As I suspect you already know, I am a fan of the Sam Adams line from the Boston Beer Company. They score three out of three on the "Are you a cool brewer? scale. 1) They brew good beer. 2) They have a social conscious. 3) They brew good beer. While nobody always makes great beer on a massive scale, they do a super job of doing pretty damned good much of the time. (Did that make sense? Yeah, I think so...)
You may recall that while I was in Boston, I bought of pack of beer from their Barrel Room Collection. The Stony Brook Red, sampled seconds after the computer hologram of Dick Clark rang in the New Year (he really died in 1995), was outstanding. I was hoping for more of the same goodness with the American Kriek, my 906th beer.
Sadly, while they do so well so often, I was a bit disappointed.
First things first - it is, visually, a beautiful beer. On the pour, you can see the red tones. Once in the glass, the tan head on a stunning beautiful ruby red/brown beer was really somethin'.
After that, I think it started to suffer. The aroma was all about cherries. Apparently, cherries from northern Michigan are a key part of this beer. Really? Cherries? I had no idea! That is sarcasm, of course. I smelled 'em. I tasted 'em. Their presence in the beer was, in my opinion, strong. In fact, too strong. The other aspects of the beer were clouded by the cherry. I really could not get a handle on the "oakiness" that goes with months spent in a oak barrel. Cherry cherry cherry cherry cherry. Smooth? Yeah. Very much so. Well balanced? You bet. Cherries? Ummm...yeah.....
Let me be clear here - it was not a bad beer. Not at all. It was basically just too cherry-ee for my palate. One fellow online described it as being a bit medicinal. I would not go that far, but I know what he is talking about. Three out of five on my planet.
Had I known this was what I was in for, I would have given it a go with something equally fruity. I think Cherry Cheesecake would have been great.