Stouts – U.S. Open Beer Championship
Category 21: Classic Irish Dry Stout

Color: Black
Clarity: Opaque
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: The prominence of coffee-like roasted barley and a moderate degree of roasted malt aroma and flavor defines much of the character. Dry stouts achieve a dry-roasted character through the use of roasted barley. Initial malt and light caramel flavors give way to a distinctive dry-roasted bitterness in the finish.
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: European hop character may range from not perceived to low in aroma and flavor
Perceived Bitterness: Medium to medium-high
Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity-estery character is low relative to malt and roasted barley as well as hop bitterness. Diacetyl, if present, should be very low. Slight acidity may be perceived but is not required.
Body: Medium-light to medium
Additional notes: Head retention should be persistent
Alcohol by Volume: 4.10% – 5.30%
IBU: 30-40
Color SRM: 40+

Category 22: Foreign Stout
Color: Black
Clarity: Opaque
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Coffee-like roasted barley and roasted malt aromas are prominent. Initial malt and light caramel flavors give way to a distinctive dry-roasted bitterness in the finish.
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Should not be perceived
Perceived Bitterness: May be analytically high, but the perception is lessened by malt sweetness.
Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity-estery aroma and flavor is low. Diacetyl should be negligible or not perceived. Slight acidity is acceptable.
Body: Medium to full
Additional notes: Head retention should be persistent
Alcohol by Volume: 5.70% – 9.50%
IBU: 30-60
Color SRM: 40+

Category 23: American Stout
Color: Black
Clarity: Opaque
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Coffee-like roasted barley and roasted malt aromas are prominent. Low to medium malt sweetness with low to medium caramel, chocolate, and/or roasted coffee flavor should be present, with a distinct dry-roasted bitterness in the finish. Astringency from roasted malt and roasted barley is low. Slight roasted malt acidity is acceptable.
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Medium to high, often with citrusy and/or resiny hop qualities typical of many American hop varieties.
Perceived Bitterness: Medium to high
Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity-estery aroma and flavor is low. Diacetyl should be negligible or not perceived.
Body: Medium to full
Additional notes: Head retention should be persistent
Alcohol by Volume: 5.70% – 8.90%
IBU: 35-60
Color SRM: 40+

Category 24 : Sweet Stout or Cream Stout
Color: Black
Clarity: Opaque
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Medium to medium-high. Malt sweetness, chocolate and caramel should contribute to the aroma and should dominate the flavor profile. Roast flavor may be perceived. Low to medium-low roasted malt-derived bitterness should be present.
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Should not be perceived
Perceived Bitterness: Low to medium-low and serves to balance and suppress some of the sweetness without contributing apparent flavor and aroma
Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity-estery flavors, if present, are low. Diacetyl should not be perceived.
Body: Full-bodied. Body can be increased with the addition of milk sugar (lactose).
Alcohol by Volume: 3.20% – 6.30%
IBU: 15-25
Color SRM: 40+

Category 25: Oatmeal Stout
Color: Dark brown to black
Clarity: Beer color may be too dark to perceive. When clarity is perceivable, chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures.
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Coffee, caramel, roasted malt or chocolate aromas should be prominent. Roasted malt character of caramel or chocolate should be smooth without bitterness.
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Optional, but should not upset the overall balance.
Perceived Bitterness: Medium
Fermentation Characteristics: Oatmeal is used in the grist, resulting in a pleasant, full flavor without being grainy. Fruity-estery aroma can range from not perceived to very low. Fruity-estery flavor is very low. Diacetyl should be absent or at extremely low levels.
Body: Full
Alcohol by Volume: 3.80% – 6.10%
IBU: 20-40
Color SRM: 20+

Category 26: Russian/British Imperial Stout
Color: Ranging from dark copper typical of some historic examples, to very dark more typical of contemporary examples
Clarity: Opaque in darker versions. When clarity is perceivable, chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures.
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Extremely rich malty flavor, often expressed as toffee or caramel, and may be accompanied by very low roasted malt astringency.
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Very low to medium, with floral, citrus or herbal qualities.
Perceived Bitterness: Medium, and should not overwhelm the overall balance. The bitterness may be higher in darker versions while maintaining balance with sweet malt.
Fermentation Characteristics: High alcohol content is evident. High fruity-estery character may be present. Diacetyl should be absent.
Body: Full
Additional notes: This style was also called “British Imperial Stout.”
Alcohol by Volume: 7.00% – 12.00%
IBU: 45-65
Color SRM: 20-40+

Category 27: American Imperial Stout
Color: Black
Clarity: Opaque
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Extremely rich malty aroma is typical. Extremely rich malty flavor with full sweet malt character is typical. Roasted malt astringency and bitterness can be moderate but should not dominate the overall character.
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Medium-high to high with floral, citrus and/or herbal character.
Perceived Bitterness: Medium-high to very high and balanced with rich malt character.
Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity-estery aromas and flavors are high. Diacetyl should be absent.
Body: Full
Alcohol by Volume: 7.00% – 12.00%
IBU: 50-80
Color SRM: 40+

Category 28: Imperial Stout Specialty
This imperial stout can be American or British with coffee, maple, chocolate, spices, peppers, etc added. In the description, describe the non traditional ingredients added to your imperial stout.
Alcohol by Volume: 7.00% – 12.00%
IBU: 40-80
Color SRM: 40+

Category 29: Extreme Imperial Stout
This imperial stout can be American or British Imperial Stouts that are over 12% Alcohol. Can be barrel or non-barrel. Can have coffee, maple, chocolate, spices, peppers, etc
Alcohol by Volume: 12.5%-25%
IBU: 40-100
Color SRM: 40+