Black Cherry Stout - Walking Man Brewing Co.

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Black Cherry Stout
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BA SCORE
82
good

34 Reviews
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Reviews: 34
Hads: 54
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 22.1%
Wants: 3
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Walking Man Brewing Co. visit their website
Washington, United States

Style | ABV
Fruit / Vegetable Beer |  7.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: HiroProtagonist on 04-25-2004

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 34 | Hads: 54
Photo of Mahlik
1.39/5  rDev -61.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Served in a shaker pint glass at Henry's 12th St Tavern. Reviewed from notes but unfortunately I remember this beer all too well.

A - Black, opaque with a thin brown head. Some lacing.

S - Cherries, cherries and more cherries. It smells like I stuck my nose in a jar of maraschino cherries. I can't really smell anything else. I pick up a slight hint of roasted malts but just barely. A complete lack of depth.

T - I found the taste to be disgusting. The cherries aren't as dominant in the taste. I get cherries up front, followed by some roasted malts and just a hint of chocolate. But then a nasty cherry syrup taste hits. It was like drinking cherry cough syrup. The taste only got worse as I allowed it to warm up a bit.

M - Medium-bodied, light carbonation. The syrupy taste that seemed to linger only made this beer worse.

O - IMO, a terrible beer. So many things are wrong with this beer. However, judging by the large amount of positive reviews of this beer, maybe the tap line was tainted or it was just a bad batch. I'm almost thinking that has to be it because there is no way anyone would have enjoyed what I drank. It's a shame too because I have heard so many great things about Walking Man. (1,212 characters)

Photo of freed
1.54/5  rDev -57.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Had this on tap at Horse Brass.

When the waitress said this beer had an aromatic cherry presence, she was right. When she said it didn't have the strong or sweet of a cherry flavor, she was really, really wrong.

The pint arrived quickly, and appeared rather attractive. A deep, almost dirty brown with a mild tan foam capping the top. It appeared to be moderately carbonated.

The aroma was startling, and should have served as a warning. There was little beer to waft over the sharp aroma of cough syrup.

The taste was wretched. It was like the cherry concentrate had all been poured into my glass, but also mixed with anti-freeze. It was nearly impossible to recognize the beverage as a beer due to the acrid taste. I actually like syrupy fruit flavors, but this was horrible.

After 4 sips on my own and a second opinion from my wife, I ordered another beer. Thank god for Racer 5. (898 characters)

Photo of oregonskibum
2.12/5  rDev -41.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Tasted at a Portland pub that rotates beer frequently, so assume it was fairly fresh. Served in a US shaker pint. Notes from memory only.

A: Appearance is dark black. Because of the full pour, only a very thin tan head was left on top the beer when brought to the table.

S: Sweet cherry syrup dominates, and not in a good way. It smells like I just opened a bottle of marashceno cherries and took a big sniff. Yes, you can make out some faint stout smells, but this is so over the top cherry that everything else is in the background.

T: What a mess. THis is way too sweet. It truly smells like the brewer took their normally solid stout and mixed in several bottles of marascheno cherry juice after fermentation. Roasted malts and coffee are there in the background, but sweet cherry with a hint of cough syrup control the taste from start to finish.

M: Medium body, low carbonation. Generally, the mouthfeel was in-style. However, the sweetness left me thinking that the beer felt a little like syrup, even though it wasn't.

D: The most disappointing Walking Man beer I've had. The cherry was too strong, too sweet, and not well balanced or integrated with the stout. I finished the pint and then was blown away by the next beer (which was just average). (1,261 characters)

Photo of Overlord
2.15/5  rDev -40.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Pours black with a robust dark brown head. Very attractive beer.

Smells like roasted malt and cherries. Wow. This must be one of the strongest fruit aromas I can recall, and from a stout, that's remarkable. And not necessarily a positive. ONe note, sweet cherries predominate. Some medicinal/cough syrup component(s) to it.

Taste is just overwhelming sweet, syrupy cherries overlaid on maybe a bit of dark, roasted malt.

Ugh. A chore to drink. Attractive, with a nice viscous mouthfeel, but the cherries are too much. (520 characters)

Photo of bultrey
2.43/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Well, I had my share of great craft brew on my recent Oregon trip, but I'll start with the bad. I'd heard so much about Walking Man, and on a visit to the famous Horse Brass in Portland I was excited to see this and the Homo Erectus IPA on draft. I asked for the latter first, but they were out, so settled on this as a dessert later.
While this beer looks nice, and smells like a nice chocolate-covered cherry, the taste is syrupy and gross, like cherry cough syrup. This needs much more roastiness from the malt and perhaps more hopping to balance out the cloying sweetness. Mouthfeel was fine, and drinkability can only be classified as "difficult." Quite shocking, as I really like the other Cherry Stout I've tried, from Kalamazoo.
I will seek out more Walking Man brews in the future, as I hear their expertise is in their use of hops -- but I will not be trying this again. I'd like to suggest that maybe the Horse Brass isn't keeping this in top shape, as the other really negative review was from a pint poured here. (1,027 characters)

Photo of TheStove
3.25/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at Bottleworks in Seattle.

