Cherry Barrel Blossom
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Cherry Barrel BlossomCherry Barrel Blossom
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Style:
Porter - Smoked
Ranked #6
ABV:
11.2%
Score:
91
Ranked #4,336
Avg:
4.19 | pDev: 7.64%
Reviews:
32
Ratings:
69
From:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
 
California, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  3
Gots
  6
SCORE
91
Outstanding
Cherry Barrel BlossomCherry Barrel Blossom
Notes: Imperial Smoked Porter with sea salt, aged in bourbon barrels and cherry bitters barrels.
View: Beers
Reviews: 32 | Ratings: 69 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of REVZEB
REVZEB from Illinois

4.64/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

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
Photo of Oh_Dark_Star
Oh_Dark_Star from Washington

4.26/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

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
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stortore from Illinois

4.21/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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
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vi11am from Pennsylvania

4.39/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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
Anders91 from California

4.74/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

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
Photo of metter98
metter98 from New York

4.24/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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
Photo of oberon
oberon from North Carolina

4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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
Zorro from California

4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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
Photo of GuyFawkes
GuyFawkes from Illinois

3.63/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 2/27/20; drank 9/2/20 @ the Yarchives.

Black/brown appearance, with red accents as it pours.

A violent pour yielded a nice tan head; nice, frothy lace.

Peat-y smoke, oak, sweet cherry & faint chocolate notes in the nose.

Medium mouthfeel.

Sweet cherry syrup & peat-y smoke flavors up front; dry oak & faint chocolate sweetness on the finish. Bourbon heat emerged as this warmed.

Sweet & smoky, but this clashed more than it melded to this palate, and it was a bit thin to carry the intense flavors. Interesting and worth a try, but not one I'll return to.

Sep 03, 2020
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Thankin_Hank from Texas

4.53/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 12 ounce bottle. Poured into a nonic glass. No head or carbonation at all. A dark, almost Coca-Cola color. Aroma is heavy on the cherry alcohol and cinnamon like Red Hots candies. The taste is wood, cherry and smokey alcohol. Very nice and smooth. I like the mouthfeel for it's smooth alcoholic flavor on the tongue. Overall a wonderful craft beer with a different flavor profile. I would buy this again.

Sep 01, 2020
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GreesyFizeek from New York

3.57/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

This one pours a fairly dark black, with a small head, and a little bit of lacing.

This smells like heavy smoke, with some off flavors/phenols, with lots of roast, some chocolate, bitters, and burnt malt.

I wanted to like this more, as it's one of the more unique beers I've ever seen. The barrel character is definitely interesting, with some definite boozy and dried cherry character. The smoke level is just too intense here, and it seems to be even more amplified from the barrel and the booziness.

This is medium bodied, with a bit of an astringency on the finish. It's just a bit too boozy for my tastes.

I wanted to like this one more, just the booziness and the smokiness are too much.

Aug 27, 2020
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Bouleboubier from New Jersey

4.41/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

(12 oz bottle; 2020 vintage, 11.2% abv; purchased boxed single... poured into fat tulip)

L: dark garnet-brown-colored liquid with excellent clarity; off-white foam, falling away quick...

S: cigarette-smoke-stained corduroy couch upholstery; cherry jerky surges forward after initial whiffs... old wood, oxidized old black ale; little ethanol...

T: undeniable rauchbier smoke up front; thin, taut malt-crude swelling midway; moderately-smoky, heavily burnt-caramel aftertaste, with a dark, dry chocolate wafer note pooling up in the wake... pervasive wood smoke, dark bitter chocolate-cherry-ed chips; krauterlikor-like... superbly dry carriage

F: touch of sparky heat up front but a sedate burn carrying it out; subtly-glassy slickness to its body, with the alcohol quietly singeing off the edges to its finish... nectar bordering on dry port/liqueur

O: oh man, definitely one of the better PVs they've put out in recent years, one which thankfully (finally??) deviates from their all-too-familiar (but of course spectacular) BBA flavor profile... damn dramage is right up my alley; getting another asap (1674)

Aug 24, 2020
Photo of laketang
laketang from Arizona

4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Murky rust red with a head looking like an oil spill on a swamp.
Cherries, wood, char, and a delish mix of scents.
Got the sea salt, then the fortified cherry sensation. Barrel aspect is in the tartness.
I would buy again.

