29 Best Stout Beer Brands In the World (Most In USA)

Stouts are indulgent, comforting beers, often stuffed full of booze, and when done right, bursting with all kinds of complex flavors. They are also dark and brooding beers that demand your full attention before they give up all the secrets that lie hidden within their depths.

Unsurprisingly, some of the top beers in the world currently being brewed belong to this category, and to help you find some of the most outstanding examples, here’s a list of the 29 best stout beers.

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The Best Stout Beer Lists

1. Malpais Stout (La Cumbre Brewing Co., USA)

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Described as a “meal in a glass”, the Malpais Stout from New Mexico’s La Cumbre Brewing Co. incorporates seven varieties of malt to create a rich and creamy foreign extra-style stout with a respectable 7.5% ABV.

The color is deep and dark, and the beer produces a thick tan head that sticks around for a long time. It exudes aromas of chocolate and coffee, which carries over into the taste, and you might also be able to pick out some dried fruit and vanilla in the background.

This is thick, robust and satisfying stout that anyone who enjoys this style is sure to enjoy.


2. The Rusty Nail (Fremont Brewing Company, USA)

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To make this beer, Fremont Brewing takes one of their beers known as The First Nail and ages it for 15 months in 12-year-old bourbon barrels.

When it emerges, the licorice, smoked barley and cinnamon flavors of the original have acquired extra levels of depth and complexity and are joined by the unmistakable presence of bourbon.

At 13.3%, this is an undeniably potent brew – but it’s so well balanced that the alcohol blends into the other flavors, enhancing the overall experience rather than dominating it.


3. Double Shot (Tree House Brewing Company, USA)

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The Tree House Brewing Company based in Massachusetts has made a name for itself as an operation that consistently turns out world-class beers in a range of styles.

Almost every beer they make has drinkers raving, and the Double Shot is another worthy addition to their line. In the glass, it displays an almost jet-black color and produces a thin dark-brown head that quickly dissipates.

At 7.6% ABV, it is strong without being excessively boozy, and in the nose, you’ll easily be able to find notes of chocolate, coffee and caramel.

The taste is what you’d expect from the nose with the addition of some subtle vanilla undertones along with a silky-smooth mouthfeel. Another huge hit from an acclaimed brewery.


4. Organic Chocolate Stout (Samuel Smith Old Brewery, UK)

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This English-style stout is brewed using water from a well that was originally sunk in 1758, which is then combined with organic chocolate malt and organic cocoa to produce an indulgent brew that is best enjoyed in a cozy armchair by the fire.

The amount of chocolate in the taste is just right – there’s enough so you get more than just a hint without making it taste like a glass of chocolate milk rather than a beer.

A well-rounded chocolate stout with a unique flavor that hits all the right notes.


5. Moment of Clarity (Tree House Brewing Company, USA)

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Even among beer aficionados, the milk stout is a style that not everyone has tried. However, if you are looking to broaden your horizons and milk stout is on your hit list, you could do much worse than starting with Moment of Clarity from Tree House.

The color is dark black, and it produces an impressively thick foam when poured. There’s maple syrup in the nose as well as distinct aromas of coffee, and some might also be able to find things like vanilla, caramel and nuts in there too.

The nose is predominantly sweet, and the taste starts that way too, although it becomes more bitter as it develops. More great work from this brewery as we’ve come to expect – this is another of their beers that’s worth tracking down and sampling.


6. Dead Irish Poet (Finnegans Brew Co., USA)

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This is a robust and boozy export-style stout that draws you in with enticing aromas of sweet roasted barley, chocolate and black bread before grabbing hold of you with more chocolate, black bread and a touch of coffee in the taste.

This is all backed by some other more subtle undertones for you to explore, and the mouthfeel is silky and crisp. Dead Irish Poet is a limited edition from this brewery, but if you manage to find one, don’t hesitate to give it a go.


