Who doesn't love a good stout? Well, I certainly do, but what I'm not so keen on is those that have been extensively mucked about with. By mucked about with, I mean the addition of the likes of coffee and most of all that evil of all evils, which should only ever appear in confectionary or puddings, vanilla. To that, generally, I'd add blackcurrant - unless to disguise the cardboard taste of Guinness - and most other herbs, fruits and spices. I'll leave a slight exception for a touch of chilli, but that is a now and again thing.
It isn't that I'm against such stuff, and I agree and recognize that there are plenty out there that like these additions, but what I do dislike is that a bit too often, there isn't just a straightforward stout that tastes of, well, stout. There are exceptions of course, and maybe too many brewers feel that a "normal" stout doesn't get them sales in a crowded market. Well that's fine, but let's at least have an unmucked about version as the default, with the additions as specials.
I seem to have struck a chord with praising unmucked about stout, so a poll. Stout should contain ingredients other than water, malt, yeast and hops:— Tandleman (@tandleman) December 8, 2021
A respectable 215 people voted, with the vast majority saying stouts should have adjuncts added sparingly and occasionally.
This doesn't surprise me, as that is how it should be.
I did once brew a fantastic stout with Ramsbottom Craft Brewery. It had a hint of chilli. I did an even better one with Aldgate Brewery, which didn't, so make of that what you will.
The photo shows an unmucked about stout taken in Skipton. See previous post.