Last Friday was International Stout Day so I figured what better way to celebrate than to write an article on some of my favorite stout beers. The term “Stout Beer” was derived from extra strong porters brewed in the 1700’s. They called the beers stout porters, as in that they were strong in color and body.
Not only are stout beers delicious to drink, they also are delicious for cooking with. Tyler Florence of the Food Network has a recipe online that I made earlier this fall to enjoy as Sunday dinner while watching football. It was one of the most delicious dishes I have made Roast Leg of Lamb with Dark Beer, Honey and Thyme. We also can use stout beer to make desserts. At my old brewery, we had a restaurant that did a molten lava cake using a stout beer base. I found a similar recipe online at The Kitschy Kitchen. This recipe is even better though because they top the cake with BACON. You can even kick it up a notch with CANDIED BACON! Some other stout beers are deserts in and of themselves. Below we’ll discuss one of those that I recently took a bottle of and made into a float with some whole bean vanilla ice cream, and a dark chocolate brownie.
This week’s Drink It and Dump it, will feature salaries from DraftKings.com. They are one of my favorites, and I am a regular player on that site. The thing that I like about this site is that they offer a lot of guaranteed money tourneys and they also offer a lot of 2x, 3x, and even 10x contests. My strategy is that I will usually play a couple of bigger money double ups to guarantee profit for the week. I then play a couple of lower dollar guaranteed money tourneys to go for the big score. Either way I walk away the following week with more money in my account than the week before.
When you are setting your lineup for the double and triple ups, it’s important to play it safe. In these leagues you need to finish in either the top half or third to pay out. It should be your goal to acquire solid performers who are not going to give you a goose egg. In these leagues I try to avoid diving for a lot of deep sleepers because they are more prone to boom-or-bust status. These deep sleepers are the guys you will trot out in the deeper guarantee money tourneys. I usually select at least four from our Fantasy Four Pack, and then fill out the roster with the deepest of sleepers.
Your Fantasy Four Pack
Russell Wilson, Seahawks vs. Vikings
No team has allowed more passing touchdowns than Minnesota. Plus Seattle might get Percy Harvin back and I guarantee he wants a chance to do some damage against his old team. Minnesota has faced two rushing QBs (Newton and Griffin), and each had more than 30 yards on the ground. Cam Newton also scored against them on the ground.
Robert Griffin III, Redskins @ Eagles
Speaking of Robert Griffin, this week he gets to face the team that has allowed the second most passing yards per game. Griffin just got done destroying the equally inept Vikings’ secondary. This should be old hat for the Subway Sandwich guy.
Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers vs. Lions
Only one team has allowed more passing touchdowns over the last three weeks than Detroit. Big Ben is on a positive trend as well right now averaging 293 yards and two touchdowns over the last three weeks.
Nick Foles, Eagles vs. Redskins
Washington has allowed the fourth most passing touchdowns on the season. They also are allowing 290 passing yards per game. Foles has been on fire since reacquiring the keys to the Eagles offense averaging 317-5 over the last two weeks.
Case Keenum, Texans vs. Raiders
In three starts he has seven touchdowns without an interception…that makes him the anti-Schaub. He is also averaging 274 passing yards per game. No team has allowed more passing touchdowns over the last three weeks than Oakland.
Carson Palmer, Cardinals @ Jaguars
There are only four teams that are allowing more passing touchdowns per game than Jacksonville. Carson Palmer has several weapons to throw to, even though both Andre Roberts and Michael Floyd have been dinged up a bit of late. In this game we could see either/or both of them, Andre Ellington, Larry Fitzgerald, heck maybe even Rashard Mendenfail score on a Palmer pass.
Tom Brady ($7400), Philip Rivers ($7800), Alex Smith ($6500), Joe Flacco ($6200), Eli Manning ($6200)
Peyton Manning ($10200), Drew Brees ($10100), Cam Newton ($8800), Colin Kaepernick ($7300)
Your Fantasy Four Pack
Jamaal Charles, Chiefs @ Broncos
Only the Jets have given up fewer rushing yards than the Broncos, but the Broncos give up a lot of yards and scores to opposing running backs via the passing game. Charles is a successful play both ways and he will be the focal point of the Chiefs offense this week as they play keep away versus Denver. Week 9, when he finished with 96 total yards, was his first start of the year when he did not top 100 total yards. I expect him to get back on track this time out.
LeSean McCoy, Eagles vs. Redskins
Washington is allowing the second most rushing touchdowns per game. LeSean McCoy got himself back on track last week against the Packers. This week he gets to face a Redskins team that he torched for 189 combo yards and a score in Week 1.
Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks vs. Vikings
If you throw out his Week 8 stinker against the Rams, Lynch has averaged 133.5 combo yards since Week 4. In addition, over his last two he has averaged over 150 combo yards. Minnesota is allowing an average of 147 combo yards to opposing backs and they have allowed ten running back touchdowns.
