Cherry Cordial (Blackwater Series)
Southern Tier Brewing Company

Cherry Cordial (Blackwater Series)Cherry Cordial (Blackwater Series)
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Stout - American Imperial
Ranked #990
Ranked #3,636
4.19 | pDev: 8.11%
Southern Tier Brewing Company
New York, United States
Cherry Cordial (Blackwater Series)Cherry Cordial (Blackwater Series)
Notes: Big, juicy cherries covered in rich chocolate? Yes! Not overly sweet, with just enough contrast between the fruit and chocolate, Cherry Cordial is every bit as tempting as it sounds.
Reviews: 27 | Ratings: 97 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of chinchill
chinchill from South Carolina

4.14/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle with a 7 June 2018 bottling date stamp on the label. It was served in A Belgian snifter where the clear, reddish-brown body was essentially opaque and the short, tan head soon receded to a durable ring.

This Imperial Stout lives up to its name and description. It smells like a fine cherry cordial candy. The flavor is much less sweet and has less chocolate than the candy but it is about spot on for a "Cherry Cordial" dessert beer. While not having candy like sweetness, this is still very sweet. Chocolate and sweet cherry notes dominate the aroma, with a sense of some artificial cherry aromatics.
Smooth, near creamy, full body. Partially hidden ABV.

Mar 25, 2020
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woodychandler from Pennsylvania

4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I am always really impressed & happy when I see something new from Southern Tier. I first assisted their nascent brewery during one of the first (if not THE first) Harrisburg Street Festival. Back then, Phin & Matt's was their flagship & they were really unprepared for the day's madness. I, on the other hand, lived to embrace the madness & we bonded over the course of the day. When they began releasing their big Blackwater Series beers, I knew that I had backed a winning horse. The late Tony Knipling of Vecenie's Distributing in Millvale (PGH), PA, used to lament that I was more prescient than he as he allowed them to sign with another distributor. 8=( I miss Tony something fierce & I raise this review as a toast to his (fond) memory.

From the Bottle: "A dessert beer with notes of chocolate & cherry"; "A decadent stout with notes of chocolate and cherry."; "Color [-] Black[;] Body [-] Creamy, heavy[;] Bitterness [-] Moderate"; "Our dessert beers are a fusion of exotic flavors, making each of them a perfect pairing when you are craving an exceptional stout full of personality."

Ooh, I am kind of excited to meet up with a beer that is full of personality! I decided to meet it with a Pop! of the cap, followed by a quick, C-Line pour. I was very interested as it rose up to kiss the tip of my nose with just under a finger of dense, foamy, rocky, deep-brown head with excellent retention, leaving great lacing in its wake. Color was utterly, absolutely, Black/Opaque (SRM = 44), allowing ZERO light penetration. Nose simply made me smile & laugh. I remember the first time that I ate a cherry cordial - I was a wee lad & my wealthy aunt & uncle brought a box to Christmas at my maternal grandparents' house & I was curious. Nose was big on a sweet cherry quality that still evokes Maraschino cherries or their ilk. Far too sweet for my taste, but that is not the purpose of this review. Did it measure up to style? Sort of. The new Beer Style guide allows for a sweetness, but one borne of malt, not adjuncts. I will try to be judicious in my scoring. Finish was sweet, but not cloyingly sweet. I also got hints of its fusel alcohol heat, but that was acceptable, Whew! This was no playin' around. Good, but a real one-and -done.

Mar 08, 2019
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beersampler6 from Michigan

3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Fairly nice dark imperial stout with some solid cherry flavors. Just a little too sweet at times (though not cloying). Pours a deep, dark rich brown color with a little tan head and very scant spotty lingering lacing. Smells of dark chocolate, overripe cherries, vanilla, malt and a little caramel. Tastes similarly, and although the cherry sweetness isn’t overpowering, it’s definitely in the foreground and there’s the vaguest sense that this is like a chocolate-Cherry Coke. Smooth, mild, surprisingly thin mouthfeel with decent carbonation. I tried this beer with both savory dinner and a chocolate cake dessert, and I have to say, it worked fairly well with both. Not a bad effort, I’ve just had better cherry ales and better fruity imperial stouts.

