Stouts of course! As of late I have subtly shifted my taste in beer from the brown nutty ales and light pilsners to the dark side of the spectrum. Now I find that my palate craves the earthy, complex tones of the darker beers. As is usually the case, I strive to find the best wherever I am, so NYC is no exception to the rule. Through my tastings, I have found two stouts that stand out thus far.
First on the plate we have the pricey, yet worth-it beer from Tadcaster, England: Samuel Smith. The Samuel Smith brewing company has been around since 1758 and is still going strong today... as it very well should be. The beer that has peaked my interest from this age-old establishment is their Oatmeal Stout. Their oatmeal stout is so silky smooth you'd swear you were drinking liquid silk. The espresso taste is perfectly balanced with a bittersweet finish that can't help but bring a smile to your face. The only thing that is a downside to this wonderful beer is the nasty dent that it can put in your wallet... but then again, life's too short to drink cheap beer.
Second up on the list we have one hailing from nearby at the Brooklyn Brewery. Unlike my usual beer choices, this is a local beer... but it certainly has earned respect in my book. What, may you ask, do they have to offer? Thus far, I have been thoroughly impressed by their Black Chocolate Stout. This beer is from the Imperial Stout family and boasts an astonishingly high 10.1% ABV. The taste is much more complex than that of the Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout. As you drink it you can almost taste hints of chocolate in a darkened wheat. The Imperial stout used to be brewed exclusively for Catherine the Great, but has since been passed on to the likes of myself. I highly recommend this style...especially for an after dinner finish. Final Verdict: get out and try these two fabulous stouts... if you can handle them.