Stout Beer is the Best!by Bryan Carey
May 4, 2001 (Updated Oct 28, 2006)
The Bottom Line Stout, with its roasted malt flavor characteristics, is the greatest of all beer styles.
Whats your favorite style of beer? Have you ever given this much consideration? Do you always try to seek out a certain style of beer, or do you just drink whatever is available and make the best of it? Do you like your beer light and easy to drink, or do you prefer your beer to have a richer flavor profile?
I have been writing reviews for Epinions for quite some time and, as many members know, writing about beer is one of my favorite pastimes. If you look through my ratings, it should be obvious which style is my favorite. The award goes to stout. Its rare that I meet a stout that I dont like. And since I have an automatic inclination to favor the stout variety, Im likely to find something good to say about most any brand of stout, even though a particular brand may not really be all that flavorful.
Stout comes in many varieties and its a popular beer in the craft- beer market. Lets take a look at some facts about this style of beer.
History of Stout:
Stout is a relatively young style of beer. It was first introduced to the world by Guinness, in 1759, as an extra stout version of its porter. The name stout referred to the fact that this beer was a little more assertive than the regular porter. This new beer was, indeed, darker, hoppier, and richer than the porter, and it eventually overtook porter in popularity, becoming a style of beer in its own right.
Types of Stout:
This style of beer is brewed using roasted unmalted barley, pale malt, and sometimes caramel malt, along with generous amounts of hops. Stouts are often divided into four separate categories, based on sweetness level and alcohol content. The categories are:
1. Dry Stout: This type is dark black in color and often has a coffee- like taste and a roasted character. Guinness is the most popular of all dry stouts. The majority of stout produced in Ireland is of the dry variety. The alcohol level in these stouts varies, and people are often fooled into thinking that, because they are flavorful, there must be a high alcohol content. This isnt always the case. Guinness, for example, actually has less alcohol than many popular American beers.
2. Milk Stout: These stouts also have a dark color. They usually are a little lower in alcohol than dry stout. Their main characteristic is the addition of milk sugar (lactose) in the brewing process, making the stout taste sweeter and smoother than dry stout.
3. Imperial Stout: Again, Imperial stout is dark in color, but it can sometimes be more of a dark brown than black. The thing that sets this stout apart from the others is the stronger alcohol content, which usually ranges between 6 and 11 percent by volume. Originally, this type of stout was brewed for consumption by people in Russia, to help them stay warm during the frigid winter months. The high alcohol content is evident in this type of stout, especially in the finish.
4. Oatmeal Stout: This type of stout is similar to milk stout, but its even more sweet and silky and it usually has a bittersweet finish. The addition of oats makes it this way. The sweetness of this beer makes it a good companion with sweet desserts. Oatmeal stout was first recognized for its nutritional value and it was popular in England with nursing mothers and athletes.
Great Brands of Stout to Sample:
There are many excellent stout beers that are available in most parts of the country. Some of my personal favorites include Guinness Stout; Beamish Stout; Sam Smiths Imperial Stout; Sam Smiths Oatmeal Stout; Sierra Nevada Stout; Rogue Shakespeare Stout; Sam Adams Cream Stout; and Grays Oatmeal Stout. And if you live near a brewpub, you can usually find some excellent stout beer, brewed and sold only on tap.
Stout is a great beer style, characterized by its roasted malt taste and dark, rich body. Im partial to this style of beer, and whenever Im out in a restaurant or shopping for beer in the store, stout is usually the first style that I look for. I like darker beer the most, because the roasting of the malt brings out more flavors when compared to lighter beer.
I like most all styles of beer, but stout will always remain at the top of my list. Its a rare occasion when I find a stout that doesnt have at least some good qualities. And if there arent any, I will try to find them. Stout rules!
Be Sure to Click the Links Below to Read Advice on Other Beer Types:
What Should You Know About Pilsner Beers
What Should You Know About Blonde Beers
What Should You Know about Dunkles Beers
What Should You Know About Black & Tan Beers
What Should You Know About Porter Beers
What Should You Know About IPA Beers
What Should You Know About Wheat Beers
What Should You Know About Bock Beers
What Should You Know About Doppelbock Beers
What Should You Know About Ale Beers
What Should You Know About Lager Beers