Sweet Beer Reminds Drinker of Christmas’ Past

Written by Steve Goble for zanesvilletimesrecorder.com

Cherry cordials — whole cherries covered in sweet goo inside a shell of chocolate — are always linked to Christmas in my mind.

My mom loved them, and usually had a box handy during the holidays. A friend of mine makes some, fortified with vodka, and passes them out at Christmas.

They’re a rich, tasty indulgence, something I enjoy one or two of at Christmas time — and then I’ve had enough. So pardon me if my review of Cherry Chocolate Beer from O’Fallon Brewery seems less than enthusiastic.

This holiday seasonal beer aims to create that cherry cordial sensation, and it succeeds admirably. The beer seriously tastes like chocolate-covered cherries. I like chocolate-covered cherries, but not 12 ounces of them. If you wolf cordials down by the handful, however, you might want to get a 12-pack of O’Fallon’s brew.

Cherry Chocolate Beer is a dark wheat brew. It is a pale brown in the glass, without a lot of head on it. The nose is all candy, and tells you right away that the brewers have captured the soul of the cherry cordial. There is no presence of hops in the aroma that I could detect, although there is some Cluster hops in there somewhere.

The first sip quickly confirms what the aroma has already told you — it’s a glass of chocolate-covered cherry goodness. There is no bitterness. It’s chocolate creamy cheery cherry deliciousness. The aftertaste sticks around a while. Several minutes after drinking, the cool sweet sensation of chocolate-covered cherries was still around.

And … it’s all too sweet and rich for me. Lovers of chocolate and sweet beers might find it heavenly. As for me? I might get some more of this when I’m in a festive mood, but I’ll be looking to share. A small glass for me, a small glass for a friend.

I give O’Fallon credit for making a wheat beer with a solid body to it. Wheat beers often are too thin for me, but not this one.

I have to commend O’Fallon for inventiveness. Cherry cordial flavor doesn’t sound like an easy thing to capture in a beer, but they did it. If I liked cordials enough to fill a glass with them, I’d be wild about this.

Steve Goble is a copy editor and a beer snob. You can discuss beer on his blog at MansfieldNewsJournal.com/beer, or by following him on Twitter at twitter.com/brewologist. (“Zanesville” as in Zanesville, Ohio- PGA)

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