Through work, I recently got the opportunity to go to Brew London, my first beer festival since Covid. Based in the Printworks in London, Brew London hosted a massive variety of different breweries from across the country and I had an absolutely cracking time. I only ended up buying one can of beer to takeaway, mainly because the lady behind the bar at Vocation is an incredibly convincing sales person! That beer ended up being ‘Imperial Kirsch’ a chocolate and cherry imperial stout from Vocation’s Barrel Aged Series. Aged in cognac barrels and coming in at a massive 11% ABV it is meant to imitate the liqueur of the same name.
The beer pours an engine oil black with a honeycomb like head. Almost looks like the inside of a Crunchie chocoalte bar. The nose is simply pure cherry, and as such, incredibly inviting. The flavour is essentially Black Forest Gateaux. Dark chocolate complimented by an amazing sweet morello cherry flavour. I think you get a little bit of a brandy taste being imparted from the barrels ageing, which adds an interesting extra dimension to the beer.
A quick note on the can art: At a first glance it looks like a rather simple design. However, the reflective purple is actually the cross section of a tree. Perhaps a nod to the barrel ageing series.
This is a bloody great beer and went perfectly with the cigar I was enjoying with my Dad at the time! Firstly, this brew simply does not taste like an 11% beer. Thankfully the cherry imparts such a strong sweetness that it helps hold you back from gulping it down. With that in mind, if you don’t have a sweet tooth, I could see this beer not being to your taste. Overall, I am very glad I treated myself to this little number at Brew London. It does exactly what it says on the tin, which is pretty much what you want from a big beer like this! Vocation make smashing beer and it was so nice to be back in a craft beer festival, I will certainly being trying to get to a few more in the near future!
Thanks for reading! Cheers!
If you’d like a snappier version of my reviews check out my Instagram!
- Hops: Not Available
- Malt: Extra Pale, Chocolate, Dark Crystal, Roasted Barley, Jumbo Oatse
- IBU: Not Available
- ABV: 11%
- Gluten Free: No
- Vegan: Yes!