Aug 17, 2020
Photo of Smakawhat
Smakawhat from Maryland

4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a teku glass. Vintage 2020.

Real nice looking brew here. Deep dark walnut brown, not quite black but certainly dark enough, with a real vanilla yellow and tan mixing colored head. Real unique head color sitting with creamy popping retention and fine bubbles. Great looking brew.

Delicious aroma. Muted oak notes, but a soft cherry to almost plum sense of fruit. Hits thick jam and some dark chocolate and gooey milky flavors as well. Light touches of roast coffee and soft cinnamon also. Quite a neat mix.

Palate provides a classic rich porter amped up experience. Chewy hits of almost taffy red hot candy and chocolate. Spicy hits of cinnamon and rich dark chocolate in the mid palate. Finishes with oaky touches of nearly winter warmer berry flavors but with more roast and warmth. Spicy, rich, but with a real light pleasing body that hits porter character of a nice papery light and chocolate wafer like crispness.

Real neat creation from Firestone.. Delicious.

Aug 15, 2020
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BJB13 from Maryland

4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce bottle poured into a nonic style pint glass.
2020 vintage

Pours clear and dark brown looking almost black in the glass but shows some ruby highlights aroung the edges. It is topped with two fingers of mocha brown foam and shows legs on the side of the glass. The nose is robust. Chocolate, cherry, bourbon barrel and light alcohol telegraph a similar flavor profile. Rich, malty and sweet to start it finishes roasty and bitter with smoke coming after. The prominent flavors are sour cherries, roasted malt and oak and bourbon. It is a little bit boozy and the smooth, mildly creamy, medium weight body finishes warm. The finish drags on a bit making this a slow, savory sipper. Very nice.

Jul 30, 2020
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HoppingMadMonk from New Jersey

4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Light carbonation with a just above average body. Has a slight thick oily feel which adds to an overall really nice feel
Aroma is dark chocolate covered cherries and not the cheap type you buy at the drug store. The really expensive nice ones that you give to a girl you're trying to impress
There's also some cherry soda,malt,roasted malt and milk chocolate in the aroma
Taste is dry cherry liqueur, dark bakers chocolate, definitely not as sweet as the aroma suggests. Some cherry soda,malt and espresso

Jul 28, 2020
Photo of Vixie
Vixie from Illinois

4.16/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown, almost cola colored. Very slight tan head that doesn't stay around too long.

Not quite sure what all I am smelling, but I like it. Seems a bit smokey with oak and cherries, slight hints of bourbon and coffee.

Chocolate covered cherry up front, along with vanilla and coffee, all backed by a smokey character. Quite complex.

It is a bit smooth, with a bit of alcohol burn on the way down.

Definitely something different here, but in a good way. This would likely classify as a dessert beer, probably would pair well with a dark chocolate cake. One of the more complex beers I've had lately, worth a try.

Jul 26, 2020
Photo of zeff80
zeff80 from Missouri

4.21/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle. Poured out an opaque, jet-black color with a small, khaki-colored head of foam. It left sticky patches of lace on the glass. It smelled of bourbon, oak, vanilla, chocolate and toffee. Big boozy, bourbon taste with a hint of smoke, cherry, vanilla and dark chocolate.

Jul 22, 2020
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jkblr from Indiana

4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle 2020 vintage poured into a Duvel glass after a 30 minute warm up from the fridge. The beer pours very dark brown with mocha brown head. The head recedes to a ring of big bubbles and clings to the glass just above liquid level. The aroma is bourbon, slight smoke & cherry and oak. The taste is semisweet dark malt with the bitters, bourbon & smoke all coming out in the finish. The salt is very subtle and adds as much to the feel as the taste. Minimal bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium plus bodied with less than medium carbonation and a mostly dry finish. Overall, good+
I really wanted more smoke and there's just not a ton of flavor on the front end.

