Hello all fans of beer! Welcome to my beer blog. My name is Tom Tabaczynski and I am the Assistant Store Team Leader here at Orchard Fresh. Let me begin by saying I am no beer expert. We have one of those in our beer department and his name is Will Thompson. He’ll be helping me out with all of my technical beer questions, but I thought I would take the common man’s perspective on beer for this blog. I do some occasional small batch home brewing, but in general I am just a fan of beer. I enjoy all kinds and thought this would be a good platform to try all of the beers we have here at Orchard Fresh. Each week I’ll take home a specific beer and I’ll post a blog about what I thought of it. Once again, I am no expert, I just like beer and since I hear so many questions from customers about what a certain beer tastes like, what better way to find out!
I guess I’ll begin with a little background about myself. I grew up in South Buffalo and now currently live in Hamburg. I’m half Irish and half Polish, which I hear makes me genetically geared to enjoying beer. Whatever the reason, I do enjoy a good beer. I can still remember the first time I had a beer qui vend du cialis. I won’t divulge the details as my father is still pretty sore about that missing case of Bud Light. Nevertheless, I was hooked from the first sip.
I worked at a bar in college and have worked in the retail grocery business my whole life. It’s been pretty neat to be on both sides of the bar during the recent emergence of craft beers over the last decade or so. In my younger days it was always quantity over quality. As I’ve grown older, I prefer craft beer. When I was in college the only craft beer you could find was Samuel Adams. Now I work at a store that only carries craft beer. Best of all, most of the beers you can get these days are locally made right here in Western New York.
I think the best part about all of these new craft beers is the diversity. There’s a beer for every type of person out there. There are all kinds of incredible flavors that match a person’s tastes and pair with any kind of food. What ever kind of mood you’re in, there’s a beer for that! I’m hoping that through this blog I can learn as much about myself as I can about all the beers out there.
So, let’s get to the good stuff! My first choice for my first blog post had to be good. I walked our beer section over and over again looking for just the right one. Finally our beer expert came in with a whole cart of new beers. He suggested I try the newest release from a local brewery, Ellicottville Brewing Company (EBC). He brought out a four pack of Chocolate Cherry Bomb. I was immediately intrigued. Hmmm….I love chocolate; you can’t go wrong with cherries; there’s nothing wrong with getting bombed! What could go wrong with this choice?
I did a little research before I tasted just to make sure I knew what I was doing. EBC listed this as an Imperial Stout, a variety I’ve tried before and really enjoyed. Stout’s are members of the Porter family, they’re usually considered the strongest, or stoutest porters. Imperial Stout’s are made in the Russian brewing traditions. These beers usually tend to have a higher ABV, or alcohol content. EBC did not disappoint with Chocolate Cherry Bomb. They’ve listed it at an 8.2% ABV (for those of you that don’t know, your common American beers are usually around 4% ABV).
To begin, I drank this beer warm. I know, I know, who wants a warm beer? But the difference in flavor from warm to cold beers is amazing, and most people in the know would suggest drinking stouts warm. This beer, like most stouts, has a heavy malt forward flavor, with not a very strong hop flavor at all. Hops are what gives a beer it’s bitterness and is measured in a unit called International Bittering Unit (IBU). Personally, I don’t like bitter beer so I tend to stay away from India Pale Ales (IPA) which are high in bitterness.
As I opened the bottle and poured myself a glass, the aroma was incredible. I see why they put Chocolate first in the name. I was instantly reminded of a trip I took as a kid to Hershey, PA. Anyone who has been there knows the whole town smells like chocolate. There was a massive chocolate aroma on this beer.
The look of the beer in the glass was incredible. It had a beautiful brown frothy head with a dark and complex body. At first, I thought it was a dark brown color, but as I moved it around in the glass you could see a beautiful amber come through.
The taste was incredibly smooth. With an alcohol content that high, I was expecting strong, even bitter flavor. EBC did a really nice job with this one. It had a very malty taste and the chocolate really came through nicely. The after taste was amazing as I picked up a coffee flavor and then the Oregon cherries really came through on the finish. This beer had a delicious smooth flavor and a great cherry finish. It was the kind of beer I could drink all night long. I would love this beer with a nice gourmet chocolate; it is definitely a dessert beer.
I really enjoyed this beer and will definitely be picking this one up again. We have it featured in our beer section right now and it retails at $10.99 for a four pack. It’s well worth it if I do say so myself!
Thanks for reading!