Black Forest
Alewerks Brewing Company

Black ForestBlack Forest
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Alewerks Brewing Company
Virginia, United States
Stout - American Imperial
Ranked #1,393
Ranked #8,376
4.08 | pDev: 7.35%
Mar 13, 2022
May 13, 2017
Black ForestBlack Forest
Notes: Inspired by the famous dessert, this beer recipe developed from barrels of unusual history. The imperial chocolate stout is aged in oak touched by Bourbon and brandy; Montmorency sour cherries are added to the barrels, and the result is a genuine dessert course in a glass. Hints of bourbon complement a creamy sweetness, as well as distinct notes of cherry, chocolate, and vanilla.
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Photo of Griffin2
4.41/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by Griffin2 from Virginia

Poured from a 500 ml bottle into a snifter glass.
L - Pours a dark brown, almost black, color with a nice tan head that dissipates quickly.
S - Smells of cherries, chocolate and bourbon.
T - Taste matches the smell, lots of chocolate & cherries. Bourbon as well, but not overpowering.
F - Full bodied and lightly carbonated.
O - Nice take on a Black Forest cake. I didn’t find overly sweet, ad I thought it was nicely balanced.

Mar 13, 2022
Photo of sulldaddy
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by sulldaddy from Connecticut

Sampling a cellar temp 500 ml bottle into my snifter. Beer is part of a swap with @cubatobaco, Thank you!
this is a 2020 vintage bottle.
The beer pours a dark black coffee color with a fizzy loud and creamy looking tan head of 2 cm. This foam settles to a dense, clingy edge layer that remains through the sampling. One large wispy island rests in the center of my glass as well.
the aroma is a little roasted malt and dark fruit. I get plums and I think cherries, which makes sense based on aging with cherry. Kind of a general faint tart note in the background, again, probably the cherries. Definitely not like a sour beer, just a hint of tart fruit. No hint of ABV nor any hop character here.
The first sip reveals a medium body with a very smooth texture and fine tingly carbonation. Doesnt make my mouth sticky or coat my palate and actually drinks very easy for a bigger beer.
Flavor is what I expect after the description and the nose advertisement. I get some sweet chocolate mixing with some roasted malt notes and a little coffee. The tart fruit is also in the background here, again, cherries are the source. I get cherry, but also definitely have a bit of a plum taste here too.
There isnt any hop notes and the ABV is hidden with no booze, warming or blackpepper bite.
A good imperial stout that drinks very easy. There cherries are a good touch and dont overwhelm the flavor at all. A nice beer that I would drink again.

Mar 01, 2021
3.95 by hophugger from Virginia on Nov 20, 2020
Photo of EnderFett11
4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
by EnderFett11 from Virginia

Poured hard from a large bottle into a snifter glass, forming a few fingers of frothy brown head that soon faded to some lacing and a heavy ring. Effectively black color. Smell is bourbon and a hint of cherry. Taste is some chocolate and cherry up front with mild bourbon at the end. Very good, not too intense or sweet. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Very tasty dessert/bourbon aged stout.

Jun 28, 2020
Photo of Cubatobaco
4.02/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by Cubatobaco from Virginia

Beautiful pour! Taste of cherries is not overly sweet nor medicinal. Needs a little bit more Barrel. Nice Stout for the price.

May 23, 2020
4.18 by jmbeerdude91 from Arizona on Apr 04, 2020
4.18 by GracelandII from Virginia on Nov 02, 2019
4.09 by midlifec from Michigan on Jul 21, 2019
Photo of metter98
4.04/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by metter98 from New York

On-tap at AleWerks Brewing Company, Williamsburg, VA

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a light tan collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light aromas of dark malts and cherries are present in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of whiskey along with notes of cherries and hints of dark, roasted malts.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer does a very good job at blending the whiskey with the cherries and malts in the taste.

Serving type: on-tap

Jul 04, 2019
4.1 by CraftFan5 from New Jersey on Mar 25, 2019
Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
4.02/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by BeerAndGasMasks from Virginia

From the bottle, it pours a dark brown, almost black, with a nice thick light brown head that slowly diminishes as you watch. In the nose, it is a bit of vanilla, some cherry, alcohol and malt. In the mouth, it is vanilla, cherry, and roasted malt.

