I know dark beers like stouts and porters are not everyone’s first choice when it comes to beer. Just because you had Guinness a couple of times and never liked it’s no reason for you to write off all dark beers. Just like most things, there is a wide variety of dark beers and each is different in its own way.
Sure, some are so thick you could pour them like a sauce, but others are surprisingly bright and crisp. Some are bitter and hearty while others are sweet and succulent. There are porters and stouts sprinkled with a wide variety of flavors, from vanilla and chocolate to bacon and maple syrup.
For those looking to widen their beer-drinking horizons, or avid beer nuts trying to find some new brews to try, these X beers will make you think twice about turning your nose up at a glass of dark brew.
Left Hand Nitro Milk Stout
A new take on Left Hand’s standard milk stout, this rich, creamy beer has everything a novice dark beer drinker needs. It’s not too bitter, it’s not too thick – at points it can almost be sweet. And it isn’t muddled up with a bunch of crazy flavors. With a modest 6% abv, this is also a stout you can session.
Pro tip – on the side of the bottle they say pour hard. Do that. Don’t drink it out of the bottle. And because it is a nitro, if you pour it down the side of the glass like you would with any other beer, you will end up with a flat, soppy mess. My favorite way to do it is to put my glass upside down on top of the beer and then flip it over and slowly take the bottle out.
North Coast Old Rasputin
If you ask enough dark beer aficionados what their favorite stout is, you will hear Old Rasputin come up a lot. And that is because this stout has become known as one of the best Russian imperial stouts available for general consumption.
A little background – a Russian imperial stout basically means this stout is going to be strong as fuck, in every sense of the word. So maybe this beer doesn’t belong on a list of dark beers for people who don’t like dark beer, but I feel like I would be doing a disservice to you if I didn’t suggest you try this one.
Ballast Point Victory At Sea
Given the badassery that is the logo of this beer, one might not assume that it has so many frilly add ons. A coffee vanilla imperial porter, this beer is not only super tasty, but it weighs in at a whopping 10% abv, so don’t let the flavor fool you.
Plus, a little about the brewery, they also make an American IPA known as the Sculpin that is maybe the best fucking beer on Earth. So try that one too. I know it’s off topic – that’s how good this beer is!
Hoppin Frog B.O.R.I.S The Crusher
One bodacious oatmeal Russian imperial stout (hence B.O.R.I.S.), this is one of the more stout-y stouts on this list, but the way they manage to balance the deep roasty flavors with a subtle brightness from the hops makes this an almost perfect beer. Because it is a thick pouring, heavy sitting, axe swinging stout, maybe have this after trying a few of the aforementioned beers just to make sure you’ve acquired a taste for the beer.
However, at a considerable 9.4% abv, maybe this is one you should have by itself.
Wynwood Brewing Pop’s Porter
One might not expect a sunny Miami brewery to churn out a deliciously drinkable dark beer, but here we are. Wynwood Brewing’s Pop’s Porter is a terrific introductory dark beer – not too heavy, not too roasty. It’s like the baby bear of dark beers. And, as an added bonus, those with a refined enough palate might even pick up some subtle coffee notes – a flavor many stout drinkers have come to adore.
Plus, with a reasonable 6.2% abv, this is another dark beer that you can pop open a couple of without getting loaded.