Jul 15, 2020
Photo of larryi86
larryi86 from Delaware

4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip

A- Black with a small mocha head.

S- Dark chocolate, smoky, oak, some cherries, touch of bourbon.

T- Dark chocolate covered cherries, hints of salt, smoky, some bourbon, oak.

M- Smooth, medium body.

O- A really interesting porter, lots going on, really like how the cherry butters barrel works with this.

Jul 07, 2020
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BlunderfulGuy from Nebraska

4.56/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours clear, dark mahogany with reddish highlights, very dark brown in the glass. Not much head that doesn't last long, but there is some lacing.
Smells smoky with chocolate-covered cherries, overall like a mix of classic rauchbier and imperial porter with just a dash of fruit, oak, and vanilla. Slightly nutty, sweet cigar wrapper with wisps from a pipe used the previous day mixed with beechwood smoke or someone starting their grill upwind, which gets sweeter, richer, less smoky, and maybe a tiny bit salty as it warms up.
Nice threads of cocoa, toasted pecan, oak, vanilla, and dark cherry (almost plum) throughout. Almost a slight malted milk ball flavor in the middle, or brownies with nuts. Long finish with lingering bittersweet chocolate, toasted nuts (almond, walnut, pecan), light smoke, and a little more black cherry.
Medium body, medium-light carbonation. Just on the sweeter side in the taste, far from cloying, and finishes on the dryer side with some softer tannins.

The cherry bitters barrel influence is noticeable, very complimentary, not too subtle and not too strong, the same goes for the lighter but noticeable smoke. A unique twist on what seems like a great imperial porter foundation.
Shared and paired with a nice burger and pecan pie.

Jun 23, 2020
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micada from New York

4.12/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Porters are not my thing usually. I want to like them, but they usually disappoint. On the contrary, any FW in a box is usually enjoyable, and it’s true for this. Lots of cherry and light smoke on the nose. Similar on the tongue, with a slight bitters on the back. This might be an interesting one to age. The alcohol is a little hot, the cherries a little tart, the smoke hides...time will tell how this develops. On a second bottle the following day, the smoke is very prominent, reminiscent of Stone’s Old Guardian Barleywine. I find porters mostly one dimensional, but this is rather complex.

Jun 11, 2020
Photo of sjrider
sjrider from California

4.19/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle -dark like molasses with short khaki head dissipating quickly leaving scant lacing and a ring of tiny bubbles . Nose is intriguing with mild smoke and whiffs of cherry sweetness. Taste ups the ante on the smokiness leaving the cherry in the background. Finish is smooth with a woody/smokey aftertaste. Not sure what to compare this to but I like it. Probably wouldn't want to drink more than one in a sitting.

Jun 11, 2020
Photo of Captain69
Captain69 from Illinois

3.44/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

for a specialty beer this one don't stand up to their other releases - pour dark with small head that desipates before you take your first sip. good cherry malt flavor but not much of a beer

Jun 08, 2020
Photo of TBoneJones
TBoneJones from Texas

3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Near black/ deep brownish pour. Rich body appearance. Low head, decent lacing.
Nose is nice smoked roasted malts, with maybe very distant hints of cherries and fruit, but the smoke scent is terrific. Campground stuff. Would be better if only more fruit was present.
Taste has more of that smoke like I figured it would. Lots. The cherries come through now, tart. Char is there. Bitter and even hoppy. An odd combo, but grows on me a bit as it warms.
Feels medium-full bodied, with medium carbonation.
I have to appreciate the smoked aspect the most here. Not my favorite porter, or smoked brew, but flavorful.

May 28, 2020
Cherry Barrel Blossom from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 69 ratings