7. Black Sun Stout (3 Floyds Brewing Co., USA)

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The Black Sun Stout is an exceptional offering from the Indiana-based 3 Floyds Brewing Co., another of North America’s star craft breweries. This beer is dark but not quite black and forms a delicate head that quickly disappears.

It has many of the usual aromas associated with stout, like malt, coffee and chocolate, but this is blended with more fruity and hoppy notes to give it a character of its own.

The flavor profile is as the nose promises, with the citrus elements becoming more prominent towards the end. An easy-drinking Irish dry stout that could hardly be better.


8. Wolfhound Stout (Great Lakes Brewing Co., USA)

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This is another Irish dry stout, this time from the Great Lakes Brewing Co. of Ohio. It’s has a dark black color and a creamy, silky head that takes its time to form before finally settling on the top of your beer and staying there.

It has a lightly roasted aroma with notes of chocolate and caramel, and there is more maltiness accompanied by caramel and bread in the taste. It’s not a particularly strong beer – at 4.8% ABV, it’s one you can enjoy a few pints of without feeling too guilty…or too drunk!


9. Secret Stairs Boston Stout (Trillium Brewing Company, USA)

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This is the Trillium Brewing Company’s signature Boston stout, and it’s a beer that’s brewed to be bold yet balanced. The body is medium tending to light, but the nose and flavor profile are rich and complex.

There’s roasted malt in there along with a definite whiff of nuts helped along by some caramel sweetness, a bit of chocolate and a certain earthiness.

At 6.5% ABV, it’s also strong enough to notice without being so powerful it will blow your head off. All in all, a stout that most people will rate highly.


10. Guinness Draft (Guinness Ltd., Ireland)

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It’s hardly possible to compile a list of the best stouts in the world without mentioning Guinness, the most famous of them all.

The company produces a range of variations on this beer – and a couple of others also feature in our roundup – but the draft version is something that every beer drinker should try at least once.

For the full experience, go to a pub in Dublin and ask for a pint – there’s no need to specify, they’ll know what you want – then wait for the creamy head to settle on top before taking your first sip. Simply delicious and not to be missed.


11. Breakfast Stout (Founders Brewing Company, USA)

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This beer is called “Breakfast Stout”, but at 8.3% ABV, we’re not sure how wise it would be to sink one of these before heading off to work.

However, it incorporates Kona and Sumatra coffee along with imported chocolate, which sounds much more like a tasty morning meal, so on the other hand, why not?

Some people might find the coffee and chocolate are too dominant, making it easy to forget you’re drinking a stout, but if you want something rich and sweet, this could be a great brew to choose.


12. Kentucky Brunch Brand Stout (Toppling Goliath Brewing Company, USA)

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Toppling Goliath’s Kentucky Brunch Brand Stout currently occupies the top slot on BeerAdvocate’s Top 250 beer chart, which makes this not only an outstanding stout but, according to BeerAdvocate’s users, the best beer in the whole world.

That’s quite a claim to live up to, but with an incredibly rich and complex nose and flavor profile along with a thick and creamy mouthfeel and a super-satisfying finish, this beer pulls it off with ease. A fantastic beer that warrants all the hype.


13. The Awakening (Angry Chair Brewing, USA)

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The Awakening stout from Angry Chair is black as night and pours with a tan head that lingers for a few minutes before dissipating, leaving an attractive lacing on the glass.

The nose is mocha and caramel with a touch of chocolate, and the taste is an intense explosion of coffee, molasses, chocolate and perhaps vanilla with roasted undertones. We love the bottle too – the zombie artwork is among our favorites.


14. Zonker Stout (Snake River Brewing Company & Brewpub, USA)

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If balance is one of the qualities you rank highly when choosing your beers, this is a stout you should appreciate.

There’s lots of roasted barley in this one, which combines with chocolate and caramel and the slightest hint of berries or dried fruits to create a pleasingly complex flavor profile.

The body is on the thick side of medium, and there is just the right amount of carbonation and alcohol to finish the job. This stout isn’t brewed to be spectacular, but it just does everything it’s supposed to do flawlessly.


