Nothing says winter like a nice warm stout. The basic stout is a great remedy to everything that is wrong with winter. The blistering cold, wind whipping, storm intensity…you have the idea.
Stouts have a way of saving the day on so many occasions, and a really good stout is always a fine treat. So, when I walked into the Dogfish Head Brewing Company to face the mob and decided to check out their World Wide Stout, I thought I would have a nice warm brew on a chilly night. Wrong. But not for the reasons you think.
World Wide Stout by Dogfish Head Brewing Company (www.dogfish.com/front) seeks to become the firm’s numero uno stout. Though the keep it refrigerated, you hardly notice the cold when you pick it up. When I looked to find its ABV, it listed it as between 15-20%. That’s right, even they don’t know what it is supposed to be – they have a range! It has to be one of the only profession brews to do that! Its aroma is of a really strong stout, but it has alcohol bubbling up through the center of it. Make no bones about it, it is alcohol friendly. This beer is close to sizzling. In terms of taste, it is really simple – alcohol with strong stout – in that order. The alcohol is only for the first few minutes. As you get to drinking it, it simmers down and you can taste a bit of the stout, tempered by some of the additional flavors. A tempest of dark fruit comes to mind.
So, when the weather turns cold and its getting bitter, turn to World Wide Stout. It could be the last thing you will do, but it will be memorable.
I am not one for bad dreams. They come and go just like the good ones (when you have them at all!) and they are pretty infrequent when you string them all together. But they still exist and a couple of them in a short period of time can be a bit disconcerting.
So, when a small brewery rolls out a stout with the name The Night Mare, I do tend to sit up and pay attention. The Night Mare Stout by Brew Republic Bierwerks (https://brewrepublic.beer/) in Woodbridge, VA is the sort of beer that reaches out and mildly grabs you and says “I am here so you had better pay attention to me.” Oh, and let’s get something straight, it is not “Beerworks” or “Bierworks” (Are you listening Untappd?). It is “Bierwerks”, thank you very much!
So, what is the deal with stouts? You might think that all stouts are brewed the same way, but there is some variation in the way that a stout is attained. One of the ways is that the grain that is used to attach the tasty parts together. In most forms of stout, brewers use barley to hold the brew together. Over time this has gotten easier to do because brewing with barley simpler and has gotten easier.
However, there are a number of other grains that serve the same purpose. The problem is that you can not do everything with barley because barley is not grown all over the world. Wheat, rye and oats (or oatmeal) can all fill the bill at a lower cost than barley with wheat at a steadfast number two and oatmeal bringing up the rear.
The Night Mare Stout is an oatmeal based stout that carries this brew through to its logical conclusion. Being an oatmeal stout, it does this with a different taste than a standard stout. The oatmeal stout is often accused with being weak, but I think in the case of Night Mare Stout, it offers a decidedly different taste and that is a really enjoyable one. It is lighter and less heavy than its barley and wheat relatives, but it holds its flavor in good form. It is really worth taking a taste.
And there won’t be any bad dreams.
I gave it 4 stars on – even though they had misspelled it!