Cherry Barrel Blossom
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Cherry Barrel BlossomCherry Barrel Blossom
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Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
California, United States
Porter - Smoked
Ranked #5
Ranked #5,530
4.14 | pDev: 8.21%
May 03, 2022
Feb 03, 2020
Cherry Barrel BlossomCherry Barrel Blossom
Notes: Imperial Smoked Porter with sea salt, aged in bourbon barrels and cherry bitters barrels.
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3.06 by ChicagoNick from Illinois on May 03, 2022
4.08 by dexterk1 from Illinois on Mar 22, 2022
Photo of tone77
3.34/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25
by tone77 from Pennsylvania

On draft at the Venice brewpub. Has a cola color with amber highlights and a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of cherries, some smoke. Taste is of cherry cough syrup, some smoke, plenty of booziness, a touch of tobacco. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a mediocre beer.

Feb 10, 2022
3.52 by TMoney2591 from Illinois on Jan 17, 2022
Photo of Beginner2
4.19/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
by Beginner2 from Illinois

Is this the nectar of the Gods?
I feel safer asking that question and answering affirmatively if monks are involved in the brewing process. But what if the monks only have inspired the brewers and, instead, they live a relatively libertine lifestyle in groovy California? In FW's case, I will go out on a limb overhanging a rushing river and say that Cherry Barrel Blossom is a nectar fit for the Gods.

Fortunately, that makes it easy to review for a micro-mortal like me. So, I keep it short: Blossom exceeds my ability to parse out its qualities. Blossom is one of the best integrated ales I've had in recent memory. (And I intend to save some for tomorrow night... just to make sure that superlative statement is correct.)

Since this is my 18th from FW, I make just a small note as part of my on-going micro-reviews on them. First... of those 18, only three are in the Belgian tradition. Now as we know, FW is owned by Duvel; an owner of three other Belgian crafters and also owner of Ommegang (probably my #2 Belgian-inspired brewer.) So, why did Duvel buy FW? Because FW is a great brewer who transcends styles.. or, so that is my theory and they prove it here.

Jan 06, 2022
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.39/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
by StonedTrippin from Colorado

downright epic beer right here, these guys are killing it with the barrel stuff. this is super unique, perhaps a lightly smoked imperial porter as a base, partially aged in bourbon barrels, partially in cherry bitters barrels, and then spiked with a bit of sea salt, its an expert blend, an awesome idea, and one of the more distinctive strong ales ive had all year. light smoke in the nose, dry cocoa powder, licorice, pipe tobacco, and high end cocktail cherries, some bitterness from the roast, a raisin and fig fruitiness, and then the bourbon, which is vanilla forward and woody, without making this overly boozy to me. the flavor is even better, cherry up front and at the end, black cherry maybe, luxardo, intense, and with the bitters character its insanely interesting. i get botanical bitters, like amaro, anise and coffee bite, smoothed out by the oak and whiskey, some light cherry sweetness here too. the salt dries this out, makes the bitters aspect pop on the swallow, and there is a real nice malt depth to this, chocolate forward and smooth in texture. it opens a ton as it sits too, more and more cherry, a black tea sort of herbal layer, and more of the bitters too. chocolate, smoke, and oak on the finish. exquisite beer overall, a proper kickoff to the holiday season, about as complex and cozy as it gets, and this has me interested in an orange bitters barrel edition in the future. wow is all i can say, this beer is epic!

Nov 30, 2021
4.18 by drstalker from Illinois on Oct 16, 2021
4.25 by brittanylicious from Indiana on Oct 09, 2021
Photo of heysuz
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by heysuz from Indiana

Brew: Firestone Walker Brewing Co. - Cherry Barrel Blossom

Intro: 12 oz. poured into a tulip glass. Shared with a friend.

Appearance: Dark brown, nearly black, opaque, Moderate head maybe 1.5 inches. Moderate lacing as I drank

Smell: Smoke up front, followed by cherry and then the barrel

Taste: Followed the smell.

Mouthfeel: Medium mouthfeel, medium carbonation.

Drink: Went down smooth.

Conclusion: It was a well crafted beer as one would expect from this brewer. I’m not overly keen on smoke beers but this was not overly done.

