BEST STOUT I EVER TASTED + 53 Beers to Consider for New Years Eve

by Harvey Gold - Dave Daugherty on December 26, 2012

Welcome to our last new post (we think) of 2012. We thought it might be helpful to re-publish our Top 19×2 plus honorable mentions list from this past August for reference as you head out to shop for  New Years Eve. It doesn’t contain, obviously, this year’s seasonal warmers, but still… if it helps, run with it!

First, onto NEW BIDNESS:

photoI was gifted with a 25 oz. (750ml) bottle of  Sierra Nevada’s 30th Anniversary Stout “Fritz and Ken’s Ale.” It was originally purchased in early May of 2010 and stored upright in a relatively stable and cool spot. We opened it on Christmas Eve, and what a gift it was! Pouring black as night, with a head so solid we had to sip through it, we could have started with a spoon. The nose was interestingly floral and hoppy, a theme that continued into the overall experience here.

From first sip to last, this was a spectacular stout. Very big, but not cloying in the least, at various stages of airing and temperature, the beautifully rendered flavors of  rich dark chocolate, molasses, and perhaps coffee – though there are times when my palate isn’t sure if I’m dealing with unsweetened chocolate or black coffee – bloomed and blended. Distinguishing it throughout, though, was the ever present influence to the nose and to the taste buds of hops, contributing a sweet and fragrant component, the darker influences still dominating the middle and end of the sip.

You could build a boat with the lacing, btw.

I have had other wonderful stouts, to be sure, some in bottle, some drafted, some out of bourbon barrels and, to be fair, there are probably a couple I might ALSO call the best stout I’ve ever had, but this was so wonderful on so many levels, this celebratory stout from Sierra Nevada (9.2%ABV), without question, merits the word BEST!

Now as to Dave and Harv’s picks?


This DOES NOT supplant our original TOP 20 LIST…they are still viewed as fabulous beers. Here are 19×2 more, not in order of preference, but alphabetically by brewery:

Harv’s Top 19 

Beer Brewery
Maharaja Imperial IPA Avery
Pub Ale 16 oz nitro can & draft Boddingtons
Cherry Stout Bells
Local 1 Belgian Ale Brooklyn Brewing
Local 2 Belgian Ale Brooklyn Brewing
Palo Santo Marron Dogfish Head
KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) Founders
Cerise Founders
Barrel Aged Blackout Stout Great Lakes Brewing
Edmund Fitzgerald Porter Great Lakes Brewing
Mean Manalishi Double IPA Hoppin’ Frog
Belgian Style Double IPA Hoppin’ Frog
Milk Stout (Nitro and Otherwise) Left Hand Brewery
Diabolical IPA North PeakBrewing
Belgian Tripel Rockmill Brewing
Imperial Series Wee Heavy Sam Adams
Oak Smoke Doppelbock Schlenkerla
Belgian Tripel Ter Dolen
Nelson Imperial IPA Widmer Brothers

Dave’s Top 19 

Beer Brewery
Pecan Harvest Ale Abita Brewing
Raj IPA Four Peaks Brewing
Barrel Roll #3 – Pugachev’s Cobra Hangar 24
Double IPA Hangar 24
Messiah Bold He’Brew
Calabaza Blanca Jolly Pumpkin
Wailua Wheat Beer Kona Brewing
Snow Day Winter Ale New Belgium
Snow Cap Pyramid
Morimoto Black Obi Soba Ale Rogue
Chocolate Bock Sam Adams
Oak Smoke Doppelbock Schlenkerla
Urbock 23° Schloss Eggenberg
Smoked Porter Stone Brewing
Arrogant Bastartd Ale (Oaked) Stone Brewing
Cherry Chocolate Stout Stone Brewing
Saison Du Buff Stone, Dogfish Head, Victory
17th Anniversary Barleywine Uinta
Rotator IPA: O’Ryely IPA Widmer Brothers

Harv’s Honorable Mentions

Beer Brewery
471 Small Batch IPA Breckenridge
Backwoods Bastard Founders
Peeper Ale Maine Beer Company
1554 Enlightened Black Ale New Belgium
Ranger IPA New Belgium
Vicious Wheat IPA North PeakBrewing
#29 Ghidora Double IPA Sierra Nevada Beer Camp
#16 Juniper Black Ale Sierra Nevada Beer Camp
Hop Strike Black Rye IPA Tommyknocker
Back in Black IPA 21st Amendment
Hop Wallop IPA Victory Brewing

Dave’s Honorable Mentions

Beer Brewery
Alaskan Winter White Alaskan Brewing Co.
Demo IPA Magic Hat
Shiner Bohemian Black Lager Shiner/Spoetzl
Tumbler (2011) Sierra Nevada


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Dale Freudenberger January 11, 2013 at 11:59 pm

Fantastic article!!! Thank you! Our coal region roots are deep and still alive and well! Sometime I hope to visit some of the many great sites mentioned in your article.


admin January 23, 2013 at 4:02 pm

We believe these kind words were intended for the fine profile Dr. Westbrook did on the Wyoming Valley of Northeatern Pennsylvania, BEER CLINIC :: Beer in the Valley Pt.2. In light of the fact that, at this moment, we don’t know how to move this comment posted by Mr. Freudenberger, we’ll just strongly suggest you either follow the above link, or scroll up the home page to read this piece, chock full of watering holes, eateries and fine regional brews.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: