What Makes a Stout a Stout?

dark beer

“I don’t like dark beer,” said every new beer drinker ever. At some point, however, for those of us who later dare to venture into the world of dark beers, there are plenty of tastes and varieties to discover, and myths to dispel.

Today we’re discussing stouts in particular, learning that not all stouts have a thick mouthfeel that you’ll need to chew to get down, and you can drink one knowing it doesn’t necessarily have a higher alcohol content than the lighter classes of ale. Let’s break some of these tall tales, and check out what sort of stouts Mendocino has got to offer.

Where’d Stouts Come From?

Playing off one another during the late 1600s, a stout was first known  only as a stronger porter at a then whopping 7-8% alcohol.

What’s in a Stout?

A basic stout is made up of what all beer is created from, but with a higher un-malted roasted barley content. Malt, barley, hops, water, and yeast. That’s it! However, these days there are a variety of stouts available and Mendocino Brewing Company has created quite a few.

Stouts from Mendocino Brewing


  • Classic Irish-Style Dry Stout: Generally all black in color with a coffee-like aroma, a classic Irish-style Dry Stout is dominant in its malted flavor and will have indiscernible hop notes. Our Black Hawk Stout maintains that traditional Irish with a low alcohol content at 5.2% ABV. This creamy drink is subtle and a great stout to try out for your very first foray into the world of dark beers.




  • Imperial Stout: Know for it’s variable amount of roasted grains and fruity esters, the Imperial Stout was born out of the Barclays adaptation of their stout for Russian consumption. Increasing the alcohol and hop content for the preservation during the long journey to Russia, today’s Imperial stout has a high alcohol content and a rich, dark amber color. Our Imperial Stout is surprisingly dark and complex with toffee and coffee flavors. This heavy-hitters hits the bar at 10% ABV.
  • Oatmeal Stout: Before modern day agriculture, beer was a nourishing part of IMG_2147many families’ meals. The oatmeal stout especially was considered to be a therapeutic tonic especially in Scotland. Mendocino Brewing’s Redwood Oatmeal Stout is has a bold chocolate flavor profile and is a perfect addition to a berry based dish like the Scottish dish Cranachan or dark chocolate cake.


Are you a stout drinker or have I just now convinced you to get out and try one of our flavorful brews?



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