Once a month I have a guaranteed guys night. Or should I say guy night. My wife and her lit-loving girlfriends gather around a few bottles of wine and chat till I’m long asleep. On tonight’s guy nigh, I choose a stout, I’m feeling like sipping on something, not washing down my dinner, so Wisconsin’s finest makes the cut.

Poured into my brand-new Spiegelau snifter, it looks impressive, especially after the whip cream foam settles a little, sticking to the glass like a dirty Chicago snow. The body is an absolute abyss of blackness, a few bubble of carbonation with enough gumption to briefly sprint to the top and then disappear in the sandy head. It smells dirty. And like coffee. Through my cold-handicapped nose that’s about the extent of what I can gather. There are notes of burnt and roast, but whether those are the malts or the coffee or both, I can’t tell. It was like liquid velvet. Both the head and liquid were unbelievably smooth, distracting me entirely from the taste at all. The flavor is more roasted malts, more burnt something or other and more coffee. Like a good boss, this one is straight and to the point, no dilly dally, no ifs, ands or buts. What it lacks in complexity, it makes up for in its simple characteristics. The smoothness continues through the each sip and the finish is a pleasant linger of the not-overpowering middle. The head sloshes down the whole drink, too, rounding out the entire feel-good picture.

For a smooth, simple, coffee-accented stout, this one is right up there with the best. Yet another great offering from New Glarus.