stout

4 Beers To Get You Through The Holidays

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If you’re like me, the holidays can be a stressful and overwhelming time. So much baking, decorating, and snow clearing to do! Not to mention, you want to look your holiday best for that special mistletoe kiss. Never fear – I am here to present 4 Beers To Get You Through The Holidays.

The Perfect Cookie-Pairing Beer:
Moloko Milk Stout from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Skip the milk, leave this milk stout out for Santa!
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Moloko Milk Stout pours a deep, dark black and is topped with a tan head. It also leaves gorgeous lacing down the glass as you drink. The aroma of this beer is subtle, hinting at sweet chocolate toffee and roasty malts. The taste starts with lightly charred marshmallow, and gives way to a sugary sweet chocolate vanilla swirl of flavor with hints of espresso at the tail. This beer is well balanced, and the alcohol does not over power at all. I love the creamy, present body. Perfect for fresh out of the oven sugar cookies!

The Perfect Decorating Beer:
Deal with the Devil Double Pale Ale from 18th Street Brewery

Because sometimes you wonder if you have to make a deal with the devil just to untangle those Christmas lights.
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I was just recently fortunate enough to try this beer over Thanksgiving break, and I’m very glad I did! Deal with the Devil pours a hazy, dark amber color with a solid white head. The aromatics of this beer won me over instantly – strong juicy citrus notes, with a subtle but distinct sweet bready undertone. This beer tastes similarly to how it smells – sweet orange zest and slightly more bitter grapefruit notes, tropical mango, and delivered by a well balanced caramel malt throughout. Hoppy, citrusy, and not too much alcohol – they know the way to my heart. This was one of the best new beer I’ve had in a while!

 

The Perfect Post-Snow Shoveling Beer:
Dragon’s Milk Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout with Coffee & Chocolate from New Holland Brewing Co.
Some people want coffee or cocoa after being out in the cold. Let the bourbon, coffee, and chocolate of this brew knock off the edge instead!
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Did you know that Dragon’s Milk was one of the early bourbon barrel-aged stouts in the US? That was way back in 2001, and now the barrel-aged scene has, obviously, EXPLODED. Not only was Dragon’s Milk one of the early BBA stouts on the scenes, it remains to be one of the most solid. Then New Holland decided to take their already delicious beer, age it with coffee & chocolate, and TA-DA! – you have one of their most sought after Reserves.

 

The Perfect Mistletoe Beer:
Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Co.
Because in the end it doesn’t matter if you get kissed or not – this beer is so good you’ll want to give it a smooch!
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There is a lot of hype surrounding this beer – and it does not disappoint. In the words of AleSmith themselves, “Speedway Stout’s ominous, pitch-black appearance has become a hallmark of this modern-day classic. Chocolate and roasted malts dominate the flavor, supported by notes of dark fruit, toffee, and caramel. A healthy dose of locally-roasted coffee from Ryan Bros. Coffee, Inc. added to each batch brings out the beer’s dark chocolate flavors and enhances its drinkability. Despite its intensity, Speedway Stout’s fine carbonation and creamy mouthfeel make it very smooth and surprisingly easy to drink.” As many people have shared, this beer absolutely improves with age. So why not pull a finely aged bottle out of your beer cellar to set the romantic tone for your special mistletoe smooch?


What beers do YOU sip to get through (or celebrate) the holidays? Which beer makes the best Christmas gift? Have you have any of these? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section!

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Beer Review: BOMB!

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BOMB! – an Imperial Stout
from Prairie Artisan Ales in Tulsa, OK

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I first became a fan of Prairie Artisan Ales when my husband Luke was in Tulsa for a work trip. He brought back a variety of their beer and they instantly won my heart (and taste buds) over. Now whenever I see Prairie at my local bottle shop, I’m inclined to pick up as many bottles as I can carry.

As the end of summer grows near and my husband and I return to work, we knew we couldn’t let things get boring and bland. Backyard sparklers while drinking BOMB! Imperial Stout is one great way to make sure this summer goes out with a bang!

BOMB! is an Imperial Stout aged on espresso beans, chocolate, vanilla beans, and ancho chile peppers. It poured the color of dark espresso, topped with a quickly dissipating taupe head. The aroma was immediately led by a strong vanilla presence, which tapered off to distinct chili notes and the subtle underlying presence of coffee. My first sip was incredibly smooth with moderate carbonation. Sweet vanilla and earthy chocolate danced across my palate, the sweetness kept in check by the presence of a bitter espresso backbone. The chili spice didn’t show up until the end, which provided a pleasant, warm finish to the whole ensemble. This is definitely the best use of chili spice in beer I’ve had to date, primarily because the peppers aren’t aggressive, but are instead used to accentuate the other quality flavors. BOMB! clocks in at 13% ABV and 65 IBUs. For such a high alcohol content, this beer was far from boozy. The incredible balance of flavors mask the high-alcohol taste.

For those of you who love a good stout, I highly recommend this beer! I am a big fan of coffee beer, but tend to tread carefully when it comes to spicy beer – I have a fairly low heat tolerance. It takes a well-balanced, flavorful array that doesn’t leave my mouth and throat in pain. BOMB! did not disappoint.

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Have you had BOMB! from Prairie Artisan Ales? What did you think of it? Is there a beer you would like to see me review? Let me know!

Beer Review: Imperial Biscotti Break

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Imperial Biscotti Break – an Imperial Stout
produced and bottled for Evil Twin Brewing by Westbrook Brewing Co. in Mt. Pleasant, SCIMG_2102

As I’m sure many of you know, yesterday was National Beer Day. My husband Luke and I are recovering after a bout of terrible illness, and we knew we had to do something good to celebrate. I decided it was time to crack open the Imperial Biscotti Break I had been cellaring – a very good decision!

Imperial Biscotti Break is an Imperial Stout. It poured a silky jet-black, with a brief caramel colored head about a finger high. The first notes to hit my nose were espresso and sweet chocolate, elevated with wafts of roasted malt. I also picked up on a subtle licorice scent. The first sip surprised me with its silky, creamy mouthfeel. Sweet milk chocolate and vanilla flavors lead the charge at the front of the palate, carried on a consistent backbone of darkly roasted espresso. There was a subtle coffee bitterness that lingered at the end, and this was also the only time I noticed the slight burn from the alcohol. While this beer initially seemed very sweet, I was pleased that the coffee balanced it out well. Imperial Biscotti Break clocks in at 11.5% ABV. For those of you who love a good stout, I highly recommend this beer! I know Evil Twin Brewing does some variations on this delicious brew, including one aged in Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon Barrels that I would love to get my hands on.

IMG_2103For more beer reviews, check out the old Polka Dots & Pints site here.


Have you had Imperial Biscotti Break? What did you think of it? Is there a beer you would like to see me review? Let me know!