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Black And Tans... have any favorites ???

I like a good black and tan... just wondering what some of your favorites might be...

Having nothing better to do, tonight I tried mixing two exceptional brews: Alpha King IPA and Brooklyn Choc Stout....

I found the result pleasant but not a revelation.... in a strange way it sort of "flattened" out the high notes of each brew...

Have any favorites ???

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  1. Smithwick's and Guinness

    1. Black and Red- Guiness and Killians
      Black Beauty- Guiness and Champagne

      1 Reply
      1. re: viperlush

        Guiness and Champagne is called a Black Velvet.

      2. Curious... do you pour the tan element first or the black element, from an aesthetic point of view... or does it matter ?

        1. i think you pour the guinness in first, let it settle a bit and then pour the other beer. the guinness should rise to the top naturally. btw, guinnes (or a sweeter oatmeal stout works well:) and hard cider is a nice combo. not really a black and tan but nice

          9 Replies
          1. re: ben61820

            If you're going for the authentic half and half, I thought the whole point was to layer it. Since Guinness, despite it's color, is a relatively light beer, you pour it over an inverted, bent-up spoon to keep it from mixing. Now whether you can do that as well with some other combination, I don't know.

            The other thing to note is that I always thought a half and half was Guinness and Harp (ale/lager, both Irish) until the marketing folks decided to push Bass after a corporate mega-merger put them all in the same basket.

            1. re: ted

              "Black and Tans" and "Half and Halfs" have been made in bars and bottled by brewers since before Prohibition and it's only agressive marketing by Guinness that has people thinking that the "real" ones are only Guinness/Bass or Guinness/Harp, respectively.

              Here's an label from the 1890's from some outfit in St. Louis ... http://home.comcast.net/~beerlabel/ half way down, (yellow diamond shape, next to a Blatz and a Lemp label) * and a Half and Half - http://www.breweriana.com/bottles/bot...

              Bass was never a Guinness or Diageo product- but it was, for many years, imported into the US by their subsidiary company, Guinness USA (for a time, it was actually known as Guinness-Bass Imports, or something similar). When, in the last few years, InBev came to own the Bass brand, they did not renew the contract with Guinness USA and Bass was imported by their subsidiary, Labatt USA (altho' the contract has since been awarded to A-B).

              Diageo is now bringing in it's Smithwick's brand as a substitute for Bass and promotional material now pushes it as the "correct" beer for their "official" "Black and Tan".

              * Note that the A-B label disproves the myth that Black and Tan beers have something to do with the pro-UK, anti-Republican Irish police force of the 1920's.

              1. re: JessKidden

                interesting info!

                i've been on a smithwick's kick myself lately.....i quite like it!

            2. re: ben61820

              I THINK the guinness and cider mix is a shandy, tho I think I have heard of them as being stout and sprite as well, eek.

              1. re: prunefeet

                I finally remembered that one. At least the local Britpub chain calls that a "black velvet." Always thought beer and lemonade was a shandy.

                1. re: ted

                  The faux-irish pub here calls that a Black Velveteen.

                  1. re: prunefeet

                    A shandy involves lemonade, believe it or not. When you mix stout and cider, it is usually called a Black Adder, Black Velvet, or something of that ilk.

                    And no good Irishman would ever miss an Irish beer with an English one!

                2. lately i've been mixing fruity ales (cherry, blueberry, rasberry) with porters and am enjoying the results.

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: hitachino

                    i agree. i like the framboise lambic with oatmeal stout again. the sweetnesses compliment eachother but the overwhelming sweetness of the lambic tones down any latent bitterness in the oatmeal as well.

                    1. re: ben61820

                      This is a VERY interesting thread here...

                      WHY might someone find a Framboise to be interesting with Stout ?? I think it might be the Chocolate overtones in the stout!!

                      And Raspberry and Chocolate is a tremendous matchup. You might experiement and try to find a more "chocolatey" stout such as Brooklyn or Rogue's CHocolate Stouts... I used to think that Storm King had great chocolate backnotes but the last 6-pack I had was really flattish...

