If Only It Was a Meal in a Bottle.

The Stout is a dark brew that uses roasted malt or barley, lower proportions of hops, and contains moderate to high amounts of alcohol. Stouts pour smooth with a thick and creamy foam head that keeps its consistency through the consumption of the beer. Porters are a large and popular subset of stouts. Similar to the difference between Trappist and Abbey beers, porters are effectively moderate stouts, with subtle differences in the usage of ingredients and brewing varied by region. It is a common misconception that stouts, porters, and any other dark beers are heavier, more alcoholic, and contain more Calories. As an example, the world's most popular stout, Guinness Draught from St. James Gate (Dublin, Ireland), contians slightly less Calories and less alcohol than Busch, Budweiser, Milwaukee's Best, and Pabst Blue Ribbon. Think about that next time you're about to order an American Lager.


Stouts are typically served in a Tumbler pint glasses (in the US) and Nionic glasses in other countries. Glasses are 20 oz to accomodate the large foam head. These wide mouth glasses make drinking easy. They are also durable, stack easily, and cost little to make.

Styles of Stout

Dry Stout
The most famous of the variations, the Dry Stout is an Irish contribution known locally as "Leann Dubh" or black beer in Gaelic. It is known for its very dark red (almost black) appearance, its coffee aromas and flavors, and its thick, creamy foam head. Guinness is the world's best selling (and best known) Dry Stout. Alcohol contents usually range between 4 and 7% ABV. The dark color comes from the use of roasted malt barley.

Porters are dark beers from London, England which are very closely related to traditional stouts. The style is characterised by the use of brown malt which gives it its distinct dark color. Porters can be aged to taste, a practice which began specifically with the beer in the mid 1800s. Breweries in Ireland began using pale and patent malts in the beer, differentiating themselves from English style porters. In the US and elsewhere, many breweries experimented with adding new ingredients including pumpkins, chocolate, vanilla, honey, and bourbon. Some brands of porter are conditioned and aged in bourbon barrels.

Imperial (Russian)
A style originally brewed for Catherine the Great (of Russia) by the Thrales brewery in London, this is a strong variety of stout usually above 9% ABV. Imperial stouts share many qualities of traditional stouts, with the increased alcohol content noticeable in both aroma and taste. Color is dark brown and aroma demonstrates cocoa notes. Many examples of these are brewed to be sweeter - less attenuated (leaving more sugar content) to balance the higher amount of alcohol present.

Baltic Porter
A variety of porter which is brewed primarily in the nations of Europe near the Baltic Sea. This version of porter has a higher alcohol content. This beer style is brewed in a similar fashion to lagers in that they are bottom-fermented.

Sometimes called sweet or cream stouts, these are beers brewed with lactose (a disaccharide sugar found in milk), a sugar unconsumable by yeast. This leaves the beer under attenuated and sweet, adding to the body and Caloric Content of the beer. Though no real milk or cream is used in the brewing process, the presence of unfermented lactose sugars makes this beer unsuitable for those who are lactose intolerant.

These are stouts where up to a third of the solid materials used in the brewing process are oats. The unique ingredient adds to the bitterness and viscosity of the beer. These beers are higher in protein content and usually range between 4 to 6% ABV. A high protein and lipid content contributes to the smoothness and creamy feel of this style of beer. Though somewhat aromatic, the beer does not taste or smell of oats, primarily due to the use of rich malts.

As you would imagine, brewers use actual oysters to make Oyster stout. Yes, real, actual, sea-worthy oysters. Each barrel of this variety of stout usually contains about 10 or so oysters. For this reason, oyster stouts are not suitable for vegetarians. The concept for this style originated from pubs traditionally serving stouts (usually Guinness) with an order of oysters. The term Oyster Stout also applies to beer that brewers deem would be a good compliment to oysters. Most of these are similar to porters. Vegans can have these kinds, albeit the point being moot as they can't consume oysters to begin with.

Black patent malts (the darkest of all malts) are used to deliver a very dark (almost opaque) and very aromatic beer reminiscent of fresh brewed coffee. Breweries sometimes add actual coffee (ground) to bring out full coffee flavors and aromas. They may also add milk sugar (similar to milk stouts) to simulate a coffee and cream experience. These beers typically contain 4-8% ABV.

Predictably, a chocolate malt is used to create Cocoa/Chocolate stouts. These malts are very aromatic, very dark in color, and get their characteristics from being roasted until dark brown. The aroma and flavors reflect this use of aromatic malts. In certain cases, actual chocolate is used in the brewing process to add a special real cocoa notes, aromas, and aftertastes.

As implied by the name, these beers are stouts that were originally brewed for long haul trips/shipments overseas. As stronger beers typically have a longer shelf life, these stouts are higher in alcohol than their domestic market cousins, and possess very strong roasted dark malt flavors and aromas. These beers are now made available for international or domestic distribution.