If you are following along, we're going to hit the end of the "Beer Spectrum" before we start exploring some of the more speciality styles within the spectrum. After talking about hefeweizens, ambers and IPAs, I think a logical next step would be the Stout. This type of beer may intimidate a number of drinkers, who see its pitch blackness as a black hole of flavor or "taste" that they won't venture to get close to. I have to admit that I was one of those individuals. I don't think you could get me near a dark beer to save my life. In fact, a good friend of mine (Mr. Crow) challenged me to try some of the darker spectrum and I couldn't have been happier to expand my horizons to this type of beer.
The Stout will obviously be a dark beer - so expect this brew to be pretty opaque. Head will likely depend on the type of beer, as traditional stouts will lean to a lighter head and chocolate/mocha stouts will have a more tan/brown head. The scent profile will offer a lot of malty deliciousness, as well as coffee and some bitter chocolate aromas. There will be a distinct level of bitterness - not the high amount that you'd get in an IPA, but enough that you'd taste it.
When you see a stout beer, you can expect it to be called a number of different things: Stout, Porter, Oatmeal Stout, Coffee Stout, Chocolate Stout, Oyster Stout, Milk Stout. While all of a similar nature, the flavors will drastically differ based on the type of stouts, and by a function of the type, the ingredients used in the brewing process. Utilizing traditional carbination or more modern nitrous will change the flavor and texture of the beer, appealing to some and not to others.
Obviously, thanks to Mr. Crow's challenge, we have looked at a number of stouts on this blog: Four Peaks Oatmeal Stout, Guinness 250 Anniversary Stout, Breckenridge Vanilla Porter, Breckenridge Oatmeal Stout, Rogue Shakespeare Stout and Rogue Chocolate Stout.
Other stouts that you may have heard about, but never had - Guinness, Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout, Lost Coast 8 Ball Stout, Marble Brewing Oatmeal Stout, Diamond Bear Paradise Porter and Rogue Mocha Porter.