Beer Review: FORT COLLINS KETTLE-SOURED DARK CHERRY IMPERIAL RED ALE

Beer Review: FORT COLLINS KETTLE-SOURED DARK CHERRY IMPERIAL RED ALE

Fort Collins Brewery’s Savor Series introduces a unique player to the scene: the Kettle-Soured Dark Cherry Imperial Red Ale. Packed in a 500ml bottle and boasting an 8.3% abv, this beer promises a distinct fusion of flavors that caught my attention.

Appearance and Aroma

Pouring the ale into specialty glassware, the visual spectacle is captivating – a crystal-clear deep red to cola color crowned with a thick tan foam that, while initially exuberant, settles into a modest layer. The nose, akin to red cherry juice with a sugary hint reminiscent of a child’s juice box, evolves as it warms. Cranberry notes and a touch of caramel emerge, adding layers to the olfactory experience.

Flavorful Journey

Sipping from a bottle packaged in April 2016, the initial taste offers an intriguing oily slickness, perhaps derived from yogurty lactic acid. This sets the stage for a robust punch of leathery, baked black cherry, delivering a rich and satisfying flavor profile. The finish, notably clean for its style, extends its presence with lemon acidity dominating the palate. As the beer inches towards room temperature, leathery cranberry takes center stage, leaving a lasting impression.

Mouthfeel and ABV

The mouthfeel is a key player here – full, dense, and driven by lactic acid and yogurt undertones. Remarkably, the somewhat high ABV remains inconspicuous, seamlessly integrated into the overall experience.

Overall Impression

In the realm of dark sours, the Fort Collins Kettle-Soured Dark Cherry Imperial Red Ale stands out as a delightful contender. While it may lack some of the oak barrel complexities found in similar varieties like Oud Bruin or Flemish Red, it compensates with a focused simplicity and a well-executed balance of acid profiles and dark cherry/cranberry flavors. In essence, it’s a crafted brew that hits the mark with its delicious and harmonious composition.