Dark, rich, creamy, and smooth. A classic, classy beer that’s as refreshing as it is nutritious, stouts are guaranteed to stimulate your taste buds and quench your thirst. Rich in history and in flavour, stouts are one of the most interesting types of beer. Read on to find out what exactly stout is, where it came from, and what it tastes like.
The most famous being a certain Dublin-born pint of ’the black stuff’, stouts (and porters) are dark beers that are top-fermented like other ales (lagers are bottom fermented) and known for their heavier, more flavoursome body than other beers.
Stouts evolved from porters. Porter beer, a well-hopped brew made from brown malt, was first brewed in London in the 18th century and was popular with street and river porters (the folks who carried things around for others). Hence the name. The word stout originally meant ‘proud’ or ‘brave’, but later on came to mean ’strong’. Historically a stout beer could mean any strong beer, even lagers or pale ales, but nowadays it’s only used for the dark porter-style brews.
These days, ’stout’ tends to describe dry stouts (with a small amount of unmalted, roasted barley), milk stouts or sweet stouts, while ‘porter’ describes a beer flavoured with roast malted barley. The two are so interchangeable though, they often appear alongside each other on a label.
The one thing stouts have in common is their dark colour, rich flavours, and smooth texture. Mostly they’ll go from black, to dark brown, to dark gold.
What does stout taste like?
Stout is a flavoursome variety of beer. As it’s usually made with roasted malt, flavours like coffee, chocolate, and even tobacco can make themselves known.
There’s a wide variety of stouts out there, including milk stout, Irish (dry) stout, oatmeal stout, chocolate stout, oyster stout, imperial stout, and Baltic porter. A meal in a glass, you might call them, whichever one you choose.
Oatmeal stout, for example, is brewed with oats, which gives them a full, slightly sweet flavour. Oyster stouts are slightly bitter, slightly sweet stouts that are occasionally brewed with actual oysters – mostly though, they’re just a great accompaniment to an oyster dish. (Vegetarians beware, though – just in case.)
Our Imperial Stout is bitter sweet as you’d want and also has a salted butter caramel taste while our marshmallow stout is more mellow with a toasted marshmallow malty sweetness.
How strong is stout?
As the name suggests, stouts are amongst the stronger of the beers. So you’ll likely see them range from 5% to 8%, although Irish dry stouts can be lower (around 3.5% ABV), and Imperial stouts can be really strong, between 8 and 11% ABV.
Our original Seven Brothers Stout is 5.2% ABV, a dark, silky smooth beer with rich coffee, chocolate and fruit undertones. Why not stock up with a few bottles at home, or visit the brewhouse and try it fresh from the keg?
There’s also our Marshmallow Stout – malty sweetness with notes of toasted marshmallows – which is unusually low in ABV at 4%.Try a can or two from our online store, or head to the beerhouse for a pint.
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