Why are so many stouts on the top beers list?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by G_Z_a, Mar 6, 2015.

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  1. nc41

    nc41 Meyvn (1,436) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    I really have no opinion here I love both... But the word complex as its being used is confusing. Dipas using multi hop blends, different malt bills are incredibly interesting. Many stouts are the same you add vanilla, chilis, coconut. Chocolate etc. Theres easily as many hop varieties as adjuncts that can be infused into stouts. So I'm confused into the complex thing , and not directed at you at all. But exactly what is complex? I usually just say interisting.
  2. HopSavant

    HopSavant Disciple (301) Apr 13, 2014 Tennessee
    Beer Trader

    You should reconsider and read some of @TheBrewo 's reviews: they are some of the most entertaining I have read on BA. The choice of descriptors in some is hilarious--I mean that in the most respectful way.
    fearfactory, TheBrewo and RockAZ like this.
  3. solo103

    solo103 Disciple (373) Apr 8, 2012 Florida
    Beer Trader

    Surly Darkness
    Black Tuesday

    There's 3 stouts that have completely different profiles. Sure they will have some chocolate and coffee flavor's but all drink extremely different. One could use the same analogy you use of most stouts tasting of chocolate or coffee by saying the same about IPA's either being Citrus like or Piney
    satchit likes this.
  4. jwheeler87

    jwheeler87 Aspirant (226) Oct 27, 2011 Massachusetts

    They are complex (smell and taste), take really well to barrel aging, can be infused with adjunts (coffee, vanilla, chilies), they are often special releases from breweries making them sought after.

    I love stouts.
  5. RockAZ

    RockAZ Disciple (371) Jan 6, 2009 Arizona
    Beer Trader

    I see you were in my state this week, TheBrewo , hope you made it down to Tucson during your visit to try our Dragoon Brewery stuff - really a whole 'nother level above Four Peaks!
  6. jlsims04

    jlsims04 Devotee (472) Jul 14, 2013 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Personally I think that Geno's and Lou's both blow Gioradonaos out of the watter but the best hands down in my opinion of course is The Art of Pizza.
    G_Z_a likes this.
  7. TheBrewo

    TheBrewo Initiate (0) Nov 11, 2010 New York

    Haha, thanks so much for the shout out!!
    HopSavant likes this.
  8. G_Z_a

    G_Z_a Initiate (176) Feb 2, 2015 Oregon

    Fair enough. Like I mentioned, it's been over a decade since I've had any of them. I've always thought Geno's was good, but I remember having a better impression of Giordano's. Maybe their quality has gone down over the years. I'd happily eat either right now as deep dish is virtually non-existent in the PNW. If I'm in Chicago again soon, I'll check out The Art of Pizza.

    WCKDVBZ Savant (961) May 9, 2014 South Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Because they are the most complex and flavorful.
  10. jlsims04

    jlsims04 Devotee (472) Jul 14, 2013 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    You can ship me some beer and Ill overnight you some deep dish ahah
    G_Z_a likes this.
  11. FUNKPhD

    FUNKPhD Initiate (0) Apr 13, 2010 Texas
    Beer Trader

    You would be wrong.

    EDIT: Here's one example.
  12. AntG21

    AntG21 Initiate (0) Aug 4, 2014 Syria

  13. FUNKPhD

    FUNKPhD Initiate (0) Apr 13, 2010 Texas
    Beer Trader

    AntG21 likes this.
  14. FaradayUncaged

    FaradayUncaged Crusader (718) Oct 24, 2014 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    They taste better and can be enjoyed at warmer temperatures...in the shower.

    In all seriousness, I feel like the top rated beers are actually well rounded in terms of styles. Maybe it's just me.
  15. bcp5296d

    bcp5296d Devotee (488) Aug 7, 2012 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Obviously they are sweet, and people think putting stout in bourbon barrels instantly makes it a 4.7.

    If it were up to me sours would absolutely rule that chart. I think we have produced so many awesome barrel aged stouts in the US, that a lot are indeed worthy of the top whatever, 50 or so. For me though, I'm getting kinda bored with them. My ratings factor in how hard spontaneous wild ales are to produce, and it looks like most other people don't rate based on that at all. I just don't see how a beer that can be produced 20 times a year is rated higher than a beer that tastes just as good (or better in most cases), and took 3 years to make. I guess people just don't factor that into their ratings, or they don't like the taste of sours.
  16. bcp5296d

    bcp5296d Devotee (488) Aug 7, 2012 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Also, how is supplication rated higher than every Cantillon except LPK and FF?
  17. islay

    islay Initiate (163) Jan 6, 2008 Minnesota

    Aside from the polarizing nature of sours, a big part of what you're observing is a consequence of BA's (and, for that matter, "the other site's") rating system. Even among people who like or even love the taste of sours, it's difficult for even the best-tasting sours to achieve extremely high ratings because, unlike the best imperial stouts, they often have mediocre appearances and palate effects (there are exceptions of course). Consequently, an honest rater isn't necessarily going to give them strong scores in the look and feel categories. Great tasting sours also can be a mixed bag when it comes to aroma. Sometimes they smell great, but sometimes the aroma is weak, polarizing, or even off-putting. Good imperial stouts and double IPAs, in contrast, tend to be more consistent in smelling at least as good as they taste.
    AntG21 likes this.
  18. bcp5296d

