The Bruery Share This: Coffee Stout
($18, Legends Ltd.)
Black as pitch and sporting a beautifully rich, tan, frothy head, this is a coffee stout for beer and java fans alike. It is a fine example of an imperial stout married to high-quality coffee from the Philippines, with heady aromas of malt, dark cocoa, roasted pecan, and, of course, coffee. There’s no burnt “French” roast taste either, but a delightfully sophisticated coffee tone. At nearly 12 percent ABV, it’s definitely winter weight, and just the thing to hunker down with in front of a roaring fire.
($27.99, The Country Vintner’s Selection)
We are all tempted by holiday feasts, and the chill in the air deepens our craving for the rich stuff. Luckily, the Italians have just the thing to help settle culinary overindulgence, in the form of amaro. Amaro is produced by macerating herbs and aromatics in alcohol and is regarded as a digestive aid. Sibona’s offering shies away from overt sweetness in favor of grapefruit, bittersweet chocolate, and mint tones. Its spice-cake notes are appropriate this time of year.
Bogle Vineyards Phantom 2013
($24.99, Constantine Wines)
Released every autumn, Bogle’s Phantom is a concentrated, inky, dark-red wine blend from California, perfect for winter fare. It bursts with notes of blackberry, black cherry, baking spice, and vanilla. A velvety rich mouth feel rolls into a lush, mildly tannic finish that begs for braised meats and hearty cheeses. Get it while you can, though, because this annual special release typically vanishes from wine shop shelves by New Year’s Day.