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Black Whale – the Inglorious Vanillo & Stout

Vanillo & Stout

This year we experimented with post-fermentation flavour infusion using high quality vanilla beans, star anise and chilli on separate 5 litre batches of apple melomel racked from the same carboy. The original melomel was under expectation and this gave us the incentive to push our ideas a little further.

One of the success stories from that is our Vanillo – a sweet mead with overpowering vanilla. Opulent. Full bodied. The idea was to see if we could completely overwhelm the glass with vanilla flavour.

This is where we fooled around a bit in the drinking. Sacrilege isn’t worth doing by half a mast or quarter of a pirate’s oar.

There arose from the ocean a black whale with creamy white head and an ABV around 7 or 8%. We called her the Inglorious Vanillo & Stout.

Technically, we’re talking a glass-mixed braggot.

If you get hold of some super vanilla flavoured melomel this is worth a taste:

  1. Pour the clear golden Vanillo to fill about one-fifth of your glass
  2. Top with chilled Guinness extra stout until you get a creamy head to the top of your glass
  3. Imbibe that glass in one-to-three gulps and pour another

The primary flavours of the Vanillo and Stout are found in the initial groundswell and mouthfeel of the stout; followed about three seconds later by a growing back-swell from the vanilla beans. The aftertaste is all vanilla. Your second gulp will repeat the process as the stout washes away the vanilla, only to be replaced.

We also have a carboy of chilli and lime “beer kit” braggot in secondary fermentation that may become post-fermentation flavour infused around Christmas. Now that could be an experience worth exploring. And we’ll be making more of that Vanillo through the Winter of 2014.

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About the Author

Steven Clark Steven Clark - the stand up guy on this site

My name is Steven Clark (aka nortypig) and I live in Southern Tasmania. I have an MBA (Specialisation) and a Bachelor of Computing from the University of Tasmania. I'm a photographer making pictures with film. A web developer for money. A business consultant for fun. A journalist on paper. Dreams of owning the World. Idea champion. Paradox. Life partner to Megan.

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