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Heavy Seas - Bourbon Barrel Aged Siren Noire Imperial Chocolate Stout - Heavy Seas Beer

Not Rated.
Heavy Seas - Bourbon Barrel Aged Siren Noire Imperial Chocolate StoutHeavy Seas - Bourbon Barrel Aged Siren Noire Imperial Chocolate Stout

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100 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 100
Hads: 482
Avg: 4.08
pDev: 20.34%
Wants: 49
Gots: 105 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Heavy Seas Beer visit their website
Maryland, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Thorpe429 on 08-17-2011

Aged in Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 100 | Hads: 482
Photo of wmickdds32
2.65/5  rDev -35%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from a bomber into a 7 oz. beer fest glass.
Coal black and inky with a dark tan head, quickly dissapating in to lacing that lasted down the glass.
With a chocolate stout--bourbon barrell aged--I expected a great deal of chocolate, coffee and booze...I got nuttin' but stout....no chocolate....no coffee....no booze....I was seriously disappointed.
The taste was pretty much like the smell...decent imperial stout...but my expectations of a chocolate imperial bourbon barrell aged stout are high
In my mouth...nothing spectacular

I won't buy again....too many good chocolate stouts out there to waste my dollars, time, and experience. Think Southern Tier Choklat Stout and Dragon's Breath!

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Photo of russwbeck
2.73/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On cask at Churchkey DC for #DCBW11

A: Black pour with a wispy bubbly white head. Not a lot of retention or lacing 3.5

S: Very light, the bourbon is certainly notable. Problem is that's all
I get. No roastiness or stout characteristics. Perhaps some vanilla 3

T: Follows the smell. Vanilla, bourbon..water. Not a lot going on 2

MF: Medium bodied, low carbonation. 3

O: Disappointed. Just not enough taste 2

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Photo of coreyfmcdonald
3.07/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle into a snifter

A: Pours black with a finger of dense tan head. This is about as light as it can get and still be considered black instead of brown.

S: Milk chocolate, malted milk balls, toffee, and bourbon with a touch of butterscotch.

T: Very chocolate-y, lots of milk chocolate and cocoa - like candy, not chocolate malts. I get lots of toffee here, too. Bourbon is very well integrated into the flavor, but I get a bit of butterscotch here too. Tastes fake.

M: A bit thin, creamy carbonation.

O: I love chocolate forward stouts, but this just tastes fake. It tastes like I mixed hot cocoa into an imperial stout and added a splash of bourbon. It's not terrible, but the 4.19 RAvg this beer had when I reviewed it is just laughable.

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Photo of DeutschesBier
3.13/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

The chocolate in this beer tastes like cheap cocoa powder. The artificial, chalky taste dominates the mouthfeel and aftertaste. I would like to try this beer again if I found out they used decent chocolate or cacao nibs.

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Photo of corby112
3.21/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours viscous, pitch black and completely opaque with a two finger, light beige head that very slowly settles into a thick lasting ring. Very good retention, especially for the style and ABV. Takes a while to settle, leaving streaks of soapy lacing in it's path.

Inviting aroma with a strong chocolate/cocoa presence and a subtle bourbon barrel character that's nicely integrated into the notes of the base beer. Some damp earth and toasted oak along with sweet and spicy bourbon, vanilla bean and toasted count but the wood and spirit notes aren't overpowering. Just the slightest bit of toothpick character and delicate bourbon followed by silky sweet chocolate, subtle roast and dark fruit. Hints of coffee bean, burnt toast and oatmeal but the sweeter, dessert-like notes really stand out. I'm picking up some baker's chocolate, fudge, molasses and flourless chocolate cake. There could be a bit more bourbon/barrel presence for me but it's a nice change of pace to smell a bourbon barrel aged beer that isn't a complete booze bomb.

