Saturday, October 4, 2014

August Schell Black Forest Cherry

This is a Berlin style wheat beer aged on cherries from the August Schell Brewing Company of New Ulm, Minnesota.  Schell's was established in 1860 and I believe they are the second oldest family owned brewery in the United States, behind Yuengeling. 

This beer is the fourth release in their Noble Star Collection of Berliner weisse style beers that they are making. The first release was Star of the North (unfortunately I missed that one),  the second was the Framboise du Nord made with raspberries, and the third was North Country Brunette, a marzen Berliner weisse.   These releases are made in the brewery's original 1936 cypress wood lagering tanks. The bottles are hand filled and bottle-conditioned. They are refurbishing more of the cypress tanks and will be expanding this program, which is great news as they have been awesome beers.

The beer pours a medium dark brown, with a salmon pink tinge and much carbonation showing on the glass. There is a tall, bubbling, fizzing head of pinkish-tan foam that bubbles down fairly quickly. The aroma is very tart, tangy, woody, with a light whiff of cherries. The taste follows the aromas, a wonderful amalgam of mouth-puckering, lip-smacking tartness; combined with toasted wheat; a touch of sweetness, I guess from a combination of toasted malts and fruit; a distinct woodiness, earthy and dry; and the fruity tartness of cherries. There is a fine tingling carbonation, but the beer drinks somewhat like a light fresh wine, like a Portugese vinho verde or fresh rose. The finish is dry, tart, fruity, with a woody astringency. The aftertaste has a fresh and energetic, yet pungent, lingering tartness, like a kombucha. This is wildly good.

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