Philip (436) - Illinois, USA - AUG 13, 2009
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Great Taste, 2009. In one hand I had Raspberry Eisbock (poured from a small bottle), in another Creme Brulee ice cold, and finally, this one. It reminded me of a more complex version of Bells Cherry Stout, much more oily and viscous. The cherry flavor here is not sweet, but rather plays off against the tar and roasted flavors. Notes of soy, raisin, and dried cherry on the palate.
ClarkVV (3893) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - FEB 23, 2004
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: NOV 16, 2004 Very dark black (as it claims) and almost opaque. Good light beige/brown head. Aroma is lightly sweet but has an intense sour cherry smell to it. Also in there is some light, faint chocolate malt, and a touch of smokiness.
Beer begins quite subtle and subdued. Cherries are VERY dry, and I’m impressed that they do not sweeten this beer too much. You can taste the obvious extreme care taken to make sure this was not a syrupy sweet fruit beer. Dark, dark malts in the background, light cocoa powder feel, some roasted black malt and on the finish, a faint ashy-tobacco flavor that balances the cherry flavor well. As far as sheer power, this is a relatively very light imperial. It has very little hops presence (the hops are overshadowed by the cherries). There is no huge malt sweetness and the body is only medium. However, the flavor is still wonderfully subtle and quite complex as it warms (which takes a while as they serve this stuff at about 40 degrees!!). Another brilliant use of fruit, which defied my expectations of an overly sweet, syrupy cherry flavor.