Feb 12, 2019
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LifesAnesthesia from Virginia

4.36/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

L - Deep, opaque black with a thick tan head that dissipates somewhat quickly leaving behind minimal lacing.
S - Chocolate and cherries right on the nose - almost cherry cola-ish with roasted and toasted malts with vanilla.
T - Tastes exactly as promised and follows the nose - dark chocolate up front followed closely behind by sweet, rich cherries, intermixed well with roasted, toasted oats and malt along with vanilla.
F - medium to full bodied - maybe leaning towards fuller bodied with a light amount of carbonation - smooth, creamy, decadent. Personally, for a such a stout, I'd prefer a fuller, heavier body.
O - Like all the Blackwater Series stouts, this is a rich, decadent dessert beer and like all of the stouts from the series, this one delivers on the name's promise - cherry cordial - it tastes just like one, but what hurts this one in my opinion, is that because it's a stout with low carbonation, this beer ends up tasting like a flat- cherry Dr. Pepper with alcohol - it's great, but just somewhat off.

Dec 27, 2018
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EMV from Pennsylvania

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Dogfish Head tulip

L: Dark pour... nearly black with thin tannish head.

S: Smells like a chocolate covered maraschino cherry. Sweet, roasty, and delicious.

T/F: Follows the nose... sweet roasted sugars. Strong cherry... lots of chocolate with subtler vanilla. Not much in the way of bittering, but then again... this is a dessert bear. Sticky on the tongue... only medium bodied so lighter than expected. Better as it warms.

O: A really great dessert beer if you like chocolate covered maraschino cherries. A bit too sweet for regular consumption... a great one to share, and fortunately not too much of a 'cough syrup' beer.... more like a cherry cordial. One I'd have again.

Dec 08, 2018
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tobelerone from New Jersey

4.04/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a pretty tasty dessert beer and this bottle defied my expectations a little bit. Enjoyed 11/16/18, bottled 6/11/18.

Pour is jet black, looks the part, but minimal head develops in spite of an aggressive pour, and there's a certain fizzy, soda like appearance, Just a little ring of lace that quickly collapses. Aroma is quite mild but upon close examination an uncanny cherry cordial aroma emerges. I would love to have this come up and smack me in the face but at least for my nose, I need to hunt around for it a bit. Nonetheless kind of nails that cheap, artificial kind of cordial candy aroma pretty closely.

The flavor follows suit but removes any subtlety whatsover; it's a full on, sugar bomb with cheap milk chocolate and maraschino cherry flavors, thankfully only vaguely medicinal. Almost no bitterness or roasted qualities, instead one gets the sense of an alcoholic cherry coke (with chocolate).

Maybe this is just the current crazy state of affairs in beer but my impression is that this is medium bodied and not really as thick and sticky as expected -- not when it's the age of fudgy sludgy stouts. Yes it's sweet, but it's not nearly as heavy as anticipated, and carbonation is still only a tick under medium so there's a little life on the tongue.

My feelings are all over the map on this - did i enjoy it as a sinful indulgence while recognizing it's not even hitting close to the heights of indulgence one might find in today's stout scene? Yes. But in the end isn't a just a 10% ABV fizzy, slightly flat cherry coke?

Nov 17, 2018
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rgk3 from Arizona

4.31/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is a chocolate-covered cherry in a glass!

Pours black with half-inch tan head that dissipates fairly quickly.
It smells amazing--rich chocolate and cherries and it tastes the same with the addition of slight dark-chocolate bitterness. Alcohol is there, but it is hidden pretty well. This is an excellent dessert beer if you like cherry cordials or chocolate cherry cake.

