AskDefine | Define stout

Dictionary Definition

stout adj
1 dependable; "the stalwart citizens at Lexington"; "a stalwart supporter of the UN"; "stout hearts" [syn: stalwart]
2 euphemisms for `fat'; "men are portly and women are stout" [syn: portly]
3 having rugged physical strength; inured to fatigue or hardships; "hardy explorers of northern Canada"; "proud of her tall stalwart son"; "stout seamen"; "sturdy young athletes" [syn: hardy, stalwart, sturdy]


1 a strong very dark heavy-bodied ale made from pale malt and roasted unmalted barley and (often) caramel malt with hops
2 a garment size for a large or heavy person

User Contributed Dictionary



from O.Fr. estout "brave, fierce, proud," earlier estolt "strong," from W.Gmc. *stult- "proud, stately" (cf. M.L.G. stolt "stately, proud," Ger. stolz "proud, haughty, arrogant, stately"), from PIE base *stel- "to put, stand." Meaning "strong in body, powerfully built" is attested from c.1386, but has been displaced by the (often euphemistic) meaning "thick-bodied, fat and large," which is first recorded 1804. Original sense preserved in stout-hearted (1552). The noun "strong, dark-brown beer" is first recorded 1677, from the adjective.


  • /staʊt/, /staUt/


  1. A dark and strong malt liquor made with toasted grain.
  2. A strong porter.


  1. Strong; lusty; vigorous; robust; sinewy; muscular; hence, firm; resolute; dauntless.
  2. Proud; haughty; arrogant; hard.
  3. Firm; tough; materially strong; enduring; as, a stout vessel, stick, string, or cloth.
  4. Large; bulky; corpulent.

Extensive Definition

Stout and porter are dark beers made using roasted malts or roast barley. There are a number of variations including Baltic porter, dry stout, and Imperial stout. The name Porter was first used in 1721 to describe a dark beer popular with street and river porters of London that had been made with roasted malts. This same beer later also became known as stout, though the word stout had been used as early as 1677. The history and development of stout and porter are intertwined.

Types of stout

Stouts have a number of variations.

Dry or Irish stout

Irish stout or dry stout (in Irish, leann dubh, "black ale") is very dark or rich in colour and it often has a "toast" or coffee-like taste. The most famous example, Guinness, is from Ireland. Its alcoholic content and "dry" flavour are both characterized as light, although it varies from country to country.

Imperial stout

Imperial stout, also known as "Russian Imperial Stout" or "Imperial Russian Stout," is a strong dark beer or stout that was originally brewed by Thrale's brewery in London, England for export to the court of the Tsar of Russia as "Thrale's Entire Porter". It has a high alcohol content (nine or ten percent is common) intended to preserve it during long trips and to provide a more bracing drink against cold climates. The colour is very dark, almost always opaque black. Imperial stout exhibits enormously powerful malt flavours, hints of dark fruits, and is often quite rich, resembling a chocolate dessert.


While there is a great deal of disagreement in the brewing world on this subject, at one time, porter was considered an alternative name for stout. It was originally used in the 18th century. Historically, there are no differences between stout and porter, though there has been a tendency for breweries to differentiate the strengths of their dark beers with the words "extra", "double" and "stout". So the term "stout" was used to indicate a stronger porter than other porters issued by an individual brewery — though one brewery's porter could easily be stronger than a neighbouring brewery's stout. Though not consistent, this is the usage that was most commonly employed.

Baltic porter

A version of porter which is brewed in Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia and Sweden. It has a higher alcohol content than ordinary porters. Export ales (see Russian Imperial Stout) introduced from Britain in the 18th century were influenced by regional styles when they began to be produced locally. What was once a top-fermenting ("ale-style") beer, it is now mostly brewed as a lager-style bottom-fermenting beer in Slavic and Baltic breweries.

Milk stout

Milk stout (also called sweet stout or cream stout) is a stout containing lactose, a sugar derived from milk. Because lactose is unfermentable by Saccharomyces cerevisiae, it adds sweetness, body, and calories to the finished beer. Contemporary labelling standards in place since 1945 prevent the use of the term in the UK. The classic example of sweet stout is Mackeson's XXX.
Milk stout was supposed to be very nutritious, and was given to nursing mothers. In 1875, John Henry Johnson first sought a patent for a milk beer, based on whey, lactose, and hops.
Milk stout was not very widely distributed before Mackeson's Brewery acquired the patents to produce it in 1910. Since then its production has been licensed to other brewers.