Oct 09, 2021
Photo of gooddaydiablo
4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
by gooddaydiablo from Texas

look: 90% black, off white head

smell: vermouth, a little cherry

taste: smoky, very, vanilla, coffee, soy sauce

feel: very smooth and balanced

overall: I'm not very impressed with this one, for 10$ a bottle I'd expect something very unusual and extrodinary

Oct 05, 2021
Photo of tobelerone
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
by tobelerone from New Jersey

What a terrific change of pace here, the bitters hit my palate first, blending seamlessly into some deep Porter/stout notes (light char, bittersweet chocolate, hint of coffee), salt emerges, smoke in the finish is very well-integrated and for me, not at all overwhelming any other characteristics. This puts me in mind of an old fashioned or a Manhattan, even more so. I like to make a tequila-based manhattan that uses Aztec chocolate bitters that have cinnamon and mild chilies and this really reminds of that cocktail quite a bit. Fun beer that’s a pleasure to drink. Medium to slightly full bodied, smooth and creamy feel with moderate carbonation.

Sep 07, 2021
Photo of bluejacket74
4.24/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by bluejacket74 from Ohio

12 ounce bottle, 2020 vintage. Served in a snifter the beer pours a very dark brown color with about an inch tan head that stuck around a while. Good amount of lacing. Aroma is nice, the brew smells like smoked malt, salt, oak, vanilla, bourbon, cherry and earthiness. Taste is similar to the aroma, but there's also some bittersweet chocolate, coffee and licorice flavors noticeable too. I think the smoky and salty flavors stand out here but they don't overpower the others. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's slick and smooth with a moderate amount of carbonation. If you like smoked beers then give this one a try, I liked it! $10.98 a bottle.

Jul 09, 2021
4.29 by ummswimmin from New Jersey on Jul 06, 2021
Photo of Zythophile
4.24/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by Zythophile from District of Columbia

Bottle Date: 2020
Palate Contaminants: other beer

The color is brown, which I've seen the figurative million times before, but there are tinges of red around the edge. Some off-white head and a bit of lacing.

The smell has molasses and hickory smoke. That blends into something I could best describe as the sweetness from smoked fish (but not the fishiness ). There's also barely sweet candied cherries at the end.

Those candied cherries are there in abundance in the taste, along with some brown sugar. It's almost coffee and chocolate, but just it's "chicory" probably lines it up well. The smoky sugar reminds me of something I had called "salmon candy," and that's what I got in the nose, too. Dark wood present, as well. Mild-moderate bitterness. Sweetness is more than initial impression. It's interesting stuff.

Medium-fine carbonation and medium weight. The sugary tastes seem to gain gravity in the aftertaste. Alcohol present, but not overbearing for an elevener.

May 30, 2021
4.37 by Dactrius from Wisconsin on Apr 25, 2021
3.88 by mattmarka1 from Minnesota on Apr 04, 2021
3.69 by cjgator3 from Florida on Mar 14, 2021
4.25 by admonster00 from Illinois on Mar 05, 2021
Photo of REVZEB
4.64/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
by REVZEB from Illinois

Brownish black body with some fading, tan head that dies down slowly. Nose is more typical of the style in barrel: smoke, char, bourbon, rustic wood, dark bitter chocolate, earth, leather but does have a cherry wood hints. Taste has more of what the description is going for: cherry skins, charred wood, and earth with salt meet bourbon, bitter chocolate, leather, licorice, plenty of artful smoke, roasted malt and a touch of roasted nuttiness. The most complex smoked porter I have had, easily. Feel balances the smokiness and roast with the barrel well, chewy yet lighter as all porters should be, a touch more woodiness would have been perfect, nitpicking. Fantastic, unique, has a vision that comes to fruition, better than the sum of its parts

Jan 29, 2021
4.16 by smi69 from New York on Jan 22, 2021
4.49 by chrismattlin from Ohio on Jan 16, 2021
4.35 by Bruno74200 from France on Jan 10, 2021
4.04 by Buck_Jones from Michigan on Dec 30, 2020
Photo of Oh_Dark_Star
4.26/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25
by Oh_Dark_Star from Washington

L: A dark filtered mahogany with a short beige head with average retention and minimal lacing.

S: Some old oak notes that FW is known for, peaty and smokey, heavy cherry, sea brine, and roasted malts/grains.

T: Follows the nose. A touch oxidized. Rightly dry and heavily smoked wood. Cherry bitters right out of a liquor cabinet.

F: Medium to thin body, lower but fine carbonation. Nicely dry on the finish.

O: A bit different from FW's typical offers, and I rather liked it. Between a beer and a coctail, which seems to be the direct with some later bottled releases. I'm game.

