Back in early 2017, I conceived a plan for a project that would involve aging 10L of Nocino in a charred barrel. After the aging process, I determined to add an imperial stout to the barrel when the Nocino was removed (Link). Over the course of the next three years, I pursued this project with a few unintended detours due to health issues and the like (See updates here, here, here, here, here, and here “whew”).
While I considered the project finished, I still maintained some of the imperial stout in a modern keg. Periodically, I tasted it, but it continued to sport the “noisy” flavor that I mentioned in one of the posts linked above. Last week, I drained some into one of my uKegs, refrigerated and carbonated it. Four of my friends tasted it once again with that same evaluation that the Nocino flavor just didn’t play well with the stout’s flavor. We did some brainstorming (again!) and someone mentioned putting cherries in it. I happened to have a Mason jar of boozy cherries in my refrigerator (soaked in brandy), so I spooned some into the remaining stout in the uKeg.
The result was a rousing success! The cherries added a flavor that somehow managed to bridge the gap between the Nocino and stout flavors. The resulting Nocino Stout had the type of flavor that I envisioned at the beginning of the project. The Nocino flavor hits the nose and is the first flavor encountered (no big surprise given its strong flavor) after which there is a slight hint of the cherry flavor that eases very nicely into the palate one expects in a nice imperial stout.
I had, more or less, given up on that beer in my keg. Now I have a a few pints left that I can enjoy with my friends. CHEERS!