                      Also makes me wonder if adding a little shot of Godiva liqueur to the mix might be interesting! I mean if you're going to the extent of combining Lambic with stout, why not throw in a shot of godiva !

                      This is how tremendous flavor combinations are "stumbled" upon... One of the greatest combinations I ever personally discovered was horseradish and kiwi when I accidentally smeared a kiwi slice with horseradish, so maybe we're onto something there. I'll have to try it...

                      HOWEVER, I can't visualize the connection with Porter quite as eaasily... given the heavy "tar" of porter vs. stout, but anything is possible.

                      1. re: Chicago Mike

                        i've never really gotten a 'tar' from porters. unless you mean smoked? ;)

                        i may be showing some beer bourgeois here, but i've always likened porters to a thinner, more-sessionish stout.

                        certainly, the fruity ales would be delish with stouts as well, albeit a tad more filling and heavy.

                        i love experimenting. since i don't homebrew, that's all i get to do.

                        when faced with a bottle of budweiser (last resortish) i'll throw in a crushed sprig of culantro, basil, rosemary or marjoram from my garden.

                        (yes, i said culantro - i can't grow cilantro in FL, but culantro thrives and actually has even more cilantro flavor - LOVE it.)

                        1. re: hitachino

                          I've seen Chicago Mike refer to this supposed "tar" flavor in a couple other posts, and I think what he's getting at is a slightly bitter, roasted character imparted by the darker malts used in various porters and stouts. I don't think I've ever seen anyone else refer to it as "tar," however.

                          Anyway, many quality porters have a slightly sweeter, caramel/molasses flavor to them that is not present in traditional dry Irish stouts. Sure, these flavors come through more in the "big" stouts (ie. imperial stouts, milk stouts, oatmeal stouts, etc.), but not the drier versions of the style.

                          1. re: braineater

                            Tar is a frequently mentioned flavor and nose component of stouts and porters. It's nothing I came up with....

                            Your explanation of the source of this essence is probably right on...

                            BTW, "tar" is not a perjorative as it's used for these beers. It definitely refers to a deep, smoky, 'ultra-stout' (i.e. "tarry" type taste note)... also in the better brews it will be but one of several impressions. Others being: chocolate, cherry, etc....

                            1. re: Chicago Mike

                              I guess I just haven't seen people use the term "tar" much, but rather adjectives like roasted, toasted, carbon, etc. I didn't think you were using it in a negative manner, but wanted to point out where this term might be coming from, for those who might have been under that impression.

                              1. re: Chicago Mike

                                reply to chicgaomike -- ok, good to know! (for some reason when i saw the word 'tar' i thought of the smell of burning rubber or a road getting paved - not something i'd like in a beer) ;) ;) ;)

                                also has anyone had a norwegian nogne brown ale? it could easily pass for a porter - VERY tasty!

                    2. yknow, for chocolate flavors there is nothing better than Young's double chocolate stout. am i wrong?

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: ben61820

                        I don't enjoy Young's Double Chocolate Stout at all. It has a really unpleasant, cloying sweetness to it. As chocolate stouts go, Rogue Chocolate Stout is much more enjoyable, though I can still only really drink one in any given sitting. I tend to find the chocolate flavors in beers such as Stoudt's Fat Dog Imperial Oatmeal Stout much more enjoyable, and worthy of repeated sampling.

                      2. How about a Yuengling Original Black & Tan? If I recall, they blend Yuengling premium and Porter to make this Black & Tan. Though for a while, they were brewing this stuff up at the old Stroh's brewery in Allentown as a single brew.

                        In any case, I always thought it was quite drinkable.


                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Greg P.

                          I don't mind it, although I have always suspected that this is a clever marketing trick to move the oft-reviled Premium along with the good but not so popular Porter. :-)

                          1. re: Greg P.

                            I've always enjoyed it but I have never seen it on tap in Florida. Only bottles. I first had it in Allentown when visiting my daughter at Mulhenburg College.

                          2. Dogfish Head Chicory Stout & Dogfish Head 90 min IPA.. Awesome.

                            1. Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout and Sam Adam's Cherry Wheat Ale (seasonal). We've been enjoying that mix quite a lot around here!