We Asked Bartenders For The Best Stouts To Sip Straight Through Winter

Christmas is coming. The weather is frightful, the stockings are hung with care, and you need a beer. Not something light or tasting of pine resin, either. A beer for the season — as thick as a milkshake and thoroughly warming.

This is the time for a nice, chocolatey stout. So grab the Roku remote and pour yourself a pint while binging your favorite Netflix holiday movie. Not sure which one to get? We’ve enlisted the help of some of our favorite bartenders — check out their selections below.

Finback Coquito Milk Stout

Jason Rodriguez beverage director at HALL in New York City

“I recently came across a Coquito Milk Stout from Finback Brewery that blew my mind. I love the fact that the team is constantly experimenting and trying new and innovative things that are relatable to their consumer. It has all of the familiar accents of a beautifully crafted milk stout but rounds out with notes of coconut, vanilla, and cinnamon. It’s a really great modern take on a holiday classic that my grandmother used to make every year.”

North Coast Old Rasputin

Tara Shadzi, lead bartender at BOA Steakhouse in Los Angeles

“What’s the best stout for winter drinking? You really can’t go wrong with Old Rasputin Imperial Russian Stout. So good, available in most places, and it’s a nice price point too.”

Guinness Stout

Will Benedetto, director of bars at In Good Company Hospitality in New York City

“What’s the best stout for winter drinking? I like to go classic in the winter. Guinness. Although I think my beard drinks more of it than I do these days.”

Goose Island Bourbon County Stout

Adam Peabody, bartender at LH Rooftop in Chicago

“Being from Chicago, I think I’m obligated to say Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout. It’s rich coffee and chocolate flavors are perfect for the season and the elevated ABV will keep you feeling nice and toasty. If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on a bottle, you won’t be disappointed. You can also cellar it for a few years if you have the willpower to do so (I personally do not).”

Stone Xocoveza

Hope Ewing, beverage director at Rappahannock Oyster Bar at ROW DTLA in Los Angeles

“I’m a sucker for an imperial chocolate stout, particularly since all I want to do when it’s cold is mainline sweets. Right now we’re pouring Stone Brewing’s Xocoveza, but I love the Three Weavers Midnight Flight, which is not chocolaty but will still warm you right up.”

Ommegang Take the Black Stout

Josh Cameron, head bartender at Boulton & Watt in New York City

“What’s the best stout for winter drinking? Hands down, when it is dark winter, I drink the Game of Thrones/Ommegang collaboration ‘Take the Black Stout’, because, well, obviously…”

Saugatuck Neopolitan Milk Stout

Tanya Queeney, bartender at Old Town Pour House in Oak Brook, Illinois

“If you’re looking for something nice and light, Saugatuck’s Neopolitan Milk Stout is amazing. It’s got all the flavors of Neopolitan Ice Cream, and it’s easy to drink. If you can find it on nitro it’s even better. If I can find somewhere that sells Half Acre Big Hugs that’s always a go-to. 10% and delicious.”

Brains Black Stout

Bobby Holler, head bartender at Ardyn in New York City

“For me, the best stout to drink when it’s chilly out is simple: Brains Black Finest Welsh Stout. Being from Wales, one could call me biased – but hear me out. Brains Black Finest Welsh Stout has it all…. looks, taste, smell, and feel. Brewed year-round in the heart of Cardiff — the capital city’s favorite stout boasts a true reflection of this style of beer. It’s low ABV of 4.10% makes this session beer easy-drinking… plus, the dark malts paired with notes of espresso, caramel, and toast make this beer my go-to stout during the winter months.”

Prairie Bomb!

Andrew Hannigan, bartender at Bastion in Nashville

“What’s the best stout for winter drinking? Prairie Bomb. Wow! What a mouth explosion. Everything you need to give your taste buds a thrill on any cold winters’ night.”

Left Hand Milk Stout

Mariel Burns, head bartender at Trademark Taste + Grind in New York City

“What’s the best stout for winter drinking? I love Left Hand Milk stout. It has rich bitter chocolate notes and just a hint of sweetness from the lactic sugars.”