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Crushing the Un-Crushable

Unless it's a Guinness and you're trying to show off for friends most stouts weren't meant for chugging. Although, I personally would prefer to chug a Guinness over other beers because the nitro bubbles make it easier to swallow. These days when you're looking at stouts on the shelves and on menus many of them register double digit ABVs and some even creep into the teens. While they taste delicious I find myself sipping them like brown liquor and not knocking them back one after the other. Another popular style that has been hitting the market are Milk Stouts, which tend to be fairly sweet due to the addition of lactose, which is a non-fermentable sugar. A delicious style that I enjoy but I find many of them to be too sweet and I rarely drink more than one.

Enter a beer that contradicted my stance on both ideals. Other Half Brewing and Barrier Brewing recently did a pair of collaborations at each others respective breweries. One of which, I won't talk about, the Make It Rain IPA which I waited in line for three hours to get. It was awesome but I'm never waiting in a line that long again for a beer. The other beer they made, which I didn't have to wait for because Barrier distributes their beers to stores in NYC was the Half & Half Imperial Milk Stout brewed with Stumptown coffee. Without looking into what other people thought of this beer I was excited to try it soley based on both breweries reputations but I didn't really know what I was getting myself into.

I poured myself a taste one evening a few weeks back and got rich aromas of coffee, chocolate and a touch of sweetness. I took a big swig and my eyes almost popped out of my head. The slight bitterness from the coffee offset the sweetness from the sugars and all of the robust flavors melded togther perfectly. I quickly picked up my glass and took another glug. I was watching TV, probably something awesome like The Walking Dead, and I went to refill my glass after a good ten minutes and there was NOTHING LEFT IN THE BOTTLE!! Normally I would blame the future wife but she's not a big fan of dark beers so apparently I drank the entire 17oz bottle without blinking an eye. Now, this isn't huge beer at 8.9% abv but that's not small either! Let's all hope these two breweries make this beer again because it was damn delicious and more people should have the chance to challenge themselves to a personal chugging contest of beer that shouldn't be chugged. Make sure you savor every last drop of this one the next time it is release.

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