The winter of my dark-content has come to a close

Around 8 months ago I posted Now is the winter of my dark-content. Discussing how I’d never tried too many stouts and not given thought to them but was setting out to change that. It’s now spring and with spring comes the release of summer ales. While drinking a Sam Adam’s Summer Ale (my review) earlier this week and grilling a burger I decided it was time to reflect on my adventure into the world of stouts. Here are a couple of things I’ve discovered:

  • Stouts seem to be one of the most diverse sub-categories of beer. From 3.5% dry Irish milk stouts to 10% imperial stouts up to 19.5% bourbon barrel aged stouts!
  • Further on that point, if someone doesn’t like bourbon barrel aged imperial stouts they should not give up on stouts all together. Milk stouts (especially on nitro) have little in common with their barrel aged cousins and are almost a different beast entirely.
  • Don’t be afraid of dark beers. OK… maybe we should all be a little afraid of The Bruery’s Black Tuesday, 19.5% ABV is nothing to take lightly. However, it seems quite a few people who may love IPAs or Belgians have a “fear” of dark beers. There is nothing to fear unless you really hate coffee and chocolate… or are allergic to it, then yeah that’d be scary.
  • Bourbon barrel aged stouts are the stout-flavor of the day and get a lot of the attention. I don’t agree with the hype. I definitely love some of them like KBS and Parabola but others like BCBS are just far too much bourbon. But as André 3000 says, whatever floats your boat or finds your lost remote.
  • I, personally, prefer porters to stouts. Stouts get a lot more attention these days then porters and I find that to be a shame. There are some amazing porters out there like Rivertown’s Roebling and Sixpoint 3Beans. Porters can have the complexity of stouts with a slightly lighter body.
  • If you don’t like a stout now give it a few months or years to age. Most stouts will age quite well with their flavor profiles changing over time. How long to age X beer is still a bit of a guessing game, so buy a few and try one every couple months. If you find a spot you love, drink em all!
  • There is plenty of focus on rare stouts but some things available every day like Victory’s Storm King kick plenty of ass as well!

I am very glad I did this and have a new found love and respect for stouts and porters. Am I gonna stop drinking them now that the winter is over? Hell No. First off they rock, secondly (and perhaps more importantly) my basement is suddenly overflowing with them, thirdly I have two in my fridge to review which are available in this area and supposedly bad ass. So keep an eye out for my reviews of Ale Smith’s Speedway Stout and Epic’s Big Bad Baptist, plus many many more to come!

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3 Comments

Filed under Beer, Opinion

3 responses to “The winter of my dark-content has come to a close

  1. I’m glad that you had a valuable experience, well, experimenting. It’s easy to stick to our guns of what we like and know, but venturing outside the boundaries from time to time is a great way to – if anything – expand our palates.

    There are simply too many styles and too many variations of those styles for people to avoid all together. There’s always going to be SOMETHING out there to enjoy.

    Also, Big Bad Baptist is fittingly epic. In for a treat.

    Cheers!

  2. I was in the same boat myself as I was a little apprehensive about trying “dark” beers but I was pleasantly surprised as well. I’m sure I didn’t try quite as many as you but it was fun to venture out of my comfort zone and discover something different. I’m not a big fan of the bourbon barrel aged stouts either. I’m going to have try that Sixpoint 3Beans though now that you mentioned it.

    • Tom Aguero

      3Beans is great if you can get it. It just came out for the first time in January and sold out fast. I’ve seen 1 other batch but that was only at the Dorothy Lane Market in Springboro. But if you haven’t had Rivertown’s Roebling you should definitely try that as well. Especially on Nitro at the Rivertown tap room or the Yard house.

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