Feb 18, 2019
3.5 by mjpolzin from Wisconsin on Dec 29, 2018
4.16 by Dark_Scarecrow from Virginia on Dec 02, 2018
4.26 by AngusOg from North Carolina on Oct 31, 2018
5 by 1971bernat from Virginia on Oct 29, 2018
Photo of Beejay
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by Beejay from Virginia

A: Dark black with a dark tan head.

S: Lusciously dark malt with caramel, molasses, and vanilla. Nice oak smell in there as well, not getting much of the cherries though.

T: Big oak and bourbon flavor with vanilla and caramel, some brown sugar notes, and perhaps just the hint of tartness and fruit in the finish.

M: Medium thick with moderate carbonation, and a slightly syrupy cling

O: Delicious dark malt flavor, bourbon flavor is pleasant, though I could do with more... I could also deal with a little more of the cherry flavor. All in all, a pretty solid brew.

Oct 26, 2018
Photo of JayQue
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by JayQue from Virginia

Good strong stout. Pours a dense brown color with a small dark tan head. Head retention is average for a high .abv beer. Some lacing on the pint glass. Aroma and taste feature malt, cherry flavor, bourbon barrel flavor and some milk chocolate. The malt and the cherry are the strongest elements. The bourbon flavoring adds richness to the brew without overpowering it. It is pretty much in the background. The chocolate is noticeable but mainly adds richness also. Mouthfeel is rich with some tartness from the cherry flavoring and some sweetness from the malt and chocolate. This beer is pretty smooth as well, except for some warming alcohol presence. A fine stout, I would drink this again.

Oct 23, 2018
4 by bigred89 from Maryland on Oct 16, 2018
Photo of gopens44
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
by gopens44 from Virginia

Great looking beige head on this midnight black beer with a nice solid curtain of lacing. Nose is heavy chocolate, maybe a touch burnt, with a little cherry on the edges. Dig a bit further and the alcohol becomes apparent. Taste follows suit with burnt chocolate and alcohol being the initial impression. A little more warmth provides a touch of vanilla. There’s a slight tartness throughout, which turns out to be the cherry influence. Not a big bodied beer as the alcohol really thins it. Finish is dry with tartness and a hint of dark chocolate left on the tongue.

Oct 04, 2018
Photo of IvoryFoxhole
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by IvoryFoxhole from Virginia

12 oz bottle from what looks like July release poured into ale glass and allowed to warm.

L: Dark black as you can get. Small tan head with poor retention, leaves only a thin ring.

S: This is one that I think really has to warm up. The bourbon barrel, chocolate, and cherries seem to be the most prominent.

T: Fortunately it doesn't taste nearly as sweet as black forest cake. Fair amount of bourbon barrel up front, slightly tart cherries, cocoa and chocolate, malty. I think it's a bit too boozy. ABV is not crazy high, but it doesn't seem to have been fully integrated.

F: Medium body, light to moderate carbonation (a bit too much I think). Construction is fine, but I get the feeling this could have been aged a lot longer and come out for the better.

O: It's decent, but you think of what Trillium could have done with these ingredients and the gap is pretty wide.

Sep 22, 2018
Photo of Treyliff
3.77/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by Treyliff from West Virginia

12oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- pours a deep black color with a thin foamy khaki head that quickly reduces to a ring around the edge

S- aromas are subtle, but have undertones of cherry, chocolate, toffee &oaky bourbon barrel

T -dark chocolaty malt up front, followed by light undertones of cherry and caramel, boozy whiskey barrel to close it out

M- medium-light body with medium carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and a slightly warming finish

O- For an imperial stout is seems thinner with the adjuncts subdued at times. Worth a try but wouldn't seek out again

Sep 22, 2018
Photo of argock
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by argock from Virginia

New Beer for 2018.
Black with short liver brown head and no lacing.
Aroma is mostly barrel-aged imperial stout with the usual W’burg sweet bourbon character. The chocolate is not subtle but their is no cherry aroma. There is plenty of burnt caramel, raisin, toffee, and vanilla.
The flavor is solid and right in line with W’burg’s other BA offerings with sweet bourbon notes and solid base beer with medium and darker caramel, prune, and chocolate. The cherry is much more evident in the finish with warming, mostly cherry pie tartness without overt fruitiness.
Feel is smooth with a bit more carbonation than previous offerings from this brewery which improves the drinkability quite a bit.
Very good barrel aged beer, a bit steep in price for the product ($19/4-pack) but glad I tried it.

