Inspired by my experience with Samuel Smith's Organic Strawberry Ale, I picked up the other two Samuel Smith fruity beers: Raspberry and Cherry. I tried the Raspberry one yesterday and am enjoying the Cherry one today on this warm summer afternoon. These are great beers that highlight the fruits of summer we love so much, and are perfect for sipping outside (or inside while sitting in front of the air conditioning).
The raspberry one, pictured to the right, was significantly fruitier and more sour than the strawberry beer. The Merchant duVin site describes it as "intense" - I think that's about right. While the strawberry ale tastes like a light ale with strawberry juice added, the raspberry beer tastes like tart, funky raspberry puree. It was certainly drinkable, but probably not something I'll buy again.
The cherry ale, at left (in my Rogue Santa glass), lands somewhere in-between. While not as light and refreshing as the strawberry ale, it's certainly less tart and intense than the raspberry ale. The sweetness of the cherry juice balances out the inherent tartness, leading to a sweetly-mouthpuckering flavor that has just a hint of maltiness behind it.
In short, the strawberry ale's the winner. The cherry ale tries hard for Best in Show but can't compete with the refreshing lightness of the strawberry ale. The raspberry one would probably be better served with a couple scoops of vanilla ice cream. Which, really, is hardly something to complain about.