Beginner Stouts

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by JG629, Jan 27, 2013.

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  1. JG629

    JG629 Initiate (0) Jul 22, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Been getting into the craft scene lately and I was wondering what are some good beginner stouts to start venturing into the style?
  2. BladeRunner

    BladeRunner Aspirant (210) Apr 4, 2007 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Sierra Nevada stout, Lion Stout, Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout and Left Hand Nitro. These are good starter Stouts.
  3. frankthetank86

    frankthetank86 Initiate (0) Dec 24, 2012 New York

    jump right into the good stuff. no point in beating around the bush. pick up some FBS or Founders imperial stout. jjjyeaaaah
    PaleZombie, Gannon81, ESeab and 10 others like this.
  4. BladeRunner

    BladeRunner Aspirant (210) Apr 4, 2007 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Those are not beginner beers and I would never recommend them to someone that is just getting into the craft scene.
  5. FosterJM

    FosterJM Poo-Bah (2,719) Nov 16, 2009 California
    Beer Trader

    Stone IRS
    North Coast Old Rasputin.

    Great beers and wont break the bank.

  6. MrGreengenes2

    MrGreengenes2 Initiate (0) Aug 9, 2008 Indiana

    I got started on stouts/porters with Gonzo Imperial Porter. Then worked my way towards the simpler ones. I guess the complexity and flavor strength is what got me into craft in the first place though.

    I would suggest going to your local brewery and trying their stout, as well as all of their other offerings. As far as commercial goes I would say Barney Flats (sp?) from Anderson Valley. Great stout.
    jgluck likes this.
  7. Jaycase

    Jaycase Meyvn (1,115) Jan 13, 2007 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    What stouts have you had so far? And what have you liked/disliked?
  8. denver10

    denver10 Poo-Bah (2,229) Nov 17, 2010 New Mexico

    Left Hand Milk Stout
    Anderson Valley Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout
    Santa Fe's Java Imperial Stout
    Sam Smiths Oatmeal Stout
    Odell's Chocolate Milk Stout
    Ska's Steel Toe Milk Stout.

    Distribution of some of these beers could be an issue depending on your location.
    emilystrikesagai likes this.
  9. Thirstygoat

    Thirstygoat Defender (616) Nov 22, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Ten Fidy , Kalamazoo Stout, Dark Horse I-IV
    kirkse and devlishdamsel like this.
  10. mscott1975

    mscott1975 Initiate (0) Feb 19, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Beginner Stout; Bells Double Cream is very easy to drink in my opinion.
  11. StoutChaser7D

    StoutChaser7D Initiate (171) Nov 16, 2012 California

    Deschutes Obsidian
    Sierra Nevada Stout
    Firestone Walker Velvet Merlin
  12. Jaycase

    Jaycase Meyvn (1,115) Jan 13, 2007 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    I just had FW Velvet Merlin for the first time and I thought it an excellent low abv, full flavored stout. Hope it is available in your area.
  13. spaceman24

    spaceman24 Initiate (185) Oct 7, 2008 Texas

    Samuel Adams Cream Stout was what did it for me. I'll second Sam Smith's Oatmeal and Sierra Nevada Stout and add Young's Double Chocolate Stout to the mix.
  14. RonfromJersey

    RonfromJersey Initiate (0) Jan 25, 2002 New Jersey

    You really should start with Guinness.

    Stay away from the Imperials for awhile. Do try oatmeal and milk stouts though.
  15. Envelopes

    Envelopes Initiate (0) Aug 26, 2012 Ohio

    Ten Fidy is what converted me into a stout lover.
    ESeab, kirkse and fullmetal1381 like this.
  16. Thirstygoat

    Thirstygoat Defender (616) Nov 22, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Another thought get a few Porters , Founders, Bell's , Anchor....
    SWChi, SammyJaxxxx and TongoRad like this.
  17. Stockfan42

    Stockfan42 Initiate (0) Jan 20, 2009 Massachusetts

    Just crack open a Bourbon County Brand Stout. You'll be alright....
    Gannon81, MITCHELLMPLS and davey101 like this.
  18. Handle

    Handle Initiate (145) Mar 16, 2009 North Carolina

    Beginner stouts aren't stouts at all, they're porters.

