Highlights Fort Collins Brewery Kettle-Soured Dark Cherry Imperial Red Ale

26 May 2016

I want to first go on record to state that I have shown remarkable restraint managing to not drink this beer for 24-hours.  After all I love sours, and I really love Cherry sours, so just waiting to open the box was hard enough…let alone waiting a whole day!

This is Fort Collins Brewery Kettle-Soured Dark Cherry and it is the second release in their Savor Series of small batch/limited availability beers.  This imperial red ale takes advantage of tart cherry harvest season and kettle-souring to make for a really exciting brew.

imageKettle-Soured Dark Cherry pours really pretty (dark rose with a lighter pink-ish head) and you are immediately hit by sweet rich and slightly tart cherry aromas.  I’ll admit we stopped to take in more of the aroma before we tasted, but I could only resist for so long.  This beer starts tart thanks in partto the 5 different strains of lactobacillus on board, but it’s actually balanced really well with the sweetness of the cherries (and some sneaky hops).  Kettle-Soured Dark Cherry is tart but not overwhelmingly sour and I really liked how the sweet cherry and booziness made for a really nice balance with the tartness.  In the end I thought it finished a little dry (in a nice way) with really nice cherry flavors especially as it warmed a bit.

Kettle-Soured Dark Cherry uses Magnum, Tettnanger and Cascade hops as well as English ale yeast and a variety of domestic, Belgian and German malts.  There will only be very limited quantities of this beer hitting the market, but I can’t recommend strongly enough that you get out there and try it for yourself. 

Just for fun, we added in some really sharp Vermont cheddar cheese and the pairing was heavenly.  I suspect other cheese would have worked well, but we simply drank all of the beer before we had a chance to try them.  Be sure to try Fort Collins Kettle-Soured Dark Cherry Imperial Red Ale for yourself, and when you do, be sure to let us know what YOU think.

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