Imperial Stout Aged in Bourbon Barrels with Chilies, Cacao Nibs, Cinnamon, Cumin, Star Anise, and Milk Sugar
We took an extra long boiled stout base, designed to be luxuriously thick and chewy, and aged it in bourbon barrels with a grocery list's worth of ingredients. First, ground chilies brought home from New Mexico, a small mountain's worth of organically produced direct trade Ecuadorian cacao - hand selected for this project by our friends at Naked Chocolate (Newtown, PA), cinnamon sticks, and a couple of star anise pods per barrel. After some time, we added both whole dried guajillo and ancho chilies which we rehydrated and toasted, as well as a careful dosing of cumin powder to the equation.
This culinary like exploration is an experience beginning to end. Serious evolution to this as it warms and flavors build. We get immediate notes of semi-sweet chocolate pudding and exotic spice, followed by a trailing subtle heat that increases the more you drink.