Recommend perfectly balanced stouts for me

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by MCImes, Feb 19, 2013.

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  1. MCImes

    MCImes Disciple (353) Dec 31, 2010 Connecticut

    Recently I've drank 2 stouts that make me pause for a moment. They were Hel & Verdomenis (by de Molen) and the classic Samuel Smith Imperial Stout (really not much of an "imperial" by American standards at only 7% abv, but extremely good none the less)

    What I liked so much about these is their balance and smoothness. So many of the American imperials are so bitter and so over the top malty that I have a hard time wanting more than 1 in a night. With Hel and SS, I could drink a case. They're not too bitter, not too sweet, not too malty...just...perfect. I really like the medium-heavy mouth feel, mild sweetness, not over-the-top hops, not ridiculously dark malt...

    With that in mind, what are some other stouts that have that perfect balance?

    (I still love all the over the top stouts like founders IS, KBS, black note, central waters and the like but Im looking for something different at the moment)
  2. MammaGoose

    MammaGoose Initiate (0) Jan 10, 2013 Wyoming

    I recently got the chance to try Yeti and the Oak aged espresso seasonal Yeti on tap at Great Divide Brewery in Denver. I like stouts quite a bit, but I wouldn't say it's my style of choice. But I LOVED Yeti. It was everything a stout should be, in my opinion. Chocolatey, roasty, malty, viscous, and well, stout. Both were Imperial stouts, but they were both very balanced, in my opinion. Very drinkable.
    legend8706 likes this.
  3. jnoble

    jnoble Initiate (143) Feb 23, 2012 Washington

    Looked on seekabrew and saw that you should get Deschutes in your area...Deschutes Obsidian Stout is one of my go to stouts. I find it to be good for 2 or more servings in a night without being too much. IMO, it is well balanced and could be what you are looking for.


    Edit: the only thing you won't get is that heavy mouthfeel.
  4. Dtapeski

    Dtapeski Initiate (152) Oct 26, 2012 Colorado

    I'm a huge fan of Old Rasputin (RIS) from North Coast and it looks like they distribute to MN.
    jnoble and Thickfreakness like this.
  5. BetterBeerPlz

    BetterBeerPlz Aspirant (227) Sep 8, 2007 Arkansas

    Schlafly Irish-Style Extra Stout. Very drinkable and balanced extra stout.
    Chaney likes this.
  6. Ataraxia

    Ataraxia Initiate (106) Sep 20, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    If you want a milder imperial stout, you can drop the imperial part and see where that leads you.
  7. PsilohsaiBiN

    PsilohsaiBiN Defender (614) Aug 10, 2010 New York
    Beer Trader

    Plead The 5th.
    smonice and Providence like this.
  8. blackcompg

    blackcompg Defender (610) Feb 13, 2011 Illinois

    Try Southern Tier 2X Stout, and Left Hand Nitro/Milk Stout - these are both milk stouts, but each also has a nice balancing sweetness, not over the top at all, and very smooth - they both have a pretty wide distro, hope you can find these local to you. If you like a little sweeter and creamy mouthfeel Youngs Dbl Chocolate Stout is a pretty nice one too, and easy to find. Happy hunting - Cheers!
  9. tectactoe

    tectactoe Initiate (0) Mar 20, 2012 Michigan

    New Holland The Poet for a lighter, balanced oatmeal stout. Courage RIS is heavy and robust, but very well balanced between sweet/roasty/bitter IMO.
    looseteeth and RobertColianni like this.
  10. leedorham

    leedorham Crusader (720) Apr 27, 2006 Washington

    Balance is not a defining characteristic in a perfect stout. The best stouts in the world all kick your palate's ass in one way or another, and that's by design.
  11. coreyfmcdonald

    coreyfmcdonald Savant (953) Nov 13, 2008 Georgia
    Beer Trader

  12. coreyfmcdonald

    coreyfmcdonald Savant (953) Nov 13, 2008 Georgia
    Beer Trader

    I'm going to have to disagree with you.
  13. airforbes1

    airforbes1 Initiate (0) Oct 27, 2010 California

    Anderson Valley Barney Flats Stout to me is smooth, creamy, slightly chocolatey, and comes in at only 5.7%. Flavorful but balanced, in my opinion.
    Willbfun, PORTerCITY and jgluck like this.
  14. Beefytits4

