Sherbrooke Chocolate Cherry Ostiarius

Reviewed by on December 5, 2013 in Local Heroes Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Alley Kat Brewing Company

  • Origin: Edmonton, AB

  • Rated On: July 30, 2013

  • Best Before: September 5, 2013

  • ABV: 6.5%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Chocolate Porter

  • Rating: GREAT !!

The Review

This was first made in 2007 as a holiday seasonal release from Alley Kat for the Sherbrooke liquor store in Edmonton, using cherry extract and cocoa as additives to a base porter.  It has been revisited a few times since, most recently this past winter.  The tag line for the beer is ‘Di! Ecce hora!  Uxor mea me necabit!’, which is Latin for ‘God! Look at the time!  My wife is going to kill me!’.  ‘Ostiarius’ is also Latin for a porter, as in a doorman – very egghead punny, that.

This 341ml bottle pours a clear, deep, dark cola hue, with two fingers of frothy, foamy beige head, which leaves some pleasant sea plume lace around the glass as it evenly and slowly subsides.

It smells of chalky cocoa, bitter cherry, a touch of chocolate liqueur – you get the idea – with some subtle caramel malt notes.  A very inviting aroma, it evokes the holiday season oh so well. The taste is more big milky cocoa nibs and cherry cordial ‘sweetness’ battling it out for flavor dominance, a roasted maltiness and very subtle hop presence rounding out this strangely balanced porter. The carbonation is moderate and laid back enough, the body a decent medium weight, and generally smooth, with a wee twinge of smoothness, all of which would make for a lovely accompaniment to seasonal desserts.

A genuinely pleasant flavoured porter, overall, the sweetness of the guest stars working well with the roasted malt of the underlying beer.  The play on words in the name is indeed amusing, as a lament to being out drinking with the boys, which is sadly ironic, as I’m not aware of any place that serves this on-tap.  Maybe in bottles, but then it would just best to stay at home and share this with your better half.

Brady White

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