“A few times a year we cut Dan loose to brew whatever he chooses. Always handcrafted, the bottle you hold is brewed for the adventurous soul. This is a very limited edition and we make no promises to ever brew this style again. This is Dan’s Gold Medal winning “Cherry Stout.” This ale is aged in Oak barrels to promote the 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.”
Appearance: Deep mahogany with a finger of tan foam which snaps back to a halo. Decent lace following it down. Quite light for a stout, must be those cherries that are adding the subtle dark red hue.
Aroma: Getting lots of dark fruit sweetness initially. That’s kinda interesting as most cherry-flavoured beers we try offer more of a tart profile than a sweet one. Lots of raisin, prunes, fig and caramel getting a look in. Very restrained oak characters and very minimal funk for a spontaneously fermented stout! It’s nice and sweet but we’d be lying if we didn’t say we were expecting a bit more from it.
Flavour: OK we should eat our words now (or drink them in this case!). All that cherry sweetness on the nose makes way for that hallmark tartness we’ve come to expect. A little bit of an oak complexity underpinning it all. Still tasting those dark fruits too but the sweet raisin and prune is replaced by plums, fig and red berries. Some lacto acidity creeping in as it rolls in to a somewhat tangy and fruity finish.
Mouthfeel: Frustratingly thin but it’s kept alive by the surprisingly tart sourness. Well carbonated/spritzy. 6.5% ABV.
Overall: What a fascinating drop. Here we were almost about to pan it until we took our first sip. Which, mind you, tastes very little like a stout. If we had to guess we’d most likely categorise it as a dark fruit beer but that’s the beauty…..it’s all so subjective isn’t it. Lovely offering.