On the fuller end of medium body with stronger bourbon barrel and roasted malt character than the nose suggests. Dry, bitter and nearly acrid with strong burnt wood and toothpick flavor. The oak us more prominent than expected but the bourbon presence is still subtle. There's some spicy, boozy sweetness but unfortunately, most of the silkier barrel notes found in the aroma are missing. Bourbon flavor isn't bad but it's somewhat weak and overpowered by the wood and heavy roast. The sweeter dessert-like chocolate notes seem to get lost a bit was well. The malts taste smoker and somewhat burnt with hints of charcoal, toast, bitter dark cacao, oatmeal and ash. Mist of the lighter chocolate sweetness is masked, only shoeing up toward the finish. Still, the high ABV is well masked and although it appeared harsh at first, this beer is relatively easy to drink. Decent but not something I would want to try again.

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Photo of Meerkey
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A: Thin, beige head. Very dark umber/black. Nice.

S: Delicious -- coffee and chocolate and smooth vanilla. Roasted malts. Little hint of bourbon. Very velvety smell.

T: Tasty, though not super interesting. A lot of coffee and chocolate notes. Taste echoes the smell pretty well. Hint of bitterness in aftertaste.

M: Nice, though a tad lackluster. Smooth, some carbonation, but doesn't pack a punch.

O: Based on appearance and smell I thought this would be better. It's good, but there's definitely something missing in the taste and mouthfeel to really make it stand out. Very smooth, but kind of boring. I'm not sure if I'd buy another.

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Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
3.52/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured into 22oz snifter; black as night with a small fizzy tan head that fades quickly leaving some patchy foam on top.
Smells like a good BBA stout; bourbon, coffee, chocolate, toffee/caramel sweetness.
Tastes pretty standard; a bit unbalanced though. The bourbon flavor keeps thinning out into an odd fake vanilla flavor at the end, and there isn't really much coffee/chocolate in the malt to support anything. Might be too cold yet...it does get better as it warms. The coffee and chocolate come out a lot better, but there's still no avoiding that sickly-sweet weird faux-vanilla aftertaste. Eh well. 20oz to go...
Mouthfeel is big and slick.
Overall, besides the off flavor, this is a pretty good BA stout. Nothing amazing, bit unbalanced, but pretty good.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.54/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle marked 14298 at 42 degrees into snifter; allowed to warm to 50 degrees
$ 9.99/bomber at Consumer
Aroma – actually not detecting any
Head small (Two cm, aggressive pour), light brown, frothy, diminishing to two mm ring and partial layer
Lacing typical of bourbon barrel aged brews – poor. Few small islands of tiny bubbles
Body dark brown/black, opaque
Flavor starts sweet with dates, shifts to slightly bitter chocolate with an after burn of alcohol. No hints of bourbon or oak barrels. No hops, no diacetyl.
Palate full, somewhat syrupy, soft carbonation

Appearance 4, Aroma 2.5, Flavor 4, Palate 4, Overall 3.5

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Photo of BB1313
3.56/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2013 vintage. 22oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours black with some brown hues and light getting through; small tan head that fades very fast and leaves solid retention and little lacing. Smells good. The aromas are loaded with dark chocolate and bourbon. Some toffee and and butterscotch along with some dark fruits. Some vanilla giving it a chocolate chip cookie vibe. Cocoa and caramel malts are there. Some oak/wood. The aromas aren't aggressive, but they're very enjoyable. The flavors start off intense, but really mellow out the more you drink it. It starts off with tons of bitter dark chocolate. Lots of coffee too adding to the bitterness. Very roasty. I'm picking up the raisins. The oak/wood is present. The bourbon is clearly there, but it's not over the top. There is an extremely subtle warmth in the finish. The alcohol goes unnoticed for the most part. Just a kiss of booze. It's pretty easy to drink. The mouthfeel is pretty light and has a ton of carbonation, maybe too much. It's still pretty smooth and is easy to drink.

