Madbul Cerveza Artesana “Recuerdos del 2017” French Oak-Aged Imperial Stout

Name: Recuerdos del 2017
Brewer: Madbul Cerveza Artesana (Philippines)
Style: Mixed-Style Beer (Base Style: Imperial Stout)
ABV: 12.5%
Review Year: 2021

Eric de Jesus of Madbul Cerveza Artesana brings back a recipe from his time in Madrid 2017 for his first Imperial Stout release in the Philippines– the Recuerdos del 2017 (Memories of 2017). This Imperial Stout, which weighs in at 12.5% ABV, was brewed with French oak cubes and cacao nibs.


This beer is being evaluated as a Mixed-Style Beer (34B), combining Spice, Herb, or Vegetable Beer (30A) and Wood-Aged Beer (33A), with Imperial Stout (20C) as the base style in the context of the 2015 Beer Style Guidelines of the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP). The most current version of the guidelines can be found on the BJCP website.


Slightly clear ruby brown; medium head that dissipated quickly. The nose was initially cola and cinnamon; faint cacao, alcohol, and some fruit aromas surfaced secondarily. Medium-full-bodied, low carbonation with some astringency. The flavor featured prominent malty cacao nibs and over-extracted coffee against a backdrop of oak, molasses, faint black peppers, and alcohol. Moderately-high bitterness; very low sweetness (dry). Puckering with impressions of cacao, bitterness, black peppers, and some lychees that lingered momentarily.


An Imperial Stout brewed with cacao nibs and French oak chips, Recuerdos del 2017 is a soothing dark ale meant to be nursed on a cold evening by the fireplace while reminiscing fond memories. The body is noticeably lighter than the usual Imperial Stouts and actually reminded us of a Wee Heavy (17C).  This, however, did not stop Recuerdos del 2017 from showcasing its complex and flavorful side.

The French and cacao nibs, as featured, were evident and complemented the deep, dark, and roasty profile of the Imperial Stout base. Some astringency was present–contributed likely by the tannins from the wood. Additional astringency is allowed for beers conditioned in such a medium, but should never be high. Faint black pepper phenols were present, although not distracting. This could be subdued or removed in the next batches. Nonetheless, very good. We think this will condition further with time.


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