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Black Angel Cherry Sour | Wicked Weed Brewing

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Black Angel Cherry SourBlack Angel Cherry Sour

Brewed by:
Wicked Weed Brewing
North Carolina, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.60%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Cherry pie! Cherry pie! Cherry pie! This light and fruity ale is black in color, though your palate would never know it. Black Angel is fermented on the Wicked Wild yeast and then moved into stripped down Four Roses bourbon barrels and aged on tart cherries, sweet cherries, and Italian plums. The white oak and roast malt add notes of vanilla and graham cracker that, when blended with the tart sweetness of the fruit, bring out a robust cherry pie flavor.

Added by wedge on 04-22-2013

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Reviews: 87 | Ratings: 918
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.76/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to Wowcoolman for sharing this one at AndrewK's tasting.

Pours an opaque super dark brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is sour with dark roasted malt, cocoa, cherry, funk, and acidic aromas. Taste is much the same with slightly sour cocoa, fruit, and acidic flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of acidity on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with an interesting combination of cocoa and fruit all around.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.06/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this is a really pungent and tasty beer, but in my opinion, it doesnt need the bourbon barrels. its a rich dark brown, smallish tan head fast receding, and no light at all coming in. it smells fantastic, super tart cherry on the front end, rich milk chocolate in the middle, and a harsh vinegar type lacto sourness in the finish. its all drenched in bourbon. i love the flavor of the cherries, really sharp and sweet at the same time, robust and pie-like, tangy and dosed well. the beer is super sour, the most sour in a night full of puckery brews really, and intense on the chocolate. it would be desserty if i wasnt so sour. for me, the bourbon is too full on here, it takes away from the delicious cherry flavor, and the sugar that it adds doesnt help with the acidity at all. its too strong of a flavor for the beer, makes it seem concentrated or something, too much. neutral oak would have been preferable for my palate, the whiskey contribution is not necessary. its tasty though, and more than anything i love the sour cultures these guys use, so many layers, funky and puckery, really delightful. id like to see this beer not in a bourbon barrel. maybe red wine would work well? either way, thanks to my buddy jeremy for bringing it around.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.81/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

As the sourness overtakes the toast, cocoa and coffee- the palate goes into "grow up" mode quite quickly. As alcohols mount, that seeping feeling sets in- that this isn't your typical sour ale.

As its tawny porteresque color swirls about the glass, its sandy head quickly gives way to the ominous acidity that lies within. Nearing the glass, the strange scent of cherry and chocolate begin to insinuate "chocolate covered cherry" candies. However that first tongue piercing sip dissects any would-be chocolate, sweetness or creaminess with acute sourness that'll surely make your face stick that way.

With more of a merlot influence than that of ale, its tart and tangy middle enlivens the sourness that seems to come from condensed dried lime, lemon, crabapple, red grape and plum skin. Its dry undertow of charred toast, coffee ground and cocoa powder offers a counter to the sourness but evades any cream or sweet retreats.

Lightly of peppercorn, the sour ale nose dives into a dry, cider, vinous and tannin-rich taste and texture that's obviously sucking the wood spice, vanillin and toffee-like caramel impressions from those oaken soaked bourbon barrels. Boozy with that Kentucky elixir, the beer leaves final impressions of bourbon-dipped cherry covered chocolates, but replacing that sticky sweetess with vinous sourness.

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Photo of brentk56
4.24/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours with three fingers of a rocky tan head; the color is of black cherry soda mixed with coffee; plenty of splashy lacing lingers

Smell: Black cherry aromatics, with graham cracker and a hint of Bourbon underneath

Taste: Black cherry tones, with tremendous depth of the fruit, up front, bringing both the fruit, and aspects of sweet and tart tones; in the middle, the graham cracker and vanilla make an appearance but the impact of the Bourbon barrel becomes apparent in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation; slightly puckery

Overall: The black cherry in this beer is particularly well-executed and the Bourbon adds a subtle element

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a dark reddish color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of ground cherry with some tart notes is pretty enticing. Taste is also a mix of ground cherry notes with some tart and sour notes and light oak notes are also perceptible. Body is about average for style with good carbonation. Great beer with good balance between all the flavours.

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Photo of emerge077
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%

Big thanks to Wil for this one, and to Joe for it's safe passage. Amen.

Pours a clear mahogany into the glass, forming a finger of creamy dark tan foam that settles slowly, leaving behind a silky collar around the edges, and a broken skim on the surface. 4

Aroma is complex and very interesting, a blend of bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, and tart cherries. Intricate and pretty intoxicating. 4.5

Taste is similarly complex, dancing notes of chocolate, roast, cherry, vanilla, oak, with an initial woody sweetness, and a flash of cherry tartness in the middle, segueing into a dry aftertaste with some woody, tannic cherry skin flavors lingering. Body is smooth, full bodied and well rounded. This is really something to slow down and take your time with. 4.25/4.25

"Cherry sour" is such a base term, this beer is far more than that, it's well blended and has complexity and nuance in spades. Overall, high marks for this one. 4.5

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Photo of jlindros
3.73/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Very little head, little legs, dark almost black.

