Would love to see some pics from this event and read some follow-up posts - particularly concerning Black Cat's role in the mash, and how the two drinks pair up. Please keep us in the know.
I am absolutely terrible at documenting stuff so I have to apologize; I don't have any good photos and I don't recall there being many pics being snapped.
From Nick Floyd himself in regard to the brewing process:
Finely ground Black Cat is added during the "mash in" step of our brewing process. All the cracked barley (malt) & espresso is dropped into a big mash tun were the malt is hydrated with 160 degree water and mixed into a thick porridge-like liquid called the "mash" which is allowed to rest for 30 minutes, enzymes in the malt convert the starches in the barley to a sweet liquid called wort. The wort is then separated from the barley husks & solids using the false (slotted) bottom of the mash tun which is very much like a coffee maker. The wort is then extracted into the brew kettle where it is boiled at 212 degrees for 3 hours. After the boil the wort is chilled then pumped into a fermentor were the yeast eats all the sugars and creates the alcohol.
Duck wrote:How was this event? It sounded very cool.
It was great fun. Intelli Massif was in full effect and the night just felt really nice. The beer was interesting, I guess it needs about a year to rest before the flavors are balanced and a bit more melded, but I thought it was good. Very sweet, super chewy, with a lot of molasses, plum and green apple notes (The die hard beer snobs were complaining about the apple, but I guess that is a direct result of the youth of the beer-sorta the equivalent of making espresso the day after you roast.) Compared to the Dark Lord, the kitty was a refreshing, peanut butter choco-blast. It definitely didn't have the clarity that it has in our lab here at the Roasting Works, but tasted really nice.
Matt was rocking the bar and it was great to see people holding little cups of Dark Lord in one hand and little Black Cat cups in the other. He made about 150 doubles in the two hours...the highlight for me was standing up, teetering on a rickety bar stool and yelling at the top of my lungs toasting Matt and Nick and wishing him well in Berne...
I am talking with 3 Floyds about doing a limited run (22oz bottles) of coffee stout this fall, or as Nick Floyd suggested, a Bizzarro Coffee Bean Baltic Porter (Don't ask, I'm not sure!) might be more fun and definitely stranger. I'd like to have a more formal, quieter tasting, and next year for the Dark Lord I am definitely going to reserve a few cases (If possible) for the 2008 match up.