Sour Cherry Imperial Stout | Blue Point Brewing Company

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Sour Cherry Imperial StoutSour Cherry Imperial Stout
Sour Cherry Imperial StoutSour Cherry Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Blue Point Brewing Company
New York, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

User Reviews & Ratings
Reviews: 92 | Ratings: 360
Photo of SkunkWorks
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap, fresh at the brewery. Had it in those tasting cups the brewery provides. I had about a pints worth, so I think this is enough to review.

300th review!

Look: black bodied with some creamy, fluffy off white head with excellent retention and good lacing. Held to the light, it appears closer to brown than black with some red highlights.

Smell: roasted grain, caramel and a bit of cherry along with a hint of alcohol.

Taste: hints of chocolate, coffee, alcohol warmth, and a mild cherry finish. Since I'm not a huge fan of cherry, the amount of cherry works nicely. Its very sweet though and I think this could benefit from some more attenuation.

Feel: smooth, warm from the alcohol, full bodied, a little cloying, and mildly carbonated.

Drinkability: fairly easy drinking. I don't think I would get more than a pint of this though.

Overall Impression: decent but nothing about this is exceptional and nothing about it really makes me want to try it again. Its worth a try though and I wouldn't be put off by the cherry taste, since its kind of subdued. Cheers!

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Photo of metter98
3.76/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a thin off white head.
S: There are light aromas of dark malts in the nose along with some hints of cherries.
T: The taste has flavors of dark malts with a slight amount of roasted malts. There are notes of sour cherries in the finish along with some hints of alcohol.
M: It feels medium-bodied, smooth and somewhat thick on the palate with a light to moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The beer is easy to drink considering its strength and the subtle flavors of sour cherries make the taste rather interesting.

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Photo of RiverheadBev
3.71/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

We were fortunate enough to get our hands on a half-barrel of this stout at my job. I was decently impressed and it seems to be a hit with our growler customers.

Appearance: Very, very dark brown (almost, but not quite black) with a light tan head that sticks around for a bit.

Smell: I get a very faint impression from the cherry, but mainly chocolates and a bit of toffee. Not overly aromatic which disappointed me a bit.

Taste: At first sip I was surprised by an almost NyQuil-like cherry flavor that was almost suddenly masked by rich chocolate and roasted barley. It is enjoyable, don't get me wrong, but I would have suggested that the brewers focused more on the cherry flavors... where's the 'sour'? Overall a nice stout- not too sweet, which is a problem that I have with a lot of Russian Imperial Stouts.

Mouthfeel: Thinner than I normally like a Russian Imperial Stout, but by no means watered down. Not syrupy like some beers of the same style, which I like.

Drinkability: Pretty good! I could see myself bringing this to a friend's house to enjoy after dinner. Decent taste (as long as you weren't hoping for a huge cherry sensation). It wouldn't be a regular choice of RIS for me, but I'd definitely give it another go.

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Photo of david18
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had a twelve ounce glass of this at the Amsterdam Ale House in New York City. I really didn't detect any cherry or sourness at all. I think one gets the impression that it's supposed to be a sour beer/stout? But I think the sour refers to the cherry and not the beer. Anyway, pretty much a standard imperial stout and not up there with the best of them in my opinion.

Dark brown/black color with a dark (ok, maybe reddish) head. Aroma is roasty with a little hops. Flavor, again, roasty with some bitterness. Overall, not a bad stout. Just not a favorite.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
1.92/5  rDev -48.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Shared by capra12 at a recent tasting. Poured from a 32oz. growler into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

A: Moderate pour yields a 2.5 finger light, fine, milk chocolate head with good retention. Beer is near opaque but as I hold it up to the light, I get a nice amber quality. Lacing is spotty and string but with nice stick.

S: Burnt rubber, toasted malts, coconut, and very medicinal. Smells like the syrup I used to have to eat as a kid when I got sick so all of a sudden, I'm not exactly dying to put this to my lips.

T: The first thing I get here is a thick, artificially sweetened medicinal candied cherry quality that completely ruins it for me. I thought this was a SOUR cherry imperial stout... so where is the sour? Where is the stout? Slight bit of cocoa but that's about it. Instead, this one's dominated by a rancid cherry flavor as well as a melted plastic taste that lingers much to long into the aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied, slightly carbonated, but the carbonation fades very quickly in the mouth, leaving this one lifeless. Finish is incredibly messy as it assaults the senses and refuses to go away.

D: You couldn't pay me to drink more of this. The medicinal quality is overwhelming here and it makes me cringe every time I put it to my nose and lips. This beer sounds incredibly intriguing but the execution is way off base. Skip it.

