To all the IPA guys. You're absolutely right. It is for taste now but lets not forget the ultimate. Imperial stout aged in whiskey barrels. MMMM.... IMO way better than any IPA and I do like IPA(except for terrapin Hopzilla, its just way too much for me lol) My suggestions would be
Dragons Milk 11%
Weyerbacher Heresey 9%(i think anyway)
and on a non whiskey barrell note
Rogue Hazlenut Brown Nectar
Rogue Imperial Chocolate Stout
Some other favorites
Sweetwater 420 extra pale ale
Moose Drool - can only get it west of the mississippi river though
Black and tan made with Guiness Stout(not regular, yuk) and Bass
Pretty much anything that looks like Dr. Pepper in a glass lol
Oh and for any fellow Greenville South Carolinian's go downtown to Blue Ridge Brewery and try the XXX Eclipse Stout, it may be the best micro-brew I have ever had. They have several others as well. Their seasonal's are all worth trying. Trust me.
The hell with powdered alcohol, DRINK it for flavor and the enjoyment of sharing a new beer with a friend. Its about the experience, if you want just to get drunk go and get yourself a bottle or 2 of mad dog. Just remember that you never throw up the color your drank...