Originally Posted by Yooper
A "high alcohol stout" and "quick" just don't go together I'm afraid. A higher ABV means it takes longer to age, and stouts may take a bit longer to meld than other lighter flavored beers due to the roastiness. I think a Breakfast Stout clone would be very rough in a month. If you want to wait until mid-February to drink it, that might be doable though.
If you want to still brew for gifts, quick beers like a hefeweizen, a mild, or a non-complex amber would be good for Christmas gift giving if you brewed this week.
If something would be ready sometime in February, that would be fine. I wasn't planning on this beer going bad, so thought I would ask for advice instead of attempting to wade through tons of recipes. And since I'm going to miss Christmas with it, it's going to be for me, and doesn't have to be perfectly aged. I'm still brewing largely for the sake of learning. The Founders clone sounded interesting since I'm from Grand Rapids.
I do have a brown ale which turned out awesomely, and I might gift away this year. Or, if I did a low alcohol beer that was spiced, would that be good by Christmas, or do spices need time to mellow out as well?