Reggie Bush, Lions @ Steelers
No team has allowed more rushing touchdowns than Pittsburgh. One thing working against Bush this week is that no team has allowed fewer receptions to opposing backs that the Steelers. Bush gets to square off against a defense that is allowing an average 5.1 YPC to opposing running backs over their last three games.
Ben Tate, Texans vs. Raiders
Andre Brown, who hadn’t played in weeks, dropped a 115-1 on the Raiders last week. Looking back, Oakland has allowed at least one running back score in every game since Week 3. Ben Tate only had 18 touches last week as he battled his injured ribs. I believe this is the week he gets a full complement of work again, especially since Houston should jump out to a lead early.
Andre Ellington, Cardinals @ Jaguars
Jacksonville has allowed seven rushing touchdowns over the last three weeks. They have also given up more rushing yards through nine games than any other team has given up through ten games. It is possible that Rashard Mendenhall steals some of the touchdown love from Ellington, but they can both get into the fun this week. In addition Ellington is bound to rack up more yardage than Mendenhall.
Knowshon Moreno ($7500), Eddie Lacy ($7400), Danny Woodhead ($6400), Giovanni Bernard ($6300), Le’Veon Bell ($6100), C.J. Spiller ($4800), Rashad Jennings ($4500)
Adrian Peterson ($7900), Stevan Ridley ($6600), Darren Sproles ($6300), Pierre Thomas ($5600), DeAngelo Williams ($4100)
Your Fantasy Four Pack
Andre Johnson, Texans vs. Raiders
Johnson has a nice little thing going with Case Keenum. Five touchdowns in two games, propels him to the top of the WR rankings board. Oakland has allowed nine passing touchdowns over their last three games. This is easy money for him here.
Calvin Johnson, Lions @ Steelers
The Steelers are tough against the pass. Before getting dissected by the Patriots two weeks back, they had allowed only three WR touchdowns on the year. I would normally be a little concerned, but this is Megatron, and it doesn’t matter how many people you put on him, he can still score.
DeSean Jackson, Eagles vs. Redskins
DeSean Jackson has scored in back-to-back games racking up 230 yards in the process. Washington is allowing the second most passing touchdowns per game on the year and they have allowed eight over the last three weeks.
Vincent Jackson, Buccaneers vs. Falcons
Only Minnesota is allowing more passing scores than Atlanta. Three weeks ago, Vincent Jackson went monkey crazy against the Falcons hauling in 10-138-2 on 22 targets. Even half of that line would be nice this week.
Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals @ Jaguars
You may be noticing a trend amongst the sleepers here…QB vs. Jaguars, RB vs. Jaguars, and now WR1 vs. Jaguars. Fitzgerald apparently likes escaping Arizona, because he is averaging 6-82-1 away from his home ballpark. At home he is averaging 3-33 with only one score.
Riley Cooper, Eagles vs. Redskins
In Cooper’s last three games with Nick Foles at quarterback, he has posted 4-120-1, 5-139-3, and 3-102-2. At this point he is a must own in all league formats. I’m looking forward to see what he does against this abominable defense.
Pierre Garcon ($6900), Antonio Brown ($6500), Wes Welker ($6400), Golden Tate ($6300), Torrey Smith ($5400), Mike Wallace ($5400), Dwayne Bowe ($4600), Michael Floyd ($4600), Rishard Matthews ($3000)
A.J. Green ($9700), Brandon Marshall, ($9100), Jordy Nelson ($7300), Keenan Allen ($6300), Danny Amendola ($6000), Steve Smith ($5700)
Your Fantasy Four Pack
Rob Gronkowski, Patriots @ Panthers
Four of the seven passing touchdowns that Carolina has allowed this year have gone to tight ends. Gronkowski is averaging 6-95 over his three games back, and he finally scored last time out versus the Steelers. Expect more of the same here.
Julius Thomas, Broncos vs. Chiefs
His catch numbers are dwindling but he still is sitting on nine touchdowns. The Chiefs have not allowed a TE touchdown this year. I’m not expecting the world here but he could notch a score.
Jordan Reed, Redskins @ Eagles
Only four teams have given up more yards to TEs this season. Jordan Reed has been a stud this year. In eight starts he is averaging 5.5-61, with three scores.
Jimmy Graham, Saints vs. 49ers
It’s Jimmy Graham, even against a studly 49ers defense, he’s a top four starter. This does however shine a light on how bad the upper echelon TE matchups are this week though.
Zach Miller, Seahawks vs. Vikings
As bad as the upper echelon matchups appear, there are some deep sleepers to consider this week. The Vikings have allowed nine tight end touchdowns through nine games. That’s simple math to figure.
Marcedes Lewis, Jaguars @ Cardinals
Speaking of simple math, The Cardinals have allowed two more TE touchdowns than those Vikings listed above. They have also allowed nearly 100 more yards to the position than any other team. Lewis has received an average of four targets per game over the three games he has been active. Last week he hauled in 3-39. With all the crappy TE matchups this week, this could be a lucrative flyer.
