10 Best Stout Beers that Are Easy-to-Find
The best time for the best stout beer is when it’s chilly outside and you need to curl up with something dark, smooth and filling. Most people think of Guinness when they think of stout beers, but there’s a whole world beyond Guinness of even more delicious and easy-to-find beers. Stout beers naturally pair well with shellfish, fruity desserts, and game meats.
Here, we’ve chosen ten of the best stout beers ranging from $7.99 to $18.99. We chose these beers based on their flavor profile, composition, % ABV, and price. They’re ranked based on their likelihood to be available in many craft beer stores and bars, making them easy to enjoy for the average beer drinker. Whether you are a veteran of stouts or looking to experiment, keep reading below for 10 of the best stout beers.
What is a stout beer?
A stout beer is a type of dark beer that is made primarily from roasted barley or malt, hops, yeast, and water. In terms of alcohol content, stouts’ ABV typically falls within the 7% or 8% range, with the exception of the famous Guinness stout containing 4.2% ABV. There are different kinds of stout beers that vary in color, taste, and alcohol content among others.
1. Classic Stout Beer
A classic stout is an English style beer that has a distinct roasted malt flavor with hints of dark chocolate and caramel, making its overall flavor relatively on the bitter side compared to the other types of stouts. Classic stouts’ color ranges from dark brown to black with an alcohol content that’s somewhere between 4.5-7.5%.
2. Dry Stout
Also referred to as Irish stout beer, it’s inspiration is from the English Porter style beer. Its color can be likened to that of classic stouts. However, its roasted malt flavor is far more prominent than the latter and features notes of chocolate and coffee. A dry stout’s ABV is between 4-6%.
3. Russian Imperial Stout Beer
The Russian Imperial Stout was originally produced by Thrale’s Brewery in London, England as an export to the Russian Imperial Court. This bold stout offers an interesting combination of flavors that include roasted coffee, chocolate, and caramel. One can also tell the distinct taste of hops, especially in its American version. Alcohol content is around 8% to over 13% ABV.
4. American Stout Beer
American stouts are inspired from the Irish and English stouts. Their ABV is usually around 4.0-7.0%. American breweries create unique flavors by either adding a generous amount of hops or complementing the typical roasted malt flavor with some chocolates and coffee. Here are some examples of American stouts.
Chocolate Stout Beer
As the name implies, this stout typically has a noticeable chocolate flavor that is made possible by using chocolate malt. Some breweries even add real chocolates during the brewing process.
Coffee Stout Beer
The fact that coffee and stout share similar flavors make them a perfect combination. Though, the brewing process can vary depending on how the brewery prefers to incorporate the coffee into the beer.
Oatmeal Stout Beer
An oatmeal stout has a distinct silky flavor that tends to become a bit oily depending on the amount of oatmeal used by the brewery. It also has some hints of coffee, chocolate, and milk along with a medium bitterness.
- Milk Stout Beer
Milk stout is also known as cream stout or sweet stout. This is primarily due to the lactose added into the beer. One can still taste the overpowering flavors of malt and hops but with hints of sweetness from the lactose. Overall, this stout is of the creamy type which can be likened to a sweet espresso.
Top 10 Stout Beers
10. Epic Exponential Series Big Bad Baptist Stout
First up is this $12.99 imperial stout from Big Bad Baptist. This number 10 best stout beer is from Utah. It has a strong coffee taste as well as a hint of bourbon, oak, and other complex flavors. It’s creamy, subtle, and strong at 11.8% ABV. This beer doesn’t have a strong or harsh taste, but it’ll warm you up quickly. This beer would be delicious on its own or with dessert.
9. AleSmith Speedway Stout
This imperial stout comes out of California. It’s full-bodied and robust with a dynamic flavor profile. Though it’s 12% ABV, you wouldn’t guess it from its drinkable flavor. Our number 9 best stout beer tastes of coffee, chocolate, and caramel. Enjoy this heavy beer on its own for the full experience. It’s not always available, otherwise, it would be ranked higher on our list! You can find a large bottle for $14.99 on TotalWine, however.