This is a pretty solid BBA stout. It's not something that blew me away, but it was pretty fun to drink. It feels flawed at times, but still remains enjoyable.

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Photo of bum732
3.6/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

S: Big, milk chocolate notes, faint hints of bourbon, touch of oak, some roasty

L: Jet black, viscous, tan creamy head that dissipates slightly.

T: Chocolate sweetness up front with some slight coffee notes. Medium low bitterness with some bourbon oak following.Not super malty, chocolate dominates. Touch of coffee roastiness into the finish.

M: Medium bodied, medium low carbonation.

Not bad, great nose, but taste lacks. Fairly low body and not malty at all.

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Photo of rapidsequence
3.61/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle from Ned's.

Appearance: Its black, but pours a little thin, and has some ruby highlughts. The head and lacing are decent.

Smell: Lots of rich chocolate aroma and bourbony vanilla notes. Very sweet, with minimal roasty aromas. No detectable alcohol-- none.

Taste: Again, lots of chocolate and vanilla. There is a bit more roasty flavor than smell with some coffee-like flavors and a touch of bitterness near the end, which actually identifies this as a stout instead of a melted hot fudge sundae.

Mouthfeel: Very soft and smooth, but a bit on the thin side. It could use a bit more carbonation too.

Overall: This is OK. Its a really sweet, chocolatey beverage, but its not much like a beer, and very little like an imperial stout. Less chocolate, more roast, more bourbon please.

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Photo of 57md
3.64/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance is a dark chocolate brown with a very thin layer of head. There is not much of a nose to this at all. The taste is definitely bourbon forward with hints of roast and chocolate. I definitely did not get the overly-chocolate notes that are described in other reviews. There is sweetness along with a touch of alcohol bite on the finish.

A good effort, but not even close to being great.

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Photo of argock
3.66/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz brown bomber into a clear glass snifter. 2013 printed on label. Purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $7.49.

A: Black with short 1/2-1 finger beige head with good height but average retention and pretty skimpy lacing.

S: Strong chocolate syrup aroma with a hint of bourbon and some fig/date fruitiness.

T: The flavor is not bad, but the chocolate flavor component is very strong and almost chemical-like in its intensity and character. The chocolate has a super-charged cocoa character but it lasts way too long and fades to a chalky finish. The dark malt fruitiness is balanced pretty well with the roast components. The bourbon barrel treatment is barely perceptible.

M: Pretty smooth except for the artificial chemical nature of the chocolate which lends a thinner quality to the body. The alcohol is definitely there but blends in pretty well. Medium body and the carbonation is on target.

O: A beer that is too chocolatey to the point of seemingly artificially bolstered. Maybe I am sensitive to this because my wife loved this beer. The base beer could use more character, and a touch more roast. All in all, not bad but sounds better than it is.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.7/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On cask at Churchkey yesterday as part of their Heavy Seas event for DC Beer Week. Served in a snifter.

Poured a midnight black with a thin light mocha head and a nice collar throughout.

The nose brought a mild dosing of bourbon along with loads of chocolate. Bordering on Hershey syrup, though restrained by the bourbon and a bit of roast. The flavor was a letdown from there, as the bourbon didn't really come through at all. Instead, this was plenty of chocolate syrup and a touch of roasted malt. The mouthfeel made things better, with a smooth chocolate character and a bit of bourbon heat in the background. Slightly-dry finish after a full body.

Pretty well done. Something I'd certainly drink again.

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Photo of bobhits
3.73/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bourbon with a stout mixed into it. This is a straight up barrel aged beast. I really can't get much beyond bourbon and chocolate finishing notes. A bit of toffee and a few other light flavors. The nose is the same as well.

This is some good stuff but if you don't want your beer "ruined" by bourbon then this is a total no go.

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Photo of yourefragile
3.74/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On cask at CK for Heavy Seas night.

