Good Chemistry: Morello Theory (England: Fruit Beer: 6.5% ABV)
Visual: Dark brown with dark red edges. Moderate brown bubbled head.
Nose: Black cherries. Malt chocolate. Toffee. Red grapes. Slightly tart, but mainly sweet. Cream.
Body: Malt drinks and malt chocolate. Black cherry yogurt. Cherry aid. Light tomato.
Finish: Red grapes. Cherries. Toffee and malt chocolate. Cherry tomatoes.
Conclusion: Ok, I swear there is something about morello cherries in beer that make me think of tomatoes. I don’t know why. Admittedly it is far, far lighter here than the La Luna Rossa I had a short while back, but it still does have those very light tomato notes for me. Other people don’t seem to get them, just me.
However, that said, considering it is such a light note I think we should get straight on with it and look at the rest of the beer. The aroma promises pretty much what the base gives – a malt led beer, all toffee and malt chocolate drinks. If it wasn’t for the extra ingredient this would be an unassuming malt sipper that you would find hanging around on the cask tap. However we do have that second string for the bow – the cherries!
The cherries are a backing note, but not far behind, just settling in behind the malt, slipstreaming it as is washes down your throat. It opens with a slight tart grape to black cherry style, yet in the body goes from sweet yogurt to sparkling cherry-aid in emphasis. A bit artificial feeling in that last note, but it is generally very nice and natural styled.
Oh, and tomato notes, but I don’t want to dwell on them, they just add a slight savoury air to the thing.
That seems to be what you get from the beer throughout, I started chilled and let it warm up and, yep, pretty much the same notes at all times. Slightly easier drinking chilled but that is about it.
I would generally like a bit more play from a 6% and up beer, but the comparative simple malt led front does create a very good environment for the cherry play to work well. It is a far gentle sippable beer. At a lower abv I would call it a very good session fruit to beer balanced mix. As is it is a bit strong abv for its best use, but is still a gentle soother. While not the most complex base beer, this is still very evidently a beer, not just a fruit drink.
So, overall , the abv doesn’t quite match the flavour for usage, but generally uses the fruit well.
Background: This was recommended to me by Real Ale Tony, so despite the mediocre experience with the last Good Chemistry beer I had tried, I decided to give this a go. Grabbed from Independent Spirit this is a malt heavy beer, brewed with 60kg of Morello cherries in the batch, and fermented with Belgian yeasts. I last encountered Morello cherries in La Luna Rossa Cuvee, a beer which didn’t quite sit well with me. Drunk while listening to the funky Jet Set Radio OST,a fun blast of joy.