I’m the kind of guy who studies the calendar a couple times a week, marking the days until the winter is over. I am not a fan of the cold. I hate almost everything about the winter. The only exception is the beer. There are certain beers that you can only get this time of the year, and they tend to be some of my favorites. Case in point: Dogfish Head’s Chicory Stout. Notoriously, I’m a stout guy, and this one is in my top ten. It’s a terrific beer, and I have a sentimental attachment to it as well since it was the first true “craft” beer I ever had (Rehoboth Beach, 2005). Made from roasted chicory, organic Mexican coffee, St. John’s wort, and licorice root, this is far from your run-of-the-mill stout. It’s one of Dogfish’s oldest beers, and it’s hardly a stretch to call it a craft beer “classic”. Even with the use of Cascade and Fuggle hops, it’s not bitter at all (21 IBUs). Dogfish describes its tasting notes as “creamy, roasty, peppery, dry, and chocolatey”, and I could not agree more. The coffee component, while noticeable, is far from dominant. It mixes nicely with woody chicory notes, a bit of dark chocolate, toasted malts, and a touch of black licorice. For whatever reason, this stout doesn’t get as much love from beer geeks as a lot of Dogfish’s other beers. It’s not a “big” beer. It’s not boldly conceived or particularly high in alcohol (ABV 5.2 percent). But you know me: I like simple, balanced beers just as much or even more than “edgy” concoctions. And having consumed a ton of stouts over the years, I’m certain that Chicory Stout is one of the best out there. Like any good stout, it’s roasty with subtle flavors of coffee and chocolate. On a drinkability scale, it’s pretty much unsurpassed on the Dogfish roster. A solid, delicious stout: what’s wrong with that? Not a thing! Buy it if you can still find it!