Last Modified On:
January 6, 2024

20 Best Stout Beers You Need to Try in 2024

Looking for the perfect stout beer? Check out our list of top picks and find your new favorite. Learn more about the brewing process, history, and styles of stout beers.

3 minutes

If you're a beer lover, you've probably heard of stout beer. But do you know what makes stout beer so special? Stout beer is a dark, rich beer that's full of flavor and history. In this blog post, we'll dive deep into the world of stout beers. We'll look at its origins and brewing process, explore different styles of stout beers, and even give you our list of the 20 best stout beers to try in 2024. Trust us, you won't want to miss out on these deliciously dark brews. So grab your pint glasses and let's get started!

What kind of beer is stout?

Stout beer is a top-fermented ale with a full-bodied flavor and rich, roasted malt profile. Its dark color comes from using roasted barley during brewing. With variations ranging from dry to sweet, stouts are often enjoyed for its hints of chocolate, coffee, and caramel flavors.

Each beer style brings its own distinct flavors, aromas, and brewing techniques, making every sip an adventure. From creamy milk stouts to bold barrel-aged varieties, the range of styles is as diverse as it gets.


  • Dry stouts are known for their dry finish and moderate alcohol content.
  • They feature roasted malt flavors, with notes of coffee and dark chocolate.
  • Iconic examples include Guinness and Murphy's Irish.

Sweet (Milk):

  • Sweet stouts are characterized by their use of lactose (milk sugar), which adds sweetness and creaminess.
  • These stouts often have flavors of chocolate, caramel, and roasted coffee.
  • Left Hand Milk Stout beer is a popular example.


  • Oatmeal stouts incorporate oats into the brewing process, resulting in a smooth and silky mouthfeel.
  • They offer a balance of roasted malt bitterness and oat-driven sweetness.
  • Samuel Smith's Oatmeal is a classic representation.


  • Imperial stouts are robust, high-alcohol brews with bold flavors.
  • They feature intense roasted malt profiles, often with hints of dark fruit, coffee, and chocolate.
  • Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout (KBS) is an example.


  • Barrel-aged stouts are aged in wooden barrels, often bourbon or whiskey barrels, for added complexity.
  • The aging process imparts flavors like vanilla, oak, and sometimes a touch of the spirit.
  • Goose Island Bourbon County is a well-known barrel-aged option.


  • Oyster stouts are brewed with fresh oysters, lending a subtle brininess and depth to the beer.
  • They typically feature roasted malt flavors and a unique, savory twist.
  • Stouts brewed with oysters from breweries like Porterhouse Brewing Co. are an example.


  • Gingerbread stouts are seasonal and brewed with spices like ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  • They often incorporate sweet and festive flavors, reminiscent of gingerbread cookies.
  • Hardywood Gingerbread Stouts are a popular holiday variation.

How is stout different from beer?

Stout beer is known for its unique characteristics and flavors. With a higher alcohol content and more pronounced taste than lighter beers, the use of roasted malts gives them their dark color and complex flavor. Stouts have a thicker, creamier mouthfeel that sets them apart from other styles.

Stout vs Porter

Stouts and porter beers are often mentioned together, as they have similar origins and brewing techniques. In fact, stout beer was initially a stronger version of porter known as "stout porter". However, there are some distinctions between the two.

Porter, a dark ale from 18th century London, has a smooth and balanced flavor with hints of caramel and chocolate. It is lighter in body compared to stouts. Stouts have a fuller body and stronger flavors with bold roasted malt notes of coffee, chocolate, and sometimes smoke. They are known for their velvety smoothness and can range from sweet to dry.

Stouts and porters have key differences in malt and alcohol content. Stouts use roasted barley for a rich flavor, while porters combine malted barley and roasted malt for a lighter taste. Stouts generally have higher alcohol content (5% to 10% ABV) compared to porters (4 to 6 percent ABV). They are opaque black with a thick, tan head, while porters may have a reddish or brown tinge with a lighter, foamy head.