8. Samuel Smith’s Organic Chocolate Stout
Samuel Smith’s chocolate stout is 9% ABV. It’s a balanced American stout, not an imperial, and it has a lot of satisfying flavors that will make you feel like you’re at a camp fire: chocolate, whipped cream, roasted caramel malts, and marshmallow. It’s not overly boozy-tasting but has a rich, full chocolate flavor. Again, this beer is ranked eighth because it’s not always easy to find. This is a great introductory stout beer — if you like chocolate, you’ll love this beer. Try a 4-pack for $9.99.
7. Oskar Blues Ten FIDY
This seventh best stout beer is well-loved by beer aficionados and casual drinkers alike. Available more often in the fall, it’s an imperial stout from Colorado at 10.5% ABV, on sale for $13.99 for a 4-pack. Don’t be fooled by the fact that this beer comes in a can; it’s still exceptionally rich and smooth, and the flavor profile has depth. It tastes of chocolate, malt, coffee, oats, and cocoa. Keep in mind that this beer is on the bitter and boozy-tasting side, so it may pair well with a hearty meat dish or sweet dessert to balance the flavors.
6. Southern Tier Creme Brulee
This beer is slightly less popular with beer aficionados since it has a pretty straightforward flavor profile and not much complexity. However, it’s quite popular for casual beer drinkers because it has a satisfyingly sweet taste and is easy to drink. This beer is like a dessert in itself, with strong flavors of creamy vanilla. It would go great with an equally creamy dessert. Creme Brulee is available in 4-packs for $18.99 and is one of the highest-priced beers on this list.
5. Left Hand Milk Stout Nitro
Left Hand’s $9.99 (per six-pack) milk stout is incredibly popular because it’s both delicious and widely available at craft beer stores. As a milk stout, it’s brewed with milk sugar or lactose, which balances out the heaviness of the beer by adding a slight sweetness. This nitro stout is especially smooth; you immediately notice the way it cascades into the glass with different shades of brown and tan. The main flavors here are brown sugar, roasted coffee, and vanilla. Perfect with any chocolatey dessert.
4. Stone Imperial Russian Stout
At $7.99 for a large bottle, this is one of the most affordable best stout beers on our list. It’s another imperial stout from Russia, and this one is especially thick and molasses-y. It’s smooth and contains a whole host of interesting flavors, like roasted malt, caramel, and espresso, along with a lot of other subtle earthy flavors. This one is excellent to sip on, and could be enjoyed with a nice fish or meat.
3. New Holland Dragon’s Milk
This imperial ale is barrel aged for extra aroma and flavor. It hails from Michigan and is 11% ABV. This is an affordable beer at just $8.99, and it’s fairly easy to drink, with not much bitterness. It’s smooth and extremely chocolatey, like a rich brownie straight out of the oven into a beer bottle. It also has some malt and vanilla flavors. This beer pairs well with a nice steak or fondue.
2. North Coast Old Rasputin Imperial Stout
This imperial stout is brewed by North Coast in California. It’s available year-round and is just 9% ABV. This is a great stout for those who are just beginning to try this type of beer or don’t usually enjoy stouts, because its flavor is very well-balanced and drinkable. This beer doesn’t taste overly boozy or bitter. It pours like black coffee, and tastes like coffee too, along with malt and dark chocolate. Old Rasputin Imperial Stout pairs well with hearty red meat dishes or can be sipped on its own. Try it for $8.99.
1. Best Stout Beer – Founders Breakfast Stout
Founders makes a couple of delicious stouts, but this $10.99 breakfast stout is our choice for their best stout beer, and it’s one of the most well-reviewed. At 8.3%, it’s less alcoholic than some other imperial stouts. It’s brewed with oats, chocolate, and coffee. Though it’s called a breakfast stout, definitely save this one for when you’re ready for something heavy — it might put you to sleep.
Imperial stouts seem to be the most common these days, but regular American stouts, Irish stouts, and milk stouts are also enjoyable. Beer enthusiasts might like to take a look at the best root beers for their favorite root beer float. What’s your go-to stout beer? Which do you think is the all-time best stout beer? Leave us a comment with your thoughts and any beers we left out of this list!