Tasted with Kate Ries and Logan Beausoleil during winter break. The tasting was complemented with 4 other home brews, Old School Barley Wine (Up soon), Summit Pumpkin Porter, Fort Collins Retro Red as well as a few others. Served in brandy snifters.
Appearance: Coal black with a fast dissipating bubbly tan/brown foam ring. Minimal to no lacing and little clarity apparent within the dark murky mud of a stout.
Aroma: Deep rich fumes of roasted malt and chocolate. Some undertones of vanilla and sweet coffee also permeate the nostrils. Not too much notable cherry or even fruitiness for that matter. Perhaps one could draw out brief but subtle tartness at the very end, but that may just be my mind talking.
Taste: Starts sweet and roasty with a definite chocolate flavor to carry the backbone malt sweetness. By midtaste this immediately transitions into a tart flavor of sour cherries. Fortunately this isn't anything of a synthetic flavor, common to many beers that attempt cherry beers (Namely O'Fallon's Cherry ale). Nevertheless the in between of the chocolate and the cherry is a short lived dark fruit flavor. Sour cherry overwhelms the finish and makes the beer seem incredibly mis-matched and unbalanced.
Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with a heavy texture, I think to be perfect for a stout. Light carbonation makes for a smooth and soft textured feel.
Overall Impression: I find it interesting how hidden the cherries were in the aroma and then how much they attack the palate upon the finish. deceptive. Nevertheless I think the cherries really don't go well with this beer and dominate the finish so much in the form of tartness that both drinkability and enjoyment suffer