The Captain’s Chair blog proved to be a perfect gentleman whose mama done raised him right when he sent me replacement bottles of NEW GLARUS beers that broke in transit during our recent beer trade. Not only that, he threw in a bonus beer for my troubles. Now that’s a Great American. The bonus was this NEW GLARUS “CHERRY STOUT” – part of their “Unplugged” series where the brewer just goes off the hizzle and does whatever it is he wants, ye publick be damned. I love that sort of thing, and it’s why I was pretty excited to give this one a go.
But wait. Alack! My first impressions of this were just awful. An initial assault of cherry cough drop intensity – yes, cough drop, not real cherries. It even had that medicinal numbing feeling you get what you’re sucking on a Luden’s cherry cough drop, which is the goal when you’re trying to get over a sore throat, but not when you’re tipping back a craft beer for liquid enjoyment. I couldn’t taste any roasting, nothing stout-like at all nor any evidence of the professed “oak aging”– nothing. Then something happened. Room-temperature warmth started creeping into the beer, and lo and behold, that harsh flavor settled into something that was actually enjoyable. The roast started peeking through, as did some alcohol sweetness, molasses and even some hops. The overall body of the beer is thin, but I daresay I was flat-out bummed when I drained the last sips. Seriously, this is the most abrupt mid-beer mind shift I’ve ever experienced. I went from something close to disgust into something closer to worship. Now how did they do that? Recommended if you want to take a similar ride. 7/10.