Tasting: September 23, 2011
And Stone week continues onâ€¦my third Stone blog this week. This time itâ€™s another collaborative effort from Stone Brewing â€“ this time theyâ€™ve teamed up with a pair of home brewers from San Diego – Jason Fields and Kevin Sheppard, as well as Troegs Brewery (Harrisburg, PA). Stone hosted the American Homebrewerâ€™s Association (AHA) rally this past Spring and the pairâ€™s Cherry Chocolate Stout took first prize out of forty entries. Stone in their usual cool treatment of novice brewers, decided to take the recipe and brew it on a grand scale (about 2,500 cases produced). Troegs of Pennsylvania was brought in for their expertise in utilizing cherries and chocolate in beer. Cherries are tricky â€“ the combination of cherries and a high ABV may remind some of cherry flavored medicine. This oneâ€™s ABV checks in at 7.3% — so it shouldnâ€™t have much alcohol burn.
One other bit of information I picked up â€“ nine thousand pounds of cherries were used to brew the sixty-thousand bottles of this stout — that equates to about two and a half ounces of cherries per bottle. Thatâ€™s a decent amount of cherries. The IBU of this stout is only 37 â€“ so, I wouldnâ€™t expect heavy roasted grains here. Theyâ€™ve used vanilla beans to add some complexity.
Pours dark, coffee colored head. Chocolate aroma. First couple of sips and they’ve done a nice job of balancing the cherry with a basic stout. I commented in my post on Founder’s Cerise that it was like they used a nail to connect an ale and a cherry liquor. This isn’t the case with this one. Definitely no medicinal qualities at all. The cherry acts as a perfect accent to the chocolate base. the cherries are slightly bitter, slightly sweet. It’s a little light in the body. I can’t say that I love it — but it isn’t bad. I’ll put it at a firm 84 points.