Jason Fields & Kevin Sheppard / Tröegs / Stone Cherry Chocolate Stout is the collaboration beer that resulted from Stone’s AHA (American Homebrewers Association) Rally this past March. Homebrewers Jason Fields and Kevin Sheppard teamed up with John Trogner, Head Brewer of Tröegs Brewing Co. in Harrisburg, PA and Stone’s Brewmaster Mitch Steele to brew a production run of their stout after taking top honors out of the 40 entries judged that day.
According to a new release from Stone, the beer includes a blend of dark-roasted specialty malts, Callebaut chocolate liquor, vanilla beans and 9000 pounds of dark cherries. Sounds intense. So how is it? Intensely good.
It’s black, letting no light through even when I hold the glass up to the light. I can’t quite but my finger on the smell, it’s roasty, with cherries and chocolate coming though but there’s a lot going on with it.
Due to the cherries the taste starts out surprisingly sweet for a stout (but not overly sweet), with a great cherry flavor. The finish is more bitter a mix of cherries and chocolate leading to one of the most fantastic after tastes I’ve ever experienced from a beer. As soon as I swallow the taste of delicious dark chocolate fills my mouth, a taste much different than anything I tasted while the beer was still in my mouth.
I didn’t think to take the temperature of the beer until I was halfway through with it, but this is one that shouldn’t be served too cold. I let it sit out for about 10-15 minutes before tasting it and the smells developed more as it warmed. The notes above are while drinking it between 59 and 62 degrees Fahrenheit which seemed to be a good temperature. As it got warmer, above 65 degrees a more unpleasant bitterness appeared, still not bad, but I’d recommend trying to drink it right around 60 degrees.
This one is a winner and a beer I highly suggest you search out when it is released July 25th. Stone produced 2448 cases and it will be distributed in 23 states. Like most (all?) Stone collaborations beers to date this one comes in single 12-oz bottles with a suggested retail price between $2.49 and $3.49. Jason Fields & Kevin Sheppard / Tröegs / Stone Cherry Chocolate Stout is 7.3% ABV and 37 IBUs.
Note: This bottle was provided to me free charge by Stone Brewing Co. for sampling purposes.
Update: You can see a video Stone made about the beer below.