How was everyone's St. Patrick's Day!? Filled with your fill of the Irish-favorite, Guinness? Now I can definitely throw back a few of those, but when I'm craving a smooth and creamy Stout beer on a day that isn't St. Patty's Day, there are a few other options I go to. So if you're into Guinness, but what to expand a bit - here's some other options for you:
Founders' Kentucky Breakfast Stout - Let's start off by saying that while these are all in the same beer category as Guinness, they all very different in flavor. That is especially true in my first beer choice: Founder's Kentucky Breakfast Stout. I don't see this around often, but when it is it is quite the treat. This beer is a balanced mix of coffee, vanilla and chocolate flavors with a hint of bourbon which isn't too over-powering (so don't worry if you shy away from bourbon, this beer is definitely still drinkable for you).
Old Rasputin Imperial Stout - An imperial stout is heavier and higher in alcohol content and you'll be able to recognize that with the Old Rasputin. This beer has a dark chocolate and caramel taste that is both sweet and bitter. This beer is bold, but in the best way possible - proven by the number of awards and recognitions it has been given throughout the years.
Founders' Breakfast Stout - Okay, fine... Founders' gets another shout out here. I can't really mention the KBS, but not the Breakfast Stout. But after you try this one, you'll wonder why you don't normally drink beer for breakfast! This brew is abundant with coffee flavoring which comes with the Sumatra and Kona coffee it's brewed with. No guarantee that it'll keep you caffeinated, but this is a great beer for coffee fans out there.
Duck Rabbit Milk stout - A chocolate milk beer? Not necessarily, but this beer has flavors of chocolate and vanilla with a milky sweetness that sets it apart. This is definitely an easier drink - one thats not too heavy but packs a great flavor. And technically a Porter is just type of stout, but that is a debate for another day and this beer is still worth the mention:
DuClaw Brewing's Sweet Baby Jesus Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter - So, if you're very traditional when it comes to beer then stay far, far away from this one. Similar to a "dessert wine," this is pretty much a "dessert beer." This beer smells and tastes like a peanut butter cup. Its heavy and sweet, so don't expect to be chugging these one after the other but its a great substitute for dessert instead of ordering an actual dessert off the dessert menu (though, I would be tempted to order this in a pint glass topped with ice cream).
*Disclaimer: I am in no way a beer connoisseur. Within my years of waitressing at a craft beer bar, I have learned only to love what I love!
So there's my round-up! I hope this inspires you to try some dark beers outside of Guinness. And if you have any dark-beer favorites - post them in the comments!