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Pastry stouts have been gathering steam all year, and now we’re starting to see more and more packaged releases like this one.  Chocolate cherry frangipane… the name alone is a mouthful, and I haven’t even tasted it yet.  Curiously it’s the frangipane (the almond dessert, not the phonetically similar flower) that dominates on the nose with that unmistakable marzipan aroma.  The chocolate and lactose fall in behind with the cherry providing just a spark of tartness.  The palate is more of a mix-up, with the roasted malts taking charge along with the nibs and cherry, while the almond retreats into the finish.  It’s a sweet one for sure, but finely balanced with bitterness to keep each mouthful under control and even approaching dry by the end.  One of the most drinkable pastry stouts I’ve encountered thus far, and hopefully a good indicator of brewers continuing to tune the style to produce better and better releases.

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