Warm up this winter: Grab a Stout

Posted: October 19, 2010 in Flavor Series, Stout's

I would like to thank Matt Tripp for the inspiration on today’s post. Last night he reminded me of a small brew company in Vermont called Rockart Brewing, they are brewing some fantastic beers, although I have yet to find any outside of Vermont yet Any how I will talk about my favorite beer from them in a bit, but as I am sure you have put together it’s a stout. Stouts are tough sell, very dark, very heavy and very filling. I like stouts in the winter time; they warm you up nicely, and usually have great chocolaty or coffee flavors in them. There are a number of varieties of stouts which are also know as porters, such as imperial stouts (of Russian descent), Dry stouts (of Irish descent), Baltic Porters (of Balkans descent), and Porter (of English descent). All of these types are very similar, in color, taste and ABV, they differ however in the way they are brewed.
Stouts were first brewed in the 1790’s in England but they were known as porters. Stout meaning strong was not actually used until 1820 when Guinness of Ireland called their strong versions of porters Stout Porters, eventually the porter was dropped, and we were left just Stout beers. The key thing to remember is Stout means strong and in the good old days they weren’t talking strong in taste, these beers are notorious for super high ABV’s, especially the Imperial stouts (damn Russians). In the late 19th century the popularity of Stouts grew enormously, as they were promoted as a healthy nourishing beer that would make you stronger and faster. Nursing mothers were encouraged to drink stouts as it was said to make their babies grow bigger and stronger (Probably not the best promotional idea ever but it worked for the times). Also, doctors recommended them to patients to help them recover from illness as it was said to build your immune system. Clearly, not much of this was true, but its cool the beer has a history as rich as its body. I personally don’t drink a lot of stout, and I don’t know many people, who do, but I have had a few; some I liked; others not so much!

Stump Jumper Rockart Brewery. Apparently stump jumpers have something to do with logging. Well this beer is as Burly as any logger I have ever met I will tell you that. Its black as the night sky and a straight pour will give you a half a glass or more of head, which will take more than a few minutes to settle. The stout has hints of Coco, and espresso, which is why I like it in the winter time. This beer is one you almost have to chew, and when you’re all done you could lick the lacing off the glass it’s that thick! Interestingly enough however it only has 5.8% ABV so it won’t ruin your next day like many other stouts. No IBU’s listed on this beer, but it is rather Hoppy I would guess its 50+IBU’s.
**Thanks to BeerGeekDude.com for the image
Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, Brooklyn Brewery. Now don’t go thinking because this one has chocolate in the name that it is at all like a Hershey’s kiss. The first time I had this beer, I drank it from a glass, and I almost didn’t drink it because I thought it was bad. It pours from the bottle like 10w20 from your motor. It’s the same color and about the same consistency. This beer is thick; a straight pour leaves a good inch of light brown to Carmel colored head, which leaves a more than decent amount of lacing on the glass. The first sip tastes like a double brewed black coffee from a truck stop somewhere in the middle of nowhere. Its strong and bitter to say the least, However, as it moves through your mouth it transforms to a bit of a sweeter flavor, with definite hints of chocolate and brown sugar that makes it an enjoyable beer. Don’t enjoy too much however because after one you will be feeling rather good, with its 10.0%ABV. I would like to try this beer off the tap, since I have only had it out of the bottle, maybe I will make it to Brooklyn sometime to try.



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