While it’s hard to know exactly what St. Patrick’s Day will be like this year, it’s still a day to celebrate life! And this year, like every year, I start thinking about the day and buying Guinness Draught, the Guinness beer that most people associate with the brewery, for enjoying at home.
There are many different styles of stout and almost all are black in color. Here’s a snapshot of the five most common styles.
Guinness Draught falls into the Dry Stout category. Dry Stouts, sometimes called Irish Stouts, feature roasted coffee aromas and flavors from the roasted barley used in making this wonderful beer. The flavors are most present as the beer hits your tongue and then finishes with a dry, neutral taste.
Milk Stouts, sometimes called Sweet Stouts, have a subtle sweetness that counters some of the roasted malt character that is in all stouts. The sweetness comes from the milk sugar, or lactose, that’s part of the brewing process.
Oatmeal Stouts have oats added to the mash before fermentation giving this stout a softness in mouth feel and also has a slightly sweet quality. It’s similar in appearance and aromas to a Milk Stout, but the sweetness is less pronounced.
Chocolate Stouts have a distinct chocolate aroma and flavor profile but do not necessarily have any chocolate added. The chocolate notes come from the malts that are used in making this delicious beer. And, yes, there are Chocolate Stouts brewed with chocolate added!
Russian Imperial Stouts generally are much higher in alcohol content—though not necessarily noticeable on the palate—lower in carbonation, and have a inviting sweetness and richness to them. And without a doubt, the best Russian Imperial Stouts in the world are brewed right here by American craft brewers.
You can find each one of these styles in your local liquor store. So go exploring and enjoy a new craft beer adventure and step into the world of stouts!
The Craft Beer Guy