There are some misconceptions when it comes to stout that need to be addressed. Because this style of porter is dark in color, many drinkers quickly assume that it is going to be “heavy” on the palate. This is not always the case and especially not true when it comes to Guinness Draught, the most famous stout in the world.
What Is a Stout?
A stout is a dark ale. Due to a stout’s grain bill, the ale often has familiar flavors that many drinkers enjoy at other parts of their day, including coffee and chocolate. A base recipe for stout, however, contains neither of those ingredients—but the aromas and flavors are there. Then, of course, there are stouts that will add java and cocoa to a recipe, along with fruits, vanilla and more.
It is a lovely canvas for adjunct ingredients. When served on nitro—a gas that requires a special tap and results in a creamy, yet still easy-drinking pint—it becomes an even more enjoyable experience.
While the beer’s appearance might suggest it’s best consumed on cold nights in a cozy pub, stouts are versatile and built for nearly any occasion, even served super cold and a summer cookout. Different subtypes abound, from classic Irish stout to lactose sugar-spiked milk stout to sweet-and-spicy chocolate stout.
No matter your mood, there’s a just-right stout to drink. Here are some of our favorites.