Thursday, January 22, 2009

Dry Stouts

Or "Irish Dry Stout," as this type of beer is sometimes called. Fairly low in alcohol content, with a dry finish, a "...relatively light bodied, bitter stout whose coffee-like dry flavor comes from using dark roasted malts. The classic examples include the big three Irish brewers: Murphy's, Beamish, and Guinness." [1]

I like dry stouts. I don't think anyone in Bend brews dry stouts. I find non-dry stouts to be either too high in alcohol, or far too fruity (sweet) in taste. Bend Brewing Company's Nitro Cream Stout on tap is pretty dry, and I hear that Blacksmith has Guinness -- the exemplar of Irish dry stouts -- on tap.

In my ongoing search for a good non-imported, preferrably local,  dry stout I've tried these offerings from the local markets:

Dick's Brewing Company's Cream Stout has a very sweet finish that puts me off.
Widmer's Snowplow Milk Stout has an even sweeter note that almost gags me. 
Stiletz Oatmeal Cream Stout is also too sweet.

(The hell? If I want sweet beer I'll add my own sugar plsthnx.  And I'm seeing plenty of stouts with added flavors, like coffee. Uh-huh. If you've read my post about espresso in Bend, (always being updated, keep an eye on it) you know that I like my espresso straight, not as a flavoring for sugary milky drinks. I like my pizza made simply with the purest ingredients.  By the same token, I'm looking for a stout that can stand on its own without being tarted up with whatever else they found in the kitchen.)
St. Andrei at The Newport Market has had Moylan's Dragoon Dry Irish Stout on order for a few weeks. I await its arrival.  

Update: Feb 20, 2009. The Moylan's was entirely too sweet for my taste. Felt like hurling every time I swallowed. I guess that when it comes to stouts, I'm a Guinness guy.

Guinness Extra Stout (1 pint, 6oz bottle) is pretty okay, but isn't very interesting.
Guinness Draught (14.9 oz can) has a nitrogen widget inside, so the mouthfeel is creamier, but the palate a bit flat.
Murphey's inna can. See Guinness Draught, above. 
On tap:
The Blacksmith has Guinness on tap. Tastes exactly like Guinness Draught in a can (above). No other stouts there.
Decoy also has Guinness on tap. It had more character to the taste than Blacksmith's. Why? Mark, the fellow behind the bar, suggested that it has something to do with the plumbing. I couldn't hear everything he said (Friday night crowd), but I did pick up something about how their kegs were located very close to the taps whereas The Blacksmith has about 50 to 60 feet of tubing for the beer to negotiate. Guinness is also their one stout.

(As an aside, it's far too dark in The Blacksmith for reading. I am, after all, on a hunt to find the perfect downtown bar  for reading and drinking stout. Decoy's lighting is just fine.)

1. See entry at


  1. Someone told me that there is one pub in downtown - I can't remember the name now - has Guinness on tap.

    I actually like the high alcohol content, well it's value for money - I'm very cheap, in case you aren't aware :)

  2. @ TRMH: I found Guinness on tap at both The Blacksmith and at Decoy. I've updated those bits of information to the blog. Decoy's tasted better.

  3. Yes it's Decoy, and you found it!

    Hhhhm in fact I gotta pay a visit to the fridge now :)


------------ Facebook update page widget added 3/2012 --------------
------------ ends facebook update page widget -------------