I like dark beers. Craft brewers created a lot of really fine stouts and porters this year. I know, I have had my fair share. When the brewer gets it right, it is because the brewer has mastered mixing multiple flavors so that they are recognizable but not overbearing. The flavors that highlight a well-made stout or porter the best are bourbon, chocolate, coffee, oak, and vanilla.
This year, 2019, I decided to try my hand at making a fine porter with the Bourbon Barrel Porter extract kit. My plan was to have it ready for Christmas so my brew day was in September. I make a yeast starter for all of my brews but it is probably especially important for a heavy beer like this. I left the beer in the primary fermenter for about six weeks. Heavy beers take longer to ferment so you need to be patient if you want a good stout or porter. I tasted the beer and confirmed it was good and ready to go. So I soaked the full pack of oak cubes in 16 ounces of bourbon for two days before adding it into the secondary fermenter with the beer. After two weeks in the secondary fermenter, I bottled. I have been drinking this porter for the last four weeks and I have to say it is the best beer I have ever brewed. We got the flavors right. It took a long time but it was worth it.