Yesterday was my wife's Birthday. I made for her a dark chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. The perfect excuse to taste the Mean Giant Double Stout that has been conditioning since 1/3/08. I can tell by squeezing the barometer PET bottle that it isn't really ready yet, but sometimes I just can't resist dipping in anyway.
Yesterday morning I put a bottle in the fridge. When I popped it at cake time, it was flat. So it tasted the same as the bottling sample, just colder and flat. A bummer, for sure. Not to say it wasn't good. It is very strong, with tons of roasted flavor, really big and strong tasting, like a Mean Giant should be. It was just flat. Flat. A little bit of bubbles for looks and a bit of palette lifting would be nice. But flat it was.
Tonight, I couldn't resist again. I took a warm conditioning bottle, from the temperature controlled fridge at 62°F, and put it in the fridge for like literally two minutes. More of a gesture of goodwill than anything else. This one popped like a beer. It poured with a small, but present head that left a ring around the edge of the glass til the last sip. See the photo above for the immediately post-pour shot. Awesome. I think now that a beer like this was meant to be had at a warm temperature like that.
I think with a few more days conditioning, it will be slightly bubbly like this even cold, but in the mean time, I am happy to sneak samples from the warm fridge.