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Photo of COBeerBuff
4.43/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

32oz growler received from Beerloco for Black Booty Vol. 3. Thanks!

Appearance: Pours an opaque black with a solid two fingers of mocha colored head. Quite fluffy and fairly resilient which is surprising based on the two week age of the growler. Looks amazingly rich and fairly creamy.

Smell: Sour notes right off the bat, but not overwhelmingly so. Roasted chocolates and barley grains also are prevalent. Some hints of vanilla and toffee also playing in, but the toasted malts are dominant in the nose. The sour cherry mixes well with the chocolate to create a very enticing aroma.

Taste: This was surprisingly not as cherry-like as I was expecting. The muted cherry flavors work well with the chocolates and vanillas to create a very palatable mix. Definitely able to pick up the roasted barley and other malty grains. Similar to biting into a cherry cordial minus the toasted grains flavor.

Mouthfeel: Remarkably smooth. I was expecting a harsher tart twinge when I first sipped, but the creaminess of the appearance matches the smoothness of the mouthfeel. Might be slightly over carbonated, but not by much. This is one of the few cherry stouts that I've had that's felt balanced and smooth.

Drinkability: Initial thoughts point to a very solid drinkability. Slight bit of alcohol on the aftertaste means this one's a sipper, and the ABV backs that up. This is definitely a strong cold weather brew, and I'm psyched I got the chance to try it. Thanks Alan!

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Photo of Gmann
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On cask at Rattle 'N Hum. Pours a deep dark brown color with a minimal tan head, no lacing. The aroma was of a light roasted malt, very light hint of cherry. The taste was of a light roasted malt with a light cherry flavor, not sweet but not very sour either. There were some light chocolate and woody notes as well. Besides the ABV, which was well hidden, nothing screamed RIS to me on this one. Seemed more like a traditional stout with some light sour cherry flavor. That being said, I thought it tasted good, just not imperial. The feel was a bit weak, body fairly light with almost no carbonation, even for a cask ale. Nice stout, did not seem imperial, which is OK in my book, again abv well hidden.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.25/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hand filled bottle(on Jan 13, 2010) from the amazing trader known as NutBrown. Thanks Alan!

An Imperial Stout with sour cherries. That has already grabbed my attention.

A small hiss when I popped the cap, holding my glass to the light, I see it is pitch black. A nice 1" head of tannish foam is what I'm looking at. Lacing? You betchya. Sheets of it every time I tilt my glass.

Sticking my nose nearly in the glass, I'm getting notes of bready malt, chocolate, and toffee, and a very light presence of some sourness from the cherries. I expected more cherries in the nose but no big deal. Maybe the taste will have them play a bigger role.

First sip in and..there they are. They bring a nice light tartness to the flavour which is currently dominated by good notes of chocolate and toffee and coffee(I *thought* I noticed it in the smell but I wasn't sure enough to say so), maybe a light touch of licorice, and now, when I swish the beer in my mouth, I get a good sense of the cherry tartness that I was looking for. Yum. The chocolate sweetness turns a bit to the bitter side the more I sip on this brew. That combined with the tart cherries makes for a very nice tasting brew.

On the high side of medium bodied, the carbonation is fairly lightly done but worls very well.

Drinkability? The combination of bitter and sour that this brings to the table is most impressive. So much so that I completely forgot about the abv, which is substantial. I love it when *that* happens. Certainly a brew worth seeking out.

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Photo of lbkornlb14
3.41/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

this is one of bluepoints unbottled beers and can normally only be found at the brewery, I found it on growler at Big Z beverage. It pour dark brown/black with a small tan head. alot of roasted malt coffee flavor and smell. I didnt really get many cherries on the nose, if any. Taste is good, better then most stouts and at 9% alcohol it sneaks up on you. no alcohol taste which is a plus. I remembered this beer being better, but it was still good. I wish the cherry taste was a little more pronounced but then again too many cherries are worse, a la cherry wheat by sam adams. If you like stouts, and its around, try it.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at River Street Alehouse. Served in a shaker "pint" glass at happy hour for $2. Way too cold, allowed to warm for about half an hour. Appears a deep brown color with about an inch of tan foam. Smells and tastes of rich roasted grains, caramel, molasses, bitter cherry skins, sour cherry juice, bittersweet cocoa, mocha and very minimal cherry cough syrup notes. Alcohol is barely noticeable here. Rich and full bodied with medium carbonation. One glass was plenty for me in a single session.