The Brewing Process: Malt + Yeast + Hops

Brewing stouts is a magical process that combines flavors and science. Malted barley is mixed with hot water to extract sweet sugars during mashing. The wort, a beautiful liquid, is boiled with hops for bitterness and aroma. Yeast converts sugars into alcohol through fermentation. Some stouts undergo barrel aging or have adjuncts like cocoa nibs or coffee beans added for enhanced taste.

stout beer

20 Best Stout Beers to Try

Get ready for a wild ride through the top-tier stout beers of 2024. These brews have made it to this exclusive list because of their exceptional taste and quality. Each one offers a unique and unforgettable drinking experience that will leave you wanting more. Explore uncharted territory and discover your new favorite among these highly recommended stouts.

1. Guinness Draught

The journey begins with the iconic Guinness Draught, a stout beer that has stood the test of time. Known for its smooth and creamy texture, it combines roasted malt and chocolate flavors for a harmonious blend of bitterness and sweetness. Savor each sip as it caresses your palate, delivering a satisfying drinking experience that is simply unmatched. A true classic in the world of stouts, Guinness Draught continuously delights beer enthusiasts with its rich and flavorful profile.

2. Bell’s Brewery Special Double Cream

Bell's Brewery Special Double Cream Stout is a testament to the artistry of brewing. It pours black with a creamy tan head that invites you to take a sip. It offers a luxurious symphony of flavors - roasted malts, coffee, and chocolate - creating a robust and velvety profile with a touch of sweetness. What sets it apart is its incredibly smooth mouthfeel, like sipping on a decadent cream-based dessert.

3. Tallgrass Brewing Company Vanilla Bean Buffalo Sweat

Tallgrass Brewing Company's Vanilla Bean Buffalo Sweat is a flavorful stout with a rich, roasted malt backbone and a smooth infusion of vanilla beans. It offers a silky mouthfeel and a harmonious blend of coffee and chocolate notes, enhanced by the sweet warmth of vanilla.

4. Stoudts Queen of Hops Brut IPA

Stoudts Queen of Hops Brut IPA is an innovative take on the IPA style. This effervescent brew showcases vibrant hop character with a crisp, bone-dry experience. With a light malt base, it delivers bursts of citrus and tropical fruit flavors. Queen of Hops is exceptionally refreshing and perfect for those who appreciate a lively, hop-forward IPA with a clean finish.

5. Liquid Mechanics Brewing Co. Marshmallow Milk

Liquid Mechanics Brewing Company's Marshmallow Milk Stout is a delightful treat for beer lovers. This velvety brew combines smooth and creamy mouthfeel with sweet marshmallow infusions. Roasted malt notes, hints of chocolate and coffee create a rich flavor. This milk chocolate stout like a cozy campfire experience in a glass, perfect for those seeking a unique and satisfying adventure.

6. New England Imperial Stout Trooper

New England Imperial Stout Trooper is a bold brew that commands attention. It pays homage to its dark heritage, featuring roasted malts that deliver a deep flavor with hints of chocolate and coffee. Its higher alcohol content adds a warming kick, making it an intense and rich experience from New England's skilled brewers.

7. Murphy’s Irish

Murphy's Irish Stout is a beloved classic renowned for its smooth, velvety texture and distinctive flavor. It features roasted malt character with subtle notes of coffee and dark chocolate, delivering a satisfying balance of bitterness and sweetness. It's known for its creamy head and easy-drinking nature, making it a go-to choice for those seeking an authentic Ireland-like experience.

8. Jackie O’s Pub & Brewery Bourbon Barrel Oil of Aphrodite

Jackie O's Pub & Brewery Bourbon Barrel Oil of Aphrodite is an elegant and sophisticated option. Aged in bourbon barrels, it has enhanced flavors of chocolate, vanilla, and roasted malt. This indulgent stout beer captivates beer enthusiasts with its velvety smooth texture and hints of oak from the barrel aging.

