Photo: wickenden, Flickr
While the urge to guzzle Guinness on St. Patrick's Day may be overpowering, there's no need to follow the herd -- or subject yourself to (gasp!) green beer. These 10 stouts are every bit the flavorful alternative. And yes, if you ask nicely, we'll even draw a shamrock in the beer's foam.
Bell's Kalamazoo Stout:
The marvelous Michigan stout pours coal-black, with an aroma of roasted malt and a licorice-like flavor blended with bittersweet chocolate.
Rogue's Shakespeare Stout:
Inky with a fat brown head, Shakespeare tastes like mocha coffee reimagined as beer.
Sierra Nevada Stout:
This affordable, widely available stout doesn't disappoint, providing a creamy body with roasted bitterness and a little hint of hops.
Bar Harbor Brewing's Cadillac Mountain Stout:
Hailing from Bar Harbor, Maine, this incredibly smooth sipper recalls milk chocolate mixed with a little caramel.
Bison Organic's Chocolate Stout:
Coffee dominates the flavor, with notes of dark chocolate shining through on the finish. It's even better if you let it warm up a bit.
AleSmith's Speedway Stout:
California's AleSmith has created a rich stout with a fragrance of espresso and oak that, despite its double-digit alcohol content, remains velvety and completely drinkable.
Goose Island's Bourbon County Stout:
Light a fire, pour this black-hole-colored concoction into a snifter and spend hours savoring its chocolaty, boozy, belly-warming pleasures.
Great Divide's Yeti Imperial Stout:
Holy abominable beer! The Yeti's as viscous as engine oil, packing a pungent, earthy scent of dark chocolate and bitter flavors of fresh-roasted coffee.
Left Hand's Milk Stout:
Brewed with lactose (hence the term milk stout), this Colorado beer drinks creamy, mild and slightly chocolaty. The low ABV -- 5.2 percent -- means you can easily sip several.
Murphy's Irish Stout:
Guinness may get all the Irish accolades, but Murphy's is equally magnificent. It offers a thick, cloud-like head and roasty bitterness that leads to a pleasingly dry finish.
What stouts do you savor? Spill it in the comments.