A Heavenly Symphony in Your Mouth

by Jim Lundstrom

It was one of those bone-chilling nights when the cold was working from the inside out. It didn’t help that old, cold things were rattling around in the brain pan, in particular, memories of a nasty dry spirit from the past surfaced like a bobbing corpse in inky memory. My own personal Marley, of the female variety.

Maybe you need a tonic or something, I told myself as I reached into the magic fridge and pulled out…Yes! Away demons!
Whose heart and mind could not be lifted by Whiskey Barrel-Aged Cherry Stout from Bell’s Brewery?
Oh mein gott! The first sip washes away the evil taint of the Prohibitionist spirit that momentarily enveloped me.
Dark chocolate and cherry are the first two dominant notes from this cheery black ale. The tart Montmorency cherry flavor lingers long.
Each sip puts a smile on my face, until, finally, this sticky, lipsmacking stout has my lips stuck together and pulls my face into the rictus look of Mr. Sardonicus (film buff reference!).
But I jest! 
Yes, this is a sticky stout, but that sticky smile is a happy one, not a death grin. With each sip you feel lucky and grateful to be alive, which, I maintain, goes far beyond the normal purview of beer.
It’s also incredibly soft and smooth, belying it’s muscular 9.3 percent alcohol content.
Suddenly, as I’m trying to understand why I find this beer in my mouth to be such a pleasant sensation, I realize it is the play between dark and light that attracts on so many levels.
The heavy flavors of the dark malts and whiskey oakiness mingle with and complement the high, bright cherry notes. It is a harmonic convergence of flavors.
And then I realize what we have here is a symphony in a glass – the notes combine to give you an epic experience with superb instrumentation and virtuosic playing. I’m going to call it the liquid equivalent of Mahler’s 4th Symphony. Try a bottle while Bell’s Whiskey Barrel Aged Cherry Stout while listening to the 4th turned up to 11 (or whatever is loud on your system).

You are welcome!
Expect a pair of sticky lips from this lipsmacking stout.