So I wasn't expecting a lot from this beer, and I was wrong. Wrong to judge it by the label alone, for the Widmer Brothers have done something truly remarkable with this brew. This beer pours a dark brown that shines with a beautiful deep ruby hue when held up to the light, and is topped with a medium-sized off-white head that doesn't leave much lacing. On the nose, it presents dark fruit aromas, perhaps some yeasty esthers, and a hint of alcohol. It weighs in at a hefty 9% ABV, so the latter is not a surprise.
I'm writing this review with a lot of hindsight, so I should say that after looking at the beer and sniffing it, I was still not convinced. I expected some sort of fruity monster to hammer at my tongue with a maul made of berries and syrup, but what I got was a complex, malty doppelbock. With a medium body and a pleasantly light effervescence, the dark malts of this beer are complemented by a mellow tartness with fruity undertones. As the delicious brew departs your palate, it leaves a creamy aftertaste and lingering oaky cherry flavors.
I would highly recommend this beer. Throw your preconceptions about Widmer Brothers by the wayside, just this once, and let this beer prove to you that a giant brewery can, somehow, make a world-class brew.