Showing posts with label cherry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cherry. Show all posts

Monday, April 8, 2013

561. New Glarus Cherry Stout

I will admit it: I miss New Glarus. So I was pleased to find this bottle lurking in the basement—it was a gift from Aaron Spoores a couple of years ago, and I forgot about it until now. A cursory examination of the internet indicates that the second release of Cherry Stout as part of the Unplugged Series was in February 2010, so that would make this beer a little over three years old. May my hoarding instincts never die. We’ll add Cherry Stout to a list that includes Staghorn Octoberfest, Saison, Raspberry Tart, Belgian Red, and Fat Squirrel Brown Ale.

Cherry Stout pours a murky cocoa/milk chocolate brown with a fair amount of red; it has a thin tan head that quickly disappears except for a few lingering skiffs of foam, and the nose is redolent of sour cherries, much like New Glarus’s more famous other cherry beer, Wisconsin Belgian Red. In addition to the cherry, there is a touch of candy sweetness in the nose, but could just be more cherries. Flavors open with sour cherry and a slight citric tartness; there is cherry pie mixed with brown sugar in the middle, and a bright fresh cherry in the finish along with just a hint of sourness that turns to sweetness at the flavors linger on the palate. The body is medium; it is clean and bright on the tongue, helped along by the carbonation. I’m not really sure I’d call this a stout: it is more like Wisconsin Belgian Red with a darker malt bill and a bit more body. It might masquerade as a Belgian Dark Strong—not well, mind you—but even then it would be on the lighter side. While the age could be contributing to the lack of “elegantly smooth chocolate covered cherry” flavor described on the New Glarus website—I get no real chocolate at all—that’s fine with me because this beer is delicious as is. It has that bright, lively tang found in Wisconsin Belgian Red with a greater depth of cherry flavor across the profile. And Elli concurs; she finished hers well before me, and started eyeing my glass soon after. This beer just re-awakens my longing for all things New Glarus.

From the bottle: “Due to popular demand we brought back Dan’s Gold Medal winning ‘Unplugged Cherry Stout.” This ale is aged in Oak barrels to promote spontaneous fermentation. Eight Wisconsin malted barleys combined with Wisconsin Montmorency Cherries make for a complex and sublime taste experience that you may never find again. Discover why Dan is repeatedly recognized as the Best Brewmaster in America.”

ABV: 6.5%


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Cherry Saison w/ Brett B Brewday

Thus far this year, I have officially brewed more beers than Kevin Lolli has made posts on For Beer’s Sake. That’s right. That means I’ve dedicated more days to brewing that he has hours to writing posts. And if we want to include the time I spend here, well then, poor ol’ Kevin Lolli just looks like a turd on a stick. Should I even bother to google that image and see what comes up? You know I can’t resist the siren-call of Google image search... Anyway, sure he’s attending Law School, blah blah blah, and all that. But he lives in Chicago, and has plenty of opportunities that he should be exploiting. You hear me Lolli? Get busy. And the rest of you, don’t be afraid to click on those links. After all, I know you want to...

Anyway. Back to the beer.

Today’s delicious repast was inspired by the Reverse Osmosis machine at Krogers. Seriously. Because one day, after all of the time I’ve spent standing there and waiting for my 5 gallons jugs to fill, I looked to the right instead of aimlessly staring at the water slowly filling the bottle. And there it was: Fruit Fast Montmorency Tart Cherry concentrate. Just sitting there. Waiting for me. So after about another 15 trips to Kroger—yes, my muse is slow—I finally knew what I had to do. So here we are.

113. Cherry Saison w/ Brett B
8 lbs. MFB Pale
1 ¾ lbs. Muntons Pale (Pearl)
1 lb. Weyerman Acidulated
1 lb. Breiss Wheat

Mashed @ 152° F w/4 gallons of RO water and 2 g. gypsum for 70 minutes; collected 2 ½ gallons @ 1.070
Batch sparged @ 167° F w/4 gallons RO water and 2 g. gypsum for 20 minutes; collected 4 gallons @ 1.028

Collected 6 ½ gallons; brought to a boil (60 minutes) & added:
w/60 to go: 1 ½ oz. U.S. Magnum pellet 10% AA

w/15 to go: 1 tsp. Irish Moss

w/10 to go: 1 oz. New Zealand Hallertau pellet

w/5 to go: 1 oz. New Zealand Hallertau pellet

Chilled, racked to carboy; added 32 oz. Fruit Fast Montmorency Tart Cherry concentrate; pitched mason jar of Wyeast 3711 French Saison & 5112 Brettanomyces bruxellensis from 106. Saison w/ Brett B

Brewed: 4/12/2012 @ 72° F
Secondary: 5/1/2012 @ 1.010
Bottled: 12/1/2012 w/ 4.75 oz. table sugar

