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TexasCocktailGeek

Is my Cherry Heering corked?

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A while back, I bought a bottle of Cherry Heering from a liquor store that was closing down. I'd never tried it before, and at half price, I couldn't pass it by. The bottle didn't appear to be very old (no tax stamp or anything), but the cork was in fairly poor condition. It sat on my shelf for a little while, and I tried it in a few drinks in which it played a very minor role. I didn't think anything was amiss, but I'm a bit of an amateur, so...

Tonight I brought out the bottle to try out a Singapore Sling, which I've never tried before (either at home or at a bar). I used Dale DeGroff's recipe, but I've gotta say, the results were pretty underwhelming. Kind of like an alcoholic, slightly-tropical iced tea. The color was pretty terrible too: a funky-looking brown.

heering.jpg

Here's the bottle, a glass with a splash of the Cherry Heering in it, and my poor excuse for a Singapore Sling. So, can anyone tell me, does the Heering look right? I'm pretty sure the Sling doesn't (and yes, I know I'm missing the garnishes). Any suggestions?


Jeff Fox

Aspiring Cocktailian

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Did you taste the Cherry Heering straight? It should have a deep, rich black cherry flavor. I have to say that the corks in the bottles I've had weren't the greatest. The color in the glass on the left looks normal, but is odd that your Singapore Sling is brown.


Mike

"The mixing of whiskey, bitters, and sugar represents a turning point, as decisive for American drinking habits as the discovery of three-point perspective was for Renaissance painting." -- William Grimes

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As it happens, I own a bottle of cherry herring that was purchased about 25 years ago; it's been opened but back of the shelf for ages. I'll roust it out and report.

Your sling definitely looks oxidized. That's not the same thing as corked, of course. Not a good thing, though I've had an undeniably oxidized Sauternes that, while maybe not what it was, was still a very pleasant drink.

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Did you taste the Cherry Heering straight? It should have a deep, rich black cherry flavor.

I did, and there was certainly some cherry to it, but a lot of what I tasted was tea-like (tannic?). I don't have the most refined palate in the world, so take that with a grain of salt. And maybe that's just because it's black cherry, rather than artificial red cherry flavor.

I'll roust it out and report.

Thanks! I'm looking forward to figuring this out.


Jeff Fox

Aspiring Cocktailian

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For the cherry notes of Heering, think stewed fresh cherries, mixed with baking spices and grape brandy. The flavor, however, is not terribly stable, and begins to pick up some oxidative notes with age. Keep in mind that it has been over 30 years since tax stamps were used, so your bottle could easily be quite old and not have anything obvious like that on it. I'd imagine Heering more than 10-15 years old would taste appreciably different than fresh.


Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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