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.

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