Irish Stout

Glassware: Tulip pint
  • Ireland
  • Ale
  • ABV = 4.0 – 4.5% (Lower to normal)^
  • IBU = 25-45
  • SRM = 25-40

A very dark, lower-strength Irish ale with a pronounced roasted flavour and often a dry, coffee-like finish.

Draught versions are typically served using a nitro pour, giving the beer a full, creamy texture and very long-lasting head of foam.

Appearance:

  • Colour^ = Brown to black
  • Clarity = Opaque

Key Aromas & Flavours:

Aroma
  • Malt = Moderate; coffee-like, may have a secondary dark chocolate, cocoa and/or roasted grain notes
  • Yeast = None to moderate; fruity, if present
  • Hops = None to low; earthy or floral, if present
Flavour
  • Malt = Moderate; coffee-like, may also have a bittersweet / unsweetened chocolate character
  • Yeast = None to moderate; fruity, if present
  • Hops = None to moderate; earthy, if present
  • Perceived Bitterness^ = Pronounced
  • Balance = Can range from fairly even to quite bitter (from both the hops and roasted grains)
Aftertaste/Finish

The finish can be dry and coffee-like to moderately balanced with a touch of caramel or malty sweetness. The bittersweet or unsweetened chocolate character can last into the finish.

Mouthfeel:

  • Body = Medium; somewhat creamy character particularly when served with a nitro pour
  • Carbonation = Low to medium
  • Astringency = May have a light astringency from the roasted grains, although harshness is undesirable

Characteristic Ingredients/Processes:

  • Malt = Pale malt; may use chocolate or other dark/specialty malts
  • Yeast = British ale yeast
  • Hops = English hops
  • Other = Roasted (unmalted) barley

Historical Development:

Originally called a “Stout Porter”, the stout style first described English porters with a fuller, creamier, more “stout” body and strength. Stout then diverged from porter with an emphasis on dark roasted malts. After WWII, Guinness began using roasted (unmalted) barley, which has become a signature for the Irish Stout style, giving the beer its dry, bitter, coffee-like finish.

Commercial examples of this style are almost always associated with a nitro pour which gives the beer a full, creamy texture and very long-lasting head of foam. More on the nitro pour here.


Commercial Examples:

Guinness Draught, Harpoon Boston Irish Stout, Murphy’s Irish 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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