American Stout

Glassware: Shaker pint
  • USA
  • Ale
  • ABV = 5.0 – 7.0% (Normal to elevated)^
  • IBU = 35-75
  • SRM = 30-40

A moderately-strong, highly roasted and assertively bitter dark American ale.

Stronger and more assertive, particularly in the dark malt and hop character, than American Porter. Generally has bolder roasted malt flavour and hopping than Oatmeal or Irish Stout. Bigger, stronger versions belong in the Imperial Stout style.


  • Colour^ = Dark brown to black
  • Clarity = Usually opaque; if not, should be clear

Key Aromas & Flavours:

  • Malt = Moderate to high; roasted coffee or dark chocolate, burnt or charcoal aromas acceptable at low levels
  • Hops = Very low to moderate; citrusy or resiny
  • Yeast = None to moderate; fruity, if present
  • Other = (Optional: light alcohol aromatics)
  • Malt = Moderate to very high; roasted coffee, dark or bittersweet chocolate, lightly burnt; plus low to moderate malt sweetness, often with rich chocolate or caramel
  • Hops = Low to high; citrusy or resiny
  • Yeast = None to low; fruity, if present
  • Perceived Bitterness^ = Assertive
  • Balance = Towards the bitterness, from both hops and dark roasted malts
  • Other = (Optional: light but smooth alcohol flavour)

Medium to dry finish, occasionally with a lightly burnt quality


  • Body = Medium to full
  • Carbonation = Medium to high
  • Astringency = Can have a bit of roast-derived astringency, but this character should not be excessive
  • Alcohol warmth = Light to moderately strong alcohol warmth, but smooth and not excessively hot

Characteristic Ingredients/Processes:

  • Malt = Two-row or pale ale malt, plus crystal/caramel and dark roasted malts
  • Hops = American hop varietals
  • Yeast = American ale yeast

Historical Development:

A modern craft beer and homebrew style that applied an aggressive American hopping regime to a strong traditional English or Irish stout. The homebrew version was previously known as West Coast Stout, which is a common naming scheme for a more highly-hopped beer.

Commercial Examples:

Deschutes Obsidian Stout, Sierra Nevada Stout, Bell’s Kalamazoo Stout

^Sourced from the Cicerone Certification Program’s International Certified Beer Server Syllabus (Version 5.0)
All other information is sourced from the BJCP 2021 Style Guidelines

Discovering Beer is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Cicerone® Certification Program.

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