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Old 10-26-2018, 10:20 AM
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Time for dark beer - what's your's?


While I'll enjoy a porter or stout any time of year, the cool weather here in the NE U.S. has me hankering for the dark stuff. Founder's has a good porter, Left Hand Milk Stout is high on my list and, while I haven't had it for years (availability issues where I live), I found Fuller's London Porter to be quite good. We have many local micro-breweries around but most seem to have a hard time making a straight up porter. They always want to add coffee or chocolate or something. What's your go-to dark?
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Old 10-26-2018, 10:32 AM
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I don't drink a ton of dark beer, but my favorite is from a local brewery: Highland Brewing's Black Mocha Stout. On a cold night, alongside fried onion rings, it's spectacular, rich and bitter and toasty and just delicious with food.
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Old 10-26-2018, 10:34 AM
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Storm King by Victory. It'll make you a bit wobbly, though.

I like Black Butte porter by Deschutes.
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Old 10-26-2018, 10:39 AM
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My beer choices are pretty boring:

Guinness if I have it, but I almost never do. I just don't think to buy it when I'm at the store for whatever reason.

Negra Modelo is the closest I have to a "regular" dark beer.

Recently I had a Sam Adams Coffee Pale Ale that was interesting. It was good; I'd have it again.


.

Last edited by DCnDC; 10-26-2018 at 10:39 AM.
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Old 10-26-2018, 10:41 AM
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I prefer porter or stout to most anything else and will select them unless not on the menu. I do not have a go-to dark, but around here Deschutes Black Butte seems to have wide availability. Fortunately, most of the local micro-breweries in the area offer at least one porter or stout (along with a myriad of IPA).
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Old 10-26-2018, 11:08 AM
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I love Founders Breakfast Stout. I've met some of the people from the brewery and they seem to be cool people. So I'm hoping all the controversy gets worked out.
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Old 10-26-2018, 11:31 AM
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You already hit two of my favorites (Founder's porter and Left Hand Milk Stout). I will add Evolution Lucky 7 Porter if you can get it (Evolution is a Delaware brewery). Old Rasputin is another favorite, but like Victory Storm King it's a bit higher ABV.
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Old 10-26-2018, 11:57 AM
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Dragon's Milk.
http://newhollandbrew.com/beer/dragons-milk/

(I once bought some that I didn't realize was Dragon's Milk Reserve, la de da. It was 18 percent ABV.)
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Old 10-26-2018, 12:04 PM
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Add me to the fan list for Old Rasputin. Oskar Blues' Ten Fidy is another favorite. However, both are so smooth that'll sneak up and knock you on your ass if you're not paying attention.
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Old 10-26-2018, 12:18 PM
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I loves me some Sam Adams Chocolate Bock.
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Left Hand Milk Stout is high on my list
Same here, specifically the Milk Stout Nitro.

Last edited by Skywatcher; 10-26-2018 at 12:19 PM.
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Old 10-26-2018, 12:21 PM
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Black Butte Porter is my "go to" easy to find anywhere beer. I once stumbled on a Deschutes brewery pub that was serving cask conditioned Black Butte from a little keg set up on a cooling blanket on the bar and it was so good I admit I overindulged a bit. I'm also quite fond of Rogue Shakespeare Stout and Hazelnut Brown. Basically, though, Portland in specific and Oregon in general has no dearth of really great dark beers so I'm seldom at a loss for something yummy to drink should I be in the mood to do so.
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Old 10-26-2018, 12:23 PM
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Ya kno, I much prefer stout and porter to ales and lagers ("I like my beer like I like my worldview: dark and bitter"), but most of the time I've gone for some craft beer or microbrew they've usually been so overly clever that they've ruined the thing (NB microbreweries: "chocolate orange stout" may sound nice but the orange oil does not play nice with the rest of the beer and it's like drinking out of a soapy glass). And in the end I go back to Guinness.

