I buy and drink a lot of beer. Like most beer fans I enjoy tasting new and different things to keep interested in the brew that’s in my glass. Recently I went to the local bottle shop and mixed myself up a six-pack of random beers that I hadn’t had before and one of these beers was Tres Blueberry Stout by Dark Horse Brewing.
Full disclosure here, I am not much of a fan of beer with fruit in it, especially berries. Truthfully, beer or no beer, I don’t even like blueberries as a fruit. Berries in general are not something that I’m a fan of, you eat the berries I’ll have an apple. However Dark Horse is one of those breweries that has completely earned my trust, and they have made beers featuring other fruits that I find gross before, and I have enjoyed said beers with weird or gross fruits in them. So after years of pushing Tres Blueberry Stout to the side I decided it was time to man up and drink the berry beer.
So although I went into this beer expecting not to like it, like an idiot, I dove right in. After chilling the beer I was ready to fruit it up in the form of a malty stout, with berries! Tart, seed filled, antioxidant having berries. I poured my bottle of Tres Blueberry Stout in a glass and instantly noticed a wonderful aroma, it smelled like fruity pebbles! Yes the breakfast cereal, the sugar bomb instantly soggy but somehow wonderful breakfast cereal (a favorite in my house). Well now I’m really on board! Upon further inspection of the beer it looked like a stout, I could have sworn I saw a purplish hue to the head of this beer but I think that might have been just wishful thinking. The most important thing is that the beer looked like a stout, it was black and opaque with malty sents coming off of the beer that were nicely off set by the sweetness of the blue berries.
So after an over indulgence of examination it was time to actually taste this beer, because of course I bought this stout to drink, not to admire. I raised the glass to my lips and too a sip and was surprised and excited. It was fantastic, Tres Blueberry Stout is roasty and malty with a medium body and balanced out perfectly by the blue berries. This is a sweet stout, but unlike a milk stout or a stout that features chocolate and coffee the blue berries throw a curve ball at you. The brew drinks smoothly and has almost no real presence of the 7.5% abv in its body, no burn or real boozy aroma even as you tip a glass back. And lastly the beer has a dry finish leaving you with just a hint of a malty coffee note which works really well for this style of beer. The sweetness of the berries doesn’t linger and force you into another beer or a swig of mouthwash.
It takes a special brewery to convince me to try beers that have a feature ingredient, like blue berries, that generally turns me away. Dark Horse is one of those breweries, they have a reputation for making beers that are intense and thoroughly bad ass beers. I’m not sure that berries exemplify that perception. However this is a fantastic beer. I opened this beer up on Sunday night (4 nights ago from when I am writing this) and honestly haven’t really stopped thinking about it all week. Sometimes it’s good to break out of your comfort zone and try something that you’re convinced you won’t like. Tres Blueberry Stout reminded me of two things. First, you can’t judge a beer by its label, there will always be a beer out there that bucks the trend and proves to you that a certain style can be good. Secondly, when you decide that a brewery has earned your trust give them your full trust. There are maybe 4 or 5 breweries that I can honestly say I’m willing to try anything they brew. With that in mind there is no good reason that I waited years to try this stout. After finally giving it a go I can honestly say I can’t wait to pick up another 4 pack of this magnificent stout!