Review - Bells Brewery's Cherry Stout
"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" -- Bells Brewery
Pours a deep chocolate brown color with a reddish brown head that quickly dissipates, leaving thin yet dense lacing behind. Body clarity is completely opaque. The initial aroma consisted of a strong malt presence, rather sweet. Full of nice rich chocolates and roasty malts, it was accompanied by a strong cherry presence. A warming alcohol presence easily detected. Initial taste is very tart, with the cherries front and center. Slowly, the sweetness breaks through but the tartness lingers throughout the finish and negates, for the most part, the sweet. Medium in body and softly carbonated, as we drank it, a slick and oily film covered our palates. The initially sticky presence is accompanied by a sour tart that makes us pucker right up. After the sourness settles out, the burnt malt creates a drying feeling on our tongue.
I would be interested to try the base beer for this recipe side by side with this version with the cherries added, and see how much the cherries affect the sweetness. Its nice to see this multi-dimensional offering with the fruits being detectable over the malt domination.
Reviewed on September 7th, 2009.