Tasting Notes: Emperor: Nerdbrewing: Dark Mode 2024 – Amburana Wood Aged Double Chocolate and Vanilla Stout (2024)

Tasting Notes: Emperor: Nerdbrewing: Dark Mode 2024 – Amburana Wood Aged Double Chocolate and VanillaStout

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June 5, 2024

Emperor: Nerdbrewing: Dark Mode 2024 – Amburana Wood Aged Double Chocolate and Vanilla Stout (Sweden: Imperial Stout: 10.5% ABV)

Visual: Black. Still. Thin brown dash of a head.

Nose: Plums. Cognac. Cocoa to chocolate cream. Stewed apricot. Cinnamon. Strawberry. Ginger snaps. Cinnamon rolls. Warm apricot pie with sweet pastry.

Body: Chocolate liqueur. Cinnamon. Light oak. Slightly dry cocoa. Slight fresh lime. Slight peppery. Apricot and peach late on.

Finish: Vanilla toffee. Salted caramel. Chocolate Riesen chews. Mocha coffee. Cinnamon. Plums. Stewed apricot. Cognac.

Conclusion: Why is it even excellent beers tend to tease you with EVEN MORE EXCELLENT AROMAS that the body just cannot live up to, despite their excellence. So you feel slightly let down, no matter how good it actually was. Which is unfair on the beer.

You may have worked out how I feel about this beer already from those subtle hints.

So, lets deal with the body first. It is really good. Lovely rich chocolate, initially chocolate liqueur like but quickly mixes with light oak and a peppery character that results in a drier and not sickly experience. A rich beer than you can still enjoy over a length of time. Then comes the cinnamon, a sweet spiciness but again moderately dry, all adding to the experience.

The oddest element, is a soft fresh lime touch that just popped up from time to time. Maybe it is another case of me going crazy while trying to examine too deeply, but considering other evident fruity notes I will be getting to in a moment, it feels like a remanent of those despite how different it is.

So, we have established that good body, right? Well f*ck it. Now we have the f*cking aroma!

There is cinnamon again (Which googling tells me is a bit influence of amburana wood) but here up front with deep plums and a much warmer apricot stewed fruit to fruit pies style which becomes almost cognac like at times. You give me a body that tastes as good as this smells and you have an all time great beer. Huge, yet subtle, not the obvious spiritiness of some big barrel aged stouts but full of subtlety and layers.

Now: Extra good news. In the finish, along with a sweeter salted caramel style and that prevalent cinnamon, some of that dark and fruity juiciness hints back through. Only a small hint under the cocoa but oh so satisfying to find again.

Even better good news! Late on, in the final third of the beer, that stewed apricot and peach start very subtly hinting at its existence in the main body. Very late on, but that final bit extra takes this to an excellent a++ quality beer. Still not quite the aroma, but closer that it was before, an an utterly excellent Imperial Stout.

Background: Another encounter with the stout and porter obsessed Emperor Brewing, that still has yet to be sued into non existence somehow, much to my happiness. Anyway, this time a collaboration with the also great with big dark beers Nerdbrewing. Nerdbrewing put up the recipes to their beers up over on their website – though I can’t see this one, prob because it is a collaboration at a guess. Still , I love the idea of expanding open source concepts into beer. Anyway, found out about Amburana wood from this one, and considering the notes I did I was not surprised to find cinnamon notes as one of its big listed influences – it is a type of wood from South Africa that has recently become popular for finishing whisky. I was glad to see this quote “The tree is protected by law in Brazil, where it is native, and can only be harvested with a permit from the government. This has led to a limited supply of Amburana wood, which can be expensive and difficult to obtain. As a result, some distillers have turned to using recycled or repurposed Amburana wood, while others have begun planting their own Amburana trees to ensure a sustainable supply for the future.” Always glad to hear native flora being protected as I do not trust capitalism to do so by itself. Hope it is doing as well as that sounds. Went with Green Day: Saviours as backing music for this, seeing them live soon so figured I really should check out their new release. A pretty good one as well. Anyway, this is another beer grabbed from Independent Spirit.

Tasting Notes: Emperor: Nerdbrewing: Dark Mode 2024 – Amburana Wood Aged Double Chocolate and Vanilla Stout (2024)
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