A new year means new beers! With that being said, we still love to reflect on the gems that came and went this past holiday season. From the ones we look forward to year-after-year to those that completely blindsided us, we’ve come up with a list of a few stouts that we deem truly impressive. Although these are released in limited quantities, you can find these bottles (or cans in some cases) at both our Cranford and Green Brook locations!
Epic - Big Bad Baptist (Denver, CO) 12.1% is not big... it's enormous. Balancing a monster of this magnitude is not an easy task. Every year, this Imperial Stout is matured in whiskey barrels then blended with real cacao nibs and plenty of local coffee before being canned in the best way possible. This beer is an annual must-have because the roasted coffee from Caffe Ibis changes for each batch. Make sure to try some of the variants of this beer including the Quintuple Barrel - A barrel-aged stout with barrel-aged salt, barrel-aged beer, barrel-aged coffee, barrel-aged coconut and barrel- aged almonds (obviously, for the barrel fanatic.)
12oz can $4.99
Troegs - BA Impending Descent (Hershey, PA) 11.8% ABV - a stout for the whiskey lover! Notes of bourbon fill the air as soon as this bottle is opened. Upon the first sip, expect the mellow taste of cocoa, accompanied by subtle vanilla bean. While this bottle is great to open right away, we think it would also age very well over a period of several years. This stout is perfect for whiskey lovers and anyone who appreciates strength and depth in their beers.
12.7oz bottle $13.99
FiftyFifty - Eclipse (Truckee, CA) is a beer that has many variations each year, and all of them are mind-blowingly delicious! What starts as an Imperial Stout is molded and aged in a curated selection of barrels, distinguishable by the different colored waxes covering the caps. While FiftyFifty made 17 different variants this year, only six made their way to New Jersey, including German Chocolate Cake, Banana Fritter, Salted Caramel, Basil Hayden Barrel, Bookers Barrel, and High West Barrel. These gems range anywhere from 10-13.4% ABV depending on what barrel it was aged in. Some of these flavor combinations may seem a little strange at first, such as Banana Fritter - which consists of bananas, cinnamon, and sugar- and is finished off by being matured for 6+ months in rum barrels, but fear not, these bottles are exceptionally well balanced.
500ml bottle $19.99
Grimm & Kane - Waffling (Brewed by Grimm, Brooklyn NY in collaboration with Kane Brewing, Atlantic Highlands NJ). This Imperial Stout is crafted with Maple Syrup, Toasted Walnuts, Vanilla, and Sea Salt. This bottle clocks in at an absurd 14% ABV, yet pours out lighter in color than the midnight black generally expected from a stout this hefty. Maple syrup and vanilla shine bright in this brew, but the sea salt finish rounds it out for a subtle sweetness. Of course, it goes without saying, the fact that this beer is the result of Grimm teaming up with Kane puts this bottle in your hand before you even read what it is!
16.9oz bottle $13.99
Stout lovers, ENJOY! Keep in mind that this is not a comprehensive list, but rather a few of our team favorites. There are plenty more great choices on our shelves and behind our bar in Green Brook, so feel free to ask any of our staff about their personal favorites and latest recommendations. Cheers!
Written By: Victor C.