Total Score: 7.1/10
Cherry Ripe Porter? I’m in! I grew up sneaking Mum’s Cherry Ripes out of the back of the fridge where she used to hide them from the rest of the family. Even though I didn’t like them much – I never was one for coconut in anything – in some sick Pavlovian way I grew to enjoy them as one of the few chocolate treats I could get my grubby little kid hands on. Fast forward to today and I now enjoy coconut in things, I even sometimes drink coconut water (that’s natures Gatorade BTW), and cherry beers I am a big fan of. So the biggest question is – will Cherry Ripe Porter be like a Bacchus/Omnipollo dessert beer… or will it desert me in my hour of dessert needs? [wow there’s some interesting etymology going on there!] I remain, as ever, hopeful of impending sweetness.
Poured from a 330ml can into a nonic pint.
A: Deep dark opaque chocolate brown with a fluffy 3 centimetre tan head that dissolves leaving some sticky lace behind. Looks aiight, but then again most Stouts/Porters (those age old interchangeable styles) do look aiight. Head could be a bit denser – which doesn’t bode well for mouthfeel. 7/10.
S: It’s got a bit of a Black Forest cake vibe going on with dark and milk chocolate and sweet cherries in the aroma… hmmm, it’s got a good scent this brew – very inviting. It’s a touch on the sweeter side for balance, and I suspect the finish might be slightly dry with a roasted coffee bitterness. Not much in the way of coconut detected here, though I’ve found with previous coconut beers that it oft comes through more in the flavour… speaking of which. 8/10.
T: Confirmed: No coconut detected. Frankly needs more cherry too. Primary flavours are the classic Stout/Porter flavours: Dark chocolate, roasted coffee, with a touch of earthy/nutty character. Finish is dry. Aftertaste has a cherry brandy note, but apart from that you could remove the words “cherry” and “ripe” from the label and people would be none the wiser. That said calling a beer simply “Porter” is a pretty unimaginative name. 7/10.
M: Mid to light bodied but reasonably dense carbonation makes it seem fuller, bit average here – more texture (perhaps from oats) is needed. 6/10.
D: Doesn’t exactly disappoint, however it also doesn’t live up to that much dreaded *spooky voice* “LABEL PROMISE”. Still this is a half decent Porter with some nice chocolatey sweetness (and a hint of booze) so not a total loss. 7/10.
Food match: You knew I was going to say it: Black Forest gâteau!!!