History Like many beer styles, the creation of stouts was a result of location (Dublin and London)
General Characteristics Stouts are Ales Stouts are Dark in Color Most stouts are distinctly malty (roast) – But other flavors are common (e.g., chocolate, coffee, burnt, cream, caramel, molasses, cocoa, bready, toasty, etc.) Hop profile, alcohol content, finish, esters, body, carbonation, can all vary greatly across styles
Dry Stout Distinguishing Characteristics – Roast/Coffee/(Bittersweet) Chocolate Flavor – Medium to high bitterness – Dry finish (from roasted barley) – Medium bodied – Creamy Bitterness + Roast sometimes produces a sharp, slightly astringent character Fun Fact: Guinness adds a very small percentage of soured beer for complexity!
Sweet Stout Distinguishing Characteristics – Roast/Coffee/SWEET Flavor – Less bitter than a dry stout – Dry or sweet finish – Medium to full bodied The use of unfermentable sugars (lactose) in brewing results in a sweet, creamy character Fun Fact: It is illegal to call this style a “milk” or “cream” stout in England
Oatmeal Stout Distinguishing Characteristics – Roast/Coffee/Oatmeal – Oats in the grist make the beer creamy and can add nutty, grainy, or earthy flavors – Not as bitter as dry stouts; not as sweet as sweet stouts – Medium to full bodied The use of oats in brewing results in a silky smooth, sometimes oily character Fun Fact: This is traditionally brewed as a seasonal variant of the sweet stout.
Foreign Extra Stout Distinguishing Characteristics – More pronounced Roast/Coffee flavor; some burnt flavor is acceptable – Wide variety of characteristics due to export vs. tropical versions – Alcohol warmth may be present Think “scaled-up dry stout” or “scaled down imperial stout” Fun Fact: Guinness Foreign Extra Stout has been made since the early 1800s.
American Stout Distinguishing Characteristics – More pronounced Roast/Coffee/Chocolate/Burnt Flavor (bolder malt flavors than other stouts) – Medium to high bitterness and American hop flavor – Alcohol warmth is usually present This is a bold stout with rich malty flavors and a unique American hop profile Fun Fact: This style developed as American brewers used American ingredients to brew Foreign Extra Stouts
Russian Imperial Stout Distinguishing Characteristics – Rich, deep, complex, and often intense stout flavors – Malt flavors can be coffee/burnt/chocolate – Dark fruit flavors are often present – Alcohol warmth is definitely present – Full to very full body – Lots of room for brewer interpretation and creativity (American vs. English styles) Intense, rich, big, chewy, alcoholic, dark-fruity, complex stout. Like a black barleywine Fun Fact: The only stout Jeff Ney will even consider!!