9. Prairie Artisan Ales Prairie Bomb

Prairie Bomb, from Prairie Artisan Ales, is a flavorful and complex option. Infused with coffee, chocolate, vanilla, and chili peppers, it offers a bold and spicy brew that tantalizes the senses. The rich and velvety mouthfeel combined with intense flavors make Prairie Bomb an unforgettable experience. It's the ideal choice for those seeking a boundary-pushing beer with explosive taste.

10. pFriem Family Brewers Cinnamon Maple

PFriem Family Brewers Cinnamon Maple Stout is a delightful blend of spices and sweetness. This unique beer showcases the comforting flavors of cinnamon and maple, creating a cozy winter beer. The warmth from the cinnamon and the sweetness of the maple syrup complement the roasted malt base, resulting in a satisfying sip. Whether by the fireside or with dessert, pFriem Family Brewers Cinnamon Maple will leave you craving more.

11. Pondaseta Brewing Co. Rye Barrel Aged Castle Black

Pondaseta Brewing Co. Rye Barrel Aged Castle Black is a fit for royalty. This exceptional brew has been aged in rye barrels, adding a unique twist to its robust flavor profile. With each sip, you'll taste the rich, velvety notes of chocolate and roasted malt, complemented by a hint of spicy rye.

12. Founders Kentucky Breakfast

Founders KBS is an iconic beer aged in bourbon barrels, delivering a rich and complex flavor profile. Expect a luxurious blend of coffee, chocolate, and vanilla, with a pleasant bourbon warmth.

13. Goose Island Bourbon County

This barrel-aged stout from Goose Island is a masterpiece, offering deep notes of caramel, dark chocolate, and oak, with a pronounced bourbon character that adds depth and warmth.

14. Southern Tier Warlock Imperial

Warlock is a decadent imperial stout with pumpkin spice and vanilla notes, providing a velvety, dessert-like experience that's both bold and satisfying.

15. Hardywood Park Craft Brewery Oyster

Hardywood Park Craft Brewery's Oyster Stout is a captivating brew that honors coastal traditions. Brewed with fresh Virginia oysters, it has a subtle oceanic brininess and rich roasted malt flavors. Notes of dark chocolate and coffee complement the maritime character, creating a well-balanced and intriguing beer.

16. Deschutes Obsidian

Obsidian Stout by Deschutes is a robust yet smooth beer, known for its roasted malt character with touches of bittersweet chocolate and coffee, delivering a balanced and approachable dark beer.

17. Left Hand Milk Stout Nitro

Left Hand's Milk Stout Nitro is a delectable beer that boasts of a velvety and creamy texture. It is brewed with roasted malt, coffee, and milk chocolate notes, which contribute to its rich flavor profile. The beer is served on nitrogen, which creates a smooth and cascading pour that adds to its overall opulence.

18. Murphy’s Irish

Murphy's Irish Stout is a beloved classic renowned for its smooth, velvety texture and distinctive flavor. It features roasted malt character with subtle notes of coffee and dark chocolate, delivering a satisfying balance of bitterness and sweetness. It's known for its creamy head and easy-drinking nature, making it a go-to choice for those seeking an authentic Irish  experience.

19. Samuel Smith Oatmeal

Samuel Smith's Oatmeal is a British classic known for its smooth and lager-esque texture, complemented by flavors of dark chocolate and coffee, providing a timeless experience.

20. Hardywood Gingerbread

Hardywood's Gingerbread Stout beer is a holiday favorite, offering sweet and spicy gingerbread flavors alongside hints of cinnamon, vanilla, and roasted malts, creating a festive and unique stout.

Pub Conclusion on The Brew

To sum it up, stout beers are a diverse and delicious category of beer that offers something for every palate. Whether you prefer the rich and roasty flavors of traditional stouts or the creamy sweetness of milk stouts, there's an option out there that will satisfy your taste buds. So grab a pint, sit back, and enjoy exploring the world of stout beer. Cheers to a year filled with bold flavors, unique brews, and unforgettable craft beer experiences! And remember, always drink responsibly and support your local breweries. Keep discovering, keep sipping, and keep enjoying the wonderful world of stout beers!