We’ve got two days until Thanksgiving and my wife is having the carpets cleaned tomorrow. So, what does she decide to do? Start putting up Christmas decorations!?! So I’m going to chill with a beer. I’ve got several New Glarus beers handy from my trip to the brewery with my friend Steve, but it feels like I just had their Bubbler. So I decided to finally crack this one open, which was given to me by my friend Kevin who loved this brewery when he lived in Indianapolis.
Location: Poured into a big Sam Adams Perfect pint glass at my home in Bloomington, IL.
Numbers: 10.2% ABV, 29 IBUs, 18.7 SRM, ~370 Calories
Appearance & Aroma: It’s very clear and light brown in color with some reddish highlights. There was almost no head on it, but thanks to the etched bottom glass, there’s a thin, creamy, off white head barely covering the top. The aroma is sweet dark cherry with some earthiness.
Taste & Feel: The body is full and the mouthfeel is mostly viscous with some carbonation crispness. It has a dark cherry and almost chocolaty flavor up front, almost like a cherry Tootsie pop. The tartness attacks the sides of the tongue in the middle. The finish is a great mix of dark cherry sweet fruitiness with a nice caramel-sweet maltiness, and a sour tartness in the back-middle of the tongue and cheeks. The aftertaste is mostly cherry sweetness with a lingering sourness on the tongue and cheeks.
Food Pairing: The sweet dark cherry flavors and tartness beg to be paired with a fudge dessert like a brownie or cake. For a more savory pairing, I’d probably pair this beer with smoked meats and light sauce, letting the sweetness of this beer mix with the smoked wood flavors.
Overall Impression: A lot of fruit beers can be overwhelmingly sweet and taste more like a fruit juice than a beer. This one had the backbone of a solid malty base beer, the sour-tartness of barrel aged bugs, and the tart sweetness of dark cherries. It was a complex, nice tasting sweet and sour beer. My only complaint is that it is very acidic, and when combined with an alcohol warmth in the throat, it feels a little bit acid reflux/heartburn. I’d definitely grab a bottle if they brew this or something similar again.