Dish of the Day: There’s no need to forsake stouts after St. Patrick’s Day
If your St Patrick’s Day celebrations went the way mine did last year, then you probably can’t look at another pint of the black stuff in the eye right now. But just because the sight of a Guinness evokes fuzzy green-tinted flashbacks of a night spent spilling as many pints as you drank, there’s no need to forsake stouts completely.
In fact as stouts go Guinness is rather lacking in charm. Real stouts, are a dark and mysterious breed of beer. Rich, coffee-tasting and filled with deep and delicious flavours, they are drinks to savour. As the murky spring weather drags on, there has never been a better time to ingratiate yourself with these comforting treats of the beer world.
Fortunately, in spite of Guinness’ domineering marketing which sees around 10 million extra pints drank worldwide during each St Patrick’s Day guzzle fest, ‘real’ stouts have been making a come back thanks to a renewed interest in specialist beers. The March 17 celebration has seen several new stouts come to market, including a Dry Irish Stout from the stateside Brooklyn Brewery and a Cornish Stout from St Austell’s, which revives a 100-year-old recipe in a nod to historic Cornish-Celtic heritage. Both of these will be well worth keeping an eye out for.
So if you’ve had it with Guinness, here are five stouts that you’ll want to drink all year round. Who cares if they don’t come with a clover in the foam?
Hook Norton Double Stout, 4.8%
This is stout as it should be. There are no funny flavours to throw you off kilter, just the delicious deep chocolate and coffee taste, warm comforting toasty tones and a bitter finish to nudge you on to your next sip. There is nothing to really change about this simple yet perfect beer, it’s just fantastic.
Magic Rock Dark Arts, 6%
A smooth stout with surprising hints of liquorice, cinnamon, dark berries and spice, mixed up with the rich chocolate flavour you would expect. Magic Rock who’ve barely been brewing for two years have done fantastically well to produce such a well-balanced yet unique beer. It’s no wonder they describe it as ‘surreal’.
Ramsgate Brewery Gadd’s Black Pearl Oyster Stout, 6.2%
An incredibly dark, almost black, velvety stout that will stay with you long after you’ve finished. Stouts have always had a historic connection with seafood, harking back to a time when oysters were often served in pubs, so it is a nice touch that this Kentish brewery designed their stout in honour of their local fish and chip shop..
Meantime London Stout, 4.5%
These Greenwich based brewers have been dominating the London craft beer scene with their vibrant, full-bodied beers. This medium bodied stout is no different. Toasty and bitter, savoury and rich, it’s easy drinking but complex.
Dark Star Imperial Stout, 10.5%
Strong, dark and with a big flavour, this stout is rich with brown sugar, toffee and espresso, with smoky woody tones. It is boozy too – you wouldn’t be blamed for wanting to drink it from a wine glass – but if there was ever a stout to warm you up, then it’s this one.
Follow Will at @will_coldwellTagged in: Guinness, real stout, St Patrick's Day, stout
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