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Light American stouts


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Eric Asimov has an article in the N Times about the growth of American stouts, and how they've become a broad group of hopped, roasted ales appealing to a wide audience. His taste sampling covered the "lighter" group, leaving the Imperial and other massive ales for a different day.

 

Not surprisingly, some of the stouts had a pronounced aroma of pine and grapefruit — a sign of American hops. You most likely would not find such distinct hop aromas in Old World stouts, which rely on more restrained English hops, but it was a pleasant addition. All the beers we liked best were well-balanced, with characteristic aromas of roasted malt.

 

Tony, perhaps emboldened by the fact that we weren’t in Dublin, said he preferred most of these New World brews to “watery Guinness.” Richard, with a nod possibly toward Tony’s British heritage, suggested that Americans prefer English stout, with its fuller, rounder character, over the lighter, dryer Irish style.

 

Either way, our No. 1 beer, Black Hawk Stout from Mendocino Brewing, which has breweries on both coasts, evoked visions of classic Irish stouts. It was light and dry, yes, but graceful and deliciously refreshing, too. I could see it easily becoming my new midday or ballgame tipple. Would somebody please get Yankee Stadium on the phone?

 

It’s a good thing Bernie threw in that Canadian beer, because the St. Ambroise oatmeal stout, from McAuslan Brewing in Montreal, was No. 2 on our list of North American stouts. It was bigger and richer than the Black Hawk, with the smoothness and slight sweetness that come from adding oatmeal to the malted barley.

 

 

Stout

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