15. Deth’s Tar (Revolution Brewing, USA)

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For those who prefer their beers to deliver a bit more of an alcoholic kick, at 14.8% ABV, this imperial stout from Revolution should hit the spot. It’s aged in two different types of bourbon barrels, which creates extra layers of complexity and depth in the nose and taste.

Unsurprisingly, bourbon is prominent, but you’ll also find oak, vanilla, caramel and even coconut jostling for position behind it. It has a comfortingly thick body, and the alcohol is warming rather than burning, making this a beer to sit and savor slowly on a cold, dark night.


16. Guinness Special Export Stout/Antwerpen Stout (Guinness Ltd., Ireland)

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The Antwerpen Stout is one of the more unusual offerings from Guinness, but if you ever have the opportunity to try it, make sure you take it because this is a great beer.

At 8% ABV, it’s quite a bit stronger than a regular pint of Guinness draft, and it’s full of intensity, with notes of roasted malt, smoked wood and chocolate.

This beer has long been produced by Guinness exclusively for the Belgian market, but it’s now becoming more widely available, so this could a great time to try hunting one down for evaluation.


17. Cadillac Mountain Stout (Atlantic Brewing Company, USA)

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Many stouts can be too malt-heavy, but if you prefer a bit more balance and variation in the flavor profile, the Cadillac Mountain Stout from Atlantic Brewing could be just the thing.

The malt is there, of course, but it’s joined by a pleasant degree of hoppy bitterness that’s more unusual in this style of beer.

It also teases hints of nuts, brown sugar and coffee, and with 6.7% ABV, just one is enough to give you an agreeable buzz. Except you’re probably not going to want to stop there.


18. Blackheart Stout (Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd., USA)

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An exceptional Irish dry stout-style beer that boasts a large dose of roasted barley and chocolate malt as well as a generous helping of flaked barley and some British pale ale malt.

The result is a black brew with rich aromas of chocolate, coffee and molasses along with a sweet flavor profile supported by just the right amount of bitterness.

Pleasantly dry with a silky mouthfeel and a finish that’s reminiscent of unsweetened espresso. It’s an easy stout to drink and has enough going on to keep you coming back for more.


19. Stonehenge Stout (Triple Rock Brewery & Alehouse, USA)

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Stonehenge Stout from Triple Rock is a foreign-style stout that’s black in appearance with an off-white, chocolatey head.

You’ll find notes of coffee and cocoa in the nose, which is followed by dark chocolate and lots of roasted malt in the flavor profile – with an exquisite touch of bitterness to finish it off.

A well-rounded beer that’s extremely easy to drink and one that most people will score highly.


20. Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead the 5th (Dark Horse Brewing Company, USA)

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An imperial stout of 12% ABV, this is among the best examples you’ll find of this style. It’s aged in bourbon barrels, giving it a rich flavor profile that includes plenty of roasted notes as well as vanilla, chocolate and licorice.

However, the brewers also use a generous dose of hops while making this beer, leaving it perfectly balanced and extremely easy to drink for something so strong. It’s not always available, but it’s a beer to snap up if you ever see one.


21. Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout – Double Barrel Aged (Cigar City Brewing, USA)

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This is an American imperial stout that is brewed only seasonally, but if you can get your hands on a bottle, you’re in for a treat. It pours a deep, dark brown with a head that doesn’t disappear too quickly.

The nose includes an interesting mix of things like vanilla, cocoa, oak and spices – these are also present in the taste but you’ll also find a satisfying hint of bourbon which complements the other flavors and rounds the beer off nicely. Another one to add to your wish list.


22. Guinness Foreign Extra Stout (Guinness Ltd., Ireland)

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One of Guinness’s most popular “other” products (i.e. not the classic draft stout) is the Foreign Export Stout. At 7.5%, it’s stronger in ABV than the regular, and it has more depth and complexity to its taste.