    You wouldn't go looking for Double IPA recommendations without first trying a few pale ales and IPAs, right? I think the same is true of stouts. Sure, some are more "approachable" than others, but I would recommend trying a few porters first--or at least alongside, so you'll realize how the two styles differ (and how they are, often, quite similar).
    jgluck, SammyJaxxxx and davey101 like this.
  19. loafinaround

    loafinaround Aspirant (296) Jul 16, 2011 New York

    the long lost cousin to left hand nitro: keegan ale's milk stout... and joe mama's is a good intro coffee stout.
    kona brewing company makes a friendly beginnner stout as well....
    SammyJaxxxx likes this.
  20. JohnQVD

    JohnQVD Initiate (0) Jan 23, 2011 New York

    Mine was Guinness. Actually, that was the first beer I would pay money for. Imperials might be a bit much to start with, depending on what else you like, but I would totally recommend Founders Breakfast Stout. Also, Left Hand Milk Stout, regular or nitro, Young's Double Chocolate for English, Murphy's and O'Hara's for Irish. Also also, I'm not much of a Magic Hat fan, but I quite liked Heart of Darkness.
    krl2112 likes this.
  21. Dools9

    Dools9 Zealot (518) Jul 5, 2011 Massachusetts

    Sammy Smith Oatmeal. One of my first real 'craft beers.'
  22. Schmuck82

    Schmuck82 Initiate (0) Nov 13, 2008 Texas

    I remember when I first started I liked Young's Double Chocolate Stout a lot.
    RobertColianni and SammyJaxxxx like this.
  23. ubenumber2

    ubenumber2 Devotee (468) Sep 1, 2012 Arkansas
    Beer Trader

    The first stout I found that I really really enjoyed was Founders Breakfast Stout , I suggest trying it first ,not sure if it will ruin the rest for you or not , but this one really changed my mind
    SammyJaxxxx likes this.
  24. El_Zilcho

    El_Zilcho Initiate (70) May 3, 2012 Virginia

    I dont know, I think it depends on the person. Along the FBS/FIS lines, If you want to go this route I would recomment Yeti. It is available usually year round in bombers and 4packs. Yeti was greatly instrumental in my growing love for stouts. Grab a 4 pack, keep drinking it if you dont like it, by the time you finish it you'll want more.
    tobelerone likes this.
  25. frankthetank86

    frankthetank86 Initiate (0) Dec 24, 2012 New York

    that happened to me with barleywines. my first sip of bigfoot and i didnt know what to think. didnt really like it. but the second one i cracked open i fell in love. the end.
    El_Zilcho likes this.
  26. IcemanCometh

    IcemanCometh Aspirant (290) Sep 6, 2012 Massachusetts

    When I first started it was Old Rasputin that opened my eyes to the glory of the stout, Ten Fidy is another game changer (both not hard to find)
    highdesertdrinker likes this.
  27. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,064) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Supporter Beer Trader

    <Disclaimer- 'beginner' stouts and porters are quality beers that you never truly outgrow, no matter the connotation associated with the phrase.>

    Samuel Smith Taddy Porter and Oatmeal Stout have won many people over, and for good reason- the classic butterscotch/sherry Yorkshire yeast signature is truly in its environment with these roasty beers, and the balance of flavors is just perfect.

