We tasted 23 of the strongest, darkest beers we could find and discovered that quite a few imperial stouts deserve to be on our list of favorite beers. Are they worth traveling across the country for? Could be.
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Oatmeal? Check. Lactose? Yep. Espresso? Why not? You can add all kinds of ingredients to a stout. This week, your Serious Beer team tasted a wide variety of stouts from American and Canadian craft brewers so we could let you know which ones are delicious.
Though dark in color, English porters aren't very high in alcohol. They have a hint of coffee-like bitterness from black, chocolate, or smoked brown malted barley, but not as much big roasted flavor as most stouts. A good porter is creamy and drinkable—if you think you don't like dark beers, you should give porters a chance.