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RATINGS: 1515   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.48/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 210   ABV: 7%
This unique ale begins its life as a powerful and richly sweet stout to which Michigan tart cherries are added. The resulting black brew is complex, sweet and tart with a distinct cherry finish. It will improve with cellaring. Available September - May

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   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
DarkElf (3062) - La Jolla, California, USA - OCT 29, 2005
(12 oz bottle: Obtained in trade with Goblincat, thanks Mike!) Aged for one year. Wow, now this is one black beer; I canít even see a slight translucence at the edge of the glass. Unfortunately, the beerís appearance is dragged down because the tan head is very slow to form after the pour, barely generating more than a filmy covering, and quickly fades to a small ring. Aromas of dark roast, cherries, spices and smoke are very nice. The flavor is a bit less interesting, but the dark roast and tart cherries are both very evident and in nice balance. A fair amount of smoke comes out late in the finish as well, which is also quite pleasant. But what Iím not liking is the pretty obvious yeastiness of the flavor, a flavor that reminds me of my old mediocre homebrewing days. Body is lighter than expected, hitting around medium on my perception chart, and while carbonation is gentle, it seems sufficient for this beer. Overall, this is a tasty beer offering a nice blend of fruit with a roasty stout.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
can8ianben (1530) - State College, Pennsylvania, USA - OCT 26, 2005
Not bad, the flavour was nice, subtle fruit much like the cherry ale they brew. I was dissapointed that there wasnít more cherry flavour, and was also dissapointed to find that the carbonation was almost non-existant. It does have a very nice malty backbone, not a wimpy fruit beer, but lacks something over the top.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Schultsc (572) - San Diego, California, USA - OCT 23, 2005
Dark brown/black color with a dense, dark head. Roasted aromas of coffee, chocolate, and a hint of the cherries--really smells like really good dark chocolate covered dried cherries. The flavor is more of the same with the addition of some nice tartness and well-balanced bitterness--the chocolate flavors are quite prominient. The flavor profile is deep and penetrating which makes for a complex, very balanced mouth feel with a long complicated finish. There are a lot of cherry beers out there--this is one to look for. It is not defined by the cherries it contains, but uses them to flesh out its flavors into an amazingly structured ale.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
GTown (127) - New York, USA - OCT 13, 2005
An excellent stout with the right amount of tartness. Michigan cherries are the best of the breed, and as go fruit beers, so is this. Enjoy...

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Handle (10) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - OCT 7, 2005
Strong cherry taste but definitely a strong burnt caramel aroma that for me is not so great.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
PeterLikesBeer (104) - Berwyn Heights, Maryland, USA - OCT 7, 2005
The beer purs a dark black with a tan head. Aroma is of coffee and chocolate. Beer tastes tart at first but has a cherry finish. Not much to say great beer that I hope to be drinking more of!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
ryan (3186) - Beltsville, Maryland, USA - OCT 7, 2005
UPDATED: JUN 17, 2010 1 year old bottle. Pours jet black with big creamy tan head. Mostly lasting, some lacing. Aroma is cherries, coffee and chocolate. Flavor starts out with tart cherries, then the sweet malt and chocolate comes through. Flavor has mellowed and blended quite well with age. Texture is smooth and very creamy. Long finish.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Alcoholist (570) - Peoria, Illinois, USA - OCT 2, 2005
Another yummy stout from bells. Bitter chocolate and anise to open with a sour cherry body peaking through. Toasted and dark with a good cherry flavour. This is a good winter brew with a deceptive abv.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
lamas (1635) - Washington DC, USA - SEP 30, 2005
Bottle courtesy of CharlesDarwin. No Batch ID #. A very thin chestnut head on top of an opaque jet-black body. The aroma is very estery with lots of sour, dark cherries, dark chocolatey malts and some soy sauce. EXTREMELY sour and tart cherries are at the forefront. Itís obvious that itís just cherry juice and not whole cherries that are used. The stout body has some subtle dark chocolate and cocoa flavors. The cherries and the cocoa just donít mesh that well. This doesnít exactly work, but itís very close. A bit of a disappointment for me. I had very high hopes for this beer. Still, Iíd like to see much more of these fruit stouts.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
Cable (286) - SE, Oklahoma, USA - SEP 26, 2005
Sampled from bottle. Pours opaque black with a dark tan head and nice lacing. Aroma is tart cherries - more like a candy than fresh fruit. Mild floral hops and mocha also present. Flavor is sweet with astringent coffee in the finish. Tart cherry, cocoa powder, citrus and perhaps a hint of holiday spices in the middle. Full-bodied, moderately carbonated. Leaves your lips sticky! An interesting beer enjoyable in small doses. Is it worth $15 per sixer? Maybe.

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