Siren Speyside Broken Dream

Bottle-conditioned 330ml 7.4%

This is a version of the breakfast stout aged in Speyside whisky barrels. There are a number of different versions. There is added coffee and lactose.

I thought I would really like this. I have had a couple of Siren beers before and liked them. Strong barrel-aged stout, what's not to like?

I didn't much like this. There is too much coffee in the aroma and flavour. Do they really need to add coffee to stout? They should be able to get enough coffee flavour from the roast malt. The coffee flavour is both sweetish and burnt. Perhaps it is the peated whisky flavour added to this that accentuates the burnt coffee element. There are whisky notes, but the burnt coffee flavour dominates. The finish is a bit sickly It is also a bit thin for a stout.

I don't think I will be trying any of the other versions of this.
I think the fad of adding coffee to stout is almost always a bad thing. I can't recall a coffee stout that I have really liked. Like you, my experiences with Siren have always been good but this is one I'll avoid!
I remember having a Columbus Brewing Co. Coffee Stout and promptly pouring it down the sink. I'm not a cold coffee person in the first place - I don't go to Starbucks and order these bizarrely named cold coffee drinks; I like my coffee hot.

That said, I have been tolerant of the coffee variants of AleSmith's Speedway Stout (12%). I've had their Vietnamese, Mexican and Ethiopian Coffee stouts and all were highly distinctive from each other. Most folks make a fuss about the Vietnamese Speedway, although I really liked the chocolate notes on the Mexican Speedway. All very well balanced between roasty and coffee notes.

But, outside of AleSmith, I wouldn't go out of my way to seek out a Coffee Stout...perhaps the 12% ABV helps!
I have just had a Thornbridge Eldon Bourbon Oak Imperial Stout(8%)

This is pretty much everything I had thought the Siren beer would be but wasn't. Sweetish but balanced, with caramel, coffee, chocolate, and vanilla with a touch of bourbon. Its not the best oak aged beer I have had but is very nice.

I have had beers with coffee in that I have liked but none of them were stouts. Brains Coffee Porter is decent. I suppose, like a stout, a porter should not need added coffee, but, in this case it is not overwhelming.