American Stout vs. Foreign Extra Stout: Side-by-Side

sensory analysis Nov 08, 2022

In this episode of the Beer Scholar "Classic Style Side-By-Side" series Advanced Cicerones Chris Cohen & Scott Fielder sit down to taste and discuss the differences between classic BJCP commercial examples of American Stout & Foreign Extra Stout. We went with Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Michigan vs. Cooper's Best Extra Stout from Australia. Check out the BJCP Style Guidelines to find commercial examples available in your area and do this one at home.

These beer styles share several similar characteristics, they're both dark & roasty. The big differences here will tend to be that the American Stout will have more intense burnt roast flavor, more hop bitterness, likely dank piney American hop flavor, and its yeast profile will usually be very clean. On the other hand, Foreign Extra Stout is a style of English origin, so you can expect it to have a more even balance (i.e. not be as bitter), have a lower level of roast (not highly burnt, ashy, or acrid), have some fruity yeast esters, and potentially a touch of buttery diacetyl as is common in beers fermented with English ale yeast. We found many of these common American vs. British ale profile differences to be the case in this comparison. As it almost always is, leaning on any visual hints would be a mistake here.

The Beer Scholar "Classic Style Side-By-Side" series, we compare similar classic styles, discuss them, & provide tips for how to pick them apart in a blind tasting. This is all about helping you pass the Certified & Advanced Cicerone exams. Tasting blind is HARD, we're here to help!

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sensory analysis