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Photo of WesWes
4.42/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a pitch black color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great! It has a dry, earthy black malt scent along with a noticeable smokiness to it. I'm not detecting the cherries in the aroma at all. The taste is great as well. It has a smooth, black, chocolate, and peated malt flavor that goes down so easy and finishes slightly warm with a light cherry taste. The cherries are just another addition in the makeup of this beer. This is one malty brew. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a wonderful beer. It's a RIS with sour cherries added. It's well brewed and not overly fruity; Good Work!

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Photo of erosier
4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Pours a deep black color with a short and medium bodied tan colored head that laces the glass nicely on the way down.
S: Smells of deep roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, and a sweet cherry aroma that I was expecting to be more sour from the name.
T: A nice roasty, chocolaty, coffee base and then a sweet and a little bit sour cherry flavor that lingers and gets more sour as the taste fades.
M: Smooth, rich, warming, perfect amount of carbonation.
D: Pretty drinkable, I think I would have liked it better if it was sweet, but I can't knock it because I knew what I was getting into. Really interesting and I really enjoyed it.

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Photo of RedChrome
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pure blackness in the glass. A half an inch of head was tan colored and faded fast. To dark to see any carbonation rising at all.

A strong alcohol presence layered over scents of dark fruits. The cherry was actually quite hidden behind the other aromas. Good, but not what was expected.

Again the alcohol presence dominated. A bit more balanced then in the aroma, but still clearly strongest on the tongue. A sweet cherry backing faded fast.

Only a light carbonation on the surfaces. The brew is a bit watery for a beer in the style.

A decent brew. Stands alone as an after dinner drink. An interesting twist on the style. Was worth trying. I hope they make this a regular in the lineup.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.23/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed on 8/9/08. On tap at the brewery. Pours black with a small tan head. Aroma of sweet roasted malt. Flavor of roasted malt, parmesean cheese, faint sweet medicinal cherries, and nuts. A bit heavy with a roasty finish. Not bad, actually, and much tastier than the regular stout.
6/4/7/3/13 (3.3/5)

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Photo of hopdog
3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap and labeled 'Sour Cherry Stout'.

Poured a dark, dark brown color with a smaller sized off white head. Aromas of roast, chocolate, caramel, smoke, and some dark cherries. Tastes of dark fruits (cherries), roast, and chocolate. Medium alcohol finish. Lacing left on the glass.

Notes from 4/9/07

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Photo of maddogruss
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got a tulip glass of this at Cloverleaf Tavern.

A: Pours a dark, brown body with a thick, tan head with excellent retention and lacing.

S: Smells of roasted, robust barley with some sweet, maraschino cherry and slight alcohol notes.

T: An interesting, roasted, robust taste with a slight, sour cherry note. A sour, chocolate covered cherry aftertaste that actually did well to compliment the beer.

M: A pretty smooth mouthfeel, but did seem a bit on the thin side for the style.

D: Definitely a solid, drinkable beer with a nice mouthfeel and taste combination. Definitely worth a go if you come across it. A bit of a kick from the alcohol that did well to warm you later on. I did give a sip to my girlfriend, and she was a little blown away from the sour cherry taste and the alcohol presence.

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Photo of Zenon
3.26/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown, blackish body with slight tan, cream colored head. Lacing was fairly good with defined lacing rings.

S: Strong alcoholic smell with nuances of coffee and dark chocolate.

T: Overwhelming taste of alcohol with taste of chocolate with vague hints of cherry, far less that I would have expected.

M: Light to medium bodied, average carbonation for stout.

D: Fairly easy beer to drink, though it takes a few sips of the beer to fully appreciate what you are drinking.

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Photo of doho95fu
2.55/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I always hate giving bad reviews to breweries that, only in my opinion, are solid. Others may like this brew, but if I am being honest - and that is the point - this beer is way short of their standard.

Upon first taste I thought I had been given the wrong beer - not even close to what I was expecting.

The appearence was dark with a minimal head. The smell was very smoky - so much so that it was all I got. The smokiness continued in the taste department. Maybe the amount of that flavor overwhelmed the cherry flavor, but I picked up zero, zilch in the way of cherry flavor. Mouthfeel was bland, almost oily. Not drinkable at all. Sorry, but I look forward to more solid offerings from Blue Point.

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Photo of treyrab
4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Surprised to find this on tap at Bocktown in Pittsburgh.

A: Poured a dark oil black with a nice brown head. You can tell this is not a syrupy beer, as it is a little lighter, but it is definitely dark.

