Today’s beer was a last minute substitution. Welcome to the pitch Siren Craft Brew’s ‘Odyssey 001’, an uber-blended Russian Imperial Stout.

On popping the bottle (one of those strange caps with a plastic seal underneath) the immediate aroma is that of one of those sweet factories from the seaside. There’s toffee and liquorice oozing from the bottle. You can almost smell the boozy heat from the blending process that it’s been through and then there’s this underlying, something.

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The something it would appear is the added 20% of Liquid Mistress into the final blend. This is one of Siren’s flagship beers and it certainly adds something to the beer. So what about the beer?

It pours thick and black. Very black, all black, black, none blacker. The head is a creamy brown colour and this beer just looks inviting in the glass. It’s as smooth as velvet from beginning to end with so many amazing flavours coming together in the glass and it just keeps pulling you back in for more. There’s roasted flavours and boozy hits in every mouthful and then there is this wonderful warming finish like a sweet espresso laced with spirits.

This has been a highlight of my #12BeersofXmas so far, it’s just a shame it went a little quicker than I anticipated. At 12.4% that’s probably not a good thing.

For tomorrow’s beer I shall be enjoying Fuller’s 2013 Vintage Ale. In the meantime, check out what else has been going on through Storify below (or on our Storify page) and check the ‘blog directory’ here for the latest writings.