    Beefytits4 Initiate (0) Nov 2, 2011 Illinois

    Old Rasputin is a little on the Hoppy side but sooo damn good. Sierra Nevada Stout is very well balanced and you can drink them all night.
  15. HaidaSaint

    HaidaSaint Initiate (0) Feb 19, 2013 Washington

    if you like SS imperial maybe give the oatmeal stout a shot its one of my go to stouts i can never get enough of it
    3,400 Ratings THE BROS
    read more ยป rAvg: 4.24
    pDev: 11.56%
    Reviews: 1976
    Hads: 1424

    Ratings Help

    thats not so bad by comparison to imperial higher on BA and 4 shy on the BROS
    fox227 likes this.
  16. TapeDeck

    TapeDeck Initiate (0) Mar 31, 2011 Illinois

    I generally like--prefer the "you only really want 1" type of big beers. Even if I'm going to have more than 1.

    If Central Waters Imp stouts are more intense than what you want, I think you may just not be wanting imperial stouts at those times when you want to knock a few back. Nothing wrong with that. Maybe swing over to porters?
  17. bilboTbaggins

    bilboTbaggins Initiate (0) Feb 14, 2013 Wisconsin

    ten fiddy, expedition. Perfectly balanced?, well i really can't say. Too many to say what is really balanced correctly
  18. Number45forever

    Number45forever Initiate (0) Jan 6, 2012 Vermont
    Beer Trader

    Not that this is easily attainable, but balance in a big stout leads you to one place:

    Kate the Great

    Of the widely available ones, I recommend the Yeti series.
    seplo and ShogoKawada like this.
  19. DarkDragon999

    DarkDragon999 Aspirant (285) Feb 13, 2013 Rhode Island

    Yeah I agree thats why the thread title threw me off a bit.
  20. Spaten454

    Spaten454 Disciple (316) Aug 23, 2012 Texas
    Beer Trader

    Founders Imperial Stout. Just all around a perfect stout.
  21. leedorham

    leedorham Crusader (720) Apr 27, 2006 Washington

    I'll take that as a compliment.
    coreyfmcdonald likes this.
  22. zenithberwyn

    zenithberwyn Disciple (347) Aug 24, 2012 California

    Since you're in the Midwest, Bell's Kalamazoo Stout is my favorite session stout.
    jmw and blackcompg like this.
  23. MuggsyPendleton

    MuggsyPendleton Initiate (0) Dec 18, 2012 Minnesota

    If you haven't tried Fulton's Worthy Adversary yet, you need to run down to the local liquor store and pick one up. Best offering by far by Fulton and only found in MN.

    The other smooth drinking imperial stout is Dark Horse's Plead the 5th. Just excellent and it just hit shelves in Minny last week.
  24. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,165) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Yeti, Avery Czar, Avery Uncle Jacobs, Ten Fidy... oh.. wait, you want something mellow and drinkable? I thought this was another "name your favorite imperial stout" thread...

    Instead I would check out Odell cut throat porter, Deschutes Obsidian stout as well as their Black Butte porter, Left hand milk stout, Victory Storm King stout. Check out St. James cream stout if you can find it. Very balanced between sweet and roasty and also very drinkable.
  25. Drucifer

    Drucifer Devotee (453) Apr 16, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Left Hand Milk Stout
  26. Mavajo

    Mavajo Zealot (572) Feb 10, 2007 Georgia

    Creme Brulee.

