Breckenridge Brewery's Remarkable Vanilla Porter. So, it's actually brewed with real vanilla beans (as opposed to the fake beans). The label boasts that this original recipe is "seldom seen" and "never duplicated" and for that we are thankful. The beer is a bit light in color for a porter but it has great head (that's what she said). Get a good snootful of this and there is a mild vanilla background but on the front end there's a solid alcohol smell - not exactly ideal. Take a swig and it's like drinking carbonated vanilla extract. According to the fine folks at Breckenridge we're tasting a nice herb and spice beer. Of course, when talking spices you have to use great geography and these folks do it up right talking big on the jungles of Papua New Guinea and Madagascar - pretty fancy.
Bell's Cherry Stout. We are actually big fans of Bell's other brews but the Cherry Stout - not so much. On the pour, from a bottle into a pint glass, it looks great. Dark in color with the nutty colored head you would expect from a good stout. Take a deep breath over the glass and you come away with a nice stout feel backed up with faint cherry. Our expectations at this point were high. The taste is where things get tricky. At best the cherry flavor is fake and forced on to the palette. In the end it's closer to a cherry cough syrup than a good, reliable stout.
Generally we prefer that these fancy flavored beers have more hint in the after taste. Of course, these things are highly subjective and we encourage you and yours to try these out and judge for yourself. We're not exactly experts or judges - just schmoes who like to drink too much. Anyway, this has been fun but we're going to find a real beer.