Ellicottville Brewing Co.’s brews are ones I typically choose when I’m in the mood for something wicked hoppy and local. When I happened upon their Chocolate Cherry Stout at Wellington Pub three weeks ago, I was skeptical. When I want a stout, I don’t want it overtaken with hops. The bartender poured me a taster, knowing I’d be pleasantly surprised.
I was, and I’ve been back to the pub every week since then, to enjoy it while it lasts.
See, EBC doesn’t bottle this imperial stout. Not only that, but Wellington Pub is one of few that have it on tap in the area, and even they only have one keg. Once it’s gone, it’s gone until (hopefully) next year. I dig heading to the pub with my girlfriends and Kristen, our fav bartender, is there every Wednesday, so I’d be headed there most weeks anyway… but this limited edition stout gives me even more reason to.
EBC Chocolate Cherry Stout pours deep black, usually with an inch-tall tan head that lasts and lasts (this particular pint wasn’t poured as they generally are). The aroma is full chocolate without the heavy alcohol smell I would’ve expected for an 8% ABV brew.
As I stated earlier, usually Ellicottville Brewing Co. beers are very hoppy, even in styles that don’t call for much in the way of hops, like brown ales (think Dogfish Head – they’re typically quite hoppy as well) so I was wondering how they’d brew this imperial stout. I’m happy to report that the mild hops were just enough to keep the brew from being too sweet and more drinkable than it would be if there had been none.
And the taste – not quite as chocolaty as the Southern Tier Choklat Stout (like I said, there is no beer more chocolaty than that, not that I’ve ever known) – but a superb dessert beer all the same. Deep, flavorful sips of chocolate malt and juicy cherries are the only way I can describe it. Creamy with lightly crisp carbonation keeps it from being too syrupy, but offers a medium heavy mouthfeel that I’d expect from an imperial stout.
Not a session beer, but I’m enjoying as many as I can before the keg is kicked, so if you find me at Wellington, I’m most likely switching EBC Chocolate Cherry into my Guinness rotation every 2 pints or so.
[techtags:EBC CHOCOLATE CHERRY STOUT, ELLICOTTVILLE BREWING CO., BEER REVIEWS, IMPERIAL STOUTS]