We were able to get our hands on several of this year’s Goose Island Bourbon House line (Bourbon Barrel, Wheatwine, and Café de Olla). Our luck continued with their Mon Chéri Stout, a beer described by the brewery as “a love letter” from the brewer to his wife, who apparently really likes cherries. To that end, this beer takes the standard Bourbon Barrel stout and ages it with Montmorency and Balenton cherries, oats, and brown sugar. Sounds like cobbler in a bottle. Let’s find out!
Mon Chéri pours a classic, midnight black with a slight caramel tinge and almost no head. The aroma is sweet and creamy with plenty of the base bourbon barrel stout notes – vanilla cream, ground coffee, and Hershey’s syrup. Add to that a sizable helping of cherry – cherry pie filling and a jar of Maraschinos – and you’ve got a beer that smells a whole lot like an old school ice cream shop. The palate is like eating at that same ice cream shop. It’s big and rich, creamy and sweet, but that sweetness is syrupy, not saccharine. Notes of dark chocolate-covered cherry cordial, plum wine, and cherry ice cream are bold yet well-balanced with some chocolate-covered bourbon balls and oatmeal cookies on the side. The finish is long with cocktail cherries and a drizzle of chocolate sauce. I couldn’t drink this one every day, or week, or maybe even month, but when I did it would be a special occasion.