    Anchor Porter is an amazing American/English hybrid beer that is still unmatched on either side of the Atlantic. Bold, assertive malt flavors combined with a complex yeast signature- best of all worlds. Best between 2-6 months old- check out their page on BA for the date code-

    Sierra Nevada Stout/ Deschutes Obsidian Stout- classic west coast style stouts, combining the coffee-like black malts with citrusy hops- like a lemon peel in your espresso- and neutral yeast to allow those hops and malts to shine.
  28. musicman7070

    musicman7070 Disciple (357) Aug 26, 2012 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Seriously, if Gonzo was my first porter/stout I ever had, I probably wouldn't have ever wanted another porter/stout again. It was way too extreme for me. I think trying something too complex to start can overwhelm someone and cause them to shy away from that style.
  29. danieelol

    danieelol Savant (957) Jun 15, 2010 Australia

    That's dumb. No need for newbs to wallow in mediocre Belgians and pale ales. Place them in the advanced class right from the start.
    PaleZombie and frankthetank86 like this.
  30. chuckstout

    chuckstout Initiate (0) May 22, 2006 Ohio

    Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout!
  31. Chaney

    Chaney Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2006 District of Columbia

    Had an uncle over during the holidays who didn't know much about much about beer..... only that he liked a wide array of styles. I went out to shop for dinner and I guess while I was away, he decided he was going to grab a beer. Apparently, he reached into the fridge and grabbed a 2-year old World Wide Stout. I came home to find him with the empty bottle sitting next to him.

    Me: What did you grab that one for? I had been aging that brew and was saving it for a special occasion. You know that was like 18+% ABV, right.
    Uncle: I was wondering why I was so hammered. That was pretty damn good though!

    Lesson he learned: Drink big stouts or go home.
    ESeab, TastyIsBeer and fullmetal1381 like this.
  32. ChefHopMeister

    ChefHopMeister Aspirant (256) Aug 3, 2010 Virginia

    I'd consider starting with milk stouts/lighter bodied stouts. Bell's Kalamazoo, Double Cream are both good introduction's. Some heavier Porter's could be a good gateway too. Samuel Smith's Taddy Porter is a dandy.
  33. juliusseizure

    juliusseizure Aspirant (262) Feb 11, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    I'd go with Chocolate Stouts/Milk Stouts. Because whether you like stouts or not, who doesn't like chocolate/milk. That's what helped me transition from hops to stouts.
  34. Crackerroll

    Crackerroll Initiate (0) Jan 16, 2011 Missouri

    Exactly. Get right into it. I would recommend Founders Breakfast Stout.
    frankthetank86 likes this.
  35. Hoppsbabo

    Hoppsbabo Champion (811) Jan 29, 2012 United Kingdom (England)

    I don't think there's such a thing as a beginner's stout. Just good stout and boring stout. Go for it.
  36. StoutChaser7D

    StoutChaser7D Initiate (171) Nov 16, 2012 California

    There seems to be this go big or go home attitude about stouts. Imperial Stouts are undoubtedly amazing, and happen to be my personal favorite style. But that particular attitude implies that "regular" stouts aren't as good. They are two different beasts, both having unique offerings. Start smaller, learn what a stout is, then move to bigger, badder stouts. Build an appreciation from the bottom up.
    wesbray and vurt like this.
  37. BladeRunner

    BladeRunner Aspirant (210) Apr 4, 2007 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    That is not how you develop your palate.
  38. MtnBiker

    MtnBiker Initiate (70) Jun 28, 2011 Oklahoma

    Just try North Coast Old Rasputin and Sierra Nevada Stout, and you'll be fine, it's as simple as that. Don't listen to the dbags on here. Available almost anywhere (at least SN), and tasty. Both of these brews will give you a basic understanding of american imperial stouts, then you can move on from there with different nuances.
    WhiteJordan likes this.
  39. UCLABrewN84

    UCLABrewN84 Poo-Bah (12,229) Mar 18, 2010 California

    Obsidian Stout is all you need.
    Gannon81, Falcone and Onenote81 like this.
  40. Stevedore

    Stevedore Poo-Bah (3,832) Nov 16, 2012 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    Sierra Nevada Narwhal. It's not quite go-big-or-go-home, but it has that paradoxically simple complexity that I've come to know and love in imperial stouts.

    First though, I would go to the local bottle store and mix-six a couple local stouts (New Glarus Coffee Stout comes to mind for me in WI) to try and think about what your palate is experiencing as you drink them. Then move on to the bigger guns.
    Gannon81, ESeab, mecummins and 3 others like this.
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