Tony Gonzalez ($5600), Jordan Cameron ($5100), Tim Wright ($4400), Heath Miller ($3200), Charles Clay ($3000)
Vernon Davis ($6000), Zach Ertz ($4500), Greg Olsen ($4200), Martellus Bennett ($4200)
As I mentioned above this week we are celebrating the stout. I’ve put together a list of three of my favorites for your drinking enjoyment. With no offense to the master craftsmen at Guinness Brewing Company, I’m not going to tell you to go try Guinness. Everyone has had a pint of Guinness. These are some stouts that you may not have had previously. Still feel free to buy some Vitamin G to use in your cooking. It works great in both of the recipes listed above.
1) Mikkeller Black Hole from Mikkeller Brewing brewed at De Proef Brouwerij out of Lochristi-Hijfte, Belgium.
Served: Poured from the bottle, slightly chilled after one years’ aging at cellar temperature into a pint glass.
Appearance: Completely black, like the name implies. It wears almost like a crown a quarter inch dark tan head that refuses to break.
Smell: I’m getting some earthy notes in the nose to go along with toffee and a fair amount of hop for a beer that has been aging this long. There also appears to be some stone fruit (date, fig) present in the nose too.
Taste: Boozy and burnt toffee. The roasted barley comes through as well, but I’m not getting the coffee. There is still a fair hop presence as well. I’m also getting a little black currant or raspberry as it warms.
Mouth feel: Thick and sweet imagine liquid molasses.
Overall: When I went to select this one, I actually didn’t realize it was technically an imperial stout because the bottle simply said “Stout Brewed With Coffee”. If I had known, I probably would have saved this for an Imperial Stout review, but what the hell I already started writing. I just hope I can find some more of this because I don’t know if I have any left in my cellar.
2) Three Feet Deep, from Furthermore Brewing Company out of Black River Falls, WI.
Served: Poured from a bottle, slightly chilled, into a pint glass.
Appearance: Slightly translucent black. It had a thin beige head, which retained well. There was almost a fair amount of lacing.
Smell: Smoke and peat dominate the aroma. I know there is roast in there somewhere but it is completely masked.
Taste: Grassy, swampy peat-forward. There is smoke but it is masked by the extreme grassiness, making it almost remind me of fresh rolled tobacco, or a very complex black tea.
Mouth feel: Fairly light-bodied for such a complex beer. The peat lingers in my nasal passages and on the back of my tongue. Warming my body, like a nice glass of whiskey.
Overall: They describe this as a dry Irish stout, but the extreme peat smoked flavor reminds me more of Laphroaig, than anything Irish I’ve had. This is absolutely delicious, a true keeper. Now I just wish I had a nice charred steak to serve with it instead of my homemade cilantro-lime rice and chorizo.
3) Cherry Stout from Bells Brewery out of Comstock, MI.
Served: Poured from the bottle at refrigerator temperature into a pint glass.
Appearance: Ridiculously dark with a quarter inch thick reddish-tan hued head.
Smell: Finally a stout where I’m getting the roasted malt in the nose, of course it is swirled with cocoa and tart cherries too!
Taste: Chocolate is there as is the cherry, almost more tart in the taste than the aroma. I am also picking up the tart cherry skin taste too. The warmer it gets the more the sour and the cherry come out.
Mouth feel: Dry and sticky with a medium body, it feels and tastes like the liquid that oozes out of a chocolate covered cherry cordial. It also leaves a dry if not slightly acidic aftertaste.
Overall: This beer just makes me think of the holidays. Every year my mom wants me to buy her a box of chocolate covered cherries and I have been obliging her as long as I’ve been able to afford gifts. Maybe this year I will give her a bottle of this too and see what she thinks.
4) Crème Brulee from Southern Tier Brewing Company out of Lakewood, NY.
Served: Slightly chilled poured from a bomber into a goblet.
Appearance: This is jet black, there is zero light passing through this one. Very thin head breaks quickly but leaves good lacing.
Smell: Burnt sugar, milk, and toffee. It really does smell exactly like the desert of the same name.
Taste: Ok close your eyes and envision an English toffee flavored vanilla bean milkshake. Now add booze. Presto you have Crème Brulee. The vanilla is so pronounced, it is almost over the top. Of course it is so delicious you don’t care.
Mouth feel: Thick and milky like a milkshake as I mention above. Extreme sweetness and syrupiness lingers long after consumption.
Overall: Simply put the best alcoholic dessert available. I have this ranked amongst my top five beers of all time. It certainly isn’t one that you are going to be drinking two or three of in a sitting, but I will drive anywhere to try and find this milk stout beauty. It just doesn’t get any better than this. Also try it as a float with a dark chocolate brownie and vanilla bean ice cream, and perhaps even a little cold press coffee, you will be in dessert heaven.