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Mackeson XXX Stout

Where Spotted: Freedom Market, 1901 New Hampshire Ave. NW

Price: $7.99/6-pack

market value: Hefty price tags accompany Freedom Market’s selection of high-end victuals and snacks, but the beer fridge packs some bargains. Mackeson’s is a “milk stout,” made with lactose for a fuller body and extra sweetness; as you pour, the milk-and-candy aroma is like tearing into a box of cherry cordials. The sweetness may be overwhelming, so pick up a pack of shortbread to bring out the beer’s subtler, buttery flavors.

A Sticky Wicket: Mackeson’s lineage is more convoluted than the infield fly rule. Here’s the shorthand: Mackeson Stout (sans the “XXX”) is a lower-alcohol version brewed in London by Wells & Young’s Brewing Company, which does so under contract for Belgian conglomerate InBev, which recently swallowed St. Louis’ Anheuser-Busch. But the X-rated version we enjoy here is brewed in Cincinatti by Hudepohl-Schoenling (which is owned by Boston Beer Company, maker of Samuel Adams). There’s yet another version made in Trinidad, but why complicate matters? Feel good about buying American.

Seen an interesting quaff lately? E-mail beerspotter@washingtoncitypaper.com