While I was purchasing the beer at Bobby's Liquors for my recent beer tasting class at Cabrillo College I splurged by getting a bottle of something nice just for me. In this case, Stone's collaborative Cherry Chocolate Stout. The cost? $4 for a 12oz. bottle.
This is a beer that was developed with input from Jason Fields and Kevin Sheppard and brewed by Troegs Brewing with and at Stone Brewing Co. in San Diego, California. The use of special ingredients including chocolate, cherries and vanilla beans makes this a unique and very tasty beer. From the bottle I saw that it also contains lactose sugar, reminiscent of the milk stouts of days gone by. It weights in at 7.3% abv. although I didn't detect any flavor or warmth from it but definitely got the cherries right off the bat and the chocolate has a serious impact on the flavor. The vanilla, not so much, but on the periphery I would say, along with a smokey quality. A little heavy and on the sweet side for me as I found that it became somewhat cloying nearing the end.
All in all, a very good beer and could do well to age but in my case I only had the one so no aging going on here. The truth is I can't hold on to a beer to save my life, I lack the discipline to keep beer around for more than a few days. If I suspect it's good, I want it now. Homebrewing friend L. shared a Kriek with me recently that he managed to store for 12 years! I have to assume that he just has a ton of beer laying around, how else could you keep a beer that long? Oh it was good, yes. Could it have been good at, oh say, 8 years? Who's to say.