Irish Stout

Glassware: Tulip pint
  • Ireland
  • Ale
  • ABV = 3.8 – 5.0% (Lower to normal)^
  • IBU = 25-45
  • SRM = 25-40

A very dark, lower-strength Irish ale with a pronounced roasted flavour and often a dry, coffee-like finish.

Draught versions are typically served using a nitro pour, giving the beer a full, creamy texture and very long-lasting head of foam.


  • Colour^ = Brown to black
  • Clarity = Opaque

Key Aromas & Flavours:

  • Malt = Moderate; coffee-like, may have a secondary dark chocolate, cocoa and/or roasted grain notes
  • Hops = None to low; earthy or floral, if present
  • Yeast = None to moderate; fruity, if present
  • Malt = Moderate; coffee-like, may also have a bittersweet / unsweetened chocolate character
  • Hops = None to moderate; earthy, if present
  • Yeast = None to moderate; fruity, if present
  • Perceived Bitterness^ = Pronounced
  • Balance = Can range from fairly even to quite bitter (from both the hops and roasted grains)

The finish can be dry and coffee-like to moderately balanced with a touch of caramel or malty sweetness. The bittersweet or unsweetened chocolate character can last into the finish.


  • Body = Medium; somewhat creamy character particularly when served with a nitro pour
  • Carbonation = Low to medium
  • Astringency = May have a light astringency from the roasted grains, although harshness is undesirable

Characteristic Ingredients/Processes:

  • Malt = Pale malt, plus dark roasted malts or grains (ie. roasted unmalted barley)
  • Hops = English hops
  • Yeast = British ale yeast

Historical Development:

Originally called a “Stout Porter”, the stout style first described English porters with a fuller, creamier, more “stout” body and strength.  

Irish Stout then diverged in the late 1800s, with an emphasis on darker malts and roast barley.

Regional differences exist in Ireland: Dublin-type stouts use roasted unmalted barley, making them more bitter and drier. Cork-type stouts are sweeter, less bitter, and have flavours from chocolate and specialty malts.

Traditionally a draught product, commercial examples of this style are almost always associated with a nitro pour which gives the beer a full, creamy texture and very long-lasting head of foam.

Commercial Examples:

Guinness Draught, Porterhouse Irish Stout, Murphy’s Irish 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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