American Stout

Glassware: Shaker pint
  • USA
  • Ale
  • ABV = 5.0 – 7.0% (Normal to elevated)^
  • IBU = 35-75
  • SRM = 30-40

A moderately-strong, highly roasted and assertively bitter dark American ale.

Stronger and more assertive, particularly in the dark malt/grain additions and hop character, than American Porter.  Generally has bolder roasted malt flavour and hopping than Oatmeal or Irish Stout. Bigger, stronger versions belong in the Imperial Stout style.


  • Colour^ = Dark brown to black
  • Clarity = Usually opaque; if not, should be clear

Key Aromas & Flavours:

  • Malt = Moderate to high; roasted coffee or dark chocolate, burnt or charcoal notes acceptable at low levels
  • Yeast = None to moderate; fruity, if present
  • Hops = Very low to moderate; citrusy or resiny
  • Other = (Optional: light alcohol-derived aromatics)
  • Malt = Moderate to very high; coffee, roasted coffee beans, dark or bittersweet chocolate, lightly burnt; plus low to moderate malt sweetness, often with rich chocolate or caramel
  • Yeast = None to low; fruity, if present
  • Hops = Low to high; citrusy or resiny
  • Perceived Bitterness^ = Assertive
  • Balance = Towards the bitterness, from both hops and roasted malt
  • Other = (Optional: alcohol flavour can be present up to a moderate level)

Medium to dry finish, occasionally with a lightly burnt quality


  • Body = Medium to full
  • Carbonation = Medium to high
  • Creaminess = Can be somewhat creamy, particularly if a small amount of oats have been used to enhance mouthfeel
  • Astringency = Can have a bit of roast-derived astringency, but this character should not be excessive
  • Alcohol warmth = Light to moderately strong alcohol warmth, but smooth and not excessively hot

Characteristic Ingredients/Processes:

  • Malt = 2-row or pale ale base malt, plus dark/roasted malts and crystal/caramel malts
  • Yeast = American ale yeast
  • Hops = American hop varietals
  • Other = (Optional: adjuncts such as oatmeal may be present in low quantities.)

Historical Development:

A modern craft beer and homebrew style that applied an aggressive American hopping regime to a strong traditional English or Irish stout. The homebrew version was previously known as West Coast Stout, which is a common naming scheme for a more highly-hopped beer.

Commercial Examples:

Deschutes Obsidian Stout, Rogue Shakespeare Stout, Sierra Nevada Stout

^Sourced from the Cicerone Certification Program’s International Certified Beer Server Syllabus.
All other information is sourced from the BJCP 2015 Style Guidelines.

Discovering Beer is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Cicerone® Certification Program.

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