Sep 21, 2018
4.12 by Boone757 from Virginia on Sep 19, 2018
4.25 by flyersfan900 from Virginia on Sep 07, 2018
Photo of BHapeman
4.09/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
by BHapeman from Virginia

A really tasty imperial stout that poured a pinky finger of khaki head. Taste was chocolate and bourbon. Very smooth and drinkable with a full mouth-feel.

Sep 07, 2018
4.56 by GeorgeAKeim from Oregon on Sep 05, 2018
Photo of avalon07
4.09/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by avalon07 from South Carolina

L: Had this beer on-tap at Capital Ale House - Innsbrook, poured into a snifter glass. Had a jet black color and a thick consistency. There was a 3/4 inch, creamy, tan-colored, fairly long-lasting head. Very good lacing.

S: An enticing aroma of cherries, bourbon, malt, chocolate, and coffee.

T: Tasted of a good shot of bourbon (and the accompanying barrels), a tinge of coffee (not overly prevalent), lots of chocolate, some cherries, and a little malt. This is a pretty forceful flavor. The bourbon seems to take center stage, but the chocolate makes a strong showing, as well. Robust and flavorful.

F: A decent amount of carbonation with a sharp finish. Full-bodied.

O: This is a well made, easy to drink stout. Very much worth a try.

Aug 30, 2018
3.93 by philbe311 from Pennsylvania on Aug 25, 2018
Photo of loon
4.34/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25
by loon from Virginia

Immediate licorice taste. Smooth mouthfeel, molasses smell. Boozy. Not one to drink all day.

Aug 10, 2018
Photo of Pencible
4.26/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
by Pencible from Virginia

A: This poured an opaque black with a little tan head.
S: It smelled like rich dark chocolate and smoky espresso, with some oak and molasses.
T: It tasted like rich dark chocolate and smoky espresso, with some vanilla and oak and a hint of cherry. It had a clean bittersweet aftertaste.
M: It was thick with a little carbonation. Nice slick body.
D: This was a decadent brew with well integrated scent and taste, but not as much cherry as I hoped. The body was solid and the finish was smooth, with well hidden alcohol, so it was easy to drink. No need to age, but it could last a few years. Quality drink but not top tier.

Feb 02, 2018
Photo of rkarimi
3.94/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by rkarimi from Colorado


Jan 01, 2018
3.9 by paresis from Massachusetts on Oct 27, 2017
4 by Kuges from Texas on Sep 13, 2017
4 by Sweffin from Wisconsin on Sep 11, 2017
4 by mrn1ceguy from Illinois on Aug 26, 2017
Photo of VeganUndead
4.06/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
by VeganUndead from Virginia

The aroma and flavor profile are spot on. The complaint is that the mouthfeel is a bit thin and astringent. Enjoyable, but coats the palate and wish the body was a bit heavier

Aug 23, 2017
Photo of HattedClassic
4.17/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by HattedClassic from Virginia

The beer pours a pretty nice and bubbly tannish brown head that dissipates at a moderate pace while the beer itself is a nice and opaque milk chocolate black with a bit of a brownish hue to it.

The smell is pretty good. IT's a very good mix of a roasted milk chocolate and whiskey notes. The whiskey is pretty strong and the cherry is no where to be found unfortunately. The taste is pretty good with a fairly strong whiskey note and a bitter milk chocolate note that is close to being like cocoa. The cherry tart does show up but it's a bit faint and disappears in and out.

The beer has a heavy body but with a thinness to it from the barrel aging. There is a slight syrupness to it but is faint and gets lost quickly. The carbonation gives it a nice bite and the beginning but quickly disappears.

Overall, a pretty good stout that is probably better in the colder months with a fairly complex mixture of notes.

Aug 19, 2017
4.25 by GarthDanielson from Virginia on Aug 07, 2017
3.71 by bigpoppa67 from Wisconsin on Jul 23, 2017
4.12 by corneliustoad from Florida on Jul 10, 2017
Black Forest from Alewerks Brewing Company
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 52 ratings