Review: Destihl Cerise Stout Imperiale

In Beer Reviews by Ryan

Destihl says:

“This imperial stout is made with sour cherries and Belgian yeast and aged in oak barrels. Black in color and full-bodied with subtle aroma, flavor and tartness perceived from the addition of sour cherries.”

Destihl Cerise Stout Imperiale
Imperial Stout, ?% ABV

Sayeth the Guys:

Ryan: A few years ago Karl & I hit up a fancy Mexican restaurant in River North.  He was reviewing it for Centerstage and I tagged along because I had nothing better to do on a Friday afternoon.  I don’t remember much about the restaurant, including the name or what I had for lunch, but what I do remember is the drink I had.  For the record, I am not one to mix different styles of beer or beer related beverages and I am not a big mixed drink guy.  But on the menu I saw a Chocolate Covered Cherry, which was a blend of Lindemann’s Kriek and Rogue’s Mocha Porter.  The bartender took a red wine glass and dropped two shots of the Kriek in and then topped it with the Mocha Porter.  And it was amazing.  To this day I had not been able to recreate that drink nor have I run across something similar.  Until I went to a brewpub in Normal, IL.

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I won’t get too much in to Destihl (saving that for another post) other than to say that its mainstream beer offerings are pretty good and it’s more creative offerings are hit or miss.  The Cerise Stout Imperiale is most definitely a hit.  It poured an opaque black with very little head and khaki lacing that hugged the fringe of the glass.  There is an oily slickness floating atop the beer with more streaks of khaki lacing.  Even under the bar’s dim lighting this beer looks breathtaking.

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You don’t have to stick your nose down very far to catch a huge whiff of tart cherries and chocolate.  This smells like chocolate covered cherries.  No doubt.  I’d also like to commend Destihl on their choice of glassware.  It really allows the beer to open up.

Take a little sip and you get those tart cherries up front followed by a crashing wave of milk chocolate.  There is a slight alcohol burn in the finish, but not much of one.  Because this was the best beer I had here all night, I really took my time with it.  And as it warmed up I got a nice accompanying flavor of vanilla from the oak barrels that really blended in well with the cherries and the chocolate.

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Some of Destihl’s big beers didn’t completely hit the mark for me, but this one most certainly did.  It brought back visions of New Glarus’ Cherry Stout, which is some pretty good company to be in if you ask me.

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About the Author



Equal parts beer nerd and policy geek, Ryan is now the curator of the Guys Drinking Beer cellar. The skills he once used to dig through the annals of state government as a political reporter are now put to use offering unique takes on barrel-aged stouts, years-old barleywines and 10 + year verticals.

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