This is a glass of my first true solo brew without the help of an amateur “pro” – a dry stout fermented on four ounces of cocoa nibs with added cherry flavoring before bottling. The ABV ended up a little lower than I would’ve liked – 4 percent – but that’s OK because stouts won’t be much higher anyway. I would’ve liked 5 percent, but I can fix that if I make this brew again.
I’ve had a few bottles now and while I like it, my feelings are somewhat mixed. I saved a few bottles of just the stout with chocolate, which I think I prefer over the final product with cherry. The bottles with only cocoa flavoring have a really good cocoa/chocolate flavor – the one bottle I had tasted just like chocolate mixed in with the dry stout. Nonetheless, I took more detailed notes about the more “mass” produced version, with cherry:
Look – has a nice dark brown/black color. Not jet black like a Irish stout. Good carbonation by using Cooper’s drops which made a strong brown foam with maybe just a hint of red from the cherry.
Smell – aromas came in this order: cherry, dry stout and chocolate.
Taste – chocolate at the very front, although nothing too strong. It works in opposite of the smell, with choclaye followed by stout and a cherry finish. Of the few bottles I’ve had, the cherry has varied slightly, but I think it’ll be much better after sitting for another week or two and (hopefully) letting the cherry flavor calm a bit.
This would definitely be good paired with anything chocolate , cherry or some combination thereof.