Wild Rose Cherry Porter

Reviewed by on January 21, 2015 in Winter Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Wild Rose Brewery

  • Origin: Calgary, AB, CA

  • Rated On: January 21, 2015

  • Best Before: N/A

  • ABV: 6.5%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: American Porter

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

Brewed each fall using fresh Okanagan black cherries, this seasonal is released just in time for both winter and the holiday season to kick in. Nothing like a bit of chocolate and cherry to remind one of treats from when we were kids, as well as associations somewhat more exotic, such as Black Forest cake. Packaged solely in a 1L swing-top bottle, very home-brew friendly, I’m sure.

This beer pours a muddled, very dark brown cola hue, almost black, with some thin basal highlights, and two chubby fingers of puffy and creamy tan head, which sticks around for a few minutes, before rendering some nice sea froth splash lace around the glass.

It smells of fairly tart, kind of vegetal cherries, with mild medicinal twinges (cherry cough syrup sans the sweetness?), dry, chalky cocoa, somewhat meaty roasted caramel malt, a touch of day-old coffee, and some soft lactic sourness – a nod to the historical ways of London porter? The taste carries on with more of the tart cherries, complemented by a burgeoning caramel malt, bittersweet chocolate, a fading roasted coffee bean bitterness, lumbering milky notes, and rather tame earthy, weedy hops.

The carbonation is adequate, not too many bubbles, which perfectly suits, the body perhaps a bit too much on the light/thin side, but smooth enough, with a slight airy creaminess.  It finishes off-dry, the cocoa, struggling cherry fruitiness, and understated bready caramel notes limping somewhat into that good night.

An enjoyable flavoured porter, as the extra alcohol that helps push this into seasonal delight territory is very well hidden. As for drinkability – well, I’d ask for a bit more cohesion and fullness of flavour, were it still the holidays and I was small enough to plop down onto Santa’s lap.  At any rate, a nice winter brew to help us cope with the next few months, until spring comes into view.

Brady White

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