One of the best things about being a beer lover is the sheer variety of different types of beer to try and fall in love with.
Now more than ever there is a massive variety of different styles of beer readily available for you to try and become your new favorite.
Of course people have their preferences and know what they like, but with some beers being completely different while others being similar to what you love, it is worth experimenting to see if you find a new favorite.
However, finding a new favorite can be difficult with it being hard to know what kind of beer will appeal to you.
It is hard to guess what a beer will taste like seeing it on a shelf or reading its name, so sometimes it is best to get guidance on what defines a certain type of beer, so you can assume if you will like it or not.
One type of beer which is often mentioned is stout, but if you have never tried one, it is hard to know what it will taste like by just hearing the name.
This article will answer what stout actually tastes like as well as giving some more details about its other defining characteristics.
If you have any questions about stout and want to find out if it is the kind of beer you might like, keep reading!
What Does Stout Taste Like?
While, since stout is so popular it has a massive variety in choices of stout to try, there are some factors which all types of stout have in common.
The main factor which all types of stout have in common is having a dark rich color and some of the darkest of stouts can almost look black.
As well as the distinct dark color, they also stand out for their distinct flavor profiles.
In the making of stout, beer makers use black patent malt which is what gives it is dark color as well as its particularly astringent flavor as well as an ashy aroma.
There are multiple types of stout flavors, these are either a milk (or sweet) or a dry stout.
A milk or sweet stout, uses lactose to make it sweeter, the same lactose which is derived from milk.
In this the lactose will not be fermented by the yeast and because of this beer will have a fuller flavor as well as being sweeter.
This was once marketed as a nutritious drink and was targeted to mothers who were breastfeeding.
The aforementioned milk stout was primarily produced in the UK but dry stout was much more popular in Ireland and is also sometimes referred to as Irish stout because of this.
It has a characteristic unsweetened flavor in contrast to milk stout and this makes it particularly distinct.
As well as these types of stout, there are more specific varieties of stout, these include; chocolate, oyster, imperial, and oatmeal.
The History Of Stout
Stout actually has a surprisingly interesting and extensive history and its earliest mention is all the way back in 1677 in a manuscript which is actually held in the British Museum and is shown being used as a term to describe a particularly strong type of beer.
There is another mention of stout recognized in the 1700s where we see darker beers becoming much more popular and with brewers experimenting on different strengths of beer with the strongest having around 8% alcohol which were known as stout.
While there are these older examples of stout being used as a term, this use did not become widespread until much later with the popularity of beers like Guinness.
The history of stout and porters is actually heavily intertwined and there are a lot of parallels between the two.
But the main distinction between the two is that stout is more commonly used to describe beers with a particularly dark color instead of a beer which is particularly strong.
What To Eat With Stout
With its distinct deep flavor, you can pair stout with a variety of different foods and with just a little experimenting it would be quite easy to find a good pairing based on your personal tastes.
There is also such a wide variety of stouts and while some of these have quite subtle differences, others are designed with the specific purpose of being better to pair with other dishes.
The most popular and well known example of this is oyster stout being paired and going well with shellfish.
There is also white chocolate stout which works particularly well with a dessert and there is the common recommendation to try an imperial stout with either dark chocolate or strong flavored cheeses.
You can also use stout as an ingredient in cooking and this is another way it is commonly consumed. Milk stout is actually used quite commonly in stews with a rich flavor, most often an oxtail stew.
A more unconventional use of stout is in black velvet cake where it is actually a key ingredient as it is needed to add to the rich chocolate flavor as well as providing its own unique flavor.
How To Drink Stout?
Stout is usually served at a slightly above average temperature compared to other beer being between 50 and 55 Fahrenheit and in bars is often served through a nitrogen pump as this helps create a thick and creamy foam which helps distinguish the beer.
Stout also usually requires a two-part pour needing to let it settle before finishing the pour.
Stout is most commonly served in a regular pint glass with more tapered sides, but there are some glasses which are designed specifically for this type of beer.
There is a German company called Spiegelau which has made a glass which they claim perfectly hold stout and gives the best experience drinking it.
These glasses are not too expensive so if you love stout they are worth checking out.