Nov 03, 2018
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Tone from Missouri

3.48/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a black color. 1/4 inch head of a tan color. Slight retention and poor lacing. Smells of strong alcohol, cherry, sweet malt, slight chocolate, and a hint of vanilla. Fits the style of an American Imperial Stout. Mouth feel is silky smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of strong alcohol, strong medicinal cherry, sweet malt, slight chocolate, and a hint of vanilla. Overall, weak appearance, good feel, the cherry is reminiscent of cough syrup, but otherwise good.

Oct 28, 2018
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REVZEB from Illinois

3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Taste is very much focused on the maraschino cherry. Almost like a maraschino cherry shortcake covered in chocolate. Let warm up! Too cold and it tastes like cough syrup according to the wife. Very sweet, cloying and lacks depth. But if looking for a sweet cherry thrill that packs on abv secretively, this one is for you!

Oct 20, 2018
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johnnnniee from New Hampshire

4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle from Bert's
Dark opaque black with a frothy tan head that persists. Rich roasty chocolate with bits of caramel and a solid but not over powering cherry aroma and flavor. Sweet and tasty desert in a glass.

Oct 06, 2018
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BEERMILER12 from Maine

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

A: Pours a pitch black color with a fingers worth of head that fades down to a thin cap

S: Sweet cherry, roasted malt, and milk chocolate

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with the sweet cherry and milk chocolate and then picks up some light roast. Definitely on the sweet side. Finishes with roasted malt and sweet cherry

M: Full bodied with moderate carbonation

O: A very good dessert stout with big notes of cherry and milk chocolate. The name describes it all

Oct 05, 2018
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jjamadorphd from Florida

4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Full disclosure - I love cherries, the whole kind, the not-maraschino-kind, and this reminds me of delicious cherries...

I will say this, the drink is sweet, but then again it does tout itself as a dessert beer on the bottle. So, for you purists, keep that in mind and consider yourself warned. Given this, the look is unique as it is darkly beautiful as with most stouts, but there's this distinct reddish tinge along the end of the liquid along the top surface of the beer - appealing to my eyes, at least. The smell is deliciously sweet, full of cherry flavor and it does remind you of a cordial though there's a hint of strong malt from the stout. Mouthfeel was smooth, lightly carbonated, and with a medium build. The taste was not as sweet as it smelled, but it was full of cherries, a chocolate background, and very malty in my opinion. An outstanding beer, dessert beer to be exact, probably the best example of one I've had to date.

Sep 30, 2018
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NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

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

Southern Tier Brewing Company "Cherry Cordial"
$4.99 / 12 fl. oz. bottle @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ
$8 / pint on tap @ Gingerbread Man, Carlisle, PA on 8 September 2018

My original review of this beer somehow slipped away, lost into the ether, but that at least gave me the chance to try it on tap as well as from the bottle, and I certainly didn't mind buying it twice. Of all of the Southern Tier dessert beers I feel that this one comes closest to what it's intended to replicate. It's loaded with rich chocolate flavor, and the cherry comes through clearly as well. It's not overly sweet, and the cherry and chocolate balance perfectly. More importantly, it doesn't seem artificial in any way. I was incredibly impressed. Additionally, as I'd noted in my original, now lost review, it can go beyond being just a dessert beer, and the pint that I had one night at the Gingerbread Man is proof of that. This one is definitely worth seeking out

Sep 29, 2018
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Roguer from Connecticut

3.71/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Good head production, ok retention.

Maraschino cherries on the nose. Some chocolate and coffee. One note but inviting.

A touch light on the palate for a 10% brew. Surprisingly roasty. Cherries more restrained on the palate, chocolate bitter, with some coffee.

Sep 23, 2018
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hoptheology from South Dakota

4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle traded from Beerchaeology. Poured into North Coast snifter.

Deep black pour with a 1/2 finger of head, receding to a beige fingernail in a minute or so.

