Imperial Cherry Saison

Absolutely do not understand this beer in the slightest.
Firstly there is a huge reference to cherries from the name through to the picture of the giant fruit on the bottle, and secondly there is the oaking of the beer which, even before I tasted it gave me some serious reservations as to why one would be trying to combine that with a fruit infused saison. I was just afraid that it would not come together at all well, and I was right.
Pour is a hazed orange; fairly typical for the style, but what’s the deal with the fruit? You would expect the cherry to add some kind of color (even artificial looking), but no, there’s nothing. Head is OK, some lace.
Nose gives a pleasant, light vanilla note on top of the alcohol and mild grassy, organic nose.
Then we get to the tastes. For me this beer was close to undrinkable as the oak notes overpowered everything else that the beer was trying to do. Dry and VERY strong, it tasted a bit like chewing on matchwood. Very uninteresting, and the second half of the bottle was a drain pour for me. VERY unusual for me to do that, but I just couldn’t get this one to go down. My guess is that ST was trying to introduce a sour note with the cherries; fine, but why then overwhelm the beer with the oak too? There was no hint of cherry either artificial or natural for me. It’s an example of trying too hard and being too clever.
Odd combination out of the gate and the whole thing is a bit of a disaster in my book. It failed to come together – failed experiment.

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06/16/2009
Format:
bottle
ABV: 10.1 %
Appearance: 3.5
Taste: 1.5
Mouthfeel: 3
Smell: 3.5
Overall: 1.5
Total: 2.15
Series Name:
Year:

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