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Beer Appreciation Thread

Moe_Syzlak

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I've only had it once, but I remember being disappointed. What puts it above the oatmeal stout for you?
The Taddy Porter is a good roasty malty representation of the style. The Oatmeal Stout, while fine, isn’t outstanding for the style to me. Put simply, there’s lots of stouts I’d put above the SSOS, and, to be fair, lots of porters I’d rather drink than the Tadcaster. But for me the porter is a better representation of the style and definitely a better beer for its era. But that’s just me.
 

The Scribbling Man

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The Taddy Porter is a good roasty malty representation of the style. The Oatmeal Stout, while fine, isn’t outstanding for the style to me. Put simply, there’s lots of stouts I’d put above the SSOS, and, to be fair, lots of porters I’d rather drink than the Tadcaster. But for me the porter is a better representation of the style and definitely a better beer for its era. But that’s just me.
The line between porter and stout once existed, but seems to have become almost synonymous for a lot of people. I have an idea in my head of what I believe each is meant to be, but I think a lot of breweries use the terms interchangeably, to the point that when I pick up a porter, I can't be sure of what I'm about to drink.

What would you say are some of the best stouts you've had, out of curiosity?
 

Moe_Syzlak

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The line between porter and stout once existed, but seems to have become almost synonymous for a lot of people. I have an idea in my head of what I believe each is meant to be, but I think a lot of breweries use the terms interchangeably, to the point that when I pick up a porter, I can't be sure of what I'm about to drink.

What would you say are some of the best stouts you've had, out of curiosity?
My favorite stouts are generally imperial (or high alcohol) stouts. But among standard stouts, my favorite is probably Obsidian from Deschutes. But I definitely know the difference between a porter and a stout. Porters have a thinner mouthfeel and tend to be a bit roastier. I admit it is a subtle difference but there is definitely a difference.
 

The Scribbling Man

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My favorite stouts are generally imperial (or high alcohol) stouts. But among standard stouts, my favorite is probably Obsidian from Deschutes. But I definitely know the difference between a porter and a stout. Porters have a thinner mouthfeel and tend to be a bit roastier. I admit it is a subtle difference but there is definitely a difference.

Oh there definitely can be and should be a difference. but what I'm saying is some breweries ignore the difference, or have their own subjective way of conveying the difference. Traditionally, I believe the main difference would be that stouts would have roasted barley (coffee association) and porters would have malted barley (sweeter). The fact that you consider Porters to be "roastier" already sounds contrary to that to me.

I'll have to keep an eye out for Obsidian. I too am one for Imperial Stouts, but a well-crafted "standard" stout with no bells and whistles at a reasonable ABV is still something special.
 

Moe_Syzlak

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Oh there definitely can be and should be a difference. but what I'm saying is some breweries ignore the difference, or have their own subjective way of conveying the difference. Traditionally, I believe the main difference would be that stouts would have roasted barley (coffee association) and porters would have malted barley (sweeter). The fact that you consider Porters to be "roastier" already sounds contrary to that to me.

I'll have to keep an eye out for Obsidian. I too am one for Imperial Stouts, but a well-crafted "standard" stout with no bells and whistles at a reasonable ABV is still something special.
I think we’re just differing in terminology. When I speak of roastier I mean more sugars/caramelization and therefor sweeter, which is obviously different from (what I assume you mean) with dark roasted coffee.
 

mnkykungfu

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I've only just clocked that you were referring to a photo I posted a while ago. That wasn't a steak and ale pie - I can't remember what it was exactly, but if I recall correctly it was an excellent meal from someone who specialises in slow-cooking meat. They always source high-quality ingredients (they're also American, so it can't just be a Brit thing to like meat in pies :p ). Also, a good steak pie will often have fat chunks of "proper" steak in it.

Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout is one of my favourite beers, though I had my first drink of one for the first time in a few years just the other day (I'm more focused on trying new things). I also have a couple of other SS beers to try over Christmas. The organic chocolate stout and their festive beer.
Scribbling, I appreciate your valiant effort to get the conversation off of pies and back on beer. :D

Traditionally, I believe the main difference would be that stouts would have roasted barley (coffee association) and porters would have malted barley (sweeter).
<ahem> Technically :geek: "stout" is shorthand for "extra stout porter", meaning a porter that has a higher gravity and higher abv. Any given stout or porter could be sweeter or roastier or what have you. It's the same beer, just more-so.

Here's my "Year in Beer" if anyone's curious. I was surprised to find the highest beer I rated this year was an Imperial Red Ale from Brew Hub, a pretty unique style to me. It was delish.
 

The Scribbling Man

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<ahem> Technically :geek: "stout" is shorthand for "extra stout porter", meaning a porter that has a higher gravity and higher abv. Any given stout or porter could be sweeter or roastier or what have you. It's the same beer, just more-so.

Every new and differing opinion on the difference between a stout and a porter only strengthens my original point :p
 

Moe_Syzlak

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The penultimate beer in my beer advent calendar is appropriately named. 😂

CB8-E898-E-056-A-49-B1-B97-D-C7-B1606-E80-F3.jpg
 

Moe_Syzlak

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^^ always wanted to do a beer advent calendar. Money and health have always given me a firm no when it's popped into my brain.
I purchase my own beers and have them shipped to me in a 24 pack box. So I know the beers in there but don’t know the order I’ll get them. By choosing my own I definitely spend more than the preloaded ones. But, as for health, unless you shouldn’t be drinking at all, one beer per night doesn’t seem like it would be a problem, even with the occasional high abv ales.
 

mnkykungfu

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The penultimate beer in my beer advent calendar is appropriately named. 😂
That "Imperial Double Chocolate Stout" looks amazing!

Every new and differing opinion on the difference between a stout and a porter only strengthens my original point :p
I resent the implication that everything I say isn't undeniable fact. ;) But actually, that's not from me, it's from definitions on sites like Beer Advocate or Rate Beer or brewers:
Beer Bible
What is a Stout Beer?
Personally, if you want to get into what we're actually drinking and have a working definition rather than a technical one, I like where some brewers here dive into what the typical character of stouts vs porters is like.
 

The Scribbling Man

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I resent the implication that everything I say isn't undeniable fact. ;) But actually, that's not from me, it's from definitions on sites like Beer Advocate or Rate Beer or brewers:
Beer Bible
What is a Stout Beer?
Personally, if you want to get into what we're actually drinking and have a working definition rather than a technical one, I like where some brewers here dive into what the typical character of stouts vs porters is like.

Actually those links help to back up what I'm saying. From Beer Bible:

Stout as we know it today is a dark beer made using roasted malt or roasted barley, hops, water and yeast.

^^ pretty much how I said I defined stout. But this is also directly contradicted by Ratebeer's definition in their styles guide:

Stouts get their flavor from unroasted barley, as opposed to the roasted barley used in porters.

Beer bible go on to say how you defined it:

Stouts were traditionally the generic term for the strongest or thickest beers (not exclusively dark ones either) typically 7% or 8%.

But then they also go on to say this:

These days there’s not much difference between a stout and a porter.

And from your second link (referring to Guinness):

Their export brand was West India Porter, sold now as Guinness Foreign Extra Stout... early in the nineteenth century, the same beer was called Extra Superior Porter.

^^ Do you see what I'm saying? There's also a forum discussion here on ratebeer, in which several people offer up differing suggestions on the difference between a porter and stout. From thickness, to colour, to roasted vs malted... and the fact that some brewers will brew one or the other and label it the same. It doesn't matter whether anyone on the thread is right, the point is no one really knows anymore. One authority says one thing, another will contradict. The style has evolved, but not into anything concrete.

You have people who still see them as separate beers with their own stylistic characteristics, and those that pretty much use the term interchangeably. So going back to my original point, it's pretty much become a subjective thing, and when you pick up a porter or stout, there is no guarantee that it's going to adhere to what you think of when you think of a porter or stout. The separation between the two terms is barely a thing anymore.
 
