Every Wednesday, Black Raven Brewery taps a special cask at 4pm. These casks are often extremely popular and you are well advised to get there early to make sure to get some before the cask runs dry.
On August 4th, the featured cask was the “Scotchster” and the description was more than enough to make me hop in my car and drive around the lake.
Our Second Sight Strong Scotch with rum soaked cherries, oak chips and whole leaf centennial hops.
I am a sucker for a beer with a bit of wood and a bit of bourbon or rum so I wanted to give this one a try.
This beer is a deep mahogany opaque color. Take a good sniff and you smell rum and potent centennial aromas. I smelled the rum influence more than I tasted the rum. The cherry flavor is subtle but distinctive.It reminded me a bit of Christmas candy with the malty sweetness and rum-cherry flavors, especially at the first sip. As it crosses the palate, the bitters kick in from the centennial hops and the tannins from the oak chips. It had some rough edges to it, I wish it had a little more time under its belt to smooth out some of those edges but I liked it. I think I would have appreciated it more in the winter. This Washington beer had some heft to it. It was bit heavy and sweet for one of our rare summer afternoons. I hope they make another cask when the winter comes. I think it will be more popular on a cold and rainy winter day.
Although I liked it, my table mates were not fans. Their rationale was that they equated cherry beer with meaning sour beer. I admit that I don’t understand why people expected a beer, based on a malty scotch beer to be a sour beer. Although I have enjoyed a number of great cherry sour beers, I have also had a number of sweeter, malty cherry beers like this one.
How about you, what do you expect when you hear cherry beer?