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Stout is a stronger version of porter. A very dark, almost black, strong bitter beer with a pronounced dry malt taste. Known by this name at least since 1677 from a note among the Egerton Manuscripts at the British Library (item 2716); "We will drink your healths both in stoutt and best wine." and from Hawes 'New dictionary of the terms ancient and modern of the canting crew' of 1699 which defines 'Stout' as "very strong, Malt-Drink."
Friedrich Accum's 1820 'Treatise on adulterations of food' found samples of stout to average 5% alcohol, as against 4% to 4.75% for porter.
Milk or 'Nourishing' stouts became popular in the early twentieth century, being promoted as suitable for invalids and athletes. Patented in 1875 by John Henry Johnson, they contain milk sugars (lactose), which, being un-fermentable by ordinary yeast, add a sweetness and richness to the beer.
Imperial stout was originally brewed in England for export to the court of the Tsar of Russia. It is highly hopped, very dark and has very high alcohol content. It is still made in Russia by breweries such as Baltika in St Petersburg.
Oatmeal stout has oats added during the brewing process, making it sweeter.
Chocolate stout may either have a noticeable chocolate-like flavour from the use of certain types of malt, or, in some cases, such as Young's Double Chocolate Stout, actually use chocolate in the receipt.
Oyster stout is merely a stout traditionally considered a fine accompaniment to oysters, though stout has sometimes been made with the addition of oysters in the mash.
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