The science of alcohol
The science of alcohol

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3.4 Stout

Stout is a type of beer which is commonly very dark in appearance (almost black).

  • Can you name one very famous type of stout?

  • As you saw in Section 1, Guinness is an example of a stout beer. Although many people commonly refer to stout as ‘Guinness’, the name is actually a brand name rather than a type of beer in its own right.

The colour of stout originates from the type of malt used in the fermentation – typically a dark malt is used, in particular black roasted barley which imparts a chocolate/coffee taste to the beer and gives rise to the characteristic dark colour.

Guinness is probably the best known example of a stout. Commercial advertising for the brand typically used the slogan ‘Guinness is good for you’ and, in the 1920s, post-operative patients, blood donors and pregnant women were advised to drink Guinness. Market research in the 1920s suggested that many people felt their health improved after drinking Guinness, but nowadays this is attributed to the high iron content of the stout. Pregnant women are now advised not to drink Guinness because of its alcohol content and the dangers of alcohol to the foetus.

Can you tell how a beer will taste from its appearance? Taste is dependent on both the ingredients of the beer and the process used to make it, and you will learn more about the biology which underlies both taste and smell in Week 3 of this course.

For now, James Clarke from Hook Norton will show you how to taste and appreciate the flavours of some of Hook Norton’s own beer.

Download this video clip.Video player: soa_1_w2_s3_4_vid_clarke_beertasting.mp4
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