What kind of characters do you prefer in Stouts.

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by nerdboy19, Feb 17, 2016.

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  1. Ranbot

    Ranbot Defender (668) Nov 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    I don't like my stouts overly hoppy. I find excess bittering or aroma hops clash with roasty/smokey aspects of I like in stouts.
  2. StoutSnob40

    StoutSnob40 Poo-Bah (2,934) Jan 4, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    Stouts with too much dark fruit flavor is sorta off-putting..
  3. Hallu

    Hallu Initiate (0) Feb 2, 2016 France

    I like both dry boozy stouts (Cadillac Mountain Stout) and stouts that are basically desserts (coffee/chocolate : Speedway Stout, Lost Abbey Serpent's stout...). But the dry kind is a rare breed nowadays, and you see too many stouts that are chocolate or coffee bombs. I can't believe you think Speedway is boozy and burnt though ? To me it's clearly in the sweet and smooth category...

    However it happened once that my friends and I couldn't finish a stout. It was the Big Bear Black Stout by Bear Republic. That one had yeast particles everywhere in the bottle, and it was really cloudy. It wasn't bad, but the hops in there made it impossible to finish, too bitter and weird with the classic stout components. Maybe it had sit on the shelf for too long ? (it was in Melbourne)
  4. PatrickCT

    PatrickCT Poo-Bah (2,319) Feb 18, 2015 Connecticut

    I wanted so badly to prove you wrong but I can't. Even as a lover of straight forward stouts I can't find 5 excellent, readily available, affordable stouts that would suit a pitcher. Do people even do this anymore? I miss pitchers.
    TongoRad likes this.
  5. JratBones

    JratBones Initiate (0) Oct 22, 2013 Massachusetts

    I love all ranges of flavors in stouts. I used to be a baby about bourbon barrel,oak aged, RIS when I was younger. I leaned more towards the coffee,chocolate,and milk stouts. Now you can find a whole crazy variety of stouts then have the perfect balance of everything. My palate has def evolved into loving those originals I listed. My basement is full of them. It just depends on what I'm in the mood for.
  6. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,988) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    In the PNW it's still a thing, but not so much in my area.
  7. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,789) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado

    Heavy roast doesn't usually do it for me. I like more of a dark chocolate note, but without anything char-like.
    I also have a taste for the hoppier stouts like SN and Yeti as well.
    I consider Avery Czar to be pretty ideal for bigger stouts.
  8. meefmoff

    meefmoff Zealot (504) Jul 6, 2014 Massachusetts

    The only flavors that really turn me off in a stout are sharp, overly bitter dark chocolate or burnt coffee notes. I found the new Sam Adams nitro stout to be an offender along those lines.

    And trendiness be damned, I love bourbon almost as much as beer so a BBA stout comes out of the gate with a pretty good head start for my palate.
  9. Abbbp

    Abbbp Crusader (741) Mar 9, 2013 Texas

    I def. have a preference to non adjunct, straight barrel aging stouts. Now when it does come to adjuncts, i'm typically after the usual suspects: coconut, vanilla, cinnamon.
    Dando274 likes this.
  10. 1000lbgrizzly

    1000lbgrizzly Meyvn (1,103) Jul 16, 2013 Illinois

    I'm open to roast, dark chocolate, char, earth, coffee, vanilla, wood, smoke, booze, coconut, mild-moderate hop presence, chilis, mint, some sweetness, mild acidity, cinnamon, and even mild soy sauce notes. Balance is key; the first few I mentioned should be the base, the middle can be moderate, and the last ones should be just nuances.

    I do not like soapy or floral stouts, nor straight ethanol. And I have yet to find a stout that incorporates to my liking the tartness that comes from brewing with any real fruit.
  11. Caleb

    Caleb Aspirant (224) Jun 18, 2008 Colorado

    Left Hand's Milk Stout is readily available in many areas and works in a pitcher for me.

  12. zid

    zid Poo-Bah (1,756) Feb 15, 2010 New York
    Society Trader

    Everett. I can sense everyone grabbing their pitchforks.
  13. Giantspace

    Giantspace Savant (965) Dec 22, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Try super stout from Ithaca. Had one last night. Low ABV and pretty good. My initial thought was watery and thin. I was expecting a big ABV. Once I saw it was 4.9 I reevaluated and was ok with a lighter body.

