Previously, I described an ongoing project involving a 10L charred oak barrel and several beverages (see posts here, here, and here). The process of “aging” 10L of nocino in the barrel went well. The plan to add an imperial stout after removing the nocino did not fare as well. All research leading up to adding the stout indicated that it would be a good match with the nocino flavor. It was not; at least not at the levels of flavor produced in the barrel. As my friend Casey suggested, the flavor was noisy. I removed the stout from the barrel this Memorial Day weekend and kegged it. It may still be salvageable if mixed with the “unbarreled” stout. Experiments of blending will happen soon.
My fall back plan involved brewing a Belgian Quad for barrel conditioning. This style seemed to be another possibility for matching with the nocino flavor. As outlined in a previous update, my brewing of the Quad ran into a couple of hitches and I ended up with 5gal of over=hopped Quad. I planned to brew a 3gal very low hops makeup batch to be blended with the original Quad. I brewed the makeup batch on 5/14/19 (recipe found here). This brew turned out so well that I could not envision mixing it with the aforementioned “adulterated” batch. I began to consider other alternatives.
Several years ago, I began making the occasional Nocino Manhattan, combining rye, nocino, sweet vermouth, and bitters. I am now considering “charging” the nocino barrel with rye. After removal of the rye, I will add the low hopped Quad for conditioning. It seems to me that the Quad would pair well with the “Manhattan barrel” 🙂 . I still need to do some research and taste-testing before committing to this course of action. The project continues…..