Happy Winter Solstice everybody!
It’s the day with the least amount of sunlight, or as they say, the darkest day of the year. With apologies to the southern hemisphere, let’s talk about some of the darkest beers we should be drinking on this dark day.
I’ve mentioned Brooklyn Black Ops before, specifically in the solstice post from 2018, but it’s still an amazing beer. This year, Brooklyn has released Black Ops in 16oz cans, and a Four Roses Small Batch version, which is what I purchased. This beer is just superb all around. It’s smooth and rich and just freaking EXPLODING with flavor. Chocolate and some coffee and rich bourbon and roasty notes. It blows my mind how smooth it is too, beers that come in at 12.4% ABV usually burn a little, especially when they haven’t been aged. And this beer is dark for sure, but keep in mind that drinking 16oz of 12.4% beer is roughly equivalent to four Bud Lights.
Next up we have this fun beer from Tree House, Cafe Kola, that I purchased back in the summer when I was in Cape Cod. This is another rich imperial stout. Kola is Tree House’s coffee liqueur, which I have not tried, and this beer is meant as a complement to that. It is ALSO quite dark, though the ABV on this one is slightly lower at 10%, and comes in a 12oz bottle. There’s actual coffee in this one, so it gives it a lot more bitter/roast notes that just balance out everything else so nicely. Complex, chocolatey, delicious and not too sweet. I’d have welcomed another one of these.
We’ll be talking about the Darkest Beer for Darkest Days thing when we record the podcast tonight, so stay tuned for that. Will we compare it to the Mets Black Jerseys? Only time will tell.
SRM isn’t a great measurement, though it suffices for measuring how dark a beer is. One thing I like to do to assess is the next day, when I wash my dirty beer glass that had a dark beer in it, is to fill it up with water and see how dark the residue makes it. This Cafe Kola water is darker than many a beer.