    TongoRad likes this.
  14. Urk1127

    Urk1127 Poo-Bah (2,060) Jul 2, 2014 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    I prefer the roasty black coffee flavors in stout. I do not like sticky sweet so my preference is the lower abv stouts when i can find them.
  15. Ipaupaweallpa

    Ipaupaweallpa Initiate (0) Dec 26, 2014 Alabama

    I don't like the cinnamon though, makes me get way more acid then even the highest ibu ipa
  16. nerdboy19

    nerdboy19 Aspirant (253) Sep 20, 2015 Korea (South)

    I enjoy English Stouts like St.Peters or Samuel Smiths... but Imperial Stouts are too robust for me. May be my tongue still likes sweet and easy to drink stuffs like a child :slight_smile:
    dennis3951 likes this.
  17. nerdboy19

    nerdboy19 Aspirant (253) Sep 20, 2015 Korea (South)

    Agree! They say Imperial Stouts are good in 50~60F but it's too warm for me... drinks need to be cold man!
    jrnyc likes this.
  18. SeanBond

    SeanBond Meyvn (1,131) Jul 30, 2013 Illinois

    It's easier to point to what I don't like: Bitter stouts without much sweetness (I love sweeter stouts), stouts on the thinner side, stouts that taste roasty/coffee-forward.

    I like my stouts to be as thick as possible, and close to as sweet (I really like Dark Lord, for example, although I admit it's a tad too sweet). Being hop-forward tends to make a stout stand out in my mind, and adding in vanilla or coconut is an easy way to pique my interest. For an idea of what I'm talking about, my favorite non-BA stout is Darkness.
  19. invertalon

    invertalon Zealot (501) Jan 27, 2009 Ohio

    I like a heavy hand on the roast malts with my imperial stouts... Don't like the plum/raisin like qualities at all.
  20. champ103

    champ103 Poo-Bah (5,395) Sep 3, 2007 Texas

    Town in City is a brewery that has opened about a mile from me in Houston. They do straight forward styles, and the City Porter and Mafic Stout are fantastic. The serving sizes are true 20oz imperial pints or by the pitcher, at really good prices. Sad to see that this is not the norm anymore :slight_frown:
    PatrickCT and TongoRad like this.
  21. TonyLuvsBeer

    TonyLuvsBeer Aspirant (232) Mar 28, 2015 Michigan

    For me - the #1 thing I look for is balance - balance the booze with the other flavors. As far as flavors..........vanilla is #1 for me (VR is my favorite stout) and then followed by cinnamon (Abraxas is right up there for favs stouts). Also, like the stouts to have a medium to heavy mouth feel - don't like thin stouts.
  22. jmv0009

    jmv0009 Initiate (0) Oct 15, 2015 Alabama

    Coffee, Vanilla, Chocolate, and Bourbon if it's a sweet stout. Other stouts I am all about oak and nuts and roastyness.
  23. CwrwAmByth

    CwrwAmByth Poo-Bah (1,758) Jan 24, 2011 England

    It was Mr Pattinson. Though it had the same problem as all good beer - the more you drank the less there was.
  24. Betolito

    Betolito Initiate (0) May 20, 2012 Nevada

    Bourbon, vanilla, coffee, chocolate and more bourbon.
  25. champ103

    champ103 Poo-Bah (5,395) Sep 3, 2007 Texas

    That just looks fantastic. I really wish there was a better cask scene in the States, and not this add every additive known to man in a cask while calling it "innovative." I want to drink that by the gallon if I could :slight_smile:
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  26. matcris

    matcris Meyvn (1,171) Sep 17, 2015 Arizona

    FBS is perfect for me, coffee and chocolate. Kalamazoo is a good everyday drinker, mild coffee and chocolate. I think it's interesting, all the different aromas and flavors that two people can pull out of the same beer. I love an Expedition occasionally because I get things like leather and soy sauce, and other people get something completely different.
  27. PatrickCT

    PatrickCT Poo-Bah (2,319) Feb 18, 2015 Connecticut

    That is part of getting old, I guess. These stouts are still out there and I do enjoy Imperials, Old Rasputin being one of my favorites regardless of style. It is the breakfast cereal stouts that I am not a fan of. But I don't drink them so it works out for everyone.
  28. Leebo

