OK, it’s not winter hell it’s not even fall. But I have a porter in my fridge which will be drank and reviewed soon and I want this to go up before that review. This was previously titled “Now is the winter of my Stout-content” but I decided that was too limiting as I plan on diving into both stouts and porters. Also “Now is the winter of my dark-content” plays better on Shakespeare’s “now is the winter of my discontent” line. Anyway, time to get to the point.
Serious confession, there is a significant flaw and failing in my beer nerd qualifications. I have only had 3 stouts/porters in my life and have never given them a thorough review or a significant amount of thought. These 3 are Guinness, Rivertown Roebling, and Heavy Seas Peg Leg which I just had only because a friend left one in the fridge after a recent party. I’ve probably taken a taste or two of others a few times but I know that those are the only 3 I’ve actually drank an entire bottle/glass of.
I’ve been planning this post and idea since July and since then I’ve been contemplating why I’ve never gotten into stouts/porters. The best reason I can figure is two fold:
- I entered the craft beer world through Belgian ales which held my attention for quite a year or so. I then progressed around through Irish reds, IPAs, pale ales, and all variety of other “lighter” ales. Eventually I dove into lagers and started mixing those into my ale rotation. The big conclusion here is that these styles represent enough beer to keep one drunk for decades. This is the main reason I’ve never gotten into them.
- Dark beers are somewhat of a “scary” concept in the color department alone. Most other beers range from completely transparent pale yellow to dark brown and reds. Darks on the other hand are black as the night and topped off with this thick brown head. My contemplation has resulted in this being a far second compared to my quest to try different ales.
Neither of these are great reasons for avoiding a major category of beer but alas so it is. I plan to rectify this mistake this fall and winter. Why fall and winter? Because dark beers are generally perceived as being better for this season. Also, why the hell not, it’s a good a time as any right?
So there it is. Through out this fall and winter, beginning this week with Stone’s Smoked Porter, I am going to focus on darker beers specifically stouts and porters. I’ll still throw a couple “lighter” beers in here and there probably and maybe a few winter/Christmas styles as well. You can also expect to see posts about stouts and porters detailing their histories as well as aspects of their style.
I’m open to suggestions on what to try first though I plan on, as always, trying everything I can get my hands on.
11 thoughts on “Now is the winter of my dark-content”
Welcome to the dark side.
Do you get Great Lakes distributed to you? Their Edmund Fitzgerald Porter is amazing. I’ve liked Mikkeller’s stouts too, especially their barrel-aged versions.
See above for the best porter that will be easily available to you in Cincinnati. Bell’s, Founders, and Sierra Nevada also have very good porters.
Venturing into (single, not imperial) stouts, I’d give Sierra Nevada Stout a try for a good example of a single, American stout. Samuel Smith had some good British offerings for both Porter and Stout. Once you get into imperial stouts, there is a ton of variety.
Left Hand’s Milk Stout is a must.
Thanks for the suggestions I’ve added them to my list. Keep any other suggestions rolling in!
Founder’s Porter, Anchor Porter, Thirsty Dog Old Leghumper (pour with caution), BJ’s PM Porter
North Coast Old Rasputin Imperial Stout, Left Hand Milk Stout (& Nitro), Southern Tier 2x Stout