Aromas of freshly picked cherries, cherry coke, and slight roasty notes and dark chocolate behind that.

Tastes like a Cherry Tootsie-Pop. Slight earthy hops to start, then it goes to frozen/broken dark chocolate, frozen chocolate covered strawberries, and a finish of Cherry Tootsie Pop. The beer MUST be left on the palate for about 10 seconds to savor all of these flavors, otherwise it will come off more earthy than sweet.

Feel is thinner than it should be, but still within Imperial Stout status. Slight buzzing, cutting carbonation, with a dry finish.

Overall, I think with a thicker mouthfeel, this beer would be way better. It would lead me to leave it on the palate longer (as it is best enjoyed). Try to get past the carbonation burn as you let it settle in. A very good beer, one of the better Blackwater Series beers.

Sep 22, 2018
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Cylinsier from Pennsylvania

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


Pours opaque black, tan film for a head dissipates slowly.

Smells of chocolate syrup, maraschino cherry, and sugar cookie.

Tastes of rich cherry cordial over sugar cookie, bourbon, and chocolate syrup.

Full body, light tingly carbonation. Warms going down.

Incredibly rich and sweet, drinks very slowly, but very decadent. Absolutely worth trying at least once if desert stouts are your thing.

Sep 07, 2018
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Shade1951 from Pennsylvania

4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Not all of Southern Tier's "experiments" work. This is one that does. The good thing is that they brew something for almost everyone who enjoys imperial stouts. What's sweetly cloying to one person is perfect for another person.

This one IS kind of sweet - and sits on the cusp of being cloyingly so. But overall, it's quite tasty. I don't know if one could call the flavor "complex." To me, I immediately get the taste of chocolate covered cherries on the palate, which is likely what they were going for. And they succeeded. Chocolate covered cherries also hit the nose with a wallop.

At 10%, it's a sipper for sure. Definitely a dessert beer, on its own or with actual dessert.

I don't know if "beer snobs" appreciate this sort of thing. Even so, some of them might find this one to be a guilty pleasure.

Sep 02, 2018
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Oktoberfest from Ohio

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

12 oz bottle. Really good beer with big chocolate and cherry notes. The cherry is just a tad sour, which is not my thing, so I've dinged it a percentage point or two just on a personal level. But this is a worthy member of the Blackwater Series and I bet it's the bomb on draft. Seriously, this beer is an accomplishment.

Aug 18, 2018
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5/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Cherry Cordial Imperial Stout 10.0% ABV. IBU's? Not listed. 1 variety of hops, 4 malts, what kind? Not listed.
Mainly, the reason why I gave this 5's across the board is because it delivers just what Southern Tier set out to do. It is very heavy on the cherry and chocolate, but it is not too sweet. At 10 % ABV. the alcohol has a nice warming presence and is well balanced with all the other flavors.
Look: pitch black, tan head.
Smell: cherries, cherry ice cream(maybe because of the lactose sugar), chocolate, cherry liqueur.
Taste: Falls right in line with the smell, cherries, chocolate, cherry ice cream, cherry liqueur. It is not too sweet and tastes like a nice imperial stout.
Feel: thick, smooth, creamy
One of the great things about Southern Tier is that they list the DOB, or date of birth, clear as day on the bottle. It even has the time on there. You will always know the age of your beer, in a six pack, four pack, case, etc. Something that is cool that I wish every brewery did.

