I have almost exclusively turned to drinking dark beer, more specifically stouts. Many people only think about Guinness when they think about stouts, but there are many great craft and micro-brew stouts out there that put Guinness to shame.
One such brew is Old Dominion’s Oak Barrel Stout. This one is one of my favorites because it is really top shelf as far as it’s depth, and also is widely available (at least near me) and fairly priced. Here is what the brewer has to say about this beer.
We use smoked and peated malts to create an intricate malt foundation. Our method of dry hopping with vanilla beans and oak chips pushes the depth of this stout’s flavor spectrum even further.
This small quote does not do this beer justice. Beer Advocate gives this one a 99 rating, which is world class, and users give it an 89, which is very good. Ratebeer gives it a 95, which is also very good. Of course these sites heavily favor dark beers because, let’s face it, light beer is basically dark beer with less taste.
Because of it’s complexity, many people who do not drink dark beers or stouts will probably prefer this beer with food, rather than alone. It has a nice bite when it first hits your mouth, but then you can taste a nice smoothness and hints of the vanilla. Serving it very cold will numb it’s bite a bit as well.