Nose funky sour lacto souring, dark porter malts, sour malts, tart cherry like fruity sour.

Taste big sour cherry, tart lacto funk, sticky flemmy, darker malts, sour malt funk, slightly metallic, lacto creamy.

Mouth is med to lighter bod, decent lighter carb, little flemmy sticky. 35

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Photo of chinchill
3.77/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at the brewpub.
Poured a fine dark red-brown color; clear with a good tan head.

Aroma: sour cherries; baked raisins

Taste: very tart; clean and not particularly funky. More similar to a sour cherry stout than expected.

Feel: Medium body; very good carbonation level.

O: Certainly very good but not my favorite style.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A dark brown body tinged with magenta with a small, beige head.

Smell: Blistered sour and tart cherries with a firm touch of quality vinegar overlaying minor chocolate notes and a mellow roastiness.

Taste: A sustained dark maltiness with a chocolaty quality cut abruptly by a rippling acetic jolt and shot of cherry-balsamic flavor. A lone drop of vanilla, a spritz of rose water. A little leather, a little toasted tobacco. Finishes off fairly smooth and a bit vinous, even.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Overall: A tangy taste of Asheville, bottled for your very own pleasure.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.77/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I missed out on this by about a week when I visited the brewery last year, but thanks to a generous trader, I was able to score a bottle. I ended up sharing it at a recent tasting.

Dark brown pour with some maroon around the edges, like a cherry cola. Topped off with a small, off-white, fizzy head that held at a thin ringlet, leaving a few dots of lacing on the glass. In the nose, dark chocolate malts, red wine and cherries, prunes, some oaky hints in there. In the taste, dark chocolate, dark fruit with a slight acetic tartness, more like you'd get from a Flemish red than anything else, I thought, sort of a blend of cherries and prunes and/or figs, with a little pulpy sweetness in there as well. Some oak from the barrel came out, but I didn't really pick up on any bourbon/vanilla notes. This seemed like a good idea that just could have been executed better. But that said, this was still a good brew. Medium body, good drinkability. I'd like to try this again and see if it improves, assuming they're going to keep brewing it.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served on-tap at Wicked Weed Brewing in Asheville, NC

A: Pours a clear yet almost opaque black in color with minimal amounts of visible carbonation and some dark cola brown + crimson red highlights. The beer has a very thin beige head that completely disappears quickly. No lacing is observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of tart cherries with some lighter aromas of vanilla and oak.

T: The flavors of this beer are primarily those of tart to borderline sour cherries. There are lighter flavors of oak and vanilla that almost brings out some vinous notes.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Light to moderate amounts of acidic prickliness.

O: If you enjoy cherries and tart/sour beers, then you should definitely grab this one when you go to Wicked Weed. I really enjoyed the strong tartness and puckering mouthfeel. Yum.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.11/5  rDev -0.2%

From 11/22/14 notes. 375ml bottle poured into a tulip. Thanks to BeerLawyer85 for sharing this one.

Pours a super dark brown color with a light reddish tint, one to two inches of light tan head, and low carbonation evident. Sour dark fruits, tart cherries, lots of vinegar. Taste is lighter in all than the nose. Thin, light body and low carbbonation, body is a little watery.

Overall I liked this...it reminded me of like a alcoholic black cherry cola. Vinegary and tart cherries in the taste, good and worth checking out for sure.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.24/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle shared by RussianDragon. Thanks Dave.

Dark brown body with a thin beige cap. Aromas of dark fruit, lactic funk, cherries, oak, plums, leather. Currants and raisins with brettanomyces and lacto. Tart, fruity finish. Dried fruit leather with cherry notes. Mild sweetness. Complex and tasty.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.5/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black with some edge transparency. Small off-white head. Medium collar. Wispy surface.

Smell - Roasted malt. Some vinegar. Oak. Orange citrus, which is weird. A hint of vanilla.

Taste - More cherry. Acetic sourness. Caramel and vanilla. Roasted malt. Bitter coffee malt. Minimal bourbon.

Mouthfeel - Moderate sourness. Balanced roast and sourness and doesn't get too acetic.

Overall - Pretty tasty. Doesn't blend the flavors all that well, but that's my biggest complaint.

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Photo of stakem
3.5/5  rDev -15%

Bottle poured into a snifter. Its dark brown to black in color with a mocha head that holds well. The aroma has hints of chocolate before giving in to a fruity essence of cherry and bacterial funk. Some mineral character is present in the flavor along with tart cherries and a backing of the previously mentioned chocolate malt. Its medium bodied with a modest amount of carbonation. Overall it was decent with a fair balance of malt verse tartness. However, it was not as glorious as some have made this out to be. Despite the description sounding wonderful, I really dont think its worth the price.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.06/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass. Bottled Feb 5th 2016.

Deep dark mahogany brown, almost with a purple like edge to it in the hues. While dark there is some clarity through the body as some fine carbonation can be seen. Head creation is fleeting, but quite dark tan espresso brown, almost stout looking. Dissolves slowly but leaves a fine collar and a ring in the puck that keeps getting rebuilt.

