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Dark Beers Rule

Lee Krempel

With St. Patrick’s Day coming up, it might be a good time to bone up on some of the better dark beers in the market.

 Price key: $=less than $20 $$= $20-40 $$$=$40-60 $$$$=above $60
Quality key: * = decent wine ** = very good wine *** = superb wine ****= elite
VALUE = exceptional quality for the money

Oliver Brewing Co. “Speed of Darkness” Imperial Russian Stout, 8.5% **1/2
(Deep, dark, rich flavors, coffee, chocolate, molasses, very comforting)

1623 Brewing Co. “Vaccarro’s Cannoli Cowboy” Milk Stout 4.5% **1/2
(Made with cannoli they say, malty, easy drinking, lighter style)

Manor Hill Brewing Porter 5.5%,
(Museum quality porter, almost dense, mellow, off-dry, super)

 Dewey Beer Co. “Bake Club” Imperial Stout, 12% (!) **1/2
(Chocolate-coconut cake in a bottle, dessert beer)

Great Lakes Brewing Co. “Edmund Fitzgerald” Porter 6%, **1/2 VALUE
(So mild, it’s al0most a “Session” porter, classic flavors, they nailed it)

 All of these wines can be purchased at Kenilworth Wine and Spirits.

Al Spoler, well known to WYPR listeners as the wine-loving co-host of "Cellar Notes" has had a long-standing parallel interest in cooking as well. Al has said, the moment he started getting serious about Sunday night dinners was the same moment he started getting serious about wine. Over the years, he has benefited greatly from being a member of the Cork and Fork Society of Baltimore, a gentlemen's dining club that serves black tie meals cooked by the members themselves who are some of Baltimore's most accomplished amateur cooks.
As General Partner of Clipper City Brewing Company, L.P., Hugh J. Sisson is among Baltimore's premier authorities on craft brewing and a former manager of the state's first pub brewery, Sissons, located in Federal Hill. A fifth generation Baltimorean, Hugh has been involved in all aspects of craft brewing.