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pick of the week

Packaged in a cute little stubby bottle, this bold, dark imperial porter is named after a pagan sacrifice to the Norse gods celebrated in a winter festival. Around this time of year, Canadians certainly know the meaning of midwinter sacrifice. It's cold out there, just the sort of weather that renders this heartwarming, 8-per-cent-alcohol brew from Sweden's Sigtuna brewery especially welcome. Ebony-dark, with surprisingly not much head, it's sweeter than your average porter and hides the alcohol well, with ample dried-fruit character doing a pagan dance with strong black coffee, bitter chocolate and vanilla. Think of vanilla ice cream studded with prunes, raisins and figs, topped with cocoa and Tim Hortons dark roast.