Josh and I have engaged in an alcohol exchange (as detailed here and here), and while I forgot to bring him his, Josh was kind enough to bring in the beers he promised. For the record, from largest bottle to smallest (for lack of a better method), the beers consist of Samuel Smith’s Organic Cherry Ale, New Glarus Unplugged Cherry Stout, and Cherish (a kriek lambic, similar in principle—obviously— to the kriek lambic that I wrote about a ways back).
Tonight, I thought I’d crack open the Cherish. It seemed unpretentious enough to follow a ham & scalloped potato meal. I believe Josh said that it was rated about a 74, and I don’t think I’d necessarily disagree with that. I opted to have it after the meal, as I didn’t want to actively pair it with the food (I didn’t think either would be well-served by it, and I stand by that decision afterward), and chose to chill it for 20 minutes in the freezer, which gave it a nice crisp coolness that was fairly refreshing.
It’s not an outstanding drink, but it’s far from terrible…and I’m not sure it performs particularly well as a beer. I mean, it’s got light carbonation, and there’s a certain bitter hoppiness in the finish, but overall, it seems as if someone has added a dash of alcohol to my light and refreshing cherry juice. As a bit of compare/contrast with the previous kriek lambic; there’s zero maltiness that I can detect, but as I said, a bit of hops in the finish; it’s got a heavier/thicker mouthfeel, but not incredibly so, and it may be related to the fact that it has significantly less carbonation; it’s a touch sweeter, a bit less acidic, and has the sourness that generally goes with a lambic (or so I’m told).
So, overall, as a beer, I’m not sure if it necessarily succeeds. But as a lightly alcoholic malt beverage that you don’t think of as a beer, I’d give it about a B/B-.
I’ll be updating this as I try out the rest. Thanks Joshy!