Dark in color and rich in flavor, stouts are known as some of the heaviest beers. Many have underlying flavors such as vanilla, chocolate, and caramel, all lingering under a blanket of robust, coffee-like flavor. In the world of craft beer, there are oatmeal stouts, Imperial stouts, oyster stouts and more. What are all these varieties, and what else should you know about this delicious style of brew? Read on to find out.
An Imperial stout is stronger than a traditional stout.
Imperial stouts have similar flavor profiles to traditional stouts, but are stronger in flavor and higher in alcohol content. They tend to have a hint of sweetness, and plenty of robust coffee and chocolate flavors. This style was originally invented by the British, who needed a robust beer that would survive shipment to Russia.
Oatmeal stout was originally thought of as "nutritious."
This style of stout is made by replacing some of the barley with oats during the brewing process. The oats give the beer notable smoothness and a hint of sweetness. In the early 1900s, the British thought that oatmeal stout was a part of a healthy diet, and they drank it regularly. Today, many American craft brewers are exploring this style, which is a favorite among new beer drinkers because of its mild flavor profile and lack of hoppiness.
Oyster stout is actually made with oysters.
Many people think it's just a fancy name, but whole oysters are actually used in the brewing process for oyster stout. Rumor has it that this type of beer was invented in the late 1800s when brewers began using oyster shells as a clarifying agent, since they were high in calcium chloride. At some point, an adventurous brewer began adding whole oysters instead of just shells. Today, there are a few oyster stouts on the market, and they do have a hint of brininess from the oysters.
Americans have found new ways to make unique stouts.
Leave it to the Americans to put a fashionable new twist on something the Brits have been making for years. American craft brewers have been experimenting with new techniques, such as aging stout in a bourbon barrel or adding extra hops to the brew. This makes for some intriguing flavor combinations. Visit a bar with a wide craft beer selection, and you'll find everything from cherry stouts to whiskey stouts.
If you love smooth, rich beer that leaves you feeling satisfied, sample a few stouts the next time you visit the bar or beer store. It's amazing to taste different varieties, such as an oyster stout and a bourbon-barrel stout, next to one another and compare the different flavor profiles. Hoboken Beer & Soda Outlet is a local source of craft beer you can visit today.