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Judge's Review: 85 Rating - Redux Dark Cherry Rum Porter by Garage Brewing Co.

May, 2022
Judges Rating: 
85
Aroma: 
20 / 24
Appearance: 
5 / 6
Flavor: 
35 / 40
Mouthfeel: 
9 / 10
Overall Impression: 
16 / 20

Redux Dark Cherry Rum Porter by Garage Brewing Co. is being judged against the 2021 BJCP style guidelines for category 34B, Mixed-Style Beer.

The beer casts a deep ruby/garnet color upon illumination through the glass (a large tulip snifter), with some haziness and a nice, tan-colored creamy foam cap composed of very fine bubbles. 

The aroma presents an interesting mix of characteristics dominated by a fairly strong rum alcohol-infused oak character, some light cocoa, a pretty strong nutty almond note, and a finish reminiscent of blackstrap molasses. While there is a  perfumy aromatic nature that is lightly sweet and faintly fruity,  I struggle to identify it as derived from cherries. Its a complex nose that has dry and sweet angles mixed with a lot of alcohol and wood.

The flavor starts out rich and malty sweet with angles of roast, wood, black licorice, black cherry cola and a distinct rummy/peppery/phenolic spice note. Bitterness is low for the relative amount of malt structure and alcohol present. The mid-palate dances between chocolate and cherry syrup flavors while the finish brings on the strong woody-enhanced rum barrel angle that is quite evident in the aroma. Body is full with a viscous mouthfeel, some creaminess, but a distinct oak-inspired tannic astringency tames the residual sweetness and dries out the aftertaste.

This an interesting and quite rummy and woody strong porter with relatively subdued roasted malt character, replaced with some assertive black licorice and molasses flavors. The cherry angle is quite evident, but doesn't fully integrate into the matrix of beer flavors all that well. Mostly, I take that as due to the strong rum-flavored spice that dominates the late palate. Similarly, the underlying porter components are largely washed away by booze and wood. Yet, the beer is impressively strong and flavorful, with flavors seemingly coming in from all angles. Its complexity strikes me as working either as a starter or finisher to a meal, stimulating the senses to a point of high excitement. 

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