Thursday, December 15, 2011

White Stout? You cannot be serious!

Visitors to The Grove may be amazed to see a beer called 'White Stout' lurking on one of the pumps on the main bar. White Stout? Surely not. Is this Durham's way of reacting to the wave of black IPA's that have suddenly flooded the market? Appears not, according to their website.

I finally managed to sample some yesterday after it had been sitting on the taunting pole for a while, and it was a good, nay even, a great beer. It was light coloured, more like a wheat beer than a bitter, certainly nothing like a stout colour. The taste was soft, without any noticeable hop character, but did not drink like its 7.2% strength.  

Time to check out what the brewer was really thinking when he brewed it. It seems historically that a stout need not be black, any strong beer qualifies, but a stout needs a 'body' whereas often IPAs are thinner and obviously hoppy. The base is pale malt, wheat malt and flaked barley, none of the darker malts we normally associate with stouts, and this gives a 'thicker' base than we often find in light beers. There is no reference to the hops used in the brew on the website, but they do not give either the aroma or taste that one would associate with a light beer or beer of this strength. Notwithstanding, it is excellent and something different, an example of what can be achieved by thinking outside the box. Well worth a visit to The Grove to check it out.  

7 comments:

The Ale Louse said...

Isn't a white stout called ermine?

Anonymous said...

I think the brewer's confused himself a bit calling this 'White Stout'. Given his own definition of what 'stout' historically meant, surely it should be 'Stout White' or 'Stout Pale'?

Oblivious said...

pale stouts where common in Victorian times, stout originally just means strong and its not linked to the color of the ale or beer

Steve Lamond said...

look out for Brewdog AB:08, a blonde stout!

Anonymous said...

It is called White Stout to associate it with our 'White Range' of pale hoppy beers. The hop is columbus (American) and lots of it. Great review but disagree with the tasting notes. There is loads of hop aroma and a real 'pow' of hoppyness throughout but it is so well supported and balanced by the malt body that it doesn't hit you in the face like a modern IPA. This is a beautifully crafted beer. No gimmick. Soon out in bottles. :-)

Matt Wickham said...

Salopian did a white stout, called White Scout or similar at least a decade ago... and it was very good...

Timbo said...

Regarding the above comment, which I assume is from the Brewery, in my defence I can say i had the beer when it was very new on the bar, and that is what I based my post on..I have tried it since, it is very moreish after all, and there is more hop character coming through. It is not in your face like an IPA, but I still find it more subtle than I would have expected from an American hop. It is still a superb beer.