Oddly, although I've had bad luck with expensive craft porters I've developed a fondness for the cheap and cheerful Spill the Beans Coffee Porter from The Great British Brewing Company. It's not for everyone but there's just something about the flavor that works for me, and at under £1 a bottle is a winner from where I'm standing.
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Old 10-26-2018, 12:43 PM
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I also vouch for Old Rasputin.
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Old 10-26-2018, 12:56 PM
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Left Hand Milk stout is great as far as stouts go, although I don't drink it very often- stouts aren't really my thing.

Do Belgians count? I'm a pretty big fan of Ommegang's Three Philosophers...
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Old 10-26-2018, 01:14 PM
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Ol' Raspy or Black Boss Porter for me.
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Old 10-26-2018, 02:18 PM
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Enjoying revisiting the Edmund Fitzgerald from Great Lakes Brewing. I also remember that VJ Black and Choklat were both excellent.
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Old 10-26-2018, 02:38 PM
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Polygamy Porter. Motto: Why stop at just one! Bring some home to the wives!
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Old 10-26-2018, 02:56 PM
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Polygamy Porter. Motto: Why stop at just one! Bring some home to the wives!
I have the t-shirt; you wouldn't believe how much commentary it generates!
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Old 10-26-2018, 03:20 PM
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Same here, specifically the Milk Stout Nitro.
Left Hand Nitro Milk Stout. Everyone I've ever exposed to it loves it. It's definitely my cold-weather beer.
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Old 10-26-2018, 03:37 PM
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Left Hand Nitro Milk Stout. Everyone I've ever exposed to it loves it. It's definitely my cold-weather beer.
I exposed myself to it and got kicked out of the bar.
  #21  
Old 10-26-2018, 04:11 PM
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Two German beers well worth checking out are Weihenstephaner Bayrisch Dunkel and Kostritzer Schwarzbier ("Black Beer") which are both flavorful but not too heavy or filling.

Weihenstephan claims to be the world's oldest brewery, continuously brewing beer since 1040, but I am not sure if they export to the USA.
  #22  
Old 10-26-2018, 04:11 PM
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I enjoy the Oktoberfest type beers in the fall. Left Hand Milk Stout is a bit too sweet for my tastes, though I will have it every once in a while. My go-tos are more whatever Oktoberfest is on tap--I don't much care, but my preference is for Ayinger and Hacker-Pschorr, if available.

Then, if I'm feeling in more high-alcohol mood, I go for stuff like Spaten Optimator, which is a doppelbock, or Ayinger Celebrator. Both are more on the sweet side for my tastes, but still pretty tasty.
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Old 10-26-2018, 04:24 PM
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I enjoy the Oktoberfest type beers in the fall. Left Hand Milk Stout is a bit too sweet for my tastes, though I will have it every once in a while. My go-tos are more whatever Oktoberfest is on tap--I don't much care, but my preference is for Ayinger and Hacker-Pschorr, if available.

Then, if I'm feeling in more high-alcohol mood, I go for stuff like Spaten Optimator, which is a doppelbock, or Ayinger Celebrator. Both are more on the sweet side for my tastes, but still pretty tasty.
I just got a few 1/2 liter bottles of Lowenbrau Oktoberfestbier, (actually brewed in Munich, not at one of their satellite locations) for the equivalent about 65 cents (U$D) apiece.

I am incredibly mad at myself for not buying a case or two, as they are not available any longer, at least at the store I bought them at.
  #24  
Old 10-26-2018, 06:52 PM
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I do not drink anymore, but when I lived in China, there was a pretty wide selection of Tsingtao beer and I really fell in love with a dark one they made.

Can not find an image of it anywhere, but it was very dark brown, like this.

