What's the best stout?
September 27, 2007 11:49 AM   Subscribe

I'd like to try some new beers. What's your favorite stout?

I'm not a big fan of most other beers, but I like stout. In particular, I like Murphy's over Guinness, and another I really like is Sheaf Stout.

Any recommendations? Extra points for things you can find in the average well-stocked liquor store, extra-extra points if it's less than $3 a bottle.
posted by vorfeed to Food & Drink (49 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
 
Best answer: Rogue's Shakespeare Stout.
posted by ludwig_van at 11:53 AM on September 27, 2007 [3 favorites]


Best answer: Samuel Smiths Oatmeal Stout. Might require some searching.
posted by Raybun at 11:53 AM on September 27, 2007 [2 favorites]


Bell's has some fabulous ones--their Double Cream Stout is one of my all-time favorites (though only available Nov.-Mar.), and their Kalamazoo Stout is awfully good too. I'm also partial to Young's Double Chocolate Stout, which is getting easier to find these days.
posted by carrienation at 11:55 AM on September 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


Young's Double Chocolate Stout and Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout are double plus good.

If you like stouts, you might try branching into porters as well, which are similar. Both Anchor and Boulevard make daaamn tasty porters.
posted by middleclasstool at 11:55 AM on September 27, 2007


I am a HUGE fan of the Cooper's stout. Also, although not a stout, it's a WONDERFUL dark ale, I highly recommend the Hobgolin Ale from the Wychwood brewery. It looks like Wychwood has a stout, but alas, I have never had the chance to try it.
posted by omphale27 at 12:01 PM on September 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'll nth Sam Smith Oatmeal Stout. And if you do venture into porters, I like Anchor Porter and Highland Oatmeal Porter.
posted by PFL at 12:01 PM on September 27, 2007


Doubling Sam Smiths Oatmeal Stout. A lovely beverage.
posted by melorama at 12:01 PM on September 27, 2007


Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout is excellent. Plus, it's economical, as once you've drunk a bottle of it you won't need to eat anything for a day or two.
posted by cerebus19 at 12:03 PM on September 27, 2007


I like North Coast's Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout, Victory's Storm King stout, all of Rogue's stouts (chocolate, imperial, and Shakespeare), and Deschutes' Obsidian Stout.

None of these are as sweet as Sheaf (except the Rogue chocolate), and tend to be maltier than Murphy's, but they're all good.

If you want to exceed your $3/bottle limit by $9 or so, Dogfish Head's Worldwide stout is well worth trying. Be careful, though, because it's almost 20% abv.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 12:04 PM on September 27, 2007


I love the Sam Smith oatmeal stout. It is ever so delicious. Ipswich Ale Oatmeal Stout is also tasty -- I see it at every liquor store around here, even the teeny ones, tho. perhaps it is a New England thing?
posted by Marit at 12:04 PM on September 27, 2007


I should add that I've had a Young's Double Chocolate Ice Cream Float, and may I say YUM.
posted by middleclasstool at 12:06 PM on September 27, 2007


You know, Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout is pretty good.
posted by fidelity at 12:15 PM on September 27, 2007


Sam Smith's is good, but it's kind of sweet and thick, so I usually only have it as a dessert-beer. Alongside some vanilla ice cream, it is a lovely sweet treat.

Stone brewing company (makers of Arrogant Bastard Ale) makes a really, really good Smoked Porter. I think that might be my favorite dark beer. Its crisp and smoky in a really well-balanced way that goes marvellously with Autumn weather.
posted by Greg Nog at 12:19 PM on September 27, 2007


Not that I need to bother, but Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout is quite tasty ;-)

But I actually prefer Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout. I'm a sucker for good Imperial Stouts, and their's is among my favorites. Give it a try - Sammy Smith's sells a sampler pack that has 4 unique pints, 4 pint glasses, and coasters. It's a good deal, and you can usually find it around the holidays.

For a real kick, try some Java Stouts, like Southern Tier Imperial Jah-va stout. It's 12% ABV and only comes in 22oz bottles (AFAIK), save the rare draft version. It's thick like motor oil, delicious on so many levels, and will knock you on your tail if you're not careful :)
posted by sprocket87 at 12:20 PM on September 27, 2007


If you do branch into porters, my ol' standby is Black Butte Porter (go Deschutes!). If you are anywhere near a McMenamin's you should try their Terminator and Black Rabbit stouts (on nitro, if possible). If you're working your way into stouts, try the Terminator/Ruby--Rubinator. DELICIOUS (I think it's better than either of the components on its own).
posted by eralclare at 12:25 PM on September 27, 2007


Victory's Storm King owns me. Give it a try.
posted by munchingzombie at 12:25 PM on September 27, 2007


Not a stout, I think it's actually closer to a schwarzbier, but very tasty anyhow..Death and Taxes.

