Special Report

America’s 40 Most Delicious Beers

Source: Courtesy of Toppling Goliath Brewing Co.

10. Mornin’ Delight
> Brewery: Toppling Goliath Brewing Co. (Iowa)
> Beer Advocate avg. rating: 4.75 out of 5

Imperial stout, rich and well-balanced, brewed with coffee and maple syrup, medium-rich and sweet at 12.8% ABV.

Source: Courtesy of Bell’s Brewery, Inc.

9. Two Hearted Ale
> Brewery: Bell’s Brewery (Michigan)
> Beer Advocate avg. rating: n/a

Named for the Two Hearted River in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, a well-rounded IPA, fresh and smooth, with plenty of malt supporting forthright hop aromas and a piney hops flavor.

Source: Courtesy of Tree House Brewing Company

8. King Julius
> Brewery: Tree House Brewing Co. (Massachusetts)
> Beer Advocate avg. rating: 4.76 out of 5

A double New England IPA — a beefier sibling to Tree House’s popular Julias IPA — with plenty of hops and a profusion of tropical fruit flavors.

Source: Courtesy of Perennial Artisan Ales

7. Barrel-Aged Abraxas
> Brewery: Perennial Artisan Ales (Missouri)
> Beer Advocate avg. rating: 4.79 out of 5

Very dark and viscous — a spicy seasonal imperial stout brewed with cinnamon sticks, ancho chiles, cacao nibs, and vanilla beans and aged for a year in Rittenhouse Rye barrels.

Source: Courtesy of Founders Brewing Co.

6. CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout)
> Brewery: Founders Brewing Co. (Michigan)
> Beer Advocate avg. rating: 4.7 out of 5

Dark, smooth, sweet, and oaky; brewed with what its makers call “a blend of coffees and imported chocolates” and aged in bourbon barrels that had previously held Michigan maple syrup.

Source: Courtesy of Cigar City Brewing

5. Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout, Double Barrel-Aged
> Brewery: Cigar City Brewing (Florida)
> Beer Advocate avg. rating: 4.79 out of 5

A rich, thick, black stout, aged in rum and apple brandy barrels with cacao nibs, ancho and pasilla chiles, cinnamon, and Madagascar vanilla beans, adding up to a heady (11% ABV) dessert in a glass.

Source: Courtesy of Russian River Brewing Company

4. Pliny the Younger
> Brewery: Russian River Brewing Co. (California)
> Beer Advocate avg. rating: 4.75 out of 5

Pliny the Elder (see No. 11) is a double IPA. This piney, floral offering, with a touch of smoothing sweetness, is a triple — made with three times the usual ration of hops.

Source: Courtesy of 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

3. BBADL (Bourbon-Barrel-Aged Dark Lord Imperial Stout)
> Brewery: 3 Floyds Brewing Co. (Indiana)
> Beer Advocate avg. rating: 4.61 out of 5

Sweet, strong (15% ABV), and so thick that it’s almost chewy, with an aroma that’s part vintage Port, part molasses. There are a number of Dark Lord variations, in vintages ranging from 2007 through 2019, sold only at the brewery on one day each year. Bad news: It was June 30 this year — but check darklordday.com for next year’s date.

Source: Courtesy of Alchemist Beer

2. Heady Topper
> Brewery: The Alchemist (Vermont)
> Beer Advocate avg. rating: 4.79 out of 5

The seminal New England double IPA , sold in cans — bitter but well-balanced and full of floral, citrusy, and piney flavors. Considered, as one Beer Advocate reviewer put it, “the granddaddy that today’s IPAs were born from.”

Source: Courtesy of Toppling Goliath Brewing Company

1. Kentucky Brunch Stout
> Brewery: Toppling Goliath Brewing Co. (Iowa)
> Beer Advocate avg. rating: 4.9 out of 5

Ranked No. 1 on the most recent Beer Advocate listing of America’s top 250 beers, with an almost perfect score, this imperial stout is thick, dark, sweet, complex, smooth, and memorable, combining flavors of chocolate, coffee, maple syrup, bourbon, figs, toffee, and vanilla to what its many fans consider transcendent effect.

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