Everyone always wonders why I prefer stouts over other beers. With a strong taste and coffee-like aroma, it’s hard not to enjoy a stout, especially in cold weather. The roasting of malt gives this drink a slight bitter taste with unique characteristics.
Stouts use unmalted, roasted barley during the brewing process. Since the barley is roasted, it develops a coffee-like aroma. I love coffee, so it makes sense why I tend to pick a stout over other beers. There are many different types and characteristics of stouts. Here are some popular ones to get you started on stout knowledge.
The Dry Stout is named after the dry palate feel it gives to the taste. This stout is a rich and dark beer. When exploring dry stouts, think about Guinness. Guinness is a dry stout that’s loved by not only the Irish community, but the beer community as well. The foam on top of the beer is rich and creamy. The slightly bitter flavor gives this stout a name for itself. These dry characteristics are from the roasted barley, and with a coffee-like aroma, it is unlikely that you won’t enjoy one of these amazing stouts. When I traveled to Ireland, nothing made me happier than grabbing a nice, dry, creamy-head stout from one of the best commercial brewers around. Thanks, Guinness! ABV for Oatmeal Stouts typically ranges from 5-8%.
Imperial stouts are meant to be bold. Usually, brewers add more hops and malts to give this type of stout a more robust flavor, and higher alcohol content. ABV, or the Alcohol By Volume, for these types of stouts are around 8-12%, but I have had some even higher than that. These stouts are generally served with rich foods, because the stout itself is very rich! Imperial stouts were first made in England where they wanted to make an intense malted character for a porter. Later in time, the US just happened to decide that what makes any beer “imperial” is making it superb. What do most stout lovers expect in a great beer? Rich taste, and higher ABV. Imperial stouts are my go-to when I am feeling ambitious. The taste is very bold, and puts hair on your chest!
The Milk Stout is a smooth and light stout, which is made for the beer fans that love a sweet and creamy finish. This stout contains lactose, which is made from the process of sugars being extracted from milk. Can lactose be fermented by the yeast of beer? The answer is no. This is why you get a more sweet taste in this stout than others. Milk Stouts usually have notes of sweet chocolate and coffee. ABV for Milk Stouts typically ranges from 4-6%.
A slightly sweeter than normal stout, the Oatmeal Stout brings oats into the brewing process to give this beer a silky smooth taste. The oats, with a small amount of coffee flavoring, gives this stout a nice malty aroma. The Oatmeal Stout has been popular in England for centuries. The U.K. is known for oats being a “staple” crop. This is where the Oatmeal Stout was born. Not until recently was the oatmeal stout a staple drink in the United States, when Samuel Smith made an Oatmeal stout in the 80s. ABV for Oatmeal Stouts typically ranges from 4-7%.