Cherries Of Fire | Karbach Brewing Co.

very good
14 Reviews
no score
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Brewed by:
Karbach Brewing Co.
Texas, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Fun Series #6

Added by champ103 on 08-16-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 14 | Ratings: 131
Photo of mothman
4.24/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

FUN Series 006: BA Hellfighter with Cherries

Very similar to the base beer, but with cherries. Cherries were not tart or sweet, just right to provide a little extra flavor that didn't over power the base beer. Some vanilla and light coconut.

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Photo of Holland
1.8/5  rDev -55.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Not sure if something was wrong with the brew or if that's just how this beer is meant to be. It was incredibly yeasty and reminded me of a homebrew that was not well executed. Couldn't taste any roasted flavors over the yeast and slightly tart cherry. No sweetness as I would expect in a big beer like this. Very disappointing overall.

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Photo of Premo88
4.92/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

22 oz. bomber poured into nonic

L: classic stout look and pour -- black, impossible for light to get through, perhaps reddish black on the edges up to the light; massive brown head of foam super thick and creamy, at least an inch to 1 1/3 inches; not a ton of stick or lace but the brew is keeping a nice skin of brown foam on top with a thick collar

S: chocolate cherries -- a malted note, too, so that you can envision an ice cream/chocolate-cherry/malt/shake/sundae ... the cherries on top are unmistakable; vanilla; muted/sour grapes, like wine, but really this thing is a mix of vanilla ice cream with cherries more and more as it warms; just a hint of oak but only a hint

T: chocolate, cherry, alcohol ... there's some definite spice on the tongue, and i'm too untutored in the palatte to tell if it's: alcohol burn, carbonation burn or hops? it might be all three, for there is surely a nice whiskey note in this thing; as it warms a little, that Maker's Mark is mushing into the cherry note into one hell of a sweet taste

F: perfect. thick but not lumpy, smooth but not overly slick, plenty of carbonation to make it very drinkable. Hellfighter is a fantastic porter, and barrel-aging it does nothing to hurt its construction. Bravo, Karbach!

O: i had a tulip of this at the brewery the week it came out in August, and I held off reviewing it for good reasons; what I remember from the fresh quaff that day is all right here a few months later out of this bottle.

i could overplay the hand here and give this beer all 5s because its that good. Karbach has effectively turned an already-damn good porter into a perfect example of why brewers experiment -- the barrel aging here works perfectly, and the cherries are not a gimmick; they truly are adding to the presentation. if the head on this beer stuck and laced, it'd be 5s across the board. as it is, it's 5s in my heart. what a brew!!!

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Photo of jngrizzaffi
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Drank the beer and only rated it. My tastes have changed since then, but cannot review it because it is retired. Did have more of a cherry bourbon taste.

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Photo of mentor
4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a finger of medium-brown head over a pitch liquid. Very small edgings of dark brown when held to light. Smells strongly of barrel (waxy and raw), alcohol, some chocolate-covered cherries, mild spicy zip.

Tastes chocolate, dry pitty cherry, clean alcohol sting, vanilla, waxy oak is not as raw as the nose foretold. Md thick and modest carbonation. Lingering peppery alcohol sting burns the roof of the mouth. May be the best use of cherries in a beer, though that's not saying much. Use of cherries in beer is difficult. Overall, a very nice beer.

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Photo of inlimbo77
3.94/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz, 2013
Riedel tulip

A: Pours a deep dark brown/black. Full finger of medium tan head. Tight bubbles. Alcohol feet. Some lacing.

S: Dark chocolate. Mild roast. There cherry is fairly muted, but comes up as it warms.

T: Deep dark chocolate initially. Getting some vanilla, but not as pronounced as I was expecting. Same goes with cherry character. Lingering chocolate and medium.

M: Medium full bodied beer.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.97/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served on-draught yesterday at the Texas Craft Brewers Festival here in Austin, Texas. Reviewed from notes. Expectations were high given its current position on the Southwest Top 50 list (#36). Cost was $3.00 USD per 4 oz; I got enough to adequately review the beer, but my review below is truncated because the festival environment didn't allow one to go into much detail and/or quietly reflect.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a three finger wide head of beige-khaki colour. Nice creaminess and thickness. Good even lacing. Retention is good for the high ABV, about 5-6 minutes.

Body colour is a very dark brown-black. Not quite a jet black. No yeast particles are visible. Opaque.

A pretty standard appearance for the style. It's appealing, but not unique or special. There are no obvious flaws.

Sm: Cream, bourbon, vanilla, vague cherry fruit, dark malts, chocolate malt. Some actual milk chocolate in there too. No yeast character or hop character is detectable. Seemingly balanced, with some nuance I guess. A hint of alcohol is noticeable.

A pleasant aroma of mild strength. I hoped to pick up more of the barrel notes from the aroma.

T/Mf: Obvious cherry fruit with accompanying caramel sweetness hits right on the open - an excellent introduction. Dark malts, chocolate malts, and milk chocolate notes follow, filling out the body nicely. I get a hint of bourbon with some derivative vanilla.

Good depth of flavour. Average duration and intensity of flavour for the style. I quite like it.

Complex enough, with some subtlety - particularly in terms of the cherry. The cherry fruit works very well here with the other notes, though it doesn't quite evoke the chocolate covered cherry that would really make this beer glorious. Well balanced; cohesive, but not gestalt. Tasty stuff all around. No yeast, alcohol, or hop character comes through.

