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The Best Stouts To Sip Away The Winter Blues, According To Bartenders


Depending on where you live in the country, it might seem like it’s the most miserable time of the year. Even in areas where winter doesn’t usually penetrate, temperatures were at record lows last week. Fans of flip-flops and shorts must be feeling pretty glum. But, it won’t last. Wintery weather will be back. Fear not.

While it seems like we’re all doomed to wearing sleep pants at 4 pm and hardly ever going outside, there is a beacon of light in the bleak, wintery darkness. That beacon is alcohol. That’s because chilly and downright cold temperatures are perfect stout weather. So grab your Snuggie and the Roku remote and pour yourself a pint of stout while you slowly sip it while binging your favorite Netflix show, because winter is far from over.

To help you pick the right stout for the job, we’ve enlisted the help of some of our favorite bartenders. You can check out all of their selections below.

Finback Coquito Milk Stout

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Jason Rodriguez beverage director at HALL in New York City

“I recently came across a Coquito Milk Stout from Finback Brewery that blew my mind. I love the fact that the team is constantly experimenting and trying new and innovative things that are relatable to their consumer. It has all of the familiar accents of a beautifully crafted milk stout but rounds out with notes of coconut, vanilla, and cinnamon. It’s a really great modern take on a holiday classic that my grandmother used to make every year.”

North Coast Old Rasputin

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Tara Shadzi, lead bartender at BOA Steakhouse in Los Angeles

“What’s the best stout for winter drinking? You really can’t go wrong with Old Rasputin Imperial Russian Stout. So good, available most places, and it’s a nice price point too.”

Guinness Stout

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Will Benedetto, director of bars at In Good Company Hospitality in New York City

“What’s the best stout for winter drinking? I like to go classic in the winter. Guinness. Although I think my beard drinks more of it than I do these days.”

Goose Island Bourbon County Stout

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Adam Peabody, bartender at LH Rooftop in Chicago

“Being from Chicago, I think I’m obligated to say Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout. It’s rich coffee and chocolate flavors are perfect for the season and the elevated ABV will keep you feeling nice and toasty. If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on a bottle, you won’t be disappointed. You can also cellar it for a few years if you have the willpower to do so (I personally do not).”

Stone Xocoveza

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Hope Ewing, beverage director at Rappahannock Oyster Bar at ROW DTLA in Los Angeles

“I’m a sucker for an imperial chocolate stout, particularly since all I want to do when it’s cold is mainline sweets. Right now we’re pouring Stone Brewing’s Xocoveza, but I love the Three Weavers Midnight Flight, which is not chocolaty but will still warm you right up.”

Ommegang Take the Black Stout

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Josh Cameron, head bartender at Boulton & Watt in New York City

“What’s the best stout for winter drinking? Hands down, when it is dark winter, I drink the Game of Thrones/Ommegang collaboration ‘Take the Black Stout’, because, well, obviously…”

Saugatuck Neopolitan Milk Stout

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Tanya Queeney, bartender at Old Town Pour House in Oak Brook, Illinois

“If you’re looking for something nice and light, Saugatuck’s Neopolitan Milk Stout is amazing. It’s got all the flavors of Neopolitan Ice Cream, and it’s easy to drink. If you can find it on nitro it’s even better. If I can find somewhere that sells Half Acre Big Hugs that’s always a go to. 10% and delicious.”

Brains Black Stout

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Bobby Holler, head bartender at Ardyn in New York City

“For me, the best stout to drink when it’s chilly out is simple: Brains Black Finest Welsh Stout. Being from Wales, one could call me biased – but hear me out. Brains Black Finest Welsh Stout has it all…. looks, taste, smell, and feel. Brewed year-round in the heart of Cardiff — the capital city’s favorite stout boasts a true reflection of this style of beer. It’s low ABV of 4.10% makes this session beer easy drinking… plus, the dark malts paired with notes of espresso, caramel, and toast make this beer my go-to stout during the winter months.”

Prairie Bomb!

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Andrew Hannigan, bartender at Bastion in Nashville

“What’s the best stout for winter drinking? Prairie Bomb. Wow – what a mouth explosion. Everything you need to give your taste buds a thrill on any cold winters’ night.”

Left Hand Milk Stout

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Mariel Burns, head bartender at Trademark Taste + Grind in New York City

“What’s the best stout for winter drinking? I love Left Hand Milk stout. It has rich bitter chocolate notes and just a hint of sweetness from the lactic sugars.”

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