Pours a watery black with a thin, bubbly mocha head. Aroma is highlight of the beer, a rich, unique blend of dark fruit, bourbon, chocolate syrup and light roast. Flavor is a lot less complex, throughout the body only chocolate syrup and light malt are present but the finish begins to dry out and have a subtle warming and lingering bourbon burn. Mouthfeel is light on carbonation, smooth and thick with some bourbon warmth. One of the better Heavy Seas treatments and they've somehow managed to salvage a base beer I typically deplore with a passion.

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
3.79/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

2013 vintage. Poured from a bottle into a Founders snifter. The pour is very dark, not too viscous, has low carbonation, and produces a thin tan head. The nose is quite faint. I get some chocolate, some roasty notes, and a bit of vanilla.

The beer has a full body and the flavor is nicely balanced between sweet and roasty, though the feel is a bit thin. Flavors of brown bread and toffee up front with hints of baker's chocolate. Drinks like a nice porter. Creamy, nutty, and vanilla-like at mid-palate with some distinct alcohols arriving at the finish along with some oak, molasses, and sarsaparilla. Goes down sweet, smooth, woody, and warming. Easy drinking and not overly complex. The flavors here all seem to work well together. Nothing clashes.

I tried this beer at a beer tasting recently and decided to pick up a bottle and spend a bit more time with it. I'm glad I did, though I'm not as fond of it as I remember being at the tasting. Still, an enjoyable beer on an unseasonably cold spring afternoon. Good value at under $9 per bomber.

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Photo of GOBLIN
3.8/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Overall, I guess I enjoyed drinking this beer but I did find it to be really sweet and sugary. I was rather surprised by it's drinkability on a warm late summer afternoon though. The chocolate seemed to dominate the nose and taste but came off as a overpowering additive. The bourbon barrel aging was a subtle touch and possibly could have used a little bit more time aging to smooth out the rough chocolate edges. I'm no expert though . . . just my thoughts on a ok beer. As one last though I think it's well worth the cost considering what some will pay for a barrel aged stout.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.8/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

22 oz bottle poured into a plastic cup. Yeah. Keep in mind I had this one JUST after sampling some BCBS.

A: Pours an ultra-dark brown color that isn't particularly thick looking. The head is a less-than-one finger khaki shade. Obviously the retention won't be particularly good, but it at least tries to leave nice lacing on the cup.

S: Whilst it's very good, it's not as gorgeously rich as I expected. There's some subtle chocolate, mocha, licorice, and vanilla. One has to REALLY concentrate to find the bourbon - but it's there...I suppose.

T: Quite sweet. I like the dark chocolate in the midtaste, before it becomes a combination of mocha and bittersweet vanilla. I didn't expect much depth, but there is a nice bit of subtle complexity to it.

M: This seems a bit thin to me. The aftertaste is a little less sweet than I expected (but, it's still dessert in a glass) and almost comes off like an imperial porter due to the lack of creamy and roasty qualities. It's carbonated finely.

O: It's a damn shame this had to follow BCBS, because this is still quite good as a dessert beer. I'd compare it favorably to Ballast Point's Victory at Sea - a sweet, vanilla-and-chocolate laden offering that fits the cold, nasty Maryland day to a tee. It could have really used more bourbon presence, though.

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Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.82/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A - dark like a stout should be and the pour wells up a thin light brown head that disappears quickly

S - chocolate is the first aroma to hit, a deeper inhalation reveals vanilla oakiness, some bourbon in the finish

T - exquisite chocolate, big milk chocolate flavors. The finish is a bit forced, a flash of bourbon around some lactic sourness and a smooth vanilla finish

M&D&O - smooth start and finish, with a harsh middle, overall a decent beer, but not among the best bourbon barrel aged stouts, its no KtG or Dark Lord, but it holds its own

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Photo of smakawhat
3.84/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass. Vintage 2014.

