A beer style that is known for it’s often black appearance and thick fluffy head. Stout is a beer style that grew up alongside Porter, malting technology creating darkly roasted and black malts. The term Stout was used after “Stout Porter” or strong porter eventually it became just Stout and this was the Name used by Guinness in Ireland who started making it.

There are various incarnations of Stouts, there Dry Stout, Milk Stout and Imperial Stout amongst others but the share the same characteristics of all being very dark brown to black beers, smooth often creamy in body and full of roasted, bitter qualities.

Dry Stout

The most famous Dry Stout in the world also happens to be the one everybody knows, Guinness. Dry Stouts are usually jet black or at least very deep, dark brown. The flavour is roasted grain, toast, and coffee bitterness. Hop bitterness is moderate to high and aroma is typically low. Roasted barley is usually in the grain bill and chocolate malt may also be used. ABV is in the 4 – 5% range, stronger and it is known as an export Stout.

IBUs: 30 – 45
SRM: 25 – 40
OG: 1.036 – 1.050
FG: 1.007 – 1.011
ABV: 4 – 5%

Milk Stout

A Milk Stout or Sweet Stout share most of the characteristics of a dry stout with one notable difference being a residual sweetness from unfermentable sugars. This sweetness completely changes the character of the beer and offsets the bitter roast character of the stout nicely.

The sweetness is usually provided by the addition of lactose sugar that cannot be consumed by the yeast so remains in the beer after fermentation. This lactose sugar is why the beer may be referred it as a Milk Stout. Hop bitterness is also typically lower than in a Dry Stout.

IBUs: 20 – 40
SRM: 30 – 40
OG: 1.044 – 1.060
FG: 1.012 – 1.024
ABV: 4 – 6%

Imperial Russian Stout

Imperial Russian Stout Beer Style

This style of Stout was originally brewed for export to Russia and was the original Imperial beer coming in on average around 8 – 12%. Brewed to a high gravity and with extra bittering hops to withstand the conditions of export this beer is as rich, dark and complex as a beer comes.

The complexity of such a high gravity beer with the added layer of dark malts make the Imperial Russian Stout one of the most intense style available and fortunately it is undergoing somewhat of a renaissance with craft breweries in Europe and America.

Hop bitterness is increased to balance out the larger malt bill, also many beers make more use of flavour hops. Large amounts of dark fruit flavours are present with a higher finishing gravity adding some sweetness. Many Imperial Stouts are full bodied to the point of being noticeably viscous, they should not however be syrupy.

IBUs: 50 – 90
SRM: 30 – 40
OG: 1.075 – 1.115
FG: 1.018 – 1.030
ABV: 8 – 12%