I’ve been doing the whole facts, pour, smell, taste thing but not today. Don’t worry, I’ll give you all of these details, just in more of a ranting format.
My one and only disclaimer: Samuel Adams puts a “best if drank by” date on their beers and I was pushing up on the expiration date on this one. I glanced in the clearance alcohol bin at the grocery store as I always do and there sat this bottle at 50% off because it’s days were numbered like a Bolivian soccer player after scoring an own-goal.
When you crack open the bottle you’ll find seven million cherry smells streaming out of the top like the orcs in the battle for Helm’s Deep right before Gandalf shows up with the Riders of Rohan. If I lost you with too much nerd there, it spills out of the top like Pamela Anderson’s boobs in pretty much everything she wears. If you don’t get that reference then you’re twenty-two and I just don’t care. How did you find this site? And stop drinking Coors Light. Get Original Coors. It’s the same price and has more alcohol in it and tastes better. But seriously, keep coming back to the site and tell all of your friends about it.
So yeah, it smells like cherries. It tastes like cherries, too. This is a bad thing. The cherry smell is nice and it pours with a nice head. The head dissipates fairly quickly leaving about as many laces as you’d find on sandals. But you only find out about the lacing after you’ve drank some of this beer, and by that point you’re not worrying about the lacing. You’re longing for some of the chocolate flavor that they lied to you about to help offset the too-sweet cherry taste. In case you missed it there, they should just call this Cherry Bock because there’s no chocolate flavor at all. The punishingly sweet cherry flavor is just too much in a beer. Samuel Adams’ website says that this is “…a rich, complex beer…” No it’s not. It’s just all cherries all the time. I’d say more about the flavor but “cherries” pretty much summarizes everything.
There is a slight chance at redemption here. The beer isn’t gag-worthy, it’s just too over-the-top. If they put a healthy dose of dark chocolate nibs (like ten times more than they used this go-round), the bitterness of the chocolate would eat up some of that sweetness. Or you could treat it like a dessert beer. This thing would make a kick-ass beer float with some vanilla ice cream, or it would pair incredibly well with some plain, really rich cheesecake or dark chocolate cake. On it’s own though, your best bet is to let it warm up quite a bit (it takes the edge off of the cherry flavor and gives the faintest, faintest hint of the bock maltiness) and just power through it all slow and steady like, just like the tortoise.