While the weather in much of the country has been unseasonably warm this autumn, change is in the air. As November rolls on, freezing temperatures and ever-shortening days are sure to drive us all inside. You don’t have to get out your snow boots and parkas just yet, though. Instead, find the closest fireplace and pour yourself a pint of stout.
While much of “seasonality” in spirits and beers feels gimmicky, stouts really are best when it’s cold. Their heavily-malted, coffee-chocolaty notes are deeply warming during the winter and late fall.
To help you find the best stouts to sip until spring arrives, we went to the experts — asking a handful of our favorite bartenders for their picks. Check them out below, you’re sure to find a few new brews to try!
Benjamin Pozar, bartender at Red Brick Craft Distillery in Philadelphia
Founders KBS is always a favorite. What better way to warm up than with a 12% imperial stout, Throw some chocolate and coffee in there and shove the whole thing in a bourbon barrel.
Rich, hearty — it’s got heat, and it’s nearly whiskey. Delish.
Oskar Blues Ten Fidy
Chris Johnson, beverage director, Oaxaca Taqueria in New York City
Oskar Blues Ten Fidy Imperial Stout. 10.5% abv to warm you up and the dark malt lends coffee and caramel notes for days. Perfect by a fire, either indoors or preferably while out camping to enjoy the fall colors.
Left Hand Nitro Milk Stout
Gavin Humes, bartender at Scratch|Bar & Kitchen in Encino, California
Left Hand Brewing Milk Stout. I particularly enjoy it on nitro, as the silky, creamy quality is delicious, and just what I’m looking for on a cooler day. It’s got those delicious notes of chocolate, coffee, and malt that I’m looking for in a stout, and the smoothness that makes it easy to drink.
Darwin Apparent Motion
Hayden Miller, head bartender at Bodega Taqueria y Tequila in Miami
Darwin Brewing, amongst their killer spread of all things hopped, has an Imperial Stout with cold brew coffee — Apparent Motion. Aged in rum barrels, it kicks off with a nice spice and has a big boozy punch, but all of that is wrapped up in some smooth cold brew vibes.
Goose Island Bourbon County Stout
Nicholas Wyatt, bar manager at Teddy’s Bourbon Bar in Prattville, Alabama
Goose Island Bourbon County Stout is the perfect beer to crack open when the temperature starts falling. The barrel aging imparts great vanilla and oak notes to complement the rich chocolate flavor you usually find in a stout.
Mother’s Brewery Winter Grind
Andy Printy, beverage director at Chao Baan in St. Louis
My go-to stout for this season is Winter Grind from Mother’s Brewery! It’s made with coffee from a local roaster, Mudhouse, and lots of barley. It’s essentially a cold-brewed coffee with an ABV that finishes with balanced and malty dryness.
Angry Chair Barrel-Aged Adjunct Trail
View this post on Instagram
Got lucky w/ the online release & lucky w/ a pour Thursday before they shut ⬇️ on site consumption Friday. 🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍻🍻🍻🔥🔥🔥🔥 @angrychairbrewing @prairieales #adjuncttrail #barrelagedadjuncttrail #angrychair #angrychairbrewing #prarieartisanales #beer #beerstagram #beerpics #beerlove #beerme #craftbeer #craftbeerpics #craftbeernotcrapbeer #craftbeerlover #craftbeerlife #craftbeerculture #craftbeerporn #tampa #florida #dontparkonfern #beergeek #beersnob #craftbeerstagram #craftbeernation #whale #stout #barrelaged
Seth Falvo, bartender at The Hotel Zamora in St. Pete Beach, Florida
Those familiar with Florida breweries know that Angry Chair is one of our absolute best. And while they make a ton of amazing stouts, I usually opt for something barrel-aged as the weather gets cooler. Their Barrel-Aged Adjunct Trail has tons of hazelnut, coconut, dark chocolate, and coffee throughout it, complemented nicely by the oak barrels. Very much worth a trip to Tampa.
Weathering Souls Black is Beautiful
View this post on Instagram
@meddlesomebrewing @memphismadebrew version of Black is Beautiful in collaboration with @weatheredsoulsbrewing – – – Chocolate greatness and super smooth!! Please read here for more information: https://blackisbeautiful.beer/ Also, I'm going to kinda echo what @tdotdrinks said on his post with his version of this beer, if you haven't been to @ncrmuseum, I highly recommend you go when you visit Memphis! #weatheredsoulsbrewing #meddlesomebrewing #memphismadebrew #blackisbeautifulbeer #imperialstout #craftbeer #beer #stout #blm #blacklivesmatter #blackisbeautiful
De’Ann Wellwerts, beverage director at City Works Eatery & Pour House in Pittsburgh
Black is Beautiful. This beer was created by Weathered Souls in Texas and has developed into a worldwide collaboration with over 1,100 breweries and 20 countries worldwide. This beer is a stout created to support equality and inclusion for people of color. Proceeds of this beer are donated to a local fund, for each location, to support policy brutality reform, equality, and inclusion for all people of color. Each brewery uses a basic stout recipe directly from Weathered Souls but puts its twist on the beer.
I have had a few different variations. They are all unique and delicious. It’s available in all states as well.
Wawa Winter Reserve Coffee Stout
Alex Clark, bartender at Square 1682 in Philadelphia
I dig Wawa Winter Reserve Coffee Stout. Wawa Winter Reserve Coffee Stout has become a new go-to for winter. This beer is nicely balanced with oat and chocolate flavors alongside the flavor of Wawa’s roasted coffee.
Harpoon Nana’s Nightcap
View this post on Instagram
@harpoonbrewery Nana’s Nightcap. definitely a solid beer. #harpoonbrewery #harpoonbeer #nanasnightcap #porter #craftbeer #100barrelseries #drinklocal #beer #oatmealcookie #drinkcraftbeer #oatmealcookieporter #beerporn #beergasm #beerstagram #beertography #craftbeerporn #craftbeerlife #craftbeerlover #imperialporter #craftbeerphoto
Roberto Berdecia, bartender at La Factoria in San Juan, Puerto Rico
That’s an easy one, Harpoon Nana’s Nightcap. Great balance of flavors. Vanilla, cinnamon, oatmeal & raisins