    Did anyone beat me to it?
    HipsterBrewfus likes this.
  27. crossovert

    crossovert Initiate (0) Mar 29, 2009 Illinois

    one I had recently was Hawkshead Organic Stout, like what guinness would be if it had balls. Extremely tasty and easy to put down.
  28. blackcompg

    blackcompg Defender (610) Feb 13, 2011 Illinois

    - YES!! I have to agree wholeheartedly here, haven't had this one in awhile - this is an excellent stout, it says "brewed with brewers licorice" on the label, don't let this sway you, it's just another note in a great symphony, affordable and sessionable - I give this recommendation 2 thumbs up!
    zenithberwyn likes this.
  29. mjshearer1

    mjshearer1 Aspirant (213) Dec 16, 2011 Michigan
    Beer Trader

  30. AxesandAnchors

    AxesandAnchors Initiate (0) Nov 21, 2012 Oregon

    Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout
    North Coast Old Rasputin
    Victory Storm King
    Great Divide Oak Aged Yeti
    Epic Exponential Series Imperial Stout
  31. leedorham

    leedorham Crusader (720) Apr 27, 2006 Washington

    Storm King is balanced?

    This is just a "your favorite stout " thread, isn't it?
  32. AxesandAnchors

    AxesandAnchors Initiate (0) Nov 21, 2012 Oregon

    I was giving options to the op. Beers that are distributed in his area that I personally feel are good and balanced representations of the style. You're entitled to your own opinion.
  33. harrymel

    harrymel Initiate (0) Dec 15, 2010 Washington

    Obsidian from Deschutes


    Kalamazoo from Bell's
  34. leedorham

    leedorham Crusader (720) Apr 27, 2006 Washington

    I don't even think Victory would classify Storm King as balanced. Some things can't be written off as personal opinion.
    RobertColianni likes this.
  35. blckout20

    blckout20 Aspirant (253) May 24, 2012 Connecticut
    Beer Trader

    Delicious. But I can't believe FBS hasn't been mentioned. A more well-rounded stout imo, and probably the closest to a perfect balance for my taste.
    FishAndBeer likes this.
  36. AxesandAnchors

    AxesandAnchors Initiate (0) Nov 21, 2012 Oregon

    Just because something is complex or bold doesn't mean it's not balanced. A balanced beer just means that the different characters being represented in the beer do not overwhelm each other and work together to create a balanced flavor profile. Contrary to your "opinion" and misuse of the term "balanced", a lot of people (on this site) consider Storm King to be a balanced beer.
  37. Andygirl

    Andygirl Initiate (0) Jan 3, 2013 Michigan

    Kalamazoo is a very good, balanced stout
  38. kzoobrew

    kzoobrew Meyvn (1,167) May 8, 2006 Michigan

    If people refer to Storm King as a Black IPA and not a stout, this happens very often, one should probably not use the word balance to describe it. I agree that bold, assertive and complex beers can be balanced but Storm King is way too assertive with its hop profile to be considered balanced.

    Balance has to be thought of in terms of the style. With big assertive beers you have to match the huge bitterness with huge sweetness or creaminess. If one component starts to out weigh the others then balance is lost. Calling a beer unbalanced should not automatically be an indictment on the beer, it is nothing more than accurately describing the beer. There have been some awful examples of balanced beers in this thread. I will not argue that they are beers worth trying but they simply are not balanced.
    zachary80 and leedorham like this.
  39. reverseapachemaster

    reverseapachemaster Aspirant (244) Sep 21, 2012 Texas
    Beer Trader

    As somebody said above, if you are looking for balance anything with "imperial" in it is not the beer you are looking for.
  40. kzoobrew

    kzoobrew Meyvn (1,167) May 8, 2006 Michigan

    Bell's Kalamazoo has been mentioned here but I will throw Double Cream out there. I feel Double Cream is a bit more balanced than Kalamazoo. The sweet and creaminess provide the perfect counterpoint to the roasty malt flavor.
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