Aging Beers: Heavy Seas Siren Noire Imperial Stout in Bourbon casks. At 5 years from our “Vault.” Heavy Seas, Baltimore, Maryland
Date: February 06, 2018
The Story— Heavy Seas isn’t Maryland’s biggest breweries, but it certainly is one of the best. The brewery is in Halethorp, Baltimore, a stone’s throw from the new glitzy Guinness American outpost. you can visit them both in a day if you’re staying in a nearby BWI Marshall hotel and relying on the hotel’s shuttle or Uber, but we recommend you take the time to give each its due. Spend a night at all the lavishness money can buy at Guinness — and drink some remarkable beers that you can’t even get in Dublin. But take the time for Heavy Sea’s taproom– lower key, more friendly, with a local vibe and a sense of the local roots of the brewery.
Heavy Seas brews consistently well, but Siren Noire is one of their triumphs. We tasted it on tap at Beer Run, one of the stars in Chancellorsville, Virginia’s firmament in 2013. It awed us. We grabbed a bottle the next year and tasted it after a year of cellaring. It awed us. This sample was an extra bottle we picked up in 2014. After five years at room temperature…. it awed us.
The Beer— Chocolate and herbs; cocoa. Rich chocolate and cocoa. Rich fudge. A bit of bourbon but well under the chocolates. A hint of cherries as it drinks may be just echoes of the chocolate and wood. Ellie liked the nice woody whisky aroma, which was a delight. The rich hot whiskey and slightly tart wood was at the edge of her envelope and she finished with smooth sugars but tangy. She got more whiskey than I did but it does grow as it warms. Some heat shows the alcohol as it rests as well. A range of fruits grows as it warms and as it drinks. The rich chocolate holds its own forever. It was good fresh and it’s just as good and maybe more interesting after the five years.
Value — Very good. Even the best of the Heavy Seas beers rarely try to extract the ransom that other similar brewery charge for their premium beers. You can afford to drink this fresh and set aside a few bottles for later… and later.
Values: “fair” is a good beer at an above market price, “good” is worth the money, “very good” is a bargain, and “excellent” is a steal.