Overview for the English Stout

Because of the huge popularity of English Porters, brewers made them in a variety of strengths. The beers with higher gravities were named “Stout Porters”. There is still division and debate on whether stouts should be a separate style from porter. Usually the only deciding factor is strength. Just as English Stout evolved from English Porter, the English Stout has evolved into multiple variants based on the beer’s ingredients and strength. These include Oatmeal Stout, Milk Stout and the Russian Imperial Stout. English Stouts not falling into one of these three specialty classifications deliver classic dark, roasty, chocolate, coffee-like, robust Stout character at a moderate ABV.

Style Expectations

Stouts are typically dark brown to pitch black in color. A common profile among Stouts, but not in all cases, is the use of roasted barley (unmalted barley that is kilned to the point of being charred) which lends a dry character to the beer as well as a huge roasted flavor that can range from burnt to coffee to chocolate. Traditional English Stout recipes rely on bitterness from the roasted grain to provide a dry finish and consequently tend to show very little hop character.


The English Stout is opaque with a color that ranges from dark brown to black. Large tan to brown head with good retention.


Moderate to high roasted grain aromas, often with coffee, chocolate and/or lightly burnt notes. Low to medium fruitiness. May have a sweet aroma, or molasses, licorice, dried fruit, and/or vinous aromatics. Stronger versions can have a subtle, clean aroma of alcohol. Hop aroma moderately low to none, can be earthy, herbal or floral. Diacetyl low to none.


Moderate to high roasted grain and malt flavor with a coffee, chocolate, or lightly burnt grain character, although without a sharp bite. Moderately dry. Low to medium esters. Medium to high bitterness. Moderate to no hop flavor, can be earthy, herbal, or floral. Diacetyl medium-low to none.


Its feel has a medium to high body that can be coating. Its carbonation ranges from light to moderate.

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