97 Brooklyn Black Ops Stout, The Brooklyn Brewery (NY). 10.7% ABV (1/10)
Opaque brown black color with fine saffron tan mousse. Lavish aromas of fruity buttery caramel, honeyed nuts, molasses and vanilla bespeak bourbon barrels and follow through on a rich, decadent entry to a fruity full body with spicy fruit cake and cherry cordial notes. Finishes with a long, chewy and evolving caramelized nut and grain fade. A dangerously delicious stout.
93 Imperial Chocolate Stout, Granville Island Brewing Co. (Canada). 7.5% ABV (1/11)
Very dark brown color with a lacy head. Aromas of chocolate malt balls, poached pears and creamy nougat have a whiff of peppery coffee liqueur. Round with a fruity-yet-dry medium-full body and zesty loads of chocolate-drizzled dried fruit, starfruit and radish on the long peppery finish.
92 Swashbuckler Stout, Harmon Brewing Co. (WA). 8.3% ABV (1/09)
Deep brown black. Dark roasted nut and berry piecrust aromas follow through on a chewy entry to a dry-yet-fruity medium-full body with mashed raisin, cigar box and rum cake-like notes. Finishes with a tangy citrus marmalade, soy and chocolate-accented fade. A big and nicely balanced wood aged stout.
91 Chocolate Indulgence Stout, Brewery Ommegang (NY). 7% ABV (1/11)
Deep brown black color. Bright grassy and peppery kale-like aromas with a touch of cacao shells and pistachio oil underneath and a supple, dryish medium-full body. Flavors of succotash and fricassee emerge on the palate with an artisanal pink peppercorn chocolate and earthy hops swagger on the finish. An interesting amalgamation of grain, vegetables and earthy cocoa flavors. A must-try with foods like braised meat and stews.
89 Double Chocolate Stout, Wells & Young’s Brewing Co. Ltd. (England). 5.2% ABV (1/09)
Brown color. Light, crisp chocolate phosphate aromas and flavors with a touch of cherry jam. Finishes with a crisp refreshing dark lager-like fade. A solid quaffer.
89 Chocolate Stout, Rogue Ales (OR). 6% ABV (1/11)
Opaque dark brown color. Rich creamy milk and dark chocolate aromas and flavors with a dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a taut, drying and astringent dried fruit, roasted nut and grain-accented finish with noticeable Swiss chard-like hops.
88 El Negro Muerte Coffee Stout, Bastone Brewery (MI). 6.5% ABV (1/11)
Curious aromas and flavors of fresh sliced green peppers, mild pickled jalapenos and chocolate-covered green pears with a supple dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a mocha cream and wheatgrass-accented finish. Different and fun; serve with mole or steak fajitas.
87 Double Black Stout with Coffee, Red Hook Brewery (WA). 7% ABV (1/09)
Brownish black color. Mild cafe Americano aromas follow through on a brisk entry to a dryish medium-to-full body with nut skin, peppercorn and cocoa notes. Finishes with mild creamy fade.
86 Campfire Coffee Stout, Bastone Brewery (MI). 6.5% ABV (1/10)
Aromas of smoky roasted jalapenos and coffee grounds follow through on a round, forceful entry to a dryish medium-full body with focused flavors and a mildly astringent coffee and cocoa fade.
84 Harv’s Wild Plum Stout, Deschutes Brewery (OR). 8% ABV (1/09)
Brown black color. Grape soda and chocolate milkshake aromas follow through on a round, supple entry to a dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body with tangy plum pie and raisin notes. Finishes with quick nut skin and cocoa dust fade.
83 Atomic Espresso Stout, John Harvard’s Brew House, Framingham (MA). 5% ABV (1/09)
Dark brown color. Earthy oil roasted nuts and mossy moldy reed and leather aroma and flavors and a tang lemon spritz and spent coffee grounds fade.