CanIHave4Beers (3899) - Pouring Bus, Iowa, USA - JUL 3, 2012
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
On draught at Court Avenue
The beer pours a beautiful dark brown with ruby hues when held up to the light, the head is small but well retained, a nice lacing is left on the glass.
The aroma is lots of cherries, oak, molasses, & brandy. The roastiness is mild. I will say that the first glass sat for a while before I started smelling/drinking it, these notes are from that glass. When I ordered a fresh glass it was obvious that they’re serving this stuff much too cold, as it warms the aroma opens up like crazy... it’s not nearly as complex at the colder temp.
The flavor is pretty dominated by rich cherries, in a very fruit forward (read not overly sweet or cough syrupy) way. The beer is oaky, with some warming alcohol, and again the roastiness is very mild. I thought the Baltic porter would dominate any blend it was in, but it’s complimentary here as opposed to overbearing.
This is simply one of the finest beers that has ever come out of this brewery. Just wonderful. And I’m not really a sucker for the whole This beer blended with that beer with this fruit in this barrel "thing", but this one doesn’t seem to be an "experiment" or a whim. This blend and this treatment seems deliberate, finessed, and perfectly executed.