Sour Cherry Sour Berliner Weisse Tasting Notes

Original Post: Cherry Berliner Weisse
Style: Berliner Weisse/Fruit Beer
Brew Date: July 16, 2014
Tasting Date: September 30, 2014
ABV: 3.7%
IBUs: N/A
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This beer pours a deep, dark red. Not a red associated with malts, it is definitely and obviously under the influence of fruit. It is nearly opaque and is probably very cloudy, although that is not the immediate impression. The red just completely takes over.

The head is lightly tinted in pink, but looks white on top of the red liquid. It did not give a big head of foam. The bubbles are very fine.

The aroma delivers on the name. It is cherry and sour and sour cherry. It could almost be cherry juice, but the acidity apparent does not seem completely fruit derived and there is an ever so faint hint of malt.

Taking a sip, the immediate impression is from the sourness, but it gives way quickly to cherry. The specific cherry character I get is mainly pie cherry. I did add semi-sour/pie cherries during fermentation, but at a much smaller proportion than the sour cherry juice. I would like to try something similar again using only those cherries.

This is the problem with the beer. There is too much cherry and too many cherries. I added those pie cherries along with sour cherries in addition to both sweet black cherry juice and “tart” cherry juice. They all come together into a bit of a muddled mess. I’m not sure if it is really the pie cherries coming through, or just a bi-product of mixing all those cherries together.
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As the beer warms, and even just by leaving it in the mouth for longer, it seems to get a little bit cleaner. It is still a bit of a mess.

There is some acidity, but it comes off in the flavor as mostly just being fruit related as opposed to fermentation. There is no other hint of anything beer-like in this… beer. It could maybe work as a Lindeman’s style fruit beer if it was sweeter, but it is very dry. Sour and dry and fruit and nothing else do not add up to anything great.

This is not terrible, but I’m pretty disappointed by it. I have had good luck mixing it with other beers, Jade Otter being the one I’ve been enjoying lately. I loved my Cherry Vanilla Porter and hope try mixing this with some darker beers in the future, too. I’d like to do some cooking with this beer as well. It just doesn’t stand up on its own. It is a weird mix of being all cherry without other beer elements to give it needed complexity and at the same time being muddled by too many competing versions cherries. Ooh… maybe I could try blending this with some cider? This is disappointing, but I’m not giving up on it.

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