After Dallas' usual two weeks of beautiful fall weather the cold arrived with a vengeance and we skipped straight to an actual snowfall, in November. This means it's time to do away with those wimpy summer beers you've been slurping on for the six straight months of Texas summer, run past the 14,000 styles of pumpkin beer as fast as possible, and put some hairs on your chest with some real manly stouts, strong enough o keep you warm in the face of yet another icepocalypse. Here, in no particular order, are the pick of your local choices.
Lakewood's Bourbon Barrel Temptress Everyone knows about the amazingness of the Temptress. It's an addictive, pitch-black ooze that masks its 9.1 percent ABV so well in a haze of chocolate and coffee that you'll soon forget it's winter entirely, and gallivant naked through the half-centimeter of snow plaguing Dallas. You might not have known about the recent variants on the theme, though, the best of which was the French Quarter Temptress, a chicory coffee beer which has now sadly disappeared.
Don't despair, though, because Bourbon Barrel Temptress, the medal-winning take on Temptress, will be here next month and it'll have an even higher ABV masked by even more sweetness. This variety isn't just one of Dallas' best stouts; it's one of Dallas' best beers. Beer Advocate agrees.
Armadillo Ales' Brunch Money This stout looks like a golden ale. It's confusing. The first time you pour this, you'll think someone filled the bottle with the wrong beer. Then you'll notice the sweet aroma, the fact that it's thicker than an ale, and then you'll sip it and fall in love. It tastes exactly like a dark stout, with coffee and chocolate, but it looks so wrong. It's like an optical illusion beer, and it is SWEET. It's also 10 percent ABV, so good luck with that second glass you just poured and actually drinking this for brunch would be a disastrous mistake.
Armadillo Ales' Quakertown Stout Yeah, these guys know how to make a stout. Gold medal winner at the recent prestigious Great American Beer Festival, and also much easier to find than the somewhat elusive Brunch Money, Quakertown is a little smokier and darker, but at 9.2% no less intoxicating. Well, alright. 0.8% less intoxicating. Are you beginning to see a theme develop here? The best way to stay warm over the winter is to get really, really drunk. Yes. That is official doctor's advice.
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Martin House's Pretzel Stout A little less self-destructive than our other beers in this list, the Pretzel Stout nevertheless solves an age-old problem -- I have a beer, but I do not have a salty snack to accompany my beer. Fort Worth's Martin House have got your back, because they decided to just throw a sack of pretzels into their stout. The result is bizarrely addictive, with the beer giving just a little hint of pretzels in the aftertaste. It's salty and sweet at the same time, and it's a real winner. It's really, really delicious.
Community's Legion The newcomer on the scene just in time for the cold, Community's Legion follows in the tradition of all beers from Community by being incredible. More chocolatey than the other beers on this list, it's reminiscent of Founder's hugely in-demand Breakfast Stout, and that is a very good thing. It's starting to make its way into craft beer shops across DFW right now, but can still be a little bit hard to find. It's worth it though, because this 10-percent ABV pitch black stout is right up there with Temptress. Less sweet, but just as drinkable.