Science is great. You get to do wacky stuff in the name of research that normal folk wouldn't dream of, like taking the darkest of beers and making it light.
Stout is black. Normally. It's black because of the intense heat during the brewing process that cooks the malt further, releasing those dark colours and caramel, roasty flavours the style is known for. Although nowhere is it written that stouts have to be black, they normally end up this way because of the mentioned brewing process.
Cloudwater have decided to test this definition of what stout is. They've taken some classic stout flavours - coffee, vanilla and chocolate - and made a white stout. It's got all the ingredients of a stout, it has the strength, body and depth of a stout. But it doesn't have the colour of a stout.
The white stout as a style is a little mysterious. Not formally recognised as a style by any authoritative body, but a style that has been played with by quite a lot of breweries like Cloudwater, undertaking Physical Research into the style in the name of science, and beer.
Physical Research: Taste Test
Lots of coffee and chocolate in the scent, but the real surprise is the pour. A golden colour but with the thickness of milkshake making it look and feel unusual in the glass.
Like many stouts, the carbonation is quite tight and the body rich, with a sickly sweet and almost sticky consistency to the beer which is very much in keeping with the stout stytle.
The paleness doesn't actually add much to the flavour, if it was a blind taste test it would be difficult to tell a white stout and more common black stout apart. That doesn't detract from the quality though, just makes it more of a gimmick.
The aftertaste is where more of the vanilla sweetness comes in, working well in tandem with the bittersweet coffee flavour to give the beer a slightly bitter finish that is pleasantly contrasting to the sweetness.
Physical Research: Can Notes
If you're making a white stout, you're going to want something that's intrinsically white on the can. Like, known for being white. Clouds. Paper. Cotton buds.
Spider webs? Kind of? They are white, and they are beautiful; making them a perfect accompaniment for a white stout can design.
This one features a cobweb in situ somewhere in the wild, and is a stunning shot with a slightly out-of-focus background that could either be woodland or somebody's garden.
It lets the name, style description and information on the back do the talking and just sits there looking pretty, allowing you to really take in the weird brilliance of this brew.
Buy Cloudwater Physical Research White Stout
If you want to undertake some physical research yourself, in the interest of science of course; then you can pick up a can of this stuff from Honest Brew.
It's cheaper if you're a member at £9.06, with non-members paying £9.79. Whilst it's on the pricier side for a single beer the price shouldn't put you off, as it's well worth trying.
As they say in science (I think), everything is worth trying once. Don't quote me on that.
A fan of beer since his first can of John Smiths he snook out of his Dad's fridge, Adam is now a craft beer enthusiast. To offset this 'hobby', he also cycles, runs and plays cricket when not spending time with his family.