Dec 26, 2020
4.18 by shelby415 from Oregon on Dec 22, 2020
4.29 by jchanley from Illinois on Dec 12, 2020
3.95 by Jcreek from Illinois on Dec 12, 2020
4.25 by MJSFS from Florida on Dec 11, 2020
Photo of stortore
4.21/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by stortore from Illinois

12 ounce bottle into a snifter. Had 12/7/20.

Pours a dark brown- a little more reddish in the light, mostly opaque with a quarter inch foamy head and faint cling. Aromas of smoke, char, oak, cherry bitters, chocolate, malt, light bourbon. The flavors are similar- smoke, oak, sea salt, cherry bitters- less than the aroma, bourbon, malt, some chocolate. A good but slightly thin medium to full body, well carbonated.

This checks all the boxes on what is promised- smoke, bourbon, cherry bitters, sea salt. And it all pulls together well, even with the lighter feel. Different and well executed. Very enjoyable.

Dec 10, 2020
3.85 by 0x4a64 from Minnesota on Nov 27, 2020
Photo of Fordcoyote15
2.78/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
by Fordcoyote15 from Pennsylvania

Disgustingly cloying sweet. Taste like drinking the syrup from a maraschino cherry jar mixed with some cheap liquor. No smoke detectable.

Nov 27, 2020
4.21 by OregonGrown7 from Oregon on Nov 26, 2020
Photo of vi11am
4.39/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by vi11am from Pennsylvania

Nice dark cola color, lots of cherry and bourbon smell. Light carbonation, easy and smooth finish. Taste of cherry and bourbon, and amazingly a smoky finish. Yep, this is new for me and really unique, not char, smoke. Overall lovely flavor, and delicious stout. My first from this brewer.

Nov 17, 2020
Photo of Anders91
4.74/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
by Anders91 from California

Look: black with medium mocha head

Smell: salt, cherry, barrel, chocolate

Taste: all of the aromas plus a hint of smoke, the salt gives a nice balance to the cherry and chocolate

Feel: super smooth, very tiny bubbles, just rolls over your tongue

Nov 13, 2020
4.27 by Burghman from Rhode Island on Oct 04, 2020
Photo of metter98
4.24/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by metter98 from New York

A: The beer is very dark brown in color (black when viewed from afar). It poured with a quarter finger high beige head that gradually died down, leaving a narrow collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of cherries are present in the nose along with notes of bourbon.
T: The taste follows the smell and has flavors of cherry bitters along with notes of bourbon from the barrel aging. As the beer warms up, there are finally some hints of smoked malts in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied and smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. The bourbon barrel aging lends a bit of warmth to the mouthfeel.
O: The cherry bitters and bourbon obscure nearly all of the underlying porter, except that you can tell its not a stout because the body is a little lighter.

Serving type: bottle

Oct 01, 2020
3.52 by beerrat from Virginia on Sep 20, 2020
Photo of oberon
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by oberon from North Carolina

Pours a deep cola color with a thinner but pretty well sustained lighter beige head atop.A nice mix of tart cherry,nuts,and bitter chocolate in the nose,almost like a cherry infused nutty brownie...,Not much smoke detected.Almost.The smoke comes thru in the palate upfront,the salt plays a role followed by the subdued cherry tartness,the salt plays a big role.Everything that's in the beer plays a role,very well made.

Sep 13, 2020
Photo of Zorro
4.32/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
by Zorro from California

Black colored ale with a medium sized brown colored head. It is clear; a very strong light can just barely pass light through it.

Smells strongly of cherries and whiskey. Smells sweet. Strong scents of vanilla and caramel. Alcohol level burns the nose a little. Gets the scent of cherry Brandy and a little grape. Little bit of smoke and medicine scents.

Starts out sweet and tart. Frankly I am reminded of Cherry Cough syrup at first. Taste of cherry and a solid bitter bite. Slight ash taste. Strong alcohol warming in the throat and chest. Sweetness is not excessive. Bitterness is about right to balance the sweetness. After drinking about 1/2 the glass the flavor switches to Cherry Pie.

Mouthfeel is thick as expected.

Overall dangerously tasty. Maybe not the most complex Firestone beer but it is a crowd pleaser. Like when Time Warp is played at a dance. You know the song but the crowd goes nuts for it anyway.

Sep 06, 2020
4.13 by loganburgh from Michigan on Sep 05, 2020
Cherry Barrel Blossom from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 83 ratings