Has a great creamy texture. Smooth and wet. Unrefreshing but approachable. Good body and thickness. Good presence on the palate. Carbonation is adequate. The texture complements the taste nicely; well executed.

Dr: Very drinkable and enjoyable. I'd definitely get it again; in fact I intend to in order to go into proper detail in my review. A solid porter I consider myself lucky to have tried. I'd happily get three pins of this one after the other; it seems that quaffable. Hides its ABV very well. A well executed, quality beer across the board. I'd recommend it to friends and trade partners.

Not only was this my favourite beer of the festival, it's one of the best Texan beers I've had so far.

Low A-

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Photo of goochpunch
4.01/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours out a dark almost black with ruby highlights. Head is tan with a touch of pink. Booze is way too strong in the nose, but I like what's underneath it. Definitely get bourbon barrel and cherries with the porter backbone. I'd like a little less vanilla in the smell, but I guess that's barrel aging for you. What a pleasant surprise this beer is. I was expecting a sweet mess of flavors. I wasn't too big on 003, so that's where that is coming from. The cherries and bourbon character work so well together, and I get more of the base beer than what I did with 003. Nice chocolate notes throughout. Surprisingly not that boozy tasting, considering the nose. The mouthfeel could be smoother in terms of carbonation, and thicker for what the flavors bring. Almost thin considering what this beer brings to the plate, talking about taste. Overall, this is a tasty beer. I'm glad I got another one to squirrel away until Christmas. Let's see if it develops more.

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Photo of Wayne17
4.6/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Absolutely love this beer. My favorite of the FUN series so far. Smells of cherries and bourbon. Not overly sweet and not cough syrupy at all (I've read some reviews that made the claim). Just a good touch of sweetness on the back end. Also not overly boozy like some BBA beers can be. Karbach really hit the mark here.

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Photo of TexasBeerGuy
4.32/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours dark chocolate with a thin dark caramel head. Not much lacing.

S - Dark chocolate, cherries and bourbon. The alcohol is fairly strong. There's a touch of vanilla, but the cherries really dominant the nose.

T - Cherries, semi-sweet chocolate, alcohol and some vanilla. This is really good, but the finish is just a little harsh for me right now, although it gets better as it warms.

M - Medium carbonation. Just a little thinner than what I expected, but still very good.

O - I really enjoyed this beer, and I think cellaring will really help round out some of the flavors. I'm excited to see how this ages because I think it has the potential to be incredible. Still the balance is really solid and it's a really solid beer.

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Photo of Ford
4.45/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The Cherried version of Karbach's wonderful Bourbon Barrel Hellfighter Imperial Porter.

I was really looking forward to this one.. as everyone else in Houston was.. and it didn't disappoint.

The bourbon isn't quite as pronounced and I think that is due to the cherries. The cherries don't overpower this at all, but you certainly know they are there, especially in the finish.

I prefer the regular BBH by just a bit.. though this is a GREAT variation on that beer. Karbach. I love you guys.

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Photo of snargles
4.26/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

on tap, pours dark, but reddish and semi transparent in the light, nice color.
smell is not overwhelming, but the cherries are noticeable
the head also has a reddish tint and the taste of the head is very cherry.
the bourbon comes through, but not intense or even as pronounced as with the other BBA Hellfighters (001 & 003).if you compare to those, it's similar, but not nearly as bold or thick. Although it may just be from the cherries cutting through. Whereas 001 & 003 were heavy porters that were more like stouts, this porter feels much lighter, like maybe a strong brown ale and is highly drinkable. Just the perfect amount of cherries, not overdone like 99% of other fruit beers. I could pretty much guzzle this porter anytime, they better make more of this stuff. outstanding!

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Photo of VernonBaxter
4.42/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours not exactly stout black but definitely not light bodied. Dark dark dark dark red/brown color, smell is of light barrel - bourbon, vanilla, slight wood...and then the tartness comes in. This is definitely different for the few people I've talked to but for me the dank cherry tartness is very apparent in the nose.

Long story short, tastes like the goo in a chocolate covered cherry with a slight warming alcohol scent. Not too thick mouthfeel, dark chocolate, light alcohol heat gives way to perfect dark cherry tartness. not too much not too little. I enjoyed this beer down to the last drop

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Photo of champ103
4.6/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours an impenetrable, opaque black color. A massive and rocky tan head rises to over two fingers with cascading bubbles. Light lace, but really impressive.
S: Oh ya, that perfect medley of oak, roasted malt, light coffee. Chocolate covered cherries linger in the finish. Everything is so perfectly balanced, and I love it.
T: Again a perfectly balanced, and great medley of everything. The barrel flavor is up front with oak/wood, light coffee, vanilla, and chocolate. Then the wonderful chocolate covered cherries. Just a very light tartness lingers and builds a bit as this warms, which pulls everything together.
M/D: A full body and moderate carbonation. So smooth, creamy, airy, and decadent. Just a great sipper. The alcohol is really well masked, and it is so enjoyable to drink.

An excellent variation of the BBA Hellfighter. Like that release, one of the best of its kind in this state. Really well done, and highly recommended. Again, well done Karbach.

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Cherries Of Fire from Karbach Brewing Co.
4.08 out of 5 based on 131 ratings.
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