This week we taste Mike’s latest beer, which is a stout. We cover the taste and discuss what Mike perceives to be a missing sub-style in the stout category.
When in comes to Stout I tend to brew to many I think. For some reason, I keep drawing myself back into the complexities of roast, chocolate and caramel malts. I dream of a smooth creamy stout that focuses on a dark chocolate and caramel flavor quality balanced with just enough roast character to not be overwhelming but to be enough to remind you it is a stout.
The majority of my stouts have been oatmeal based stouts. I find the style to promise what I am looking for but it always seems to fall a little short in that creamy category. I’ve listened to the pundits, read many forums and read plenty of recipes. For me and my palate…oatmeal just never gets me there reliably. So this time I mixed it up and I went for a flaked barley substitute vs. the oatmeal. I also totally relied on darker English chocolate malt to drive most of the color and flavor profile in this beer.
I think the results are close to what I am looking for in regards to the chocolate and malt profile. The real player is the flaked barley. I really think the flaked barley nails it for me. I’ll need to refine the roast and the caramel qualities, but I think I much prefer that smoothness from the barley over the oatmeal.
The second half of this discussion is based on the Stout sub-styles themselves. Where do you put an English driven stout that doesn’t have oatmeal in it? Irish stout is general dry and has no caramel malt character. American Stout would allow for the malt profile, but the hopping is way off and its generally VERY roasty. At the time of this writing (vs. the video) I guess the best place for this dream stout of mine is the Irish Export Stout Category 15C. I didn’t even know this category existed as its a new addition in the 2015 Guidelines. Its something I plan to explore a little more indepth with this recipe and more research online.