Electric Bear: Cherry Blackout (England: Imperial Stout: 8% ABV)
Visual: Black. Still. Thin brown head.
Nose: Black forest gateaux and chocolate liqueur. Tart cherries. Sweet chocolate fondue.
Body: Cherry liqueur. Brown sugar. Chocolate cake. Slick and smooth. Light milky coffee. Bitter chocolate. Vanilla. Black forest gateaux.
Finish: Chocolate cake. Low level bitterness. Bitter chocolate. Black forest gateaux.
Conclusion: Man, if only everything could live up to the nose on this one, a nigh perfect expression of fresh tart cherries and Black forest gateaux. It smells like a dessert drizzled in thick fruit liqueur. Stouty, fruity, sweet and stand out – it is excellent. Now, if only everything was as good as those first few moment…
A tad ominous sentence there, maybe a foreboding of bad sentences to come?
Actually, the main body is actually ok – solid chocolate cake with bitter cocoa and chocolate backing. A few rough edges are there with the brown sugar not quite integrated, but the main disappointment is how much the cherries fade out. They are still there as a backing tart liqueur style but it is the chocolate cake that blacks out most of the other notes. Larger mouthfuls do make more of that tart cherries but at 8% abv big mouthfuls are a bad plan for health. The bitter cocoa really leads the beer, still it isn’t all bad, as the beer warms the cherry does gain more foothold, but it never sparkles like it does in the aroma.
It results in a solid and yet still underwhelming beer. It is a solid chocolate cake stout, but it promised so much more and really needs to deliver on that promise to be worth the abv. Still, it is early days for the brewery and there is a darn good base idea for this, so if they can tweak it around the elements that work it could end up something very decent.
Background: Electric Bear are a reasonably new Brewery in Bath, and so I thought it was about time I should pull my thumb out and do tasting notes on one of their beers. I decided to go with this one, picked up from Independent Spirit, an Imperial Stout made with cocoa, brown sugar,vanilla and morello cherries. Drunk while listing to the band “Heck”. I saw that they were touring soon so checked out their free album Knockout Machine.