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Friday, July 08, 2011

Open Thread Friday: Your Best (Non Imperial) Stouts

Thanks to that amazing response I got on soliciting your picks for best porters to include in my book, I think I'll continue the experiment. Today, let's try stouts--all except imperials (your dries, sweets, oatmeals, and exports are all good). We'll do imperials as their own thread. The guidelines are the same: The beers need to be great examples to illustrate the style (and delicious), but also need to be relatively available to people who will read the book, and at least some of the beers have to be available in every region of the country. Finally, they should be regular, established beers that will still be in production when the book comes out.

There are so many good ones out there that it's hard to narrow them down. Clearly one of the classic Irish dry stouts should be in there, and Guinness Foreign Extra. Beyond that, I'm open to suggestions. I'll do my best to sample every beer that gets suggested, so tell me the beers I shouldn't miss.

25 comments:

explosivebeer said...

Velvet Merkin/Merlin is the first that pops into my mind.

Ben said...

Dragonstooth Stout from Elysian is pretty good stuff.

The Beer Nut said...

Even though Porterhouse Plain is their multiple award-winner, my vote for Irish stout goes to Wrassler's XXXX. Honorable mention for O'Hara's.

Anonymous said...

Best oatmeal stout in the world: McAuslans of Montreal.

Alan
A Good Beer Blog

Jason said...

Goose Island's Bourbon County Stout.

Mark said...

I've never had McAuslans, but Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout seems to be quite popular...

Anonymous said...

Sammy Smith's is like water used to wash out the goat pen compared to McAuslan's. You can stand a spoon up in it.

Alan

Soggy Coaster said...

Sam Smith Oatmeal Stout is a standard for its style. Also easy to find and very good: Oregon's own Deschutes Obsidian Stout and Rogue Shakespeare Stout.

Jack R. said...

1) Anderson Valley Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout,
2) Deschutes - Obsidian Stout,
3) Firestone Walker - Velvet Merlin Oatmeal Stout [my personal favorite]

Jeff Alworth said...

McAuslan's, eh? Can you get that south of the border?

IPAnonymous said...

I second what Jack R. said

Chris said...

The Moylan's Dragoon Stout - http://www.ratebeer.com/beer/moylans-dragoons-dry-irish-stout/84771/ - is probably one of the best dry Irish-style stout I've ever had, and it should be reasonably easy to obtain.

timdogg said...

Firestone Walker Velvet Merkin Oatmeal Stout.

Bell's Kalamazoo Stout.

Yum and yum.

Sarah said...

Pelican's Tsunami Stout

Brewmance said...

I'm with Ben, Dragonstooth is stellar.

Not the biggest fan of Firestone Walkers Velvet Merlin...

I think Rogue's is still on the top for my although I rarely buy it.

Anonymous said...

Shakespeare. Hands down.

Jack R. said...

Left Hand Milk Stout is rated 95 at RateBeer [1453 ratings] and B+ at BeerAdvocate [1133 rating] and is available in more than half the United States.

I was in the Tasting Room this afternoon but enjoyed my favorite style: the Polestar Pilsner.

dano' said...

The Ninkasi Oatis is delicious, but I'd agree that Firestone's Velvet Merlin is great also.

Adam said...

It's been awhile, but my memory says Bell's cherry stout was a great example of a fruited stout. A very delicious "evening attire" type of beer. They have a couple others as well, a java and a double cream stout, neither of which I've had unfortunately.

mc said...

De Dolle Export Stout. Brimming with roasty notes and hints of the fruit sour yeast notes known from the brewery. Not to mention it's an export stout in the truest sense—-it was brewed specifically for the US market.

Jeff Alworth said...

I'll have to try the FW Velvet Merlin again. I've had it, but was nonplussed. Dragonstooth is another I've had but forgotten. Shakespeare has long been on my list, but I think I need to confirm with another bottle.

Interesting that although stout is a brewpub standy, there aren't actually all that many non-imperial examples in the bottle, isn't it?

hacksaw said...

Bells Kalamazoo and Pelican Tsunami. Bells Java Stout is also solid. Best Stout I've had in years was Hill Farmstead Earl. Dark Horse Tres Blueberry would be a contender for sweet stout category

Oregon Hopmonster said...

I really enjoy Snake River Zonker Stout. Other standouts not mentioned by others would include Dark Horse One Oatmeal Stout, Crannog Back Hand of God and Marin San Quentin Breakout Stout. I completely agree on Bell's Kalamazoo and Firestone Walker Velvet Merkin/Merlin.

Kevin said...

No one has mentioned Belhaven's Scottish Stout yet? It's a great stout and the brewers are very forthcoming about their ingredients and process.

Lion Stout is another I'd add to the list, probably my favorite tropical stout. Not an easy one to find information about though. The website (lionbeer.com) has been under construction since the first time I look a couple years ago, and the Wayback Machine snaps weren't too useful.

Cheers!
Kevin
Beer and Coding

Sláinte Mhaith said...

Was all set to throw out Oakshire Heart Shaped Box until I reread the relatively available guideline. Perhaps one of the following would qualify: Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel's Aphrodisiaque; New Glarus Brewing Company's Coffee Stout; Pike XXXXX Stout; or any of the several Mikkeller offerings.

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