5. Harpoon Chocolate Stout
Alcohol by volume: 5.9%
Harpoon is somewhat notorious for mellowing out its year-round offerings -- as evidenced by its fairly low-bitterness, low octane standard IPA -- but its seasonal beers have taken a notable turn for the bitter in recent years. One of this Boston/Vermont brewery's biggest surprises has been its chocolate stout, which has a bit of regular stout roastiness hidden behind a sweet but subtle layer of pure chocolate flavor. It comes in a six pack and while it's temping to consider it a training-wheels chocolate stout on the first taste, finishing a full cocoa-flavored bottle is a strong argument for the merits of a second.