Mandatory Staff Picks: The Best Dark Beers
Photo: Rogue Ales
Sure, summer isn’t officially over for a few weeks. But, if you’re anything like us, you start to pull out your sweaters and jeans and put away your flip-flops and board shorts when kids go back to school. For all intents and purposes, it’s pretty much autumn now. Leaves are beginning to fall, Halloween candy is on shelves, and the nights are getting colder, and pumpkin spice seems to be slathered on everything like some kind of spicy suntan lotion. It’s the perfect time to start drinking darker beers.
By darker beers, we mean stouts, porters, dark lagers, dunkels, and Schwarzbiers. To help you pick out the right dark beers for you, we made a list of the best dark beers to drink this season. Check them all out below.
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This 12 percent ABV coffee and chocolate stout was aged in former bourbon barrels. This creates a highly complex, potent, imperial stout with hints of coffee, cocoa, and sweet vanilla.
Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier
If you’ve never had a smoke beer, now is the time. And if you’re only going to try one, make Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier, from Bamberg, Germany, the one. It’s smoky, rich, malty, and perfect for a chilly fall night.
Photo: Aecht Schlenkerla
Left Hand Milk Stout
One of the most popular milk stouts on the market. Left Hand Milk Stout is full of hints of espresso, rich chocolate, caramelized sugar, and sweet cream.
Photo: Left Hand
Alaskan Smoked Porter
First released in 1988, this smoke beer is rich, robust, and full of hints of roasted malts, chocolate, and a healthy dose for pleasing smoke.
Photo: Alaskan Brewing
Bourbon County Stout
No dark beer list is complete without this rich, high-ABV, bourbon barrel-aged stout. If you open this warming beer, you won’t need to drink any more tonight because it’s always around 12 percent ABV.
Photo: Goose Island
Brooklyn Black Ops
This 12.4 percent imperial stout was aged in former Four Roses Small Batch bourbon casks. The result is a rich, robust stout, full of hints of dark chocolate, vanilla, and toasted caramel.
There’s a reason this imperial stout always tops lists of best dark beers. This 14 percent brew is full of hints of chocolate, coffee, vanilla, that all ends in crescendo of spicy heat for ancho chili peppers.
Photo: Prairie Artisan Ales
Rogue Mocha Porter
This 5.6 percent ABV porter is perfectly suited for fall imbibing. Its slightly bittersweet flavor is filled with chocolate and coffee, all tempered with a nice hoppy backbone.
Photo: Rogue Ales
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