Pours dark black/brown, not quite motor oil but definitely dark. Not much foam or head but I wasn't sure if this was because of the pour or the beer.

Heavy cherry scent on first whiff. The toasted malts also come through secondary. First sip confirms that of the smell. This is a bit of an odd brew. The cherry is definitely the guest honor in terms of flavor when sipping this one however it is almost as if the cherry flavor is more reminiscent of candy than actual cherries. The sip progresses to a more muted and deep cherry flavor, almost as if somehow the malts were infused with cherry as well. This gives way to some heavy bitterness, either due to some heavily toasted malts or hop dosage I'm not sure but it's an interesting juxtaposition of flavors; candy cherry to bitter. Further sips reveal light cocoa notes at the end of each sip.

An interesting stout. Definitely not my favorite and I think it stands behind Bell's Cherry Stout but I like the contrast of candy cherry with the bitter malt and hop finish. I think I would enjoy this one much more if the cherry flavor was a bit more natural and the finish less bitter. In either case, an enjoyable brew but not top tier. (1,227 characters)

Photo of vkv822
3.4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours black, with deep red edges and a thin foamy off white head.

Roasty, cocoa espresso with a sweet, definite cherry profile.

Medium body, mild foamy carbonation.

Well done and tasty, but not something I would want much more than a pint of. (245 characters)

Photo of canucklehead
3.43/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at Henry's in Portland. This is an after dinner stout because the cherry taste and nose is quite strong in fact it smells like chocolate covered maraschinos. The beer is smooth and well made but the cherry notes can become at little much after awhile. Pairs well with desserts. (284 characters)

Photo of chumba526
3.43/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appears a black with one finger of brown head.

Smells strongly of sweet cherries with a tad bit of roasted malt. The cherry smell is very strong.

The taste is composed of a very strong sweet cherry flavor in the beginning that moves on to a roasted malt flavor with a slightly bitter finish. My only complaint about the flavor of the beer is that the initial cherry taste seems a little artificially sweet. The balance between the cherry and the roasted malts is very nice.
The carbonation of the stout seems to be average: moderate low. I don't imagine myself having a bunch of these at a time due to the sweetness but for being a rich beer the drinkability is not bad.

Overall an interesting stout that mixes cherry sweetness with dry roasted malts. (755 characters)

Photo of ccrida
3.44/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this on draft at Henry's in Portland, the appearance is pretty strait forward stout, a thick tan head that left a bit of lace, paired with a very deep, dark chocolate colored brew.

Smell was very appetizing, a rich sour cherry with a bit of roasted malt.

Taste was not nearly as robust, pretty much just a strong stout, a nice bit of burnt malt and coffee, coupled with a nice tartness from the cherry, but not nearly as rich and complex as the aroma had me expecting.

Mouthfeel was very rich and creamy, medium body.

Drinkablity was fine as far as stouts go, stronger then you might realize, but not something I couldn't put down (or would want a second pint of). Somehow, it didn't quite seem to all come together, I'll have to revisit this beer in the future, perhaps bottled. (790 characters)

Photo of Magpie14
3.52/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at Horse Brass

A: black. Maybe a few hues of deep reddish brown, otherwise black. Soft ring of brown foam at the rim, looks like a good solid stout

S: cordial cherries with a darker chocolate whiff and roasted malts have a light nose. Cherries are tart and sweet smelling, steal the show. Nice smell for the fruit and chocolate lover

T: I am glad the malts made a stronger appearance than in the nose. Malts are dark, roasted, and provide a hearty backbone that sets the stage for sweeter notes to float about. Sweet cherries sprinkled with powered sugar and butter. Roasted vibe is good and keeps things mellow and away from being to sweet, also a poof of roasted smokiness can be detected from time to time. This is all finished off by a soft bitterness

M: this stout has a well over mild feel but not what I would call heavy. A small amount of activity with a fruit tartness and fairly well mannered/smooth

D: a good solid brew. Flavors (malts and cherries) are well balanced and keep things interesting on an average level. Not bad! (1,048 characters)

Photo of xoqx
3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is dark brown mahogany color with a very dark tan head that had little retention and light lacing. The smell is nothing but artificial cherry candy odors. The taste is very reminiscent of several cherry cough syrups. There is unfortunately so much cherry here, few of the standard stout tastes can escape its gravitation pull. The finish is medium length and somewhat lingering in aftertaste. There is a puckering tannic effect on the sides of the mouth. Not very drinkable, a bit of a novelty in my opinion. However, as far as being fruit beers go, this should rank amongst the better ones. (601 characters)

Photo of mcallister
3.6/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Black as I've seen. Midnight is commonly used for the depth of this beer. Absolutely opaque and blackhole like but no head and very still.