(Also that site generally has really *thorough* beer reviews. Might find other useful things there!)
posted by nat at 12:27 PM on September 27, 2007


If you can find it, I like Moat Mountain Square Tail Stout, it's creamy with hints of chocolate and coffee. Not unlike the aforementioned Rouge Shakespeare Stout. I don't know how widely available it is outside of New Hampshire, though.
posted by dseaton at 12:33 PM on September 27, 2007


Highland Mocha Stout is my A-Number 1 favorite for cold winter evenings.
(their Oatmeal porter is very nice too, if you want something a touch lighter)

Duck Rabbit Milk Stout is also very good.

Yes, I happen to enjoy going to NC to drink craft beer, why do you ask?
posted by 1f2frfbf at 12:34 PM on September 27, 2007


Brooklyn Black might be my favorite. I'm also a fan of Old Rasputin, and the Rogue and Victory stouts previously mentioned are quite good.
posted by dreadpiratesully at 12:55 PM on September 27, 2007


Stir Stick Stout by Half Pints Brewing Co.

Unfortunately, as far as I know, it is only sold in Manitoba.
posted by utsutsu at 12:56 PM on September 27, 2007


Oh, and also, even though it's not a stout, you should definitely try the Stone Smoked Porter that Greg Nog mentioned. It's very, very good.
posted by dreadpiratesully at 1:01 PM on September 27, 2007


Best answer: There are so many good stouts, it's impossible to pick one favorite. If you like Murphy's, you might also like Beamish Irish Stout. Others have mentioned Sam Smith's Oatmeal, but they also make an Imperial Stout that's quite good, if you want something stronger. I'll also add to the choir of people suggesting anything by Rogue or Stone Brewing. Some others you might want to try:
Avery Out of Bounds Stout - a decent dry stout
Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout - like a glass of chocolate cake
Lefthand Milk Stout - odd taste, like malted milk
Old Dominion Oak Barrel Stout - nice vanilla flavor, incredibly smooth
Thirsty Dog Siberian Nights - a Russian Imperial stout, strong, dark, and rich

As other said, you might also want to explore the world of porters. But that's a whole different list.
posted by ecrivain at 1:05 PM on September 27, 2007


If you can get hold of it, Dark Star Espresso Stout from Sussex.
posted by i_cola at 1:09 PM on September 27, 2007


More votes for Young's Double Chocolate and Sam Smith's Oatmeal.
posted by tommasz at 1:33 PM on September 27, 2007


St. Peter's Cream Stout is another of my favorites.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 1:44 PM on September 27, 2007


I like Old Rasputin and Heavy Seas’ Peg Leg. Terrapin’s Wake and Bake is also good, as is the Brooklyn Black. My favourite, though, is my own personal recipe, which I call “Joshua Norton Double Imperial Stout.”
posted by breaks the guidelines? at 1:54 PM on September 27, 2007


No idea if it is distributed anywhere near where you are, but st.ambroise oatmeal stout is among the best stouts I've had. Also I'll nth St.Peter's Cream Stout.
posted by glip at 1:58 PM on September 27, 2007


If you're in the mood for rich, chocolatey goodness, I recommend the Tatonka Stout at BJ's. That's assuming they have them where you live, of course.
posted by crinklebat at 2:30 PM on September 27, 2007


Moylan's Imperial Stout is wonderful. It's a heady 10% ABV brew, but it is smooth and richly complex.

Unlike other imperial stouts (Rasputin's comes to mind), it doesn't taste like someone's sunk a shot of Wild Turkey in your pint.
posted by porn in the woods at 2:30 PM on September 27, 2007


Old Rasputin has my vote. Words that come to mind: woodsmoke, espresso intensity, 90% Lindt chocolate bar. It's definitely way, way over the top and I love it.
posted by ourobouros at 2:55 PM on September 27, 2007


Seconding the St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout. It's like molasses, chocolate, coffee, wintry deliciousness.
posted by LobsterMitten at 3:15 PM on September 27, 2007


The Devout Stout from Santa Cruz mountain brewing. I believe whole foods carries them now, and some other bay area markets
posted by Large Marge at 4:45 PM on September 27, 2007


I'm not sure if you can get where you are, but Wolaver's Organic Stout hits all the right buttons for me, and I'm very picky about stouts. Unlike the imperial stouts, it's light enough to have more than one, yet it has the requisite sweetness to balance out the bitterness and acidity of the roasted malts that make stouts dark. (Can you tell I'm not a fan of dry Irish stouts, like some famous ones I won't mention?).

