Original Post: CVP
Style: American Porter
Brew Date: September 9, 2012
Tasting Date: August 14, 2014
Approximate ABV: 7.2%
When brewing this beer, I was curious how it would age. Would the cherries and vanilla fade into the malt? Would the already well hidden alcohol smooth out even more? Or would the high finishing gravity render it too sweet or over carbonated? I drank most of these beers over a longer than normal period, having some that were well over a year old, but I think of this as a Fall and Winter beer and thus haven’t had one in several months. I’m anxious to crack this one open, and I hope it’s still good because I purposely held on to quite a few more bottles.
Carbonation sounded good when I opened the bottle, but pouring it there was minimal head. This beer does not photograph well. I remember when it was fresh trying capture the pink highlights of the foam and the more-red-than-amber, cherry highlights. I could never get a picture to do it justice and I still haven’t, so you’ll have to take my word for it. Before taking a sip or even a sniff, the cherry presence is obvious.
When I do take a sniff, it seems boozier than I remember. The cherries and alcohol combine for a cough syrup like aroma with the vanilla wafting in the background. That may not sound great, but I like it a lot, actually. The roasted malt character is not very evident yet.
Taking a sip, the roast comes out, but it is fully surrounded by cherries. Again, the vanilla comes in as an afterthought, but it is welcome. The beer is quite sweet. Sweeter than I remember, but it lends itself well to the sour cherries. I remember a pleasant but mild hop character and that is completely gone, which just gives the cherries more room to shine.
It is really interesting how the roasted malt seems completely absent in the aroma but comes out nicely to balance the cherries immediately upon the beer entering the mouth. I think that this beer has changed quite a bit over the last year, but I don’t think it fits into the cliche of what an aged beer tastes like.
If anything, the cherries seem fresher and the alcohol comes through a bit more than I remember. It tastes like a fresh beer, just not the one I remember from two years ago. I’m still trying to take a picture that shows the way this beer actually looks, but it’s not working out.
I have mentioned roasted malt character, and I mean that. This is not the intense roasted (unmalted) barley flavor of a stout. I believe I used Chocolate Malt in this beer. It is bitter but doesn’t pack the deep coffee flavors of other roasted malts. I don’t know without looking back at notes, but I’m guessing there wasn’t a ton of it used because the roast is pretty mild. There is some other maltiness, it is well hidden behind everything else, but if you go looking for it, you can find some Munich Malt character.
It took me to the bottom of the beer to pull that out. Yes, that means that I just finished the beer and that the tasting notes are over. I look forward to drinking more of these when the weather gets colder. I’m confused by the reemergence of alcohol in this beer, but I think it will be beneficial in the Winter months.