What a nose. Thick with ripe black cherries covered in dark chocolate. Very in your face with a perceived sweetness.

Silky smooth creamy mouthfeel. Nice bitterness with a thick black cherry middle. Very bitter cocoa thoughout the entire palate but it basically ends there. A good approach that is just barely missing something and things become a little cloying after half a pint. (521 characters)

Photo of jletts
3.61/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this one at the Freemont Oktoberfest, so it was served in a small fest-style glass, but I still had no trouble enjoying the strong chocolate-covered-cherry nose. Since it was dark outside I couldn't really examine the color. I found the beer a little thin for a stout but I enjoyed the cocoa and deep cherry flavors up front. Unfortunately due to long lines and the small glass, I feel this beer was not properly tasted. I hope to enjoy a pint soon. After reading some other reviews, I think others may have sampled a bad batch because this beer was not syrupy at all and highly drinkable as a dessert beer. I bet it would work well with a scoop of vanilla as a beer float... (679 characters)

Photo of jdense
3.67/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Bailey's Taproom PDX 9.4.2010, $2.50 for 10 oz. glass.

3/4 finger tan head, medium-slow dissipation, some lacing retained. Dark brown, almost black opaque body, no visible carbonation. Pick up the cherries right away in the nose, subsumes all other aromas, a bit on the sweet side, an interesting smelling beer. Cherries also dominate the taste, but there is some roasted malt and grassy hops to provide a semblance of balance, but certainly on the sweet side. Mouthfeel is a bit sticky and boozy with a distinctly dry finish. Not sure how sessionable this is at this ABV, once again on the sweet side, but it was tasty. (631 characters)

Photo of grittybrews
3.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured cola black with a faint reddish tinge and a small finger of tan head. Aroma of dark cherries and hints of roast and cocoa.

Moderate carbonation and a creamy, full mouthfeel. Medicinal cherry up front with some mild chocolate and gentle roasty bitterness on the finish.

Smells nice but the cherry is a little too candy-like in the actual flavor. Decent but I wouldn't want a lot of it. (393 characters)

Photo of BillHilly
3.8/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

32 ounce growler poured into a Duvel tulip 1 hour after acquisition.

A: Nice 1 finger head, lacing retains well, very dark.

S: Wow, it's definitely a sweet cherry smell followed by a nice malt note.

T: Cherries are very subtle, almost don't get any of them until you exhale after swallow. Nothing overpowering here. Slight coffee and the roasted malts are faint.

M: Drinks much lighter than the appearance, and the carbonation holds up.

O: Decent, can't complain for $5 a 32 oz growler. (491 characters)

Photo of DefenCorps
3.82/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ah, my first Walking Man beer. I was hoping it'd be Homo Erectus, but this will do.

Black with a thin, black head that recedes to a thin disk, this looks good. Dark cherry red highlights are visible. The nose is excellent. It marries quite perfectly the combination of roast, rich, ripe black cherries, fragrant and complex, with some dark chocolate and a little licorice. The cherry character is particularly fantastic, as it has all the complexity you'd expect from a black cherry. The palate opens with a blend of fruity cherries and some roast. A mildly acidic (grainy) character appears on the mid-palate and lingers on into the finish. Licorice and chocolate are also present, though the union of chocolate and cherry is a little less harmonious than on the nose. Mild bitterness on the finish, this beer is medium in body and hides the alcohol very, very well. Smooth on the palate, this is a beer I can recommend with no qualifications (944 characters)

Photo of PDXHops
3.94/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap, imperial pint. Body is quite black with just a skim of head. Minimal lacing.

Doesn't look like much, but it sure smells good. Very strong cherry mixes and mingles with dark chocolate and roasted malts. Damned tasty, too, with the cherry proving to be an excellent complement to dark and sweet chocolate, roasted malts and a hint of vanilla.