Jul 30, 2018
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superspak from North Carolina

4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 6/8/2018. Pours opaque dark brown/black color with a 1 finger fairly dense khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Nice spotty lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big juicy red/black cherries, fruit skin/pits, milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, caramel, vanilla, cream, brown sugar, toffee, fudge, marshmallow, almond, and toasted dark bread; with light notes of coffee, licorice, molasses, dark fruit, smoke, herbal, and roast/toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of cherries, chocolate, and dark/roast/bready malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big juicy red/black cherries, fruit skin/pits, milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, caramel, vanilla, cream, brown sugar, toffee, fudge, marshmallow, almond, and toasted dark bread; with light notes of coffee, licorice, molasses, dark fruit, smoke, herbal, and roast/toasted earthiness. Light herbal/roast bitterness and fruit tang/tartness on the finish. Lingering notes of red/black cherries, fruit skin/pits, milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, caramel, vanilla, cream, brown sugar, toffee, fudge, marshmallow, almond, toasted dark bread, light coffee/molasses/dark fruit, herbal, and roast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Awesome complexity, robustness, and balance of cherries, chocolate, and dark/roast/bready malt flavors; with a nice roasted bitter/sweet and fruit tang/tartness balance; with no cloying flavors after the finish. Lightly increasing dryness from lingering roast bitterness and fruit tang/tartness. Light-medium carbonation and fairly full body; with a very smooth, creamy, bready, silky, velvety mouthfeel that is great. Light slickness, stickiness, chalky roast, and fruit tang/acidity. Minimal warmth of 10% after the finish. Overall this is an awesome fruited dessert imperial stout! All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of cherries, chocolate, and dark/roast/bready malt flavors; very smooth and dangerously easy to sip on for the big ABV, with the mildly bitter/tart/tangy finish. Awesome balance of authentic cherries, chocolate, and dessert stout malt complexity. Nothing overwhelming, and not overly sweet. Tastes exactly like chocolate dipped cherries. A really enjoyable offering, and well made style example as expected.

Jul 21, 2018
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BB1313 from Ohio

3.84/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 6/7/18. 12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours almost black with a creamy khaki head that falls leaving great retention and okay lacing. The aromas are malt forward along with some cherry, vanilla and almond. The flavors basically follow the nose, but are bolder. More cherry and vanilla leading the way. Some cocoa and chocolate. More almonds along with some hazelnuts in the mix. There's a sweetness to it, but it's definitely not cloying or over the top. Nice malt backbone. Alcohol basically goes unnoticed. Mouthfeel is full-bodied with moderate carbonation. It's creamy, velvety, smooth and dangerously drinkable.

This is a nice cherry stout. It has a nice dessert vibe going on, just like what you would expect from Southern Tier. But once again, it's not overly sweet. It's enjoyable and fun to drink. I like it.

Jul 18, 2018
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tp1962 from Illinois

4.9/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Great beer from Southern Tier. 5 rating on everything but taste. I’m not a cherry fan but that’s me. It delivers on everything from smell , feel, and look and even taste. Well done and looking forward to try the chokolat sometime soon !

Jul 09, 2018
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ThrewRedButter from Massachusetts

3.35/5  rDev -20%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L - Black, tan head, no lacing

S - Cherry is artificial. No chocolate notes.

T - Tastes like Nyquil. Has moments of milk chocolate.

F - As thick as it should be. Cough syrup lingers.

O - Robitussin plus ST Choklat. Tasted too artificial for me. Good body and no alcohol taste.

Jul 08, 2018
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DrDemento456 from Pennsylvania

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

Great beer the base smells like Choklat but more tootsie roll base and the cherries smell candy like but in the glass more bitter skin and slightly sour. Tons of chocolate and creme but balanced enough not to hate it like Crème Brûlée Imperial Milk Stout. Overall a great beer and an even better anniversary 2,900th beer!

Jul 07, 2018
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tigg924 from Massachusetts

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

Pours opaque, dark brown in color with 1/2 inch head. Taste is big sweet milk chocolate with a dose of dark cherries. Sweet, heavy bodied, medium-low carbonation. You can tell Choklat is the base beer. Sweet, delicious, solid. Really good beer. Did not blow me away like Samoa This did, but does as it says it will

Jun 30, 2018
Cherry Cordial (Blackwater Series) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 97 ratings