As the last of the autumn leaves descend from near-barren arbors, making room for snow flurries and blustery chill, there's really only one thing you should be doing to brace yourself for the long winter ahead: drinking nothing but the best winter beers. 

While winter is undoubtedly my least favorite season when it comes to weather, it brings with it the silver lining of my favorite season when it comes to beer. Winter is a time to indulge in robust stouts, full-bodied porters, and cozy winter warmers, awakening your palate with notes cinnamon, chocolate, nutmeg, ginger, and other flavors tailor-made for frigid nights and snowy days. 

The following 15 winter seasonal beers, selected as the season's best RateBeer users, will leave you praying for a blizzard just so you have an excuse to spend all day inside, clad in flannel pajamas, sipping frosty brews out of a snifter. 

15. Three Floyds Behemoth

This barley wine from Indiana features a huge, sweet body and packs a punch at 12% ABV. Beer nerds go crazy collecting the bottles, which have a new wax color for each year's release. 

Average RateBeer score: 4.07/5

14. Midnight Sun Berserker

You only name a beer "Berserker" if you're confident it will kick someone's ass. At 12.7% ABV, you can bet this opaque black Imperial Stout from Alaska will knock your socks off. 

Average RateBeer score: 4.08/5

13. Thirsty Dog Siberian Night Imperial Stout

Are you a sensing a darkness theme yet? This Imperial Stout from Ohio relies on roasted, toasted, and caramel malts for its strong flavor profile. Weighing in at 9.7% ABV, approach this libation with caution and respect.

Average RateBeer score: 4.09/5

12. Dogfish Head World Wide Stout

One of the strongest dark beers in the world at 18% ABV, this is a rare find and coveted by brew aficionados. It's brewed using six different strains over seven months and then aged for half a year. According to the acclaimed Delaware brewery, World Wide Stout has more in common with a port than a beer.

Average RateBeer score: 4.1/5

11. Founders Imperial Stout

This Imperial Stout brewed by one of the best Michigan breweries has a thick, long finish and notes of dark malt and molasses. That makes it one hell of a sipper, and is one of the best winter beers for when you're perched in front of an open fire. 

Average RateBeer score: 4.1/5

10. Oskar Blues Ten FIDY

Named for its alcohol content (10.5% ABV), this Imperial Stout from North Carolina features chocolate-covered caramel and coffee "underneath a smooth blanket of malt." Skip dessert and crack open one of these bad boys instead.

Average RateBeer score: 4.1/5

9. Free State Owd Macs Imperial Stout

Another beer, another fantastic Imperial Stout. Heralding from Kansas, it's near-barleywine strength with an undeniable sweetness that comes from unfermented sugars. Added bonus? It's aged in old whiskey barrels.

Average RateBeer score: 4.11/5

8. Great Divide Yeti Imperial Stout - Espresso Oak Aged

The Yeti is great as is. But infuse it with espresso from Denver? Then it's unstoppable. It's recommended you sip this Imperial Stout at breakfast as it pairs delectably with eggs Benedict or a breakfast burrito.

Average RateBeer score: 4.12/5

7. Southampton Imperial Russian Stout

Fun fact: Southampton's Russian Imperial Stout is inspired by the strong stouts exported by Great Britain in the 1800s to the Russian Czar's court. It's a rich, roasted black ale worth savoring (many people stow it away in their beer cellar to let it age). 

Average RateBeer score: 4.13/5

6. Fremont Abominable - Bourbon Barrel Coffee Cinnamon

Lovingly referred to as the "B-BOMB," this American Strong Ale from Seattle has a warming spice aroma and is bourbon barrel-aged to wintry perfection. West Coasters will swear this is one of the all-time best winter beers, bar none.

Average RateBeer score: 4.13/5

5. Deschutes The Abyss

Aptly named, this Imperial Stout from Oregon conveys a sense of mystery and depth. It's easy to get lost in the complex profile with decadent notes of molasses and licorice complemented by its aging in French Oak and Bourbon Barrels.  

Average RateBeer score: 4.2/5

4. Surly Darkness

Surly's legendary Russian Imperial Stout features a new monster, with everything form vampires to mummies to this year's Cerberus displayed on its label. Black with a thick brown head, this massive brew is for intense beer-drinkers only. 

Average RateBeer score: 4.21/5

3. Kormoran Imperium Prunum

While most of the occupiers of this list hail from the United States, you'll have to travel to Poland (or get someone to send you a bottle) to try this beast of a Baltic Porter. Its exalted smokiness comes not from smoked malts, but the application of Suska Sechlonska: smoked dried plum coming from Sechna village in Southern Poland.

Average RateBeer score: 4.27/5

2. Bell’s Expedition Stout

Known for being one of the first Russian Imperial Stouts brewed in America, this Michigan brew is crafted with vintage aging in mind because its profile and malts mature and develop over the years. Bell's Expedition Stout rewards the patient. 

Average RateBeer score: 4.27/5

1. Russian River Pliny the Younger

Pliny the Younger is sure to release tears of joy flooding down the rosy cheeks of beer nerds the world over. It's the holy grail of Imperial IPAs, hopped three times more than Russian River's standard IPA and dry hopped four different times. For many, Pliny the Younger is sacred, sacrosanct, untouchable. Do you believe the hype?

Average RateBeer score: 4.35/5