Black Magic Woman Stout
Why: Bewitching aromas of tangerine peel, molasses, prunes and chocolate coax you into your first sip of Hornbeer's Russian Imperial Stout. A blast of chocolatey espresso languishes into a bitter finish, disappearing in a puff of smoke. Delicious, full-bodied and just a little evil, she'll sneak up on you at 10 per cent abv.
Price: 500 ml/$7.05
Availability: LCBO 343913; de-listed but there's still plenty on shelves.
Spearhead Belgian Stout
Why: Maybe my fondness for Spearhead's Hawaiian Style Pale Ale set the bar too high. Chalk it up to tough love, but despite being chocolatey and fruity with a notable dose of smoke, this so-so stout isn't as exciting as it could be.
Availability: On tap at 3030 Dundas West, the Monarch Tavern and the Saint Tavern.
Muskoka Winter Beard Double Chocolate Cranberry Stout
Why: Muskoka's beloved seasonal, flavoured with dark chocolate and Ontario cranberries and cellar-aged for 14 months, leaves your lips redolent of Black Forest cake. Like any rich treat, it's best in small doses - it's no coincidence this bottle's designed for sharing.
Price: 750 ml/$13.95
Availability: LCBO 222315; de-listed, small quantities still available around town.