Aroma is a bit surprisng. Quite subdued, but with nice subtle tones. Mild acid and soft berried fruit quality. Hints towards Flanders but not quite getting there, with some small hints of milk chocolate mixing in. Slightly spicy as well on the nose, with hints of brown cloves mixing in. Quite nice.

A bit unexpected on first sip. Quite heavily carbonated and fizzy, cutting through a simple but nice malt body. Light tart qualities but mixing in with some sweet chocolate and cherry fruit. A bit of a gaseous finish, but also some slight woody tones that come in. Splintered wood, a little bit of barrel vanilla notes slightly as well.

It's an interesting brew but also has a bit of odd melding of flavors and could use a little more depth. But otherwise a very solid brew from the Wicked Weed gang.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.94/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a snifter, the beer is a dark, opaque, brown coloring with a thin halo of white head. Aromas of spicy and charred wood, tart cherries, earthy notes, and a candy sweetness. Flavors are tart and crisp forward, with a solid grape and cherry blend of fruit sweetness, and a charred and slightly bitter backbone. Earthy and woody notes help round out the palate nicely. Smooth, light bodied, with a crispness throughout. Fruity notes linger, with a sharp spice and bitterness in the aftertaste. Crisp, tart, slightly puckering finish. Good beer!

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Photo of tempest
4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Big, sweet bourbon nose, like rich vanilla oak, but the flavor expands with tart cherry and light fig with subtle brett spice as the beer dries out in the finish. It's has the deep character of a thick stout, but drinks much lighter. Impressively complex for the strength (7.2 on the label).

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Photo of Gavage
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: pours a brown color with some reddish tint to it. 1/4" head falls quickly to some spotty surface covering.

Smell: loads of cherries and some woodiness with a bit of sourness too.

Taste: tart cherries and plums are up front with some milder wood and vanilla tones. Just enough sour / tartness to make it interesting.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Crisp throughout with some dryness arriving late.

Overall: a great flavored beer that is a slow sipper but satisfying.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.01/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark black color with a dark tan head. Lace sticks to the glass, and the pour is free of sediment. The aroma is very sour, lactic acid being prominent and some roasted malt rounding it out. Flavor mimics the nose closely, with vinegar like acetic sourness pairing with roasted malt. Cherry flavor is very light, and I wouldn't have known it was fruit if it was not from the label. I could have believed the fruit flavor may have just been a brett/lactic thing. Nice flavor though, alcohol is well disguised. Full bodied, dry, but sticks to the palate. Strong notes of sourness that paired with the roast, and a little pine from the hops keeping things interesting (if they weren't interesting enough). A very well made beer that may prove to be a challenge to some.

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Photo of Davepoolesque
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a teku, dark reddish brown, no light can get through with a wispy off white head. Smells like a sour, that phenolic alcohol smell underlined with cherries and plum. Huge pop of taste up front, sour cherries and then it just fades away. Don't get much or any of the bourbon flavor. Maybe it did it's work to mellow out the flavors. Doesn't linger at all. Maybe a bit of oak that dries out your mouth. This really wants you to keep drinking it.

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Draft at Sams in Durham.

Pours a dark brownish red with a slight head. The smell definitely is cherry pie like...but also definitely sour as well. Lots of cherries in the aroma for sure. The taste holds true and has a great cherry flavor but isnt quite as sour as the nose would lead you to believe. Not lip puckering. Medium bodied with light carbonation.

Overall its just a solid brown cherry sour beer. Recommended.

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Photo of barczar
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big caramel and vanilla aroma from the bourbon. Almost sticky sweet. Lightly smoky.

Flavor is more tart than the aroma, with subtle bourbon notes. Fairly complex.

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Photo of Immortale25
3.23/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a Haw River Farmhouse Ales teku glass. Label says Bottled in 2014.

A- Pours a mostly opaque black color with a 1/2 inch dark tan head that retains decently before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and random patterns of sheer surface foam. Not-so-resilient lacing slides quickly down the glass.

S- Very sour aroma with some dark fruit struggling to make it's way through all the lactic acid presence and strong oak smell.

T- Flavor is astringent with so much sourness and barrel character it drowns out whatever cherry flavor is there. As the palate acclimates, things become more manageable and the tart cherry comes through but is almost all tartness with nearly no sweetness to complement. Metallic aftertaste.

M- Has that tongue-numbing sourness to it that can be good in the right context but, unfortunately, this isn't it for my taste. Medium carbonation and a fullish body.

O- For people who love sour bombs, this is great for them. Unfortunately, I look for a bit more character and sweetness in my sours and this one lacks both in my opinion.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.04/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle opened on 5.3.14

A - Pours a very dark brown with an active tan head that fades away slowly.

S - Tart cherry, bourbon.

T - Tart cherry, bourbon, oak barrel. All balance each other.

D - Heavy to medium body with good carbonation.

O - Well balanced. Mild sour and bourbon, but all very apparent.

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Black Angel Cherry Sour from Wicked Weed Brewing
4.12 out of 5 based on 918 ratings.
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