Evil Twin Brewing Sauerkirsche Stout – American Double / Imperial Stout at 10% ABV

Evil Twin Brewing Sauerkirsche Stout American Double / Imperial Stout at 10% ABV (2016 Craft Beer Advent Calendar #22, 330 ml, no bottle date or best before, acquired 25-Sep-2016, reviewed 22-Dec-2016)

Appearance: solid viscous black with a short fluffy beige head diminishing gradually to a thin ring, no lacing. (3/5) Aroma: sour cherry, chocolate, dark roasty malt. (8/10) Taste: high tart, moderate-high sweet, moderate-high bitter. (6/10) Palate: full slick body, moderate carbonation, hot and astringent finish. (3/5)

Phew. Advent day #22 is a massive beast, aggressive nearly to the point of being harsh and brutal. By way of comparison, there’s a species of wild cherry tree in Newfoundland we call “chocolate cherry,” or more to the point, “chokecherry”. That’s what this thing is: big chocolate notes, yes, but completely overshadowed by huge, chokingly tart and astringent cherry. This is far more aggressive than its presumable namesake, kirsch. The first sip is like a punch in the face, and it remains a slow sipper even after the taste buds have been bludgeoned into submission and the 10% ABV starts to work its magic. It might very well improve, possibly dramatically, with a year or two in the cellar, but right now it’s a hot mess. With that in mind, I admit that it grew on me towards the end – but oh, that first sip! (13/20)

6.5/10 #ryansbooze