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Black Cherry Stout - Walking Man Brewing Co.

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Black Cherry Stout
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35 Reviews
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Reviews: 35
Hads: 56
Avg: 3.65
pDev: 23.84%
Wants: 2
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: 35 | Hads: 56
Photo of Rifugium
4/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.57/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on-tap at the Horse Brass Pub in Portland, OR. Hugh, the bartender told me it's "sweet, but we sell a whole lot of it..."

The first signs are good for me, despite the skeptical tones in Hugh's voice: gorgeous deep black body, with a creamy head of mocha-brown. Lace is fine, but consistent and persistent, leaving wonderful lace. It looks so good, I feel as though it might be a nitro pour. Not sure, though.

Nose is: BIG. Black cherry comes through strongly, giving a refreshing medicinal hint with its poignant biting fruit, above the deep dark maltiness that sits like heavily stewed mudcake underneath. Other notes crop up with marzipan, powdered sugar and fruit compote. Wow. This is an incredible smelling beer. I really love it.

Taste is lighter, but still very good. Smooth, roasty entry that never lets up on the sweetness, with an upswell of black cherry and a mild phenolic medicinal bite. Back palate has bitter almonds, smooth, pithy fruit and a caressing dryness that wraps everything up while still allowing it to express itself. Lovely.

Feel is smooth, but allows a tingle from the cherry to come through.

Overall, I'm wowed. This is amazingly good stuff. I'm a fan of the judicious addition of fruit to stouts, and this is a great example of it. It's drinkable and smooth, but really interesting and complex. I just love it to bits.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.35/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured pitch black with a small brown head. Nose is dark cherries and a hint of chocolate. Taste is creamy mouthfeel, chocolate with black and red cherries coming on midway and finishig up on the end. Extremely tasty and oh so drinkable. Perhaos one stout that has made me say WOW in quite some time.NW does it best.

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Photo of beertunes
4.3/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in straight pint glass. Poured a rich, deep black color with (surprisingly) just a thin cap of tan head that had no retention and a bare trace of lacing.

The expected roasty stout aromas were nicely accented by the scent of dark cherry. The flavors followed along as expected, with the cherry complimenting the the base beer nicely.

The body was a thick, but not heavy, treat. A very drinkable beer for being so big. Worth seeking out.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.82/5  rDev +4.7%
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

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Photo of ccrida
3.44/5  rDev -5.8%
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.

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Photo of canucklehead
3.43/5  rDev -6%
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.

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Photo of RedDiamond
4.07/5  rDev +11.5%
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.

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.07/5  rDev +11.5%
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.

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Photo of Overlord
2.15/5  rDev -41.1%
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.

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Photo of mcallister
3.6/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

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Photo of vkv822
3.4/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

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Photo of grittybrews
3.7/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

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Photo of ElGordo
4.25/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Mmm, mmm. Found this on one of the guest taps at the Horse Brass. Pours jet black with a small, coffee-colored head. Poured a little cold, but aroma is still a nice blend of dark cherries and a hint of chocolate. Wonderful creamy mouthfeel holds a nice, deep malty base with a background of cherries, dark chocolate, and a touch of molasses. Probably the best stout I've had in years.

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Photo of jdense
3.67/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of PDXHops
3.94/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

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Photo of BillHilly
3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

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Photo of freed
1.54/5  rDev -57.8%
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.

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Photo of Magpie14
3.52/5  rDev -3.6%
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!

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Photo of djbreezy
4/5  rDev +9.6%
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

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Photo of chumba526
3.43/5  rDev -6%
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.

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Photo of TheBungyo
4.45/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I heard a while back that this beer was born of a bet/joke. It turned out so well that it's been a regular in Walking Man's lineup ever since. And yes, this beer is anything but a joke.

Pours like motor oil and settles with a lovely brown head. Black cherries burst into the nose along with hints of mesquite smoke and espresso.

Black Cherry shows up right off the bat and mingles with chocolate and coffee. Somehow I even taste some banana. Finish is full of coffee bitterness and cherry.

Mouth is medium, which definitely promotes sessionability despite the 7.20 ABV. This is a wonderful fruit beer that I never hesitate to order when I see it on tap.

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Photo of rrock44
4.71/5  rDev +29%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Had a pint fresh from the source in Stevenson, WA. It's dark, looks like a stout, smells and tastes like a chocolate covered cherry, so if you like them, you'll like this beer. I could drink this thing all night - skip the dessert.

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Photo of oregonskibum
2.12/5  rDev -41.9%
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).

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Photo of HiroProtagonist
4.5/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black Cherry Stout was served at the Walking Man Brewpub. The beer was black in color and came with a thin dark tan head. Dark cherry accents peeked through at the edges of the glass. The nose was absolutely beeming with wonderful notes of creamy sasparilla, focused cherry, and fresh vanilla....promising of good things to come. On the palate, flavors of black cherry swirled with tasty notes of chocolate and creamy nutty coffee. The beer seemed to release even more dark estery aromatics while drinking it (picked up though retro-olfaction) than smelling it directly. A chocolate-roasty sharpness developed after the initial hit of flavor, leading into a smooth roasted dry cocoa finish that left lingering mildly bitter cherry essence...with almost porter-like qualities. Beautiful flow of flavor...with balance and moderation. The body was superbly composed for the flavors and character of this beer. A wonderfully crafted stout with flair.

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Black Cherry Stout from Walking Man Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 35 ratings.