5. Speedway Stout – Bourbon Barrel Aged
> Brewery: AleSmith Brewing Company (California)
> Beer Advocate avg. rating: 4.52 out of 5
Brewed with locally roasted coffee; chocolate and caramel in the mouth, with a noticeable shot of bourbon flavor.
4. Pliny The Younger
> Brewery: Russian River Brewing Company (California)
> Beer Advocate avg. rating: 4.70 out of 5
A triple IPA (i.e., with three times the usual dose of hops), floral and piney, with plenty of heft and alcohol (10.25%), plus a touch of sweetness.
3. Hunahpu’s Double Barrel Aged Imperial Stout
> Brewery: Cigar City Brewing (Florida)
> Beer Advocate avg. rating: 4.73 out of 5
Infused, like the regular Hunahpu’s, with cacao nibs, vanilla, cinnamon, and two kinds of chile; aged in rum and apple-brandy barrels, adding notes of vanilla and spice.
2. Kentucky Brunch Brand Stout
> Brewery: Toppling Goliath Brewing Company (Iowa)
> Beer Advocate avg. rating: 4.84 out of 5
A hearty stout brewed with coffee and aged in bourbon barrels; quite sweet, with some raisiny fruit, vanilla, and an elegant overlay of whiskey.
1. Heady Topper
> Brewery: The Alchemist Brewery (Vermont)
> Beer Advocate avg. rating: 4.72 out of 5
One of the original cult beers (before it became more widely available, there was an independent website devoted to hunting for it, and people sold it — illegally — on eBay); nicely floral, with typical IPA citrus and pine aromas and flavors; well-balanced and very flavorful.