Brewtopia Events

Stouts 2002 
Blind Beer Tasting
Steam Co. Pub  
(LtoR): Owen, Joanne, Christian, Dean, Mark, and Lari
outside Athens Steam Co. Pub!
Owen Ogletree (director of Brewtopia Events) gathered together some of his fellow beer enthusiasts on October 23, 2002 at Athens' Steam Company Pub to sample and comment on several mixed styles of Stouts.  This beer sampling was done as a blind tasting where no one was aware of the brands that were being served.  Beers were informally commented upon and ranked according to Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) style guidelines.  First, second, third places, and honorable mention were awarded to the beers we felt represented their individual styles in extraordinary fashion.  Drop Owen an email to share your comments and opinions.

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Commercial Beers
Blind Tasting Comments.

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Athens Steam Company Pub was kind enough to host our evaluation of these beers.

Steam Company offers a nice beer selection and an impressive pub menu.  It is located in the complex of the beautiful Athens Foundry Park Inn and Spa at 295 E. Dougherty Street in downtown Athens.

Stout evaluation

Deep Shaft Stout
Foreign Extra Stout 
Freeminer Brewery, Wessex Craft Brewers Ltd., Gloucestershire, England, UK 
Aroma: Rich, coffee, licorice, smoke, molasses, dark candy, malt -- very complex.
Appearance: Dark, viscous, with a thick lace of foam on glass, great head retention.
Flavor: Coffee, roast, smoke, spice, apple hints.  Roast barley flavor is sharp.  Hops are a nice bitter balance. Alcohol is perceptible.  This is a full-bodied, rich Stout with loads of character.

Deep Shaft Stout

Beamish Irish Stout 
Dry Stout (pub draft can)
Beamish Brewery, Cork, Ireland, UK 
Aroma: Coffee hints, tart hints, grain, smoky undertones.
Appearance: Creamy, lacy head, very dark color.
Flavor: Creamy mouthfeel, smoky hints, low carbonation, dry, good for style, roast notes, light coffee aftertaste.  This is complex for a Dry Stout -- well made.

Sierra Nevada Stout
American Style Dry Stout 
Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Chico, CA, USA
Aroma: NW hop aroma, citrusy, floral, coffee notes.
Appearance: Deep black with ruby highlights.
Flavor: Medium mouthfeel, dry from hops. Hops mask the roast character somewhat.  Hops are present in bitterness, flavor, and aroma.  High carbonation for style?  Creamy, tongue-coating body.  This is a delicious, complex, drinkable beer.

Young's Oatmeal Stout
Oatmeal Stout (pub draft can)
Ram Brewery, Wandsworth, UK
Aroma: Malt, roast, bread, grain.  Complex with mild fruity esters.
Appearance: Great head retention and carbonation level, dark color with garnet hints.  Smooth, creamy head.
Flavor: Silky mouthfeel with a light-bodied flavor of mineral-rich water and grains.  Subtle flavors of oats and roasted barley.  This beer has a chewy texture with a chalky water character.  Low in alcohol with pleasant oat character -- very drinkable.  A bit more dark roasted barley character would be nice.  This is a complex, beautiful ale.

Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout
Oatmeal Stout 
Samuel Smith's Old Brewery, Tadcaster, N. Yorks, England, UK 
Aroma: Caramel apple-like.  Notes of bread, cereal.  Light aromas.
Appearance: Very black, rich, beautiful.
Flavor: Rich, malt sweetness.  A bit overcarbonated?  Caramel is strong and coffee/malt/tart/sharp/hop balance is appealing.  Complex flavors of dark grains.  This beer is a bit on the sweet side.  Oily, rich mouthfeel is nice -- a very flavorful beer.

Guinness Stout
Dry Stout (pub draft can) 
Guinness Ireland Group, St. James Gate Brewery, Dublin, Ireland, UK
Aroma: Fruity, tart, caramel, light aroma.
Appearance: Black and dark with a creamy, attractive, light tan head.
Flavor: Coffee and fruit.  Light mouthfeel with slight roasted coffee notes and hints of toffee. This is a low alcohol, good session beer.  Pleasant with a hint of tartness.

Dragonhead Stout 
Dry Stout 
Orkney Brewery, Sandwick, Orkney, Scotland, UK 
Aroma: Bready, hints of coffee grounds and raisins.  Green apple hints.
Appearance: Dark with garnet hints.  Dark coffee color with a creamy head.
Flavor: Very dry.  Slight celery hints.  Bitter coffee.  A bit overcarbonated for style.  This beer has a light/medium mouthfeel that is very pleasant.

O'Hara's Celtic Stout 
Dry Stout
Carlow Brewing Company, Carlow, Ireland, UK
Aroma: Fruity, winey, light aromas.
Appearance: Black with gorgeous ruby hints.  Moderate creamy head.
Flavor: Creamy, pleasant, soft.  There is a nice dry aftertaste with slight roasted grain notes.  Fruity esters are notable.  Could have more rich, dark malt character.

Whitstable Oyster Stout
Dry Stout
Swale Brewery Company, Sittingbourne, Kent, England, UK 
Aroma: Fruity, salty, licorice, hints of soy.  Aroma is very light.
Appearance: Light carbonation with low head retention.  Pretty, dark color.
Flavor: Low carbonation, licorice, spice flavors.  Fruity with low roasted barley character. Hints of sour/tartness.  This is an interesting beer that seems richer in body than most Dry Stouts.  Nice complexity.

Mineshaft Stout 
Dry Stout 
Only The Best Brewing Company, Divide, CO, USA 
Aroma: Nutty, caramel, fruit.
Appearance: Dark red -- not black.  Too light in color for style.
Flavor: This is NOT a Dry Stout.  This is more like a fruity red ale.  Could also be a Brown Ale -- slight grainy flavors with a malty character.  Needs much more roasted barley color and flavor.

Dorothy Goodbody's Wholesome Stout 
Dry Stout
Wye Valley Brewery, Hereford, England, UK 
Aroma: Light, fruity aroma with hints of molasses and syrup.  Roasted grain character is slight.
Appearance: Dark with red highlights.  Very little head retention.
Flavor: Roasted bananas, dry, coffee hints, very bitter, slightly astringent.  This could be an older bottle.  There are slight notes of cherries.  Sharp character from roasted grains.

Hitachino Nest Sweet Stout
Sweet Stout (with lactose)
Kiuchi Brewery, Japan 
Aroma: Sweet/sour character.  Cherries and vinegar with no Stout character.  Fruity.
Appearance: Dark tan foam, dark color with nice red highlights.
Flavor: Tart, vinegar-like, sour.  Something is wrong here -- there is no Stout/roasty character left.  This has a sour, coating character that is not to style.  This bottle tastes infected.  We will try this brand again in the future.

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