The only beer that I’d ever had by Winmer Brothers is their Hefeweizen – a strong example of a hefeweizen, and a good go-to beer around here, in my opinion. The brewery itself is out of Oregon, but I believe that some of their beer is brewed on the east coast. Other than the hefeweizen, we don’t usually see their stuff out this way very often. But at Smiley’s in Dover, NH, I was able to find one of their limited series brews. I have to admit that the idea of a cherry dopplebock wasn’t too tempting to me until I read the “oak aged” part.
It pours a muddy mahogany color – very cloudy and light-eating. The smell is distinctly cherry – like the aroma of the black forest trifle (made with dark chocolate and real cherries) that I had for dessert the other day. It isn’t fake or cough-syrup smelling, which is a big plus. I’m sensitive to that cough-drop cherry taste, so I was happy to get no hint of that in this beer.
The taste was surprisingly, yet pleasantly sour. The sweet cherry taste isn’t there, but there is an earthier taste there that I like. The aftertaste is a little bitter, but seems to go with the almost gritty taste of this brew. It isn’t sweet, isn’t particularly smooth, but is interesting – and maybe that’s why I’m digging it. It reminds me of several lambics I’ve had that I liked.
I look forward to several more beers on the horizon from this “reserve” series. If the quality of this beer is any indication, there may be some other very interesting brews on the way from the bothers Windmer.