Historical English Imperial Stout re-creation, and collab with Seventh Son Brewing (Columbus, Ohio).
First of, credit where credit is due: This recipe was cribbed from Ron Pattinson’s excellent brewing history blog, Shut Up About Barclay Perkins. Ron’s a somewhat cynical, dry, and damn entertaining beer historian that specializes in going through old brewers’ logs and sharing with the public how some of these 19th and early 20th century European breweries (mostly British) were making beer. I’ve personally long wanted to try to make a dark beer formulated in the old-school formulation: Something with a large percentage of brown malt and just a touch of roasted malt to achieve color.
So when Colin Vent (head brewer at Seventh Son) and I (Sean) set out to brew our next collaboration with a Dead Milkmen-inspired name (I think we are on 7 or 8 of these at this point), we chose to do an epic old recipe, a legendary but quite real English Imperial Stout called Courage 1914, originally brewed by Barclay Perkins.
This recipe is simply a scaled-down version of that original Courage recipe, with as little adaptation as possible. The grist is 72% Crisp Chevalier malt, 18% Crisp Brown malt, and 10% Crisp black malt. The hops are an astounding amount of Fuggle and Hersbrucker in the kettle, and it’s dry-hopped with a fairly heavy dose of Fuggle too. Fermented with an English Ale yeast. The historic version would have aged in large oak vats, and might have picked up some Brettanomyces character over that time. Ours isn’t aged in oak, but we expect it to age quite well in the keg.
Flavor Profile: The first word that comes to mind is “tarry”….”tar-ey”? In the best way, it is thick and tar-like. Baker’s cocoa. Hop bitterness. A firm, dry, pleasantly ashy finish. This beer is bold, it has bitterness and edges to it. It should age REALLY well, so keep an eye out for more on draft…possibly even bottles?…in the coming months.
Our rendition came in at 9.5% ABV. It’s not gluten reduced.