A pour of deep mahogany out of the bottle and filling up produces a good but short lived one finger head. Head is a good cocoa brown, and thin bubbled but falls to a simple populated collar and very thin puck. Quite dark body, black walnut and with a little bit of transparency and red edges.

Pretty nice and good but not wow nose. Very soft silky chocolate notes, and soft roasted grains. Nice and a bit husky and chewy too it seems. Chocolate forward more than anything else, but not much barrel sensing character here though.

Interesting on first sip. This is a very rich and luxurious palate feel, with silky chocolate qualities and a playful sense of carbonation surprisingly. It's slightly jarring but not too bad but it makes for some fun play in the mouth. It's the first thing I notice. Then the chocolate of dark quality comes with a good mix of fudge dense thick flavors. Some nice char and carbon on the finish as well, and some more fruit astringent character too.

It seems more of a very decent imperial stout, there's some complexity going on in the palate a bit too, but I really don't get the big round feel, and oak aromas and flavors coming out of this unfortunately. Still a decent brew though, but kind of tough to score surprisingly, 3.75 seems slightly generous overall, 4 too much, and 3.5 way too low.. let's call it 3.6999 and we'll be happy.

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Photo of gr0g
3.86/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Black in color, capped with one finger of khaki foam. The head doesn't stick around for long but does stick to the glass to leave some lacing. Aromas lent by barrel-aging are dominant -- lots of oaky vanilla, more alcohol than one would like. The base stout aromas are a bit hidden. Notes of char and roasted barley come through.

Plenty more oaky vanilla in the flavor profile. There's some fusel alcohol present, too, but I'm more tolerant of that as long as it isn't over the top, which it isn't here. There's some dark chocolate / cocoa mingled in with the vanilla. Mouthfeel is fairly smooth and soft, but I have to ding the score on the account of it being too thin. It's not viscous enough for an imperial stout, more like a 5% ABV porter.

While this isn't an amazing barrel-aged stout, I give it a bump for being a good value. I've had imperial stouts, barrel-aged or otherwise, that were more expensive.

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Photo of jmarsh123
3.87/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown/black with a small brown head fading quickly. Little to no lacing.

Big chocolate aroma with a little bit of vanilla creating a milk chocolate smell. A little oak and bourbon but it's in the background.

Big on chocolate flavor as well. Not a ton of roast in this one as it's on the sweeter side which is nicely balanced by the barrel. Not a ton of bourbon presence, but enough to cut the sweetness and add some good vanilla notes to the beer. Had a piece of Dove dark chocolate with this and it was the perfect pairing.

Medium bodied with low carbonation levels.

Pleasantly surprised by this. I prefer my barrel aged stouts to have a little more bourbon presence and the carbonation was a bit low even for the style. Despite those minor issues still a good beer and at only $8.49 for a bomber, a great price point as well.

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Photo of Pencible
3.87/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: This poured a nearly opaque black with some light tan head.
S: It smelled like subtle roasted coffee and dark chocolate, with a little oak and toasted coconut.
T: It tasted like dark chocolate and roasted coffee, with some oak and toasted coconut. It had a clean mostly sweet aftertaste.
M: It was watery with moderate carbonation. Decent body.
D: This was a nice BB stout with simple but enjoyable scent and taste. The body was a little weak, but the finish was smooth, so it was pretty easy to drink. Would probably age well, but pretty good fresh.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 7/10/13 at Doherty’s East Irish Pub in Pawtucket, RI, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a short off-white head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is faint but contains roasted malts, some chocolate, some coffee and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out very sweet with flavors of chocolate, coffee and vanilla. Then a very hearty roasted malt character comes in. The hops presence is very faint but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium-to-heavy body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down dangerously easy, slightly filling, good kick, good representation of style, this is a solid flavorful stout to drink for a long time.

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Heavy Seas - Bourbon Barrel Aged Siren Noire Imperial Chocolate Stout from Heavy Seas Beer
91 out of 100 based on 100 ratings.