Fort Collins Kettle-Soured Dark Cherry Imperial Red Ale
Fort Collins Brewery – Fort Collins Brewing Savor Series: Kettle-Soured Dark Cherry Imperial Red Ale – 500 ml bottle poured into specialty glassware. 8.3% abv.
Product description:Tart cherries bring a lively flavor to this kettle-soured red ale. Brewer’s yeast combines with Lactobacillus to give a distinct sourness without being puckering while Magnum, Tettnanger and Cascade hops sit pleasantly on the palate.
I sampled this from a 500mL bottle (packaged April 2016). The beer is crystal clear deep red to cola color with thick tan foam that erupts initially but then fizzles out to a small layer.
The nose is red cherry juice with lots of sugar like a children’s juice box. Cranberry juice and touches of caramel take over as it warms. The flavor begins with initial oily slickness perhaps derived from yogurty lactic acid leading to an excellent punch of leathery, rich, baked black cherry. The finish is clean for style, lingering for quite a while with lemon acid dominating. Leathery cranberry dominates the finish later on as the beer approaches room temperature. The mouthfeel is full, dense, and lactic acid/yogurt-driven. It’s somewhat high ABV goes completely unnoticed.
Overall, this one was delicious. I’m a big fan of dark sours, so it is nice to see a kettle-soured attempt at Oud Bruin or Flemish Red. Though it lacks some oak barrel complexities, the acid profile and dark cherry/cranberry flavors are spot-on. It is simple, focused, and well-done.