Skiers and snowboarders think about snow all winter and fall, and they know when winter-sports season is getting close because there are gear and season-pass sales all over the place. Beer lovers think about rich, high-gravity treats all winter and fall, and they know when they're getting close because labels like these start to pop up on the Internet. If the warm weather has gone on too long and your brain has already switched into cold-weather mode, here are a few beers to look forward to when you make the switch from flip-flops to hats and gloves.
Chai Yeti Imperial Stout
Great Divide Brewing
Great Divide has been fairly conservative over the years about messing with its signature Yeti Imperial Stout, adding only a few variations every couple of years or so; these have included Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti, Espresso Oak Aged Yeti, Oatmeal Yeti and the draft-only, lower-ABV Velvet Yeti Nitro. The latest of these will be quite different, though, as it incorporates the traditional chai spices of cinnamon, green cardamom, ginger, black pepper, nutmeg and vanilla. The mixture is appropriate since many Yeti tales originate in the Himalayas in Nepal, a region that also gave us chai. If you believe, then this beer, which debuts in October, is for you.
Whiskey Barrel Aged Lugene Chocolate Milk Stout
Odell is staying tight-lipped about this one, but the label says it all. Odell has taken some of its luscious Lugene
and aged it in Woody Creek Rye Whiskey barrels for six months. First introduced in bottles in 2013, Lugene made my list of the best beers made in Colorado that year
and still stands as one of the Fort Collins brewery's most notable offerings. For some inexplicable reason, the brewery discontinued the beer last year, so its return in rye whiskey barrels is going to make a lot of people shake in their boots. Release date is TBA.
Triple Barrel Big Bad Baptist
Last year, Epic Brewing thrilled imperial stout fans when it created two variations on Big Bad Baptist, an imperial stout made with coffee beans and cacao nibs, for the first time. Double Barrel Big Bad Baptist was flavored with barrel aged coffee from Hot Box Roasters, while Big Bad Baptista included Mexican coffee, vanilla and cinnamon. This year, Epic is going a different direction with Triple Barrel Big Bad Baptist, which was brewed with cacao nibs, coffee beans and shredded coconut that was aged in whiskey barrels. The beer was then aged in whiskey and rum barrels and blended back together. It's going to create a very warm winter.