This is a renowned microbrewery beer, made by a small outfit in New Glarus, Wisconsin. It is one the few beers well-spoken of that I never had - until recently when fellow SB member Bob (don't know his surname) gifted it to me at the last Gazebo.
Coming off a cold that sent me to Hades and back (I think), I thought I'd try something new and offer some taste notes.
First, a toast to Bob for the kindness of his gesture: a number of people have done similar in SB including Randy Goode, Lenell Smothers, Randy Blank, Cliff Michel, Tim Sousley and Roger Hodges. I am in the debt of all of you and will try to reciprocate.
Now a taste note: there is a fresh cherry nose to this brew which is most appetizing. I get a taste that is reminiscent of a fresh sweet fleshy American cherry - the type used is Montmorency from Door County, Wisconsin.
There are also notes of almond, which probably comes from using the cherry stones as well (ground or broken when added to the barley malt and wheat ferment with the cherries).
The taste of the beer is sweet and very similar to American cherry pie! There are sub-acid notes as well, so the medicinal sweetness, while pleasing and (surely) destructive of any lingering beasties which would bring my cold back - reason enough to pound this down - is balanced by a pleasant skein of bitter/acid which lends complexity.
It is quite different to any Belgian kriek beer I've had and as good, just different.
The use of fruits in brewing is no gimmick, it is an age-old practice in most of the traditional brewing countries except it died out in most of them until revived here and there under influence from Belgian specialists like Liefman and the various lambic brewers who throw in some cherries or raspberries for the secondary to add extra fermentable sugar and flavor.
Thanks Bob, for this great treat, it is the perfect early libation for the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend.