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John C. Tull's picture

Barrel Aged Imperial Cherry Stout

June, 2017
Judges Rating: 
23 / 24
6 / 6
39 / 40
10 / 10
Overall Impression: 
19 / 20

29C – Specialty Fruit Beer

The cherry aroma is initially bold in this fruit-enhanced Russian Imperial Stout, but the complexity of a big, dark beer is still readily detected. In addition to the fruit aroma from additions, dark roast malt (both chocolaty and slightly coffee-like) and other fruit aromas from yeast, age and alcohol come through. Additionally, there is a nut-like aroma and a touch of vanilla that might be from cherry stones (pith), alcohol, wood or some combination therein. A little alcoholic heat is also found on the nose. The color is deep garnet, almost black. The beer also has a tan, persistent head that laces the surface of the glass. A rich and velvety composition of malt, cherries, alcohol and a touch of woodiness hits the palate in a panoply of really enjoyable flavors, none dominating or outbalancing the others. The rich and complex character of this beer cannot be understated, nor can the impressive balance that has been achieved. The finish has some alcohol warmth that complements the creaminess of the dark malts and residual sweetness. The level of carbonation is good, contributing to the overall balance of this beer. This beer is clearly a work of brewing art! Need I say more?