Stout and winter go together like Bruce Springsteen and blue denim, but drinking the same style all the time can get boring. The solution? Mix up your stout game by trying different takes on the genre
This style was first brewed by Guinness, who made a hoppier, more alcoholic version of their classic Irish stout for exporting to the tropics. The original, and excellent, Guinness Foreign Extra Stout (available at selected Liquorland stores) is rarely seen in New Zealand, but try Cooper’s Best Extra Stout (RRP$6.49, 750ml), Pirate Life Stout (RRP$10.99, 500ml), or Deep Creek Nero Project Foreign Extra Stout (440ml) for something similar.
Chocolate Stout and Porter
Thanks to the use of dark roasted malts, most stouts and porters already exhibit cocoa-like flavours. Kick things up a notch with chocolate beers brewed with real cocoa, cocoa nibs or chocolate syrup. Try Boundary Road Chocolate Moose Porter (RRP$5.99, 500ml) if it’s dessert in a glass you want.
It sounds like you’re getting lumpy porridge in your beer, but oatmeal stouts are actually some of the smoothest, silkiest brews around. For proof, try Panhead’s Blacktop Oat Stout (RRP$8.99, 500ml), or BrewDog’s Jet Black Heart Oatmeal Milk Stout (RRP$5.49, 330ml). Both are brewed with oatmeal, resulting in a rich, luscious stout not unlike creamy tiramisu.
Oysters are a classic food pairing for stout, so it was only a matter of time before someone tried throwing them in the beer itself. Brewed seasonally using Bluff oysters, Three Boys Oyster Stout (RRP$9.99, 500ml) has long been one of New Zealand’s best dark beers: rich and roasty, with just a hint of brine. Recently they upped the game, releasing Imperial Oyster Stout (RRP$9.99, 330ml). Speaking of which…
Think stout on steroids. Imperials
have significantly more alcohol than your average stout (sometimes clocking in as high as 15%), and are packed with intense and complex flavours. 8 Wired’s iStout (RRP$11.99, 500ml) is an excellent example: pitch-black and full-bodied with notes of vanilla, wood smoke, coffee and chocolate. For an extra dose of decadence, pour it over ice cream.