Mouthfeel is thick, with lingering sweet chocolate and cherry at the swallow. Nice brew from a great small brewery. (467 characters)

Photo of Rifugium
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at their brewpub

Poured an opaque black with a huge tan head that displayed nice lacing. Really nice aroma of cherry cordial...natural, no cough syrup or cherry candy here. Taste was initially very bready with a huge beautiful hit of black cherries right up front, with a solid, sweet, dark malt base. I know it's difficult to brew a successful blend of fruit with dark beers such as stouts. Several breweries have tried, and not all are good. Even Bells Cherry Stout is a little meh. But this one is definitely done right, and the natural smell and taste just add to its goodness. Smooth and rich, but not quite full-bodied, this is a very drinkable beer. (675 characters)

Photo of PopeJonPaul
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had the Black Cherry on a recent visit to the Horse Brass (11/21) and I really enjoyed it. Maybe WM shipped some bad stuff to them in the past or something, I noticed the two negative reviews were both from there, and if I had seen Bultrey's review before I went out there I'd have skipped it (since I know him and all that). But in my innocence I had a pint...

It definitely had a pronounced black cherry flavor but I did not find it syrupy, I actually found it to be a bit thin for a stout, maybe even a bit closer to a heavy porter in consistency. The chocolate malt mixed nicely with the cherry flavor, tasty and not overpowering. It was also fairly well carbonated with a good-sized head, I guess they could have turned up the gas (?) As with all fruity beers it's probably too sweet to lend itself to repetitive drinking but it's worth a couple pints for sure. (871 characters)

Photo of djbreezy
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pint glass at Henry's in Portland.

On a second pint at Horse Brass this beer taste like utter cough syrup and was disgusting. I'm guessing the other reviewers had the same experience. At Henry's, the beer did not suffer the fake cherry flavor. This review is from the Henry's trial.

appearance - black, moderate head that dissipates quick, some lacing

smell - cherries, malt, chocolate

taste - sweet and fresh cherries, chocolate malt

mouthfeel - medium body, creamy, smooth

drinkability - smooth drinking for 7.2 abv, flavorful cherries, very rich and delicious in its simplicity (586 characters)

Photo of beercollector
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a dark black that lets no light through. A deep brown lacy head stays for a bit and then drops.

The cherry smell is followed by deep chocolate malt. This has a fairly heavy aroma once it warms up form the tap.


It has a big taste. Chocolate covered cherries. It hit sweet and hard. Then just stays and stays. This gives way to a light bitterness.

This is an after dinner beer to be sipped like a fine port. I let this warm up and finish a session. Room temp is great.

Take a growler of this home with you. (529 characters)

Photo of msubulldog25
4.07/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this beer on tap at Rose & Raindrop in Portland, OR on a perfectly rainy, miserable Sunday in October. Imperial pint glass pour.

A: Jet black stout with a spongy/creamy 1-1/2 finger high tan head. Clumpy but consistent lacing.

S: MMM...cherries! Rich ripe cherries, very juicy. The smell wafted from the glass when it arrived. Whenever it subsided, I'd agitate the glass some more and let that sweet smell rise again. Wonderful, I didn't find it to be 'artificial' or 'medician' smelling at all. Yum.

T: Hmmm...not quite as good as I'd hoped for. Cherry flavor is pretty subdued. A robust, moderately bitter stout, with flavors of dark roasted malt, citrus hops and coffe beans is what I get. Mild cherry/fruit in the finish with a light sourness and some alcohol warmth.

M: Chewy and full mouthfeel. Fairly heavily carbonated, so the flavors that linger seem to cling and tingle a little.

D: Likable, bordering on lovable. I enjoy the bold beers that Walking Man brews - this is a nice example of a well-crafted, interesting stout from what is one of the NW's top breweries IMO. Not my favorite from their line-up, but definitely not one to be missed either. Absolutely worthy of a try. (1,208 characters)

Photo of RedDiamond
4.07/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I chose a pint of this fruited stout for dessert after a healthy serving of Walking Man's famous pizza. That proved to be a good choice, and I was rewarded with a strong dark ale bursting with black cherry flavor. The aroma was particularly striking in this regard. Walking Man's menu claims this beer "tastes like Black Forest cake." They make a good point here, for the black cherries are all over this beer. They are co-stars, not walk-ons, and the flourish of chocolate flavor from the stout base delivers a well-composed complement. The stout elements are ultimately subservient to the fruit, but serve as a sound counterpoint.

I was prepared to dislike this beer, for the concept at first struck me as a bit of a stretch. I just wasn't convinced that a cherry stout was going to work. But it did. It worked quite well, though I've also had this beer at pubs in Portland when its freshness was not assured and it didn't resonate nearly as favorably on those occasions. I was tempted for a moment to compare the taste to flavored cough syrup, but that would just be my mind running away with me, making comparisons because it can. The truth of it is, this beer, when fresh, is a hearty flavorful ale that works well for dessert or anytime you might care for dark, fruity ale. (1,282 characters)

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Black Cherry Stout from Walking Man Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 34 ratings.