Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.

More Sipping Beers

Rodenbach Grand Cru, one of GAYOT's Top Sipping Beers


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erve these premium sipping beers in a snifter or goblet to enjoy their strong aromas and flavors. Also check out GAYOT's list of the latest Top 10 Sipping Beers.


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GERMAN DOPPELBOCK

Ayinger Celebrator
Germany
This intense black beer defies traditional perceptions of lager, layering sweet flavors of molasses and bergamot with rich toffee malt. Read the full review

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BELGIAN STRONG GOLDEN ALE

Brouwerij Huyghe Delirium Tremens
Belgium
After taking the first sip of this Belgian ale, a pleasing hint of honeyed tea greets the palate, followed by a spreading warmth worthy of whiskey. Read the full review

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BELGIAN-STYLE IPA

Houblon Chouffe Dobbelen IPA Tripel
Belgium
On the palate, herbal hops scour the palate clean, making this beer a remarkable food partner. Read the full review

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BELGIAN TRAPPIST ALE

Westmalle Dubbel

Belgium

The beer's creamy froth embraces the palate and offers sweet flavors of buttered raisin toast and crème brûlée. Read the full review

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FLEMISH RED ALE

Rodenbach Grand Cru

Belgium

The beer's sweet-tart fruity flavors burst on the palate, making it an exceptional beer for food. Read the full review

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IMPERIAL STOUT

Dogfish Head World Wide Stout
Delaware

This inky black beer boasts a malty sweetness that is perfectly balanced by the prickle of carbonation. Read the full review

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SCOTCH ALE/WEE HEAVY

Orkney Brewery SkullSplitter
Scotland

Copper-colored, this viscous brew projects exotic yeasty aromas reminiscent of melted bleu cheese. Read the full review

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AMERICAN CHOCOLATE STOUT

Rogue Chocolate Stout
Oregon

Aromas of chocolate-covered cherries and black coffee arouse the senses. A luxuriant mouth-feel complements an opulent, medium-dry chocolate taste experience. Read the full review

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GERMAN WEIZENBOCK

Schneider Aventinus
Germany

Decadently rich, sweet flavors layer the palate, from butterscotch to brandied cherries to pecan pie. Read the full review

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AMBER-RED ALE

Unibroue Maudite
Canada

Combining Weizenbock-associated caramel and clove aromas with the fiery peppery spice and aged-cheese tang more typical of a Trappist Dubbel, this reddish-amber strong ale resists traditional classification. Read the full review

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SAISON/FARMOUSE ALE

Foret
Foret is a bottle-conditioned Saison/Farmhouse Ale from Brasserie Dupont, and is Belgium's only certified organic ale brewed from 100 per cent organically cultivated hops, barley and pure well water. Read the full review

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SOUR BROWN ALE

La Folie

This sour brown ale is only 6 percent ABV, but its intense tart and sour notes make it one to be sipped and savored. Read the full review

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AMERICAN-STYLE BARLEY WINE

Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine

Stone Brewing Company lays claim to producing big bold ales that push the limits of the human palate for huge flavors and hop bitterness. Read the full review

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STRONG DARK ALE

Unibroue Terrible

Terrible is terribly strong and complex. The alcohol strength is a powerful 10.5 per cent ABV, backed up with a balance of flavors... Read the full review

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RUSSIAN IMPERIAL STOUT

Old Rasputin

Considered by many to be the standard-bearer for the style, this Russian Imperial Stout from the North Coast Brewing Company is produced in the tradition of 18th-century English brewers... Read the full review


BELGIAN STRONG GOLDEN ALE
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Moortgat "Duvel," $7/25 oz.

Considered by many to be the world’s finest beer, Duvel is the most widely recognized of Belgian ales. Deceptively pale in color, this devil packs a wallop. Duvel’s dense frothy head needs plenty of space in the glass and has pungent aromas of tree fruit and green herbs. In the mouth, its earthy quality is complex, nutty and delicious. A whip-crack of bitter hops, a Champagne-like dryness and a clean finish make this ale an ideal food partner.


BELGIAN LAMBIC
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Cantillon "Saint Lamvinus," $30/25 oz.

Lambic beers' distinctive acidity and earthy funk compare more easily to Champagne or cider than to other beers, a result of ancient brewing techniques. “Saint Lamvinus” is from Cantillon, the finest of traditional lambic producers. Red Bordeaux grapes are added to the brew, and the result is stunning: a dry fruit beer of depth and grace, with a sharp wine-like finish


BRITISH IMPERIAL STOUT
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Samuel Smith "Imperial Stout," $8/19 oz.

The “Old Brewery” at Tadcaster in Yorkshire has managed to survive lean decades to emerge as one of England’s leading brewers of fine ales. The brewery’s “Samuel Smith” line is held in the highest esteem. However, the brewery’s black ales, porters and stouts deserve special status. The deluxe offering is their “Imperial Stout,” whose inky black color and concentration of flavor defy the laws of nature. Its aroma is a sharp blast of espresso and cocoa, cushioned by a luxuriously custardy head. Intense chicory and bittersweet chocolate flavors create a lingering finish that cries out for dark chocolate desserts.


BRITISH BARLEY WINE
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J.W. Lees "Vintage Harvest Ale 2000," $8/12 oz.

Barley Wine has the strength to age gracefully, as evidenced by the vintage dating used by J.W. Lees. An internationally revered brew, new releases of their mature ales are anxiously awaited by the cognoscenti, collected and laid down for further aging. As garnet in color as tawny port, this beer is just as rich and strong in the mouth. Complex aromas of fruitcake and leather compete with an ambrosially sweet flavor of almonds and marmalade. Almost too sweet to serve with desserts, this beer is more at home in a snifter with a slab of Stilton and a cigar.


AMERICAN INDIA PALE ALE
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Dogfish Head "90 Minute IPA," $8/25 oz.

The American approach to brewing takes is as bold and brash as it is to food, fashion and film. Dogfish Head in Delaware is a leader in a talented field, brewing powerhouse beers with explosively intense flavor. The amber “90 Minute IPA” is as hoppy as a beer can be, full of green herbal aromas like cedar and grapefruit peel. Hop-heads will appreciate this ale’s homage to the underappreciated flower. Medium-dry in attack, toasty malt is strongly present but masked by resinous hops in brute force. The beer’s finish is bracingly bitter, making it adept at handling spicy food.


Current Top 10 Sipping Beers

PJC061311
(Updated: 06/07/13 SG)

Celebrate the arrival of spring with the season's finest special releases, including a grapefruit DIPA, a smoked beer and a sour saison ale.

Enjoy the recent rye Renaissance by downing these fine whiskeys straight or hearken back to their heyday and mix them in an Old-Fashioned.