As I spend a miserable evening, up late, working on high-pressure tasks for a critical project at work, I choose a suitable beverage to accompany me: an Irish-style dry stout.

It certainly looks like the night… a starless night that is. Black and opaque with a medium-sized, light tan head, it beckons – mesmerizing all onlookers with its vast, vacuous void, vacant of light.

Hump's Irish Dry Stout

I wait, occasionally peering at my computer to see its progress. I lift the glass towards my solemn brow to peer into it. What awaits me in that impenetrable black? Towards my nose I move it. Freshly ground coffee, roasted -almost burnt- grains, and subtle, earthy hops. Towards my lips I move it. Dare I?

Its flavor follows its aroma. It is bitter from roasted grains, though not as bitter as black coffee. It is not bitter from overloaded amounts of isomerized alpha acids (in other words, not bitter from lots of hops), but rather a light roasted bitterness – like that of darkly toasted bread. The East Kent Goldings hops lend their aroma and flavor to the beer – a relaxed and mellow flavor. The finish is long and dark. The mouthfeel is not as dry as one might expect from the style. It is more substantial, but not thick or overbearing. The carbonation is currently timid and light, though sufficient.

I am, of course, describing my latest homebrew. Now conditioned with carbon dioxide, it emerges from its keg, ready for the world! It shall henceforth be known as Hump’s Irish Dry Stout.

Update: This beer has been renamed to Hump’s Stout Porter since the finished product couldn’t be accurately described as an Irish-style dry stout.