Wednesday, February 26, 2014

top5 Tuesday (Feb. 25) STOUT IT OUT

Stouts. One of my favorite styles of beer, I just love this low hoppy, frothy, roasty, chocolatey, beer. Even-though they are a popular choice for winter, I've been know to drink my stouts all year round... I mean you don't stop drinking coffee in Summer, do you? And contrary to what many beginner beer drinkers may think, just because it's darker, doesn't mean it's stronger or has more alcohol in it then a lighter in color beer. Think of it this way, a black coffee doesn't have more calories then a Sprite, in fact it has almost no calories, (black coffee is about 2 calories a cup, Sprite is 140 calories for 12oz). Just because a beer is lighter in color, doesn't mean it's lighter in alcohol or calories either. Actually, Guinness, is my go to diet beer, it has only 128 calories for a draft pour. I think most people are more timid about drinking dark beers, because they have strong bold roasted flavors, and so then associate them with a strong in alcohol beer.

Dark beers actually come from roasting the malts, the same malts used in lighter beers, except these have been roasted, like roasting coffee beans. Guinness was actually the first dark beer and it happened quite accidentally. The brewery meant to only toast the malts, but left them going a little too long, and they became black and roasted. Instead of throwing the malts out, they decided to brew with them and not make any waste, thus the first dark beer was born in 1759.

So if you're a fan of coffee, or frothy creamy milk shakes, decadent dark chocolates, or the occasional whiskey/bourbon notes, then you'll love a good stout. Now, with that said, I also love a lot of amazing strong high in alcohol stouts. And my top5 for this week happens to be a lot of heavy hitters.
   

THE top5 CHICAGO BREWED STOUTS RIGHT NOW

  • Ale Syndicate: Omega Midnight
    Oh my, Omega! You had me at first sip. Love this strong dark sweet abyss, and at 9.5% ABV it goes down way to easy.
  • Revolution: Blue Gene
    Blueberry and barrel aged? Yes, please! This is a killer combination, it is so ridiculous awesome! If you haven't had this already, go get some now, right now, stop reading this and go find this beer, it won't be around forever.
  • Pipeworks: Toasty Nut Abduction
    This was my favorite in the Abduction series, it just inched passed the Raspberry Truffle, which I thought was mind blowing. This toasty coconut silky smooth and almond stout will wow you too. It's a hard to find bomber, but when you get your hands on it, savor it, it is so worth it.
  • Half Acre: Big Hugs
    This big hug, is full bodied, and so tasty it will warm you inside and out. If you missed it this year, don't worry, it will be back as it is an annual winter favorite.  
  • Goose Island: Bourbon County Bourbon Stout, lovingly referred to as BCBS.
    Decadent, delicious and devious at 14.5% ABV... you better know what your doing when you get in front of one of these pours! It goes down easy, but this is not a chugging beer, sip it or you'll be sorry tomorrow.
And if your an American Homebrewer Association member, now is the time to cast your vote for your favorites for the best beers in America survey. 

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