OG: 1.052 (prior to cherry concentrate addition)
FG: 1.002

Tasting Notes (2/22/2012): This beer is turning out better than I anticipated. It pours a crystal clear pinkish tan—I expected more color from the tart cherry concentrate, so I am guessing that I’ll need to use whole fruit if I want more of that—with a white creamy head that is laced with hints of pink as well. The nose is sweet fruit and malt combined with a dry tart brut; there is some earthy mustiness via the Brett b, and the cherry tartness, while muted, is present in the background. Flavors start with cherry, candy, and tartness before transitioning into the musty and earthy middle, which is dry enough to create the impression of sucking the moisture out of your mouth. The finish is slightly crackery with a mineral tang—the 3711 is there lurking, but the combination of the Brett dryness and cherry is covering it over pretty well. There is a lingering touch of alcohol warmth in the back of the mouth accompanied by musty cherry tartness—both hang on pleasantly—and the body is, as noted before, dry dry dry. The dryness gives it hints of the bite of brut champagne, which plays quite well with the cherry and Brett flavors. All in all, a delightful beer right now; I look forward to seeing what happens to it over time.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

504. Lost Abbey Red Poppy Ale

It’s been a while since we had a beer from Lost Abbey, so it was nice to come across a bottle of this during our sojourns through various NW beer retailers. Described on the label as a “malt beverage brewed with cherries and aged in oak barrels,” Red Poppy gets added to a list of Lost Abbey beers that include Angel’s Share 2010, Serpent Stout 2009, Carnevale Ale and Avant Garde Ale, making this one lucky number five.

Red Poppy Ale pours a crystal clear reddish brown, which Elli says is burnt sienna. The head is thin and eggshell, hanging around briefly but rousing easily, while the nose is a mix of fruitiness, tartness, mustiness, and cherry. Maybe a touch of funk thrown in for good measure. Flavors start sweet and sharp, with competing tart and vinegar sourness palate sensations—the body is thin and dry like we expected, but also lively on the tongue. There is a fair amount of cherry in the middle, along with a more even sourness and some mineral dryness. Red Poppy finishes dry and musty with the lingering flat cherry flavor common to beers with cherries—slightly acidic in its own right, accompanied by a touch of tongue curling astringency. As noted, the body is bone dry with bright lively carbonation on the tongue. The beer is delicious—hell, it’s from Lost Abbey—but the cherry flavor does limit and impede the traditional complexity we connect with Flanders red, specifically in the middle of the beer—the cherry sweetness covers and minimizes the dry puckering sourness that makes beads of perspiration emerge on my cheeks. Still, we’d happily drink more—we’re just saying that while the overall effect of the cherry on the beer is delightful, it is still slightly overwhelming.

From the Lost Abbey website: “Perhaps no country embraces the use of fruit in beers more so than Belgium. Numerous traditional as well as regional specialty ales are infused with every sort of fruit imaginable. In this way, the flavor of the fruit becomes especially prominent. Red Poppy Ale is a veritable celebration of Sour Cherries in an explosion of aromas and tastes. Brewed from a brown ale base and aged in our oak barrels for over 6 months, this beer is not for the faint of heart.”

ABV: 5.0%


Monday, December 7, 2009

160. Bell’s Cherry Stout

Bell’s has a big line up of beers, and we’re trying to work our way through all of them; this marks our eighth beer from Bell’s—we’ve had Sparkling Ale, Winter White, Christmas Ale, Third Coast, Oberon, Octoberfest, and Two Hearted. Hell, we could limit ourselves to stouts from Bell’s from here on out and still end up with like eighteen Bell’s beers. What is it about Michigan breweries and tons of stouts? We’re looking at you, Dark Horse and Founders...

I can pour!

Cherry Stout, described on the label as a “stout brewed with cherry juice,” has a dark fruit and roasted malt nose; there are chocolate and coffee aromas, and just a bit of alcohol and light sherry notes. Color-wise, Cherry Stout is a dark dark brown with mahogany red tints and a minimal brown head; there is also the faintest of legs on the glass from the beer. The beer starts with dark roasted and coffee flavors in the front, and moves into sweeter dark fruit flavors with some dryness in regards to the malt; the end is tart with a touch of bitterness, accompanied by some roasted malt or hops; there are lingering flavors—it is not a very clean finish, with some tannic, grainy, and fruit flavors that dally on the tongue. There is also some tartness with the fruit in the middle as the beer warms. Cherry Stout has a medium to heavy body, minimal carbonation, and some creaminess and slickness in the mouthfeel. A nice change of pace; Cherry Stout does both stout and fruit flavors well; it is better balanced than most fruit stouts with none of the medicinal/cough syrup taste—the fruit and the stout work harmoniously and in tandem in the beer. Another victory for Bell’s.

From the bottle: “A mysterious dance of tart Michigan cherries with the dark, roasted malts of a big and bold stout.”

From the Bell’s website: “A rich and powerful beer with tart cherry appeal, make this a fine stout.”

ABV: 7.0%
OG: 1.082