This last weekend was another bottle and brew–Trappist-style ale going into the bottles, and a nut brown ale brewing. My friend Brian was in town, and brown ales are his favorite variety, so we took the opportunity to start a batch and share the joy of brewing.

But beyond that, it was the moment of truth for our second effort. The stout had been in the bottles a couple weeks. Not long enough to reach their full potential maybe, but long enough to give it a try.

After our passable porter, I was anxious over how the stout would turn out. We fixed the rookie mistakes we made the first time around (i.e. filled the bucket to the full 5 gallon mark, duh!) and at the bottling things looked good. But the proof is in the drinking, so we cracked open three bottles.

First good sign was the aroma. Our inaugural porter had a funky, almost sour scent to it (reminded me of the bottle room when I worked at Albertsons… not a good thing). The stout by contrast smelled nice and beery, just like a stout ought to. Carbonation level was a positive too, some foaming but nothing out of control.

And the taste? Bingo! It had the dark, rich, full bodied flavor I look for in a stout. It is still pretty fresh, so there’s a zip that a few more patient weeks should smooth out, but overall it was more than just passable. Here’s a beer I can gladly share with friends and not feel the need to qualify, “Remember, it’s my first batch!”

Ah, success!