It’s been a relaxing Saturday evening watching the Winter Olympics and helping my wife prep the stairs for a darker wood stain. I cracked open Odell’s Friek earlier in the evening, and so I thought I’d have this one to compare it to (since it’s also a cherry lambic style beer). I picked this one up a couple weeks ago when I was up in Minnesota and stopped on my way through Wisconsin to pick up a bunch of New Glarus beers.
Location: Poured into a TEKU pint glass at my home in Bloomington, IL.
Numbers: 4% ABV, ~180 Calories
Appearance & Aroma: It’s dark, ruby red in color and is slightly hazy. It had a nice, big creamy colored head, which fell after a few minutes to a ring around the glass and left some decent lacing. The aroma is pure cherry juice-like.
Taste & Feel: The body is full, and the mouthfeel is smooth and a bit viscus and a bit creamy. The flavor up front is sweet like cherry juice, and in the middle, the flavor gets a bit sweeter with a dose of maltiness behind the big cherry sweetness. The finish is still pretty sweet, but the cherry juice flavors open up with some fresh cherry flavors. The maltiness that comes in during the middle continues in the finish, coming through a little bit more. The sweet cherry flavors last for a minute or two in the aftertaste.
Food Pairing: This beer has a ton of cherry flavor and would be perfect with just about any chocolate dessert. It would go great with just about anything you’d have cherries on, like cheesecake. For a main course pairing, I’d probably go with a lighter meat, such as turkey or pork to take in the sweetness and let the beer come through a little more subtly.
Overall Impression: This beer is almost like drinking pure cherry juice, except that it has a good malty backbone that gives it a more unique taste and feel than other cherry beers. The malty sweetness adds a bit of depth and darkness to the cherry flavors, and the wheat malt gives it a creaminess that really complements the flavor and feel. Much like their Raspberry Tart and Strawberry Rhubarb, it takes like real fruit juice with more depth that makes it a beer. Overall, as long as you’re ready for the big sweet fruit juice flavor, it’s like a dessert in a bottle.