Oatmeal stout

Oatmeal stout is a stout with a proportion of oats, normally a maximum of 5%, added during the brewing process. Even though a larger than 5% proportion of oats in beer can lead to a bitter or astringent taste, during the medieval period in Europe, oats were a common ingredient in ale, and proportions up to 25% were standard. However, despite some areas of Europe, such as Norway, still clinging to the use of oats in brewing until the early part of the 20th century, the practice had largely died out by the sixteenth century, so that Tudor sailors refused to drink oat beer offered to them in 1513, because of the bitter flavour.
There was a revival of interest in using oats during the end of the nineteenth century, when restorative, nourishing and invalid beers, such as the later Milk stout, were popular, because of the association of porridge with health. Macklay's of Alloa produced an Original Oatmalt Stout in 1895 which used 75% "Oatmalt", and a 63/- Oatmeal Stout in 1909 which used 30% "Flaked (Porridge) Oats".
But by the early 20th century these beers had all but disappeared. When Michael Jackson mentioned the defunct Eldrige Pope Oat Malt Stout in his 1977 book The World Guide to Beer, Oatmeal stout was no longer being made anywhere, but Charles Finkel, founder of Merchant du Vin, was curious enough to commission Samuel Smith to produce a version. Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout then became the template for other breweries' versions.
One of the first to follow Samuel Smith was the Broughton brewery in the Scottish Borders with their Scottish Oatmeal Stout, a 4.2% beer they have made since 1979 with roasted barley and pinhead oats. Young's Brewery of London were not long after with their 5.2% Oatmeal Stout, a beer that is mainly made for the North American market. One of the most notable of the USA versions is the Anderson Valley Brewing Company's Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout, a bottle conditioned stout of 5.7% strength that has won several awards. In Canada, McAuslan Brewing's St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout has also attracted attention and a significant award.
Oatmeal stouts are now made in several countries, including Australia with Redoak of Sydney producing a 5% Oatmeal Stout and WinterCoat of Denmark brewing a 5.9% Oatmeal Stout using roasted barley and chocolate malt.
Oatmeal stouts usually do not specifically taste of oats. The smoothness of oatmeal stouts comes from the high content of proteins, lipids (includes fats and waxes), and gums imparted by the use of oats. The gums increase the viscosity and body adding to the sense of smoothness.

Chocolate stout

Chocolate stout is a name brewers sometimes give to certain stouts. The name "Chocolate stout" is usually given because the beers have a noticeable dark chocolate flavour through the use of darker, more aromatic malt; particularly chocolate malt — a malt that has been roasted or kilned until it acquires a chocolate colour. Sometimes, as with Young's Double Chocolate Stout, and Rogue Ales' Chocolate Stout the beers are also brewed with a small amount of real chocolate.
The Brooklyn Brewery of New York produce a very strong (10.6% abv) Black Chocolate Stout which uses six types of black, chocolate and roasted malts. Denmark's Ølfabrikken brewery have produced a strong stout called ØL, which is made with ingredients from four continents: cocoa from South America; coffee from Asia; hops from North America; and malts from Europe.

Coffee stout

Dark roasted malts, such as black patent malt (the darkest roast), can lend a bitter coffee flavour to dark beer. Some brewers like to emphasize the coffee flavour and add ground coffee. Brewers will then give the beer a name such as "Guatemalan Coffee Stout", "Espresso Stout", "Breakfast Coffee Stout", etc.
The ABV of these coffee flavoured stouts will vary from under 4% to over 8%. Most examples will be dry and bitter, though others add milk sugar to create a sweet stout which may then be given a name such as "Coffee & Cream Stout" or just "Coffee Cream Stout". Other flavours such as mint or chocolate may also be added in various combinations.

Oyster stout

Oysters have had a long association with stout. When stouts were emerging in the eighteenth century, oysters were a commonplace food often served in pubs and taverns. Benjamin Disraeli is said to have enjoyed a meal of oysters and Guinness in the 19th century, though by the 20th century oyster beds were in decline, and stout had given way to pale ale.
The first known use of oysters as part of the brewing process of stout was in 1929 in New Zealand, followed by the Hammerton Brewery in London, UK, in 1938. Several British brewers used oysters in stouts during the "nourishing stout" and "milk stout" period just after the second world war.
Modern oyster stouts may be made with a handful of oysters in the barrel or, as with Marston's Oyster Stout, just use the name with the implication that the beer would be suitable for drinking with oysters.


stout in Belarusian (Tarashkevitsa): Стаўт
stout in German: Stout
stout in Spanish: Imperial stout
stout in Spanish: Stout
stout in French: Stout
stout in Italian: Stout
stout in Lithuanian: Baltijos porteris
stout in Lithuanian: Stout
stout in Dutch: Imperial Stout
stout in Dutch: Stout (bier)
stout in Japanese: スタウト
stout in Norwegian Nynorsk: Stout
stout in Polish: Stout
stout in Russian: Стаут
stout in Swedish: Stout
stout in Thai: สเตาท์
stout in Turkish: Stout

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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