It has a medium-to-full body with a silky mouthfeel, and the extra alcohol makes it feel just a little bit naughty. This is a great beer, and for many, it’s even better than the original.


23. Barrel-Aged Abraxas (Perennial Artisan Ales, USA)

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This is a world-class American imperial stout for those who like their beers to be rich, strong and complex. It’s aged for 12 months in Rittenhouse Rye barrels with cacao nibs, vanilla beans, chili and cinnamon, and the result is spectacular.

The nose promises roasted dark malts, molasses, chocolate and caramel along with a strong touch of rye, and the taste then delivers it all.

There’s a delicious spiciness from the chilies, and towards the end, malt and oak take over. A beer not to miss for anyone who appreciates this style.


24. Madagascar (4 Hands Brewing Co., USA)

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Madagascar from 4 Hands is a beautiful milk stout that’s aged in bourbon barrels along with Madagascar vanilla beans – which gives the beer its name as well as its unmistakable flavor.

At 9.3%, it has plenty of alcohol, which combines with coffee and the sweetness of marshmallow to produce a beer that feels rich and decadent, like eating liqueur chocolates.


25. Extra Export Stout (Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers, Belgium)

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This is the only stout on our list from Belgium, but it’s a particularly good one. The color is dark but not quite black, and it produces a large amount of fluffy head when poured.

The nose is incredibly complex with many of the usual aromas you expect in a stout, like chocolate, coffee and roasted malt, but also with some more unusual notes, like cherry, red wine and perhaps tobacco.

There’s all this and more in the taste, although everything is mixed up and some things are a little hard to pin down. This is a beer to be enjoyed when you have plenty of time to savor it, and it shouldn’t be missed if you ever find one.


26. Exorcist (Local Option, USA)

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You just know this is going to be a fun beer before you even open it because of the highly original artwork on the bottle.

Fortunately, it doesn’t disappoint, with sweet notes of cherry, chocolate and coffee on the nose and more coffee, dark chocolate and dark fruits in the mouth.

The ABV is 8.5%, but this isn’t noticeable in the flavor, making this a beer that’s deceptively easy to drink.


27. Export Stout London 1890 (The Kernel Brewery, UK)

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A traditional export-style stout from England that comes in a pleasingly old-school bottle. The nose is creamy with notes of coffee and dark chocolate, making you want to just dive straight in.

On tasting, you’ll be treated to everything the nose promised, along with some extra notes of smokiness. English stouts are often very different from those brewed in the US, and this one is a great example of how flavorsome they can be.


28. Sotholmen Extra Stout (Nynäshamns Ångbryggeri, Sweden)

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A dark black export-style stout of 7% from Sweden, this is a beer that demands to be sampled if you ever manage to find one. It’s a deep black in the glass with a head that disappears quickly.

The usual coffee in the nose is joined by vanilla and fudge, and these carry over to the taste along with a delicious note of dark bread. There are many excellent beers in Sweden that merit a taste, and without doubt, this is one of them.


29. Marshmallow Handjee (3 Floyds Brewing Co., USA)

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Currently occupying the Number 2 position on BeerAdvocate’s overall list of the world’s best beers, this Russian imperial stout that’s aged in bourbon barrels with vanilla beans is an exceptional beer in every way.

The nose is bursting with all kinds of aromas, and the taste is out of this world. Some beers get overhyped but are underwhelming “in the flesh”, but this is not one of them – this beer is worth working hard to get hold of and more than repays the considerable effort of securing a bottle.


Some fantastic beers to look out for

The list of exceptional stouts in the world that are worth trying is far longer than just 29 beers, and there are many other admirable examples that more than deserve a place in our roundup – but we can’t include them all or our list would run into the hundreds.

Part of the fun of drinking beer is discovering unexpected treasures for yourself, and no doubt you’ll be able to find many other exceptional stouts on your beer adventures. But at least with the brews we’ve included here, you have an idea of some of the best ones to look out for.

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