Heavy Seas Beer Siren Noire
What the brewers say
We’ve used three pounds of Belgian cocoa nibs per barrel and aged it for five weeks with vanilla beans in bourbon barrels. Dark malts give it a well-rounded body that is chocolaty without being extraordinarily sweet.
What our panel thought
Aroma: “Sweet malt character and dark fruit sweetness with notes of cherry, plums, and prunes. Nice vanilla character plus sweet chocolate that comes through nicely and dominates in the nose. Roast is subtle, with a hint of espresso.”
Flavor: “The chocolate character dominates and carries through but isn’t overpowering. The roast character helps to balance the sweetness, and it sits nicely on the finish. Vanilla and cocoa round out the beer with a nice warming character. The oak-barrel character adds some nice complexity and is in balance with the beer. Hops are a friendly afterthought.”
Overall: “Very chocolaty and very enjoyable. Subtle tobacco and vanilla are very welcome additions to the barrel character, setting this one apart from others and adding another dimension of complexity, yet not at all busy.”