Does anyone mind if I just call this beer Cacao and Cherry Broken Dream from now on? No? That's ok then. I picked up this offering from Siren Brewery in Finchampstead, Berkshire from my local Morrison's for £3 which for a 7.4% stout seems pretty reasonable as long as it turns out to taste half decent. Siren have been around for about 8 years now and seem to be pretty prolific with their brewing so they may well be around a while longer yet. I'm pretty sure this is the first of their beers I've had and as a stout lover I'm expecting it to be right up my street.
The beer comes on a pretty cool, arty, pink/purple 440ml can and proclaims that Cacao and Cherry Broken Dream is 'An indulgence of chocolate and speciality malts, Broken Dream is smooth, unctuous and moreish, brewed with lactose for balance and mouthfeel. As a special one-off, we've taken it a step further here, spinning the beer on sour cherries, cacao nibs and our very own bourbon barrel aged coffee, developed in collaboration with Quarter Horse.' It all sounds rather good doesn't it?
Cacao and Cherry Broken Dream pours really well initially but the oak brown head quickly vanishes leaving the almost pure black body looking a little plain. Meanwhile the aroma of roasted coffee beans, which seems appropriate for a breakfast stout mixes reasonably well with the cherries and a burnt wood smell. I do hope it tastes as smoky as it smells. The beers texture is reasonably full bodied but sadly the taste doesn't really live up to the promising aroma.
You can certainly taste the alcohol, and at 7.4% that shouldn't be too much of a surprise, but it's a hint that the other flavours aren't really coming through strong enough. There's some chocolate notes, some coffee beans, but certainly no cherries, or if they are there they are well masked. I think this goes down as one of those good value for the alcohol content beers but beyond that there's just not a lot going on. I'm going to give Cacao and Cherry Broken Dream Breakfast Stout a reasonably generous 6.5 out of 10. It's not a bad tasting beer but I feel like it promises more than it delivers.