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mnkykungfu

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^I'll agree with you that "The separation between the two terms is barely a thing anymore." if you're deriving your meaning from how the beers are marketed. Yeah, each brewer definitely does their own thing. But I don't see any style guides directly contradicting each other? They all say pretty much the same thing in terms of the general definition of stout and porter. Here is RateBeer's:

"The Stout is a full-bodied black beer with a pronounced roasted flavor, often similar to coffee and dark chocolate with some malty complexity. The balance can range from moderately bittersweet to bitter, with the more balanced versions having up to moderate malty richness and the bitter versions being quite dry. It has more body, richness, and often malt complexity than an Irish Dry Stout. Black in color, not brown like a porter. The American Stout is a fairly strong, highly roasted, bitter, hoppy black beer. It has the body and dark flavors typical of stouts with a more aggressive American hop character and bitterness. It generally has bolder roasted malt flavors and hopping than other traditional stouts. Like a hoppy, bitter, strongly roasted Stout. Much more roast and body than a Black IPA. Other variations of the style, like the Belgian Stout are included in this style."

and for Porter:
"The English Porter is moderate-strength, light brown to dark brown colored beer with a restrained roasty malt character and bitterness. It may have a range of roasted flavors, generally without burnt qualities, and often has a chocolate-caramel-malty profile. More substance and roast than a British Brown Ale and higher in gravity than a Mild Ale. It differs from an American Porter in that it usually has softer, sweeter and more caramelly flavors as well as usually less alcohol. American Porter will also typically have more of a bitter hop character. Some stronger, hoppier and/or roastier version of porter are called Robust Porter."

So I'm not sure where you see that it's defined by "unroasted barley"? Both descriptions talk about being roasted multiple times, with a reference that stouts typically have more body, bolder flavor, and higher abv.

Maybe if you get into really specific styles like Baltic vs Irish or something? Anyway, we're not here to run a beer course, right? Just to appreciate. I appreciate both, though I do find, like @Moe_Syzlak that stouts generally have a thicker mouthfeel and stronger roasted notes that I prefer more. If I can get an Imperial stout that pours like molasses, so much the better. :)
 

The Scribbling Man

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^^ I think it was Porters Moe said he found to be roastier. I also associate roasted notes and thicker mouthfeel with stouts. Moe and I think of the term quite differently from each other. I believe he said he associates "roasty" with caremelisation, whereas I think of it in association with coffee.

Initially, I didn't see the page you're now referencing. I was looking at this.

Anyway, I'm more than happy to get back to appreciating :)
 

The Scribbling Man

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For Christmas eve I shared this with my family:

61XvQ4WVHuL._AC_SX466_.jpg


Made with cherries, spiced, and intended to be served at 70 Celcius. I had some at room temperature and then the rest after heating it up gently on the stove.

At room temp it's a nice beer. It's fizzy when it hits the tongue, and then that vanishes. There's a lovely combo of flavours that come through, though none of them linger for very long. I tried some mid-way through warming and it became more carbonated. At peak temp the carbonation was gone and it more or less tasted like what you'd expect a mulled wine to taste like, but with more sour cherries coming through.

As a "beer". I preferred it at room temp, and I think it loses some character after heating. But it's still a pleasant drink when hot. I could change my mind on a different day and I think the best temperature to have it is a matter of personal taste.
 

mnkykungfu

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Not very Christmasy, but I live in the tropics, so...
2up_Can-LifeInTheClouds_540x.png

My can actually had clouds painted on it, but seems we can't upload our own pics anymore. Anyway, I'm not a big hophead, but this was shockingly well-balanced for a 6.1% DIPA. Very smooth and drinkable, I'd highly recommend checking it out.
 

Moe_Syzlak

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F8-B07699-C8-F0-4-E5-D-A1-D0-6985-D914-E962.jpg

My neighbor brought this back from France for me. It’s unremarkable as a beer but the label was too good not to post.
 
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