The paste was quite typical Gouda in texture, with a good flavor. The milk was local from a friend who keeps a single cow. Without having made two cheeses and comparing the stout soaked to the other one without soaking, I can't say how much difference the stout made, except that I can certainly taste it and it adds complexity to the taste. The stout was my own home brewed with Irish ale yeast. After soaking, I let it sit at room temperature, about 55-60 degrees F for several days, and it developed a whitish powdery texture. Thanks to Smilingcalico for sharing this idea - the cheese was a big success at Thanksgiving today!