The earliest known mention of stout beers in historical sources dates back to 1677. Originally, stouts were probably just a strong version of porter beers. In the 19th century, the term started to indicate a category of strong beers that had a different taste in comparison with the porter ones. Today, these beers are still among the most popular in the world. They typically have 7% to 8% alcohol by volume. If you prefer non-alcoholic beers, stout beers offer that option, too.
Different types of stouts have their own flavor profiles. Imperial stouts, which mostly hail from Russia, have strong notes of chocolate and hazelnut, with hints of burned grain and coffee. Milk stouts are sweeter because, as the name suggests, they’re made from lactose. They feature hints of cream, barley and chocolate. If you really have a sweet tooth, try a double chocolate stout, which contains chocolate. Not sure which variety to try? Oatmeal stout is the middle ground between imperial and milk stouts
. Its flavor is less strong than an imperial stout, but not as sweet as the milk stout. Lastly, dry stouts hail from Ireland and have a bitter taste, with slight notes of coffee and chocolate.
Stout beers with coffee notes match particularly well with fruity desserts, as part of an afternoon snack or after a great meal. All stouts enhance the flavor of game meats and seafood such as oysters, crab and calamari. When you’re in the mood for comfort food, pair your favorite stout beer with baked mac and cheese. Alternatively, you can try them with meat dishes and chocolate desserts.
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