Well, I know you aren’t drinking green lager, and it’s true that the worst Guinness pouring all year happens on Saint Paddy’s day, so what’s a craft beer enthusiast to do? Easy—pick another stout. Naturally, I have suggestions.
(To any would-be commenters taking umbrage at our spelling of Paddy: take note.)
For the Coffee-Loving Foodie: Coronado Blue Bridge Coffee Stout
“Why drink coffee when you can have a nice coffee stout? Dark brown with a red tinge, topped with a small creamy head. Aroma is nice and rich, of coffee, leather, chocolate, and a touch of hops. The trace of hops is in the taste, too, and provides a nice counterpoint to coffee bitterness, sweet vanilla, and nutty malt. Surprisingly light mouthfeel.
Coronado, California – 5.4% – 27 IBU”
For the Guy Who Drinks Local: Mill Street Cobblestone Stout
“Imagine a stout from North America that can travel to Dublin and take a bronze medal at a beer festival; that’s Cobblestone Stout. A pleasant black with a creamy head (also thanks to a nitrogen widget), roast barley and toasted nuts cuts the sweetness of wheat. It’s dark on the palate but light on the mouthfeel, like any good stout. You can see why the Irish loved this beer, and they know a thing or two about stout.
Toronto, Canada — 4.2 %”
The Guy With Barley in His Teeth and Malt in His Veins: de Molen Rasputin
“Imperial Stout. Black, scant tan head. Nose of barley and stewed apples. Medium but velvety mouthfeel. Thick sweet taste of caramelized sugar, toasty malt, prunes, slight liquorice, and slight chocolate. Sweet and slightly tart finish.
Bodegraven, The Netherlands — 10.4% ABV”
For the Teeny-Tiny Risk-Taker: Guinness Foreign Extra Stout
“What makes a stout foreign? Well, they hop the hell out of it so it can survive a long ocean voyage. Not these days, though; those hops are there for flavour. Black with a thin tan head. Strong aroma of brown sugar, caramel, dark chocolate, and roasted malt. Flavour is brown bread, molasses, dark coffee, a bit of nuttiness, some bitterness. Bigger body than any other Guinness. Slightly acidic finish. Be warned, though—Guinness is produced all over the world, and this particular Guinness seems to have the most variation.
St. John’s, Canada — 5% ABV”
The Beer Nerd’s Beer Nerd: Gædingur Stout
“Stout. Black, opaque, medium lasting head. Malty aroma. Bitter taste, some coffee, chocolate, liquorice. Nice and rich. Thin mouthfeel. Dry finish.
Skagafirði, Iceland —5.6% ABV”
The Jealous but Practical Scot: Innis & Gunn Irish Whiskey Finish
“Start with a delicious Scottish stout, then mature it with Irish whiskey soaked oak for sixty days, and you get Innis & Gunn’s Irish Whiskey Finish. Deep brown with a fine head, Irish Whiskey Finish has a gentle but complex aroma of tobacco, caramel, dried fruit, and coffee. It’s nice and malty on the palate, certainly toasted but with some sweetness, with a bit of toffee and chocolate. Light but creamy mouthfeel.
Edinburgh, Scotland — 7.4% ABV”
For the Guy Who Hates Stout: Rogue Brewery Daddy’s Little Helper Black IPA
“Pours black with a tan, creamy head. Wallop of hops in the aroma, and after you’ve recovered, you’ll note toffee, malts, and dark chocolate. Bitterness dominates the taste, with some coffee, some earthiness, roasted malts, and some caramel. The body is medium, though, so there’s some nice juxtaposition.
Newport, Oregon — 7.5% ABV — 70 IBU”