I also strongly recommend Bell's stouts. Any stout they make is excellent, and they're the main reason I'm upset that I had to leave the Upper Midwest. Think I'll go console myself with a Victory Storm King Stout.
posted by mollweide at 5:24 PM on September 27, 2007


Hofbrau Dunkel.

Not technically a stout.. just a very dark beer. But goes down very well :)
posted by TheOtherGuy at 6:06 PM on September 27, 2007


"Rogue's Shakespeare Stout." wow ludwig_van, you love stealing my beer glory huh? Anyway, it's a nicely complex but classic stout.
posted by Packy_1962 at 6:48 PM on September 27, 2007


Seconding Cooper's! Enthusiastically! It's what first made me realize I like stouts more than other types of beer.
posted by gueneverey at 7:05 PM on September 27, 2007


Mackeson Stout is really good. It's a British recipe, but according to wikipedia, it's actually brewed here in the States now.
posted by altcountryman at 7:25 PM on September 27, 2007


Many good recommendations here but I am not sure if all of them get distributed to NM. I am betting that at least some of the California stouts do like Sierra Nevada which is a fine example of the style. You might also keep an eye open for Anderson Valley's Oatmeal Stout. Or Mendocino County's Black hawk, the aforementioned Rasputin.

All said, Rogue's Shakespeare Stout is the best there is. This is not opinion, this is fact. :D
posted by Ber at 7:34 PM on September 27, 2007


Oh wow. The dark beer enthusiast subsection of metafilter. I have found my home. I never want to leave.
posted by jlowen at 7:34 PM on September 27, 2007


Coopers all the way for me; but then I would say that, I'm from Adelaide.
posted by Wolof at 8:15 PM on September 27, 2007


Nth-ing Rogue.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 8:59 PM on September 27, 2007


Bell's Double Cream Stout will convince you of flavors of bitter that you never even thought possible. It is truly a delightful, heavenly, transcendent substance.
posted by baphomet at 9:41 PM on September 27, 2007


Best answer: Also one that hasn't been mentioned but is easier to acquire than some that have, Sierra Nevada's stout is a nice nutty brew that is pleasant and accomodating.

Also, you mentioned preferring Murphy's to Guiness, which is a decision I entirely respect (although respectfully disagree with), but have you tried the Guiness Extra Stout? It's the stuff that doesn't come with a widget in the bottle. Quite a bit different than their other bottled/canned attempts to bottle the deliciousness of something that can only be truly enjoyed on tap, from someone who knows how to pour it.
posted by baphomet at 9:45 PM on September 27, 2007


Seconding McMenamin's.

Y'know, they make a milkshake with that stout? Un-freaking-believeably good.
posted by codswallop at 10:13 PM on September 27, 2007


Response by poster: Thanks for all the answers. Some of these I've already tried: I do indeed like Beamish (had forgotten the name of that one) and the Double Cream/Chocolate stouts, but I wasn't impressed with St. Peter's Cream Stout. Looks to me like I'll have to try Sam Smith's Oatmeal and Rogue's Shakespeare Stout next!

baphomet -- I formed my opinions on the relative merits of Guinness and Murphy's on a trip from Dublin to Cork, so it's not based on the bottled versions. :) That said, I do like Guinness a hell of a lot, just not quite as much as Murphy's and Beamish. The latter have a smoother aftertaste, somehow.
posted by vorfeed at 9:15 AM on September 28, 2007


Forget Coopers - the best Australian-brewed stout is Southwark Old Stout.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 11:47 PM on September 29, 2007


So this thread may be over and done with, but I feel I need to point out for any stout-lovers: Cape Ann just released their second-ever batch of Pumpkin Stout. I had their first batch last year at a beer convention, and loved it, but they only made about ten barrels' worth. Hopefully, they made more, this year.

You'll probably only be able to find it in the Northeast (it's brewed in Mass, and I get it at the Barcade here in New York), but it's definitely worth a try. It's very well-balanced, with the pumpkin giving just a hint of flavor to the smoky darkness of the stout. Aside from the high ABV (6.8, if I recall correctly), it's one of the few beers that I can continue drinking for hours at a time, with no changing brews for the sake of variety. I love it.
posted by Greg Nog at 1:48 PM on October 1, 2007


Response by poster: Follow-up: I tried both the Sam Smith's Oatmeal and the Shakespeare Stout. I like the latter a lot more than the former, but neither is what I was looking for. They both seem too smooth/mild to me -- I'm looking for a stout with more bite to it.

At any rate, I will try some of the other suggestions, and there's always good ol' Sheaf and Murphy's!
posted by vorfeed at 1:43 PM on October 25, 2007


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