In a blind tasting by BJCP trained experts, this beer rated


Four Peaks Brewing Company Sirius Black

Aroma: “The big oak and coffee notes play off each other well, with the chocolate and roast to support underneath. Dark cherry esters, oaky vanilla, oak char, whiskey vanilla, and tobacco, with a hint of maple.”

Flavor: “The chewy woody oak is a bit overpowering. Low to medium vanilla presences reminds me of French oak, and it blends with the peach and cherry notes coming from the coffee and the beer. Some sweet cherry, sherry, dates, and marzipan. Very thin-bodied, more like an old ale than an imperial stout. Great caramel and toast malt character, and the roast and chocolate notes help to blend the flavors. Some fusel alcohols and whiskey, with tobacco and vanilla, as well as a mild hops flavor and bitterness.”

Overall: “There’s a lightness to this beer that was unexpected, likely from the lighter stone fruit esters, but the body and vanilla help as well. The barrel character isn’t overdone and adds a nice complexity without drowning out or muddling the coffee stout underneath. However, the boozy-whiskey with the overpowering char from the barrel lose the beer element. It’s a nice beer, but it’s thin and tastes out of its style.”