There are some suds lovers who believe every season is stout season, while others associate stouts with cold weather. If you’re a lover of the dark arts, lucky for you, there are plenty of local coffee-espresso-chocolate brews to keep your belly warm and your face flushed this winter.
Void of Light (Gun Hill Brewing;www.gunhillbrewing.com) – This Bronx brew is a roasty beer, with deep-chocolate, coffee, and some tobacco flavors; easy to drink despite its 8% ABV. The best part: It’s available year-round.
Vanilla Stout (Yonkers Brewing Co.;www.yonkersbrewing.com) – If there were ever a beer that works wonderfully with sweets, it’s this one. Light, creamy, and low on the IBU bitterness scale, it derives deep notes from Madagascar bourbon vanilla beans. Don’t be afraid to try it with cake and ice cream.
Igor’s Dream (Two Roads;www.tworoadsbrewing.com) – In Jaunary, people wait in frigid temps for what Two Roads calls “Igor Day” in honor of this Russian Imperial Stout. Sure, there are classic coffee and chocolate elements, but you’ll feel the boozy punch it packs due to it being aged in oak whiskey barrels. Keep a lookout for 250 of each limited edition variant (last year’s were aged in barrels of Scotch and maple whiskey).
Broken Heart Stout (Broken Bow Brewery;www.brokenbowbrewery.com) – BHS, a year-round stout that can be purchased in cans, is super-drinkable, with a hint of chocolate for sweetness but enough hops to bitter it up.
Frost Monster (Captain Lawrence;www.captainlawrencebrewing.com) – This is one of Captain Lawrence’s best and, at 12% ABV, it could give its namesake a good buzz. This monster is as dark as night, with a high carbonation level for a stout, but it’s also really smoky, with a bitter chocolate note. Sip this one slowly, folks; you’ve been warned.