We still aren’t done with winter, folks. With the cold season still coming on strong, let’s take a moment to look at the best beer styles to warm the soul when the weather is frigid: stouts and porters.The strong, roasted flavors of these styles provide a rich escape from the realities of the cold outside, and notes of cocoa or coffee keep the mind on warm beverages.
Porters are first mentioned in the early eighteenth century as a style of well-hopped ale made from brown malt and strong in both flavor and alcohol. They derived their name from being popular with porters, which allowed breweries to make this style in a variety of strengths. Stouts actually began as a type of porter, referred to as ‘stout’ or ‘double stout’ porters, due to their higher ABV than standard porters. Even today, there is some debate on whether the two styles should be separated as they are, as the difference between them is largely their alcohol content.
Anchor Porter: A rich and well-balanced drink with a deep roasted malt flavor and touches of chocolate and dark fruit. 5.6% ABV
Dominion Oak Barrel Stout: Infused with vanilla bean and oak chips, this brew is smooth, with woody, chocolatey and caramel notes. 6% ABV
Ithaca Super Stout: A coffee oatmeal stout is full-bodied and packed with bittersweet chocolate and coffee flavors. 4.9% ABV
Lancaster Double Chocolate: Cocoa nibs and pure chocolate were infused into this slightly sweet milk stout. 6.7% ABV
Fullers London Porter: Fuller’s has been brewing ales since 1654, so it stands to reason that their classic porter is one of the best representations of the style. 5.4% ABV
Evolution Lucky 7: Smokey and chocolatey with toffee and dark fruit notes, this porter is top notch. 5.8% ABV
Troegs Java Head: Locally roasted espresso and Kenyan coffee beans make this oatmeal stout taste like another delicious brew we know. 7.5% ABV
Keegan Mother’s Milk: A silky milk stout with licorice hints above a coffee and chocolate base. 6% ABV
Rogue Chocolate Stout: This one is chocolate all the way down without being overly sweet. Top of its class. 5.8% ABV
Victory Storm King Imperial Stout: Huge hops lay over the darkest roasted malts you’ll ever encounter for a rich espresso-chocolate profile. 9.2% ABV
Wyndridge Farm Farm Dog Chocolate Vanilla Imperial Porter: Madagascar vanilla beans and Ghana cacao nibs imbue this finely-crafted porter with the richest of flavors. 7% ABV