What is a Stout Style Beer?
There are a number of great definitions but all of them will include the terms dark and toasty, they are also what is considered to be a warm-fermented ale.
What does that mean to you?
The Stout is brewed with malt that has been roasted for far longer than other beers which results in a variety of almost burnt, sometimes chocolaty but always roasty tastes. Traditional versions of this beer (English) are mildly hoppy, to the point the hop taste is almost missed entirely, more recent versions (American) intensify the hop flavor.
What to look for in a Good Stout
Visually: Dark – often a flat brown or black
Aromatically: The predominant smell will be the malt – with hints at it being roasted (burnt is not a necessarily bad thing). Also depending on who brewed it, there may be hints of hop, but minimal.
Taste: Like the smell the taste is malt forward, you will taste how long the grain was roasted up front. This taste (and after taste) is often described as coffee-like, dark chocolaty with hints of dark fruit. There is minimal hop flavoring and can be a drier beer. Most importantly the taste should be anything but boring.
ABV: Stouts tend to be a higher ABV beer, often starting at 8%
Style Variations: Irish Dry Stout, Milk Stout, Oatmeal Stout and Imperial Stout. Stouts also make a great beer to barrel age (Whiskey, Bourbon and Rum). It’s best to try the style without the barrel aging first as the flavor of the barrels can be overpowering and the ABVs will certainly hit double digits.
Colorado Breweries for Stout Recommendations:
Left Hand Brewing Company
Great Divide Brewing Company
Oskar Blues Brewery