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Winter Beers


mookie
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Winter is a time when various porters, stouts, schwarzbiers, spiced ales and lagers hit the shelves, in addition to a lot of beers in those categories that are around year-round.

 

It's a little early in the season (although winter beers started to appear here a few weeks ago), but what are you drinking or looking forward to? And, possibly more importantly, what do you eat with these beers? Are there beers (seasonal or not) that go surprisingly well with typical winter or Christmas-season foods?

 

 

 

So far all I've picked up are seasonals from Samuel Adams (Winter Lager) and Dogfish Head (Chicory Stout) and a few locals.

 

Samuel Adams' Winter Lager tastes OK, very lightly spiced, but not that different from their Vienna lager (Boston Lager) or marzenbier (Octoberfest).

 

Dogfish Head's Chicory Stout is much bitterer than I expected (shouldn't be surprising considering that what they label as brown ale tastes more like a good stout). Very dry and at 5.2% not nearly as strong (or harsh) as most of their other beers. Of course now is also the time when their Indian Brown Ale (rich, dry, smooth dark ale, tasting subtly of coffee and chocolate; also very good used sparingly in a rich/dark chili) and Raison d'Être (somewhat dark ale with noticeable raisin and caramel flavor) become most useful, with rich desserts especially landing in the fridge.

 

Harpoon's Chocolate Stout is rich and dry (not too dry), very nice if you like that kind of thing. Might be available nationally or at least quite a distance from New England due to the popularity of their IPA. At worst, you could drink this with any food based on a fruit that would go with chocolate (apple pie, pumpkin pie, raspberry/strawberry/cherry) or most desserts on the shortbread-cookie-caramel-fudge spectrum.

 

Magic Hat's Heart of Darkness (stout) is dark but otherwise doesn't seem to have that much going for it as a stout. It's a little more soft or even a little tangy, more like a porter than a stout. I suspect Magic Hat is not that easy to get outside of the Northeast anyway.

 

Wachusett's Black Shack Porter seemed similar: dark, somewhat rich, a little soft and tangy.

Edited by Flitterkill
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It's a little early in the season (although winter beers started to appear here a few weeks ago), but what are you drinking or looking forward to?

I've been so busy lately that I hadn't thought about it until now....maybe i'll explore the beer isle after my work is done tomorrow, our local grocery has a pretty impressive selection. I did have some pretty good Pumpkin beer when I was in Ohio in September...I don't usually like spiced beer, but it was good. My sister is a rep and her hubby owns a liquor store, so they had quite a selection, don't quite remember exactly what I had....i'll have to ask.

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