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All about Dry Stout
What is Dry Stout?
For many of us, Dry Stout held our hand as we waded into the world of dark beer. This ruby-black, roasty treat has its roots in London’s Porters, but as the concept crossed the Irish Sea to Ireland it gradually grew darker and darker. Today’s Dry Stout is a lush but drinkable ale whose roast, coffee-like character and smoothness still make it an iconic style.
How does Dry Stout get its flavor and color?
The real key to Dry Stout’s flavor begins before the brewery receives the malt. Maltsters roast malted barley to a temperature that turns white-gold kernels a dark black. The end product is roasty, chocolaty and intense. Brewers only need a small amount of this specialty malt to achieve flavors of coffee and chocolate, turning an otherwise pale beer quite black. Flaked barley and other dark malts can be added to add creaminess and a touch of sweetness. When the beer finishes its warm ale fermentation, the flavors have all melded seamlessly to yield an assertively roasty beer that somehow doesn’t taste burnt or too astringent. Pure Celtic sorcery. The most popular Dry Stouts are pretty darn dry on the finish, but you may come across some versions that have a little bit of residual malt sweetness. The alcohol is sessionable, rarely exceeding 5% in classic versions.
Nitro Dry Stout?
Many draft and canned pours of the most popular Dry Stouts are packaged with Nitrogen instead of Carbon Dioxide. The nitrogen lends a silkiness to the mouthfeel to the beer and makes it feel even more drinkable.
Serving and Pairing Dry Stout
If you haven’t participated in a toast with a 20 oz. imperial pint of Dry Stout, we highly recommend it. The clink of a pint of Dry Stout between friends or strangers kind of speaks to the social soul of beer. It pairs quite well with traditional Irish pub fare like Shepherd’s pie and beef stew, but wouldn’t go amiss with chili, either. Try to serve it as you would in the pub – cool, but not cold.
Dry Stout’s blend of drinkability and roasty chocolate goodness conquered Ireland first, but now reaches just about everywhere. The classic examples are classic for a reason, but try a local version and see how it feels in your pint glass. Curious if Driz has made it to your city? Click these links to search for Drizly in your city, and look for Drizly’s partner liquor stores near you. Slainte!