There is a pretty universal demand for the Casey Cuts, regardless of the fruit, but there are certainly degrees of quality between the various iterations. While none of them are by any means bad, some are just LESS GOOD by comparison. The Balaton Cherry is one just release that didn’t get me juicin.
First and foremost, the carb is very low, damn near still and with no residual prickly bubbles in the mouthfeel or lacing to speak of. With heavily fruited beers, this is particularly hard to swallow because that delineating factor is what keeps the beer from tasting like, well, just juice. There is plenty of juice to go around, that certainly is not at issue, but the languid body and residual mouthfeel means this bottle is going to fight an uphill battle from the getgo.
Thankfully, it delivers in a huge way on the cherry profile. Unfortunately, balaton is almost TOO fucking sour for my baby palate. The skins are nearing that atomic warhead, Upland type of pejorative. Montmorency was a much more pleasant cherry to smash the pits with, but this goes down with sickles and acidic shards of shattered glass. I couldn’t finish the entire bottle, which is so odd for this brewery since their entire milieu is restraint, gentle coddling, soft pillowy mouthfeel, and subtlety. This Cut lies well outside the canon of Casey beers that I have grown accustomed to. The flat body seeps below the gumline and hits the molar interstices with dryness and recoiling tartness that will furrow your crows feet. This isn’t an easy jaunt in the fruit orchard, you gotta earn this one.
Thankfully, the Merlot cut was such a fucking stunner that my disappointment with this beer didn’t resonate long. I wouldn’t say outright avoid it, but the other cuts are so so good that it’s hard to wholeheartedly recommend seeking this one out.