However, that isn't it. I'm guessing it was discontinued even there, as I never see or hear about it anywhere.
  #25  
Old 10-26-2018, 09:10 PM
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My favorite dark-ish beer is either Paulaner Salvator or the aforementioned Spaten Optimator (such a good name), both double bocks. Not as dark as some of the beers mentioned, but they bring the alcohol - and the calories, either one is at least 230 cal/12oz.
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Old 10-26-2018, 09:29 PM
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Old 10-26-2018, 09:37 PM
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Augsburger Bock - yeah, I'm old
  #28  
Old 10-27-2018, 01:01 AM
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I brew my own. There are a ton of English session porters and stouts. Hell, standard Guinness (which is always a great choice) is a session beer.

Chuck Papazian's original Sparrow Hawk Porter is quite tasty and one I do at least annually.

Tonight I just finished brewing a 1966 Oatmalt stout [URL="http://barclayperkins.blogspot.com/2018/10/lets-brew-wednesday-1966-maclay-oat.html"
[/URL].I've done the original 1909 version and literally just finished a bottle but the ABV is a high for me at ~7%. The 1966 is more like 3% ABV and in line with my tastes. Ask in a couple of weeks how it turns out!

I have good but not superlative Irish Stout recipes so open to suggestions
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Old 10-27-2018, 06:45 PM
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Anything made by Samuel Smith's. Their nut brown ale is the greatest beer on the planet. Their stouts are fantastic as well.
  #30  
Old 10-27-2018, 06:51 PM
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Anything made by Samuel Smith's.
Beat me to it. The Samuel Smith Old Brewery Taddy Porter has been a favorite of mine for many years.

It’s also hard to better a full imperial pint of Guinness. It’s good for you, you know.
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  #31  
Old 10-27-2018, 08:39 PM
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I make my own. I whip up a wicked Chocolate-Raspberry Stout every year for Christmas season.

Its VERY subtle and better than it sounds.

Great Basin Brewery has Wild Horse which is pretty good.
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Old 10-27-2018, 08:54 PM
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The trinity for me is Brooklyn Chocolate Stout, Old Rasputin, and Dovish Head Siracusa Nera. I'm looking forward to trying Duck Rabbit imperial Milk Stout.
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Old 10-27-2018, 08:58 PM
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I just finished a Backwoods Brewing Pecan Pie Porter. Sometimes these gimmick beers work...but this one didn't.
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Old 10-27-2018, 09:28 PM
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Visited England this summer, and went to the Buxton Tap room. Ordered a Buxton Brewery Double Stout. So dense it clunked when poured. If you spread a drop of it across a searchlight, no light would come out. I wanna go back, spend a month in Buxton, and get one of those stouts every day.
Can’t buy that here in the US, but my current fave has been mentioned many times by others here: Old Rasputin.

Last edited by Capn Carl; 10-27-2018 at 09:32 PM.
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Old 10-27-2018, 10:51 PM
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I'm drinking a 16 oz. PBR. In the dark. So that's my vote.
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Old 10-27-2018, 11:52 PM
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I also vouch for Old Rasputin.
Me too! On nitro at the bar is way better than bottled, though.
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Old 10-28-2018, 12:36 AM
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Local brewery Darling produces two I like: Black Mist is a nice chocolatey poorter, and Silverback is a dunkelweizen (dark wheat beer).

Another local brewer, Riot, had (has?) a barrel-aged Imperial Stout that was sublime.

And shoutout to silenus for 2 excellent homebrew stout recipes he shared once. I should make those again...
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Old 10-28-2018, 12:37 AM
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Not a fan of Stouts or Porters, but I do love a dark Ale. Here in Aus, the White Rabbit Dark Ale is pretty good, and Tooheys Old is great for a high-volume mainstream brew.
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Old 10-28-2018, 12:58 AM
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Velvet Merkin for me. Nice and soft. Hard to get though. Velvet Merlin seems to be widely available. Here anyway.
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Old 10-28-2018, 04:59 AM
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Velvet Merkin for me. Nice and soft. Hard to get though. Velvet Merlin seems to be widely available. Here anyway.
I wouldn’t be able to make it past the name.
  #41  
Old 10-28-2018, 05:36 AM
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I haven't been able to drink beer for a few years, but Yuengling Porter was heaven on earth. Loved it. If I could have one beer now, it would be this.