    bcp5296d Devotee (488) Aug 7, 2012 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    I understand where you are coming from, but completely disagree. A stout is black (for the most part). Not very interesting to me. A sour can be many colors, all but one of which are more interesting than black. The positive "palate effects" of a stout, I feel in most cases are drowned/muted by overly sweet adjuncts, and just sweetness in general. There are great malt profiles out there in stouts for sure, and that is the part I do enjoy. Now I can say that DBH is one of the best beers I've ever had, so I'm not knocking the style, I just think it doesn't belong higher on the charts than something like good lambic in my humble opinion. I know a lot of beer drinkers around the world disagree and love their vanilla latte BA chocolate chip mocha shake beer. I love it too, just not as much as a world class wild ale. Maybe I'm just burnt out on stouts, I dunno.
  19. mattosgood

    mattosgood Initiate (0) Jan 13, 2014 Massachusetts

    This is a silly debate anyway. I don't like the following things: Star Wars, Potatoes, Angelina Jolie, The Sex Pistols.

    However, I get that a lot of people like Star Wars; More people than not enjoy a potato with their dinner; Angelina Jolie is very pretty, just not my cup of tea; The Sex Pistols are pioneers in a certain genre of music. I understand these things and respect how people can have positive feelings toward them.

    So to say, "I like IPA's. I can drink them all day long. Ugh, why are there so many stouts on the top beer list? If it were up to me, they'd all be IPA's" is ridiculous.

    I could say, "If you only drink IPA's, you don't really like beer. You like IPA's."
  20. G_Z_a

    G_Z_a Initiate (176) Feb 2, 2015 Oregon

    That wasn't the argument at all. I enjoy most styles of beer and there's not a single style that I won't at least try. The argument wasn't that there should be less stouts and more IPAs on the list. Mainly, it was based on my observation that, at least where I live and most places I have visited, most people obsess over and seek out IPAs and more recently belgians/wild ales/sours and I found it surprising that based on that, there are so many stouts near or at the top of the list. Was there something I was missing? Is there a pocket of the country where people are crazy for stouts?

    I now have a better understanding of why they are rated so high. I personally will never like them as much as the other styles I mentioned, but that's not to say they aren't good and don't deserve a place on the list.
  21. xpertskir

    xpertskir Initiate (29) Feb 11, 2010 West Virginia
    Beer Trader

    1. ABV arms race
    2. scarcity
    3. ego's
    4. cellarbility/wine envy
    5. ego's
    6. poor beer raters

    Ive judged next to BJCP that I had a hard time respecting let a lone anyone with a pulse and a keyboard. There is definitely self selection bias of a lot(not all) of the people who rate on this site that is driven more by number 3 and 5 than any actual skill at judging a beer.
  22. Beer-Revelry

    Beer-Revelry Initiate (0) Jan 10, 2015 Texas

    Cuz stouts are the best? Duh!
  23. Jirin

    Jirin Aspirant (282) Apr 28, 2013 Massachusetts

    If you start to go down the road of thinking 'Tastes good' isn't a valid basis for a good rating, you start to justify the snobbery complaints.
  24. xpertskir

    xpertskir Initiate (29) Feb 11, 2010 West Virginia
    Beer Trader

    I can see how you got that from what I said, but I actually don't care for style guideline. I'll use them when necessary but ultimately I care about which beer tastes good and I'd like to drink again.

    My point was that some of the people who rate beers allow the difficulty in obtaining or scarcity of the beer they are rating to make them believe it tastes better than it actually does.
  25. G_Z_a

    G_Z_a Initiate (176) Feb 2, 2015 Oregon

    I think that's a valid point.
  26. shadwow13

    shadwow13 Disciple (349) Dec 30, 2014 Ohio

    I enjoy IPA's.........But I luv me some Stout. This is not influenced or dependent on BA rankings its simply personal preference.
  27. bryreeves

    bryreeves Initiate (0) Oct 25, 2012 Massachusetts

    tru dat
  28. proghead

    proghead Initiate (0) Jan 13, 2015 California
    Beer Trader

    Stouts, man! Fuck yeah!
  29. Benjo87

    Benjo87 Initiate (191) Dec 27, 2014 Australia
    Beer Trader

    To me, a lot of IPAs taste and smell very similar, where as stouts and Belgians I feel are much more complex, and have a vastly different variety of flavours.
  30. HuskyHawk

    HuskyHawk Devotee (465) Jun 5, 2014 Massachusetts

    I don't get the sour beers. I've had a few that were decent, none that blew me away. But maybe I am sensitive to spoiled smells and tastes. They aren't really even particularly popular in Belgium. I certainly understand that, as with anything, people may love them, but I think it's absolutely always going to be a small subset of people.

    As for Stouts and IPAs, I like them both, love great examples of either. High alcohol beers will dominate the list. That's they way it works. If the OP is comparing a truly great DIPA to an ordinary shelf stout, then obviously there will be a gap in favor of the IPA. What I don't get is that anyone can have a Boubon County and then suggest stouts aren't complex. That's quite a bit more complex than any IPA I've ever had. I'd say the Barleywine is right there too, maybe even better (now there is an underappreciated style). My wife likes stouts fine, but loves IPAs. That's her go to beer at all times. I suspect that the OP is similar. No big deal, that's why they make so many kinds.
  31. chcfan

    chcfan Devotee (466) Oct 29, 2008 California

    Also, I live and work just south of Russian River and haven't seen Elder on a shelf in months and even then it was only because I knew the store's delivery schedule. Most of the first wave of BCBS sells out immediately on Black Friday. I guess our definitions of "easily attainable" are different.
    herrburgess likes this.
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