Brooklyn’s Sixpoint Brewery has been in the craft game for more than 15 years, and these brewers have never been shy about shaking things up. They started as draft only, began offering nanokegs in 2010, and recently even produced small batches of beer sold via mobile app. Sixpoint leans just as much into innovation with its beer, and perhaps there’s no better example than the brewer’s Beans line.
Sixpoint started making a rich porter called 3Beans (coffee, cacao, and Romano) with a neighboring Stumptown coffee facility back in 2012. Today, there are several varieties in this line—4Beans (coffee imperial porter with vanilla beans), 5Beans (with black cardamom), Peanut Butter Beans, Horchata Beans. Some of these have barrel-aged editions, which brings us to Barrel-Aged 4Beans, an imperial porter with coffee, cocoa, and vanilla beans aged in rye and bourbon barrels.
It’s sweet and slightly syrupy, but not overly so—think of it like an oozy caramel instead of a viscous maple syrup.”
Appearance and Aroma
In the glass, Barrel-Aged 4Beans resembles the full expression of a brown crayon. A thin, tan head only adds to the visual appeal. The boldness carries over to this beer’s nose, as Sixpoint has crafted a big, aromatic porter. Vanilla, toffee, and maybe a touch of cardamon spice prepare you for the sweet sensation soon to follow.
Every detail about 4Beans—the ABV, the time in barrels, the combination of strong flavors like coffee and vanilla—indicates a substantial sip awaits. This beer delivers on its promise. Chocolate, coffee, and a hint of that heat from the whiskey work together in harmony and really stimulate the senses. It’s sweet and slightly syrupy, but not overly so—think of it like an oozy caramel instead of a viscous maple syrup. Between the richness and the 11% ABV volume, this is a beer you want to savor slowly.
As Sixpoint points out right on the can, this imperial porter will only improve over time. Barrel-Aged 4Beans is a rare beer that I may have enjoyed more during the last sip rather than the first. Allowing this to sit in storage as it “matures and evolves for years” will work, too, according to the fine print.