Stout Day is Thursday: South Florida Beer Experts Recommend Some of the Best Stouts
Lauren Bowen, another South Florida craft beer guru and the creative director at Tap 42, seconded the recommendation for Oskar Blues Ten FIDY (calling it a "pitch black, bittersweet, roasty, chocolatey can from the Gods. It's extraordinarily rich and perfect for the coming winter season"), and added her two cents about several other stouts worth a sip on Thursday (or any day, for that matter).
"There are many different types of stout -- milk/sweet stouts, Irish stouts, imperial stouts, and even oatmeal stouts," Bowen said via email. "They all are different but maintain a few of the same characteristics like being roasty, chocolatey, and coffee-like."
"At Tap 42, we always have Left Hand Milk Stout on our nitrogen tap," she said. "Left Hand Milk Stout is a stout that has lactose added. The lactose makes this stout sweeter, richer, smoother, and a bit creamier. Milk stouts are also known as 'sweet stouts.' Left Hand Milk Stout is a great introductory to stout because it's sweet and extremely drinkable...scary drinkable."
For fans of rare and hard-to-find brews, note that Tap 42 this week got one case of Cigar City Moat Water, a limited release, 8% ABV sweet stout.
"Moat Water is brewed with lactose and also water collected from Tampa's local skatepark. It's aged on coffee, vanilla beans, and Canadian maple wood," Bowen said. "It's said to be a one-of-a-kind incredible creation from our favorite local brewery Cigar City. These bottles are going to go fast so get them while you can."
Also available at Tap 42, Bowen recommends Stone Mint Chocolate Imperial Stout, a limited release available in small quantities in Florida. The brew is an "extremely decadent delight; a pleasurable mix of sweet and rich chocolate and cool mint."
Like Kodner, Bowen has a fondness for some stouts that simply aren't available in Florida or have already run out of stock. Among those is Kodner's personal favorite, the Cigar City Marshal Zhukov's Russian Imperial Stout.
"It's an outrageous chocolate and bittersweet treat; Zhukov is a rarity. Even here in Florida, the home of Cigar City, these bottles were sold out in the lucky liquor stores that actually got them," Bowen said. "At Tap, we sold out in about a week. But I put some aside and added them to our Tap 42 cellar, where I'm currently cellaring a couple dozen special brews. Stouts are extremely cellarable. In a couple years expect to be drinking some cellared Zhukov at Tap."
Something else to keep an eye out for in the stout stratosphere:
"The Bruery from California brews probably one of the rarest and most wanted stouts out there. Every year, they brew Black Tuesday, which sells out in minutes," Bowen said. "Even though we get The Bruery down here in Florida, Black Tuesday sadly does not make its way here. It's an imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels for over a year. It's only available at the brewery. This monster is roasty, full of vanilla, smoky, rich, and boozey. Hands down a winner."
What stout will you be drinking on Thursday, or, for that matter, this fall? Let us know your favorite stout(s) in the comments.
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