overly potent coffee to mind.  I think when I brew this next year I will tone down the roasted malts and up the chocolate malts, as well as use the more pumpkin in the mash, the boil, and in the secondary.  This time around I only used about 3/4 of a 5 lbs. pumpkin in the boil and secondary.  On the taste, this beer is strong with the roasted malts throughout, but there is a decent amount of sweet character helping to balance the beer, especially upfront where I detect the most pumpkin character.  The mouthfeel medium to slightly thin, but has this gelling feeling that I assume comes from the pound of maple syrup used during the boil.  The maple syrup also shows up slightly in the flavor, throughout the beer, giving a darker sweet note to the pumpkins light sweets.  Overall, I’m actually kind of proud of this beer.  It still has at least another week till I’m ready to start handing it out to people, and I really only have 2 twelve packs of it (and one of the twelve packs I ruined by adding more coffee to it, which killed all of the pumpkin flavor) but I can’t wait to try this beer again.  I ended up pairing it for lunch with some chicken flavored Maruchan ramen noodles which I added peppers, onions, smoked ham slices, and some Montreal Steak seasoning too.  The beer worked surprisingly well with the noodles, and while not a perfect pairing, it is definitely something I might try again.  The sweet of the beer melded nicely with the savory of the noodles and brought out the roasted malts to a nice contrast between the three flavors.  Overall, this was a good start to International Stout Day.  Expect a review of Clown Shoes’ Vampire Slayer tonight, and if I’m feeling up to it I will also do a review of Pretty Thing’s Babayaga.

Cheers, Beers, and Happy International Stout Day!

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