8/7/17: Wild Ohio Brewing Company's Black Cherry Bourbon

5:01 PM

In my personal drinking life, I am already indulging in the flavors of fall. Michelle picked up a sixer of pumpkin beer for me a week and a half ago and I've been dreaming of cooling temperatures, clouding skies, and falling leaves since.

But I know that we still have well over a month of technical summer left. And I know that most of you probably won't want to read about autumnal brews until next month at the earliest. And that's fine--I completely understand that I'm the odd one out in this scenario.

As such, today let's focus on a beer that, while not a summer seasonal, promises to be very summery: Wild Ohio's Black Cherry Bourbon. It's a tea beer.

It looks as though Wild Ohio's official website is a work in progress, so, please, let me direct you to the brewery's Facebook page. From this, the following information can be gleaned: they make tea beers (which is tea where yeast is introduced to ferment the beverage), where are similar to kombucha only alcoholic. This means that all of their products are gluten free, so people who cannot enjoy many of the beers featured on this blog will be able to drink this.

As far as Black Cherry Bourbon is concerned, it obviously doesn't have a page on the company's website (but it most likely will when the site is up and running!). That's fine, though. All of the information I need can be found on the can. The beer, which clocks in at a whopping 9.2% ABV, is brewed with black cherry juice and aged in oak bourbon barrels that impart vanilla notes to the brew.

The nose of this beer is all black cherry. It smells like a black cherry soda. It's sweet, and there's also a little vanilla there and a slight bit of woodiness. Nothing close to bourbon. The bouquet here also totally belies that alcohol content. Purrl gave my can six whiffs, so she thinks this beer smells pretty good.

That's all true for Black Cherry Bourbon's flavor, as well. It's black cherry sweet on the front. There're a few nods to the vanilla in there. There's some vegetabliness that's probably 100% attributed to the fact that the beer uses tea as a base. I'm only getting any hints of the bourbon barrel aging by taking a large swig in my mouth and holding it for a few moments. But even then, it doesn't pack a wallop. There's no boozy burn here. There's not booziness to this beer at all. It's tasty. It's dangerous.

The beer has a slight effervescence to it--not champagne bubbly, not even as carbonated as a typical ale. Slight is the key word here.

During my senior year at Ohio University, I discovered a shortcut that led from the house I was renting to the majority of the academic buildings on campus, the finding of which occurred during the first week of class as I was walking home late one afternoon. That fateful day, I decided to turn off of the beaten path (commonly known as a sidewalk).

It was hot at the time. It was hot and the ground was dry and hard underfoot. The grass crunched as I walked on it. There were bugs buzzing around everywhere. It was miserable at the time--much more romantic in retrospect--and I just wanted to be home. The shortcut I stumbled across that day cut a whole five minutes off my trek. When you realize that it only took about twelve minutes to get to the school's main campus, you'll see that's a sizable chunk of time.

Anyway, looking back on my discovery of that shortcut now, I see it as taking place on a quintessential summer day. Hot and full of promise. That's the same feeling I get from drinking Wild Ohio's Black Cherry Bourbon. It's a tasty beer. I'm sure it's not readily available where you live (I've only found it in one place) but, with a 9.5/10, it gets my recommendation. Pick it up if you see it. Just be sure you carve out enough time to enjoy it--as sweet and strong as it is, it's a sipping beer.

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