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.

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