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Lakefront and other imperial stouts this winter

Bars, wine, beer, cocktails, drunken escapades

Lakefront and other imperial stouts this winter

Postby TheBookPolice » Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:10 am

Am I just paying more attention, or is this winter officially cray for big stouts? Goose Island resurrected two old imperial stouts (Nightstalker and Big John), introduced two new large-format variants -- Cherry Rye and Coffee -- to their wonderful Bourbon County Brand Stout, and now Lakefront knocks one out of the park with the first in their four-beer 25th Anniversary series: a chocolate/vanilla/cherry number that keeps all sweet elements appropriately restrained.

Plus Central Waters' annual Bourbon Barrel Stout release, O'So's new Bourbon Barrel Night Train (yes, a porter, I know), and Founders announcing that Breakfast Stout will be a seasonal release going forward, but in sixers for the same price. The Midwest stout scene is blowing up, y'all. Or is it me?

Anyway, I haven't picked up either of the wide-release Goose Island stouts. I was lucky to get both of the BCBS variants, but haven't cracked 'em open yet. The Lakefront four-pack was the talk of Beer Twitter yesterday, so I couldn't keep myself from adding more bottles to my already-at-capacity fridge. It's really a nice beer, especially for the price point.
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Re: Lakefront and other imperial stouts this winter

Postby wallrock » Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:28 am

Big ass stouts are definitely in vogue. Lake Louie's Mr. Mephisto Russian Imperial is another good one, as is Great Lake's Blackout.
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Re: Lakefront and other imperial stouts this winter

Postby gargantua » Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:31 am

The fact that it is imperial stout season is one of the only reasons I can tolerate winter. For me, the benchmark stout is Old Rasputin from North Coast Brewing. That one is available year-round.
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Re: Lakefront and other imperial stouts this winter

Postby rrnate » Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:04 am

A couple months ago I had a truly amazing bourbon barrel imperial cherry stout at Bells in Michigan (on tap - pretty sure it hasn't made it to bottle) and it literally changed my whole beer perspective.

Can anyone recommend any currently available beers of a very similar nature that are delicious? I'm traditionally anti-stout, but looking for a new love in my life. (Finally getting burned out on hops.)
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Re: Lakefront and other imperial stouts this winter

Postby Endo Rockstar » Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:16 am

rrnate wrote:A couple months ago I had a truly amazing bourbon barrel imperial cherry stout at Bells in Michigan (on tap - pretty sure it hasn't made it to bottle) and it literally changed my whole beer perspective.

Can anyone recommend any currently available beers of a very similar nature that are delicious? I'm traditionally anti-stout, but looking for a new love in my life. (Finally getting burned out on hops.)


Bell's Stouts at Cork'n'Bottle right now:

Double Cream Stout (awesome)
Kalamazoo Stout (pretty awesome --and available year round)
Java Stout (awesome if you're just having one beer)
Expedition Stout (awesome awesome awesome -- but a little pricey)

Bell's does bottle the Cherry Stout but I don't know if there's any left in town, call woodmans.

-Dan Motor
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Re: Lakefront and other imperial stouts this winter

Postby TheBookPolice » Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:18 am

rrnate wrote:A couple months ago I had a truly amazing bourbon barrel imperial cherry stout at Bells in Michigan (on tap - pretty sure it hasn't made it to bottle) and it literally changed my whole beer perspective.

Can anyone recommend any currently available beers of a very similar nature that are delicious? I'm traditionally anti-stout, but looking for a new love in my life. (Finally getting burned out on hops.)

You got pretty lucky. That was probably crafted from the remaining stock of pre-drought Cherry Stout. The Lakefront beer I mentioned above has a lovely tart cherry note that might appease your taste buds. I got mine at Jenifer Street Market, but it's around elsewhere, too.
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Re: Lakefront and other imperial stouts this winter

Postby O.J. » Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:20 am

TheBookPolice wrote: Anyway, I haven't picked up either of the wide-release Goose Island stouts.


Have you seen them on the shelves locally? I can't wait to try those; Beer Advocate rates the Coffee a perfect 100 and the Cherry at 98.
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Re: Lakefront and other imperial stouts this winter

Postby TheBookPolice » Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:31 am

O.J. wrote:
TheBookPolice wrote: Anyway, I haven't picked up either of the wide-release Goose Island stouts.

Have you seen them on the shelves locally? I can't wait to try those; Beer Advocate rates the Coffee a perfect 100 and the Cherry at 98.

Naw, by "wide-release" I meant Big John and Nightstalker. I don't think the BCBS variant stouts (Coffee and Cherry Rye) even made it to shelves. Though Madison actually benefited from an accidental shorting of the Chicago area in terms of retail allotment (from what I was told), I don't think any shop had enough to put bottles out for open availability. Waitlist traffic exhausted Star's stock in less than an hour, and I got mine for being the most early and persistent beer dork to ask Alpine about them. Steve's usually does a lottery, as their interest often outpaces their allotment.
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Re: Lakefront and other imperial stouts this winter

Postby kweetech » Sat Jan 12, 2013 10:36 am

I brought home a bottle of Fulton Worthy Adversary and Surly Darkness over the holidays...
Drank the Worthy Adversary during the the last Packer/Viking game...thought it was appropriate.

This years Central Waters BBS is stellar..the extra aging made it so damn smooth right off the bat...
I need to pick up some Nightstalker too.
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Re: Lakefront and other imperial stouts this winter

Postby Athena » Mon Jan 14, 2013 7:09 pm

rrnate wrote:Can anyone recommend any currently available beers of a very similar nature that are delicious? I'm traditionally anti-stout, but looking for a new love in my life. (Finally getting burned out on hops.)


I'll recommend the Lakefront Imperial Stout if what you liked was the cherry flavor and the Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Stout if you liked the bourbon flavor. Both should be fairly readily available. I actually like the Central Waters version better than the Goose Island, possibly because it is easier to drink because it has less alcohol.
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