    Leebo Initiate (0) Feb 7, 2013 Massachusetts

    Characters? More like Moe and Curley. Characteristics? That's different. BA work for me, or not. Preferences? Harpoon czernobog, SN narwahal, reg and BA. Victory storm king. Mayflower standish. Looking forward to the new Longtrail one, anyone sample?
  29. lanciloti

    lanciloti Initiate (0) Nov 10, 2013 Illinois

    Maple Syrup

    Nothing wrong with coffee either, just prefer stouts sweet over bitter.
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  30. HopfordBeerham

    HopfordBeerham Initiate (0) Feb 11, 2016 New Jersey

    Creamy, smooth, and drinkably strong (around 8% IMO). I like Coffee, Chocolate, Vanilla, and a slight hop bite at the end.
  31. Cthulhusquid

    Cthulhusquid Initiate (0) Oct 5, 2015 Washington

    I like my stouts to mainly be dark fruit or chocolate forward, but a little bit of roast is okay. I also like them to be dry, or a little sweet (but not bitter). Barrel aging can turn a bad stout into a really good one (for instance, I recently tasted Silver City's imperial stout, and was put off by the hoppiness and roasted flavors. I tried the barrel aged one not too much later, and found it much more palatable. The hoppiness and bitterness were nearly gone, replaced by a balanced dryness).
  32. sajaffe1

    sajaffe1 Initiate (0) Feb 16, 2013 Utah

    Coffee, chocolate and "roastiness" are certainly desirable, but my favorite flavor in RIS is the dark fruit flavor that is often overlooked.
  33. thuey

    thuey Defender (623) Nov 13, 2015 California

    I love Abyss-y stouts. BCBS can go away.
  34. 4ingredients

    4ingredients Initiate (0) May 22, 2009 Massachusetts

    Likes: Sweet, Smooth, Vanilla, Choc., Coffee (but not too bitter), Bourbon, IS/RIS
    Dislikes: Overly Bitter, Hopped, or Chalky.

    TenFidy fits the bill wonderfully.
  35. jtk

    jtk Initiate (0) May 19, 2007 Texas

    Chocolate and coffee.

    Bourbon sometimes, too.

    Balanced, most of all.
  36. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Poo-Bah (2,060) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Society Trader

    Disney. And coffee.
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  37. LeRose

    LeRose Poo-Bah (1,709) Nov 24, 2011 Massachusetts

    I'm all over the map and it is probably mood dependent. If I want to sip, sit, contemplate the nature of the universe then it's one of the bourbon barrel aged monsters. For every day drinking, I stay away from the bad-ass and will even "descend" to a porter :rolling_eyes:. I like the coffee (even added coffee), roasty malt, chocolate-like (even a little actual chocolate), caramel/toffee with a nice bitterness to balance. I do not like the "burnt" and acrid characteristics that show up in some. I do like a bit of smokiness, but that can easily be overdone in a stout. Fan of the oatmeal also - like the smoothness it brings.

    While I don't object to most added flavors, I'm not a huge fan of the super-sweet stouts. A little sweetness like a nice milk stout is fine, but something like ST Creme Brulee is wa-a-a-a-ay too much. I'd prefer to eat my dessert or save the calories for another beer. Vanilla - OK sometimes, other times I find it objectionable no matter what it's in. Coconut - nope, not interested. I kinda liked a couple of peanut butter ones, but don't think they tasted much like peanut butter, honestly. Coffee - I'm good with it and enjoy most of the coffee stouts I've tried. Some of the stranger concoctions I strongly dislike - cinnamon, licorice, mint, and added fruit come to mind. I think there are a lot of things that compliment the flavors already in a stout, but they shouldn't be overwhelming - supporting rather than competing - but there are some things that just don't belong there period.

    I will risk losing my BA card by saying I very much like the taste/feel of hot pepper in stouts. For me, the heat works nicely with the inherent flavors of a well-done stout, but again it should be in the background.
    1000lbgrizzly likes this.
  38. MikeWard

    MikeWard Poo-Bah (3,002) Sep 14, 2011 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    I dont care for too much burn, either from alcohol or roastiness. A little is good though.
  39. CJNAPS

    CJNAPS Initiate (0) Nov 3, 2013 California

    Roasted coffee, Chocolate
  40. Groenebeor

    Groenebeor Initiate (0) Feb 14, 2009 California

    I do not prefer them barrel aged. I don't prefer them aged.

    I prefer them with lots of malt backbone, balanced hops.

    I prefer them without things added to them. I do like oatmeal in the malt bill.

    I like coffee and chocolate notes. Chocolate malt is a must.
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