S: The smell is of dark roasted coffee, chocolate malts, black malt, and hops

T: I was surprised that there was not much cherry in this brew. With a name like it has, I was expecting more. Don't get me wrong, there is a slight hint...but there is a ton of chocolate and cocoa, which makes up for it. Very strong taste for how light the beer seems.

Overall, this is a great brew...just not as much cherry as I would have thought.

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Photo of aerozeppl
4.28/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Black with some hints of ruby when held up to the light. A tad bit lighter than the cask version I had a little while ago. Nice thick finger of mocha head. Good amount of lacing.

S: The nose was more subdued than the cask version. Roast and chocolate and a hint of cherries when it warmed up a bit.

T: Again followed my cask review which was "Damn this was good. It was a chocolate covered cherry in beer form and I hate those but loved this. The roast character is fairly strong. The cherry it very subtle and you get about a second of it before the bitter roast finish. Complex while being able to pick it apart." Only a little bit less so. Now quite as complex but still really great.

M: Either version the mouthfeel is just about perfect.

D: I think this one is still being made and it should continue to be made. Best beer I have had from Blue Point. Totally underated and a hidden gem.

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Photo of drseamus
4.43/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark black with a nice ruby glow when held to the light. Great thick light mocha head that is perfectly uniform and creamy

S: Chocolate and coffee but not much cherry. Still, a great stout aroma.

T: Very tasty indeed but not really any cherry in the main flavor. The cherry enters more as a feeling reminiscent of the skins. Chocolate is big and bold.

M: Damn smooth and creamy. Perfect body for a impy stout.

D: Damn good beer. Perfect mouthfeel, amazing drinkability all around.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.31/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A. Served on tap into a glass. Dark brown with a light light brown head. Some lace.

S. Weak roasted malts, some alcohal. Fruity estesrs.

T. Like a low grade stout. The cherry flavor is missing, which I saw as a plus actually. It would be more memorable if there was a stronger cherry taste. A slight alcohal presence is noted. Roasted coffee.

M. Full bodied and thick.

D. Pretty good, but there are much better examples of the style. At such a high ABV, its kind of a waste of face.

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Photo of NoahSYGG
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

this is a good beer. a strong alcohol along with a good cherry flavor. This is a dark, syrupy beer with a brown head. The aroma is very coffee like along with cherry. this is definately a sweeter stout. at the brewery the apv was 11%. one of those will kick you in your butt. its a shame they dont make it anymore.

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Photo of Pencible
4.12/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This poured opaque black with light tan head. It smelled like coffee and hops with some cherry and alcohol scent. It had a very strong flavor, like bitter coffee with some dark chocolate. It was thick with no carbonation, and it had a moderately bitter but long lasting aftertaste. Overall this was a very enjoyable beer that was strong but not over the top, but I was hoping for a little more cherry flavoring to make it really stand out.

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Photo of kasper
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pressurized Growler from Bierkfraft sampled same night and early the next morning. This beer is only available on-tap.

A: Pours a nearly opaque dark brown (almost black) with red cherry highlights near the edges of the glass when held up to light. A substantial light cream-colored head forms; really fluffy and foamy, though it leaves only slight traces of lacing on the way down.

S: Smell is sweet and tart. Initially I'm hit with a sweet and somewhat unnatural chocolate aroma akin to Hershey's Syrup followed by a mixture of tart sour cherry juice.

T: Sweet and malty up front. The finish is a dry, bitter sour cherry taste with some other earthy and smokey flavors thrown into the mix.

M: This is a pretty light beer for being a double imperial stout, overall medium bodied with good carbonation and a smooth, slightly velvety feel.

D: Although this packs a reported 9.2% ABV, it's medium body makes it quite drinkable. Every time I've had this brew, I've put back at least two in a sitting and never notice the alcohol.

Overall, my most recent growler fill did not live up to past expectations having tried this on tap several times prior (or did I?). There seems to be some confusion over Blue Point's Cherry Imperial Stout offerings. Sometimes it's listed a "Sour Cherry Imperial Stout" and other times as "Cherry Imperial Stout." Every time I've had the "Sour Cherry," I've come away very pleased. Not so much this time as I found the "Cherry Imperial Stout," to be of weaker body and somewhat unnaturally flavored.

If they are actually two distinct offerings, that would make sense. But if they are indeed the same exact beer, then I'm somewhat baffled. Either way, I've sampled from taps beers listed as both BP Cherry Imperial Stout and BP Sour Cherry Imperial Stout in recent weeks, so if they are two separate beers, then neither is retired.

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Sour Cherry Imperial Stout from Blue Point Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.7 out of 5 with 360 ratings