Every beer geek reaches a level where their home has beer of some kind at all times. If a beer lover is like me and doesn’t quite have a beer cellar, chances are there is a portion of their kitchen refrigerator that is dedicated to beer. The bottom shelf of our fridge is mostly full of sponge-worthy beers.
After awhile when looking for a beer on a Wednesday night I don’t look at most of the beer in my “cellar”. I might not know exactly what is there, but I know what’s there is for “special occasions”. Beer can get lost in this trap and be forgotten about. When such a beer is rediscovered we have what is known as the “back of the fridge find”.
One of the first batches I blogged about was an unconventional beer called Subway Series Stout. This was a one gallon batch that would now be called a Mixed-Style Beer (BJCP Style 34B) combining an American Stout (20B) and International Dark Lager (2C). Looking back those were two odd styles to mix. The base malt was 6-row barley with a heaping percentage of flaked corn like a dark adjunct lager, but there was an equal amount of flaked oats and modern American hops like one would find in an American stout. For good measure I used the estery and highly attenuating Vermont Ale yeast from The Yeast Bay.
I remember really enjoying the beer when it was young. When I sat down to compose this I could have sworn I wrote a detailed Tasting Notes post. As usual my memory failed me. When I stumbled upon a bottle as a “back of the fridge find”, it provided an opportunity to revisit the beer.
The beer poured an opaque black. The head was tan, somewhere between foamy and frothy, with fair to good retention. Any hop aroma the beer might have had was gone, but it still had a nice grainy cereal aroma, with some esters from the yeast. Like the aroma suggested, the hop flavor was low. The body and carbonation were both medium making the beer quite drinkable. There was some chocolate in the malt flavor. Hop bitterness was perfect and the finish was clean and encouraged further sips.
The beer has aged quite well. At least this bottle which had been stored at cold temperatures for who knows how long has aged well. At this point the beer looks and drinks like an English Porter. If I was a commercial brewer with a silo full of 6-row malt, I’d feel comfortable using a similar recipe to make a porter of stout that people would enjoy.
This was a great back of the fridge find!
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