I started drinking beer with Coors light, back when I could hardly stand beer. Later I graduated to Killian's Irish Red, then tried dark beers on tap at local pubs, the names of which escape me. Sam Adams Scotch ale was a tasty sipping beer, but no fun to guzzle, as I sadly discovered when I brought a case camping with my friends. Yuengling Porter, though, will reward any drinking pace.
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Old 10-28-2018, 09:39 AM
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Yuengling Porter is my all the time stock, but I love a good Founder's Porter or Yards General Washington's Tavern Porter when I'm willing to splurge a little.

The Yuengling's I usually find for about $7.00 to $7.29 per six-pack.

I enjoy the Saranac Caramel Porter on the rare occasions I can find it. Fuller's London Porter is another good but expensive one.

This time of year, Hacker-Pschorr Original Oktoberfest (Oktoberfest Märzen) is awesome though pricey.

I also enjoy a milk stout.
Left Hand Brewing Company makes 2, Milk Stout and Milk Stout Nitro, they are both excellent.
Dragon's Milk is excellent but very pricey.
Lancaster Brewing Company makes a nice one that I sometimes find for only $9 a six.

Also in the almost desert category are some vanilla porters like Breckenridge Brewery & Leinenkugel's Snowdrift Vanilla Porter.
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Old 10-28-2018, 10:53 AM
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I had Guinness last week in Ireland. Wonderful. I had Guinness yesterday in England. Never again.
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Old 10-28-2018, 11:43 AM
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I'm curious, what was different about it?
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Old 10-28-2018, 12:28 PM
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I won’t turn down a Black Butte porter, but the Obsidian Stout is my go-to. Unless Old Rasputin is available. Double Mountain makes a really nice Black Irish stout.

Side note - if you visit the brewery/restaurant in Fort Bragg to get your Old Rasputin, they make some of the best fish & chips around, to wash down with it.
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Old 10-28-2018, 01:30 PM
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Negra Modelo and Dos Equis Amber are good go-to ambers, and Guinness and Deshutes Black Butte Porter are good darks. Had Edmund Fitzgerald porter from Great Lakes Brewery when I was in Ohio, and I wish it's make its way west a bit.

Optimator is decent double Bock, but I'd dearly love to get ahold of some Schlenkerla rauchbier.
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Old 10-28-2018, 05:42 PM
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I bought some Dinkel Acker Octoberfest today. That was quite tasty. First time I had it. Almost as good as Hacker-Pschorr's, but $3 cheaper! I also bought some Left Hand Brewing Company Milk Stout Nitro. Very tasty, but strong and pricey. This thread inspired me to treat myself though.


Quote:
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... Had Edmund Fitzgerald porter from Great Lakes Brewery when I was in Ohio, and I wish it's make its way west a bit.
One of the few Porters I do not like. That and Southern Tier.
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Old 10-28-2018, 10:16 PM
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I'm curious, what was different about it?
I’ve never ordered a Guinness in England, but I assume that the barkeep pees in it, because the English have been pigs to the Irish since before Famine Times.

But a freshly pulled Guinness in the Free State is one of the world’s great pleasures.
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  #49  
Old 10-29-2018, 07:43 AM
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Velvet Merkin for me. Nice and soft. Hard to get though. Velvet Merlin seems to be widely available. Here anyway.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Turek View Post
I wouldn’t be able to make it past the name.
Speaking of names, Wychwood's Dunkel Fester is an unremarkable "disturbingly dark" beer but ya gotta love the name (they also do one called "Toothless Hooker", which in theory is a rugby reference).
  #50  
Old 10-29-2018, 10:29 AM
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Agreed, Dragon's Milk is excellent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Twoflower View Post
I won’t turn down a Black Butte porter, but the Obsidian Stout is my go-to.
These are both decent every-day darks, but Deschutes' The Abyss is out of this world. Try to get your hands on some when it's released in November.
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