So dear reader, chances are when I say (or type), "stout," chances are you may go, 1) "What?" OR, 2) "Ah, Guinness!"

Whether you responded with either 1) or 2), you've come to the right place, because I'm here to educate you...that's what I'm here for (not to drink lots of booze and call it an excuse to write some nickel and dime blog).

For those of you unfamiliar with what stout is, it is, shockingly, a type of beer, chiefly made with roasted malt or barley, hops, water, and yeast, and has a remarkably "dark" taste. What exactly does "dark" taste like? You'll have to try it to find out (but needless to say these beers are not bloody "light" ones).

This particular stout starring in today's Matt's Beer We Go! is from Scotch Irish Brewing, and this naturally means it's made in Canada. Of course. And, just so you know, the fellow it's named after (and whose picture graces the bottle) is one Mr. Stout, whom all Stout is named after...ahha...naw. He's Lt. (pronounced LEFT-tenant)-Col. John By, who supervised the building of the Rideau Canal in the early 19th century, and was the founder of Bytown, which later became Ottawa, capital city of my glorious country (I'm not telling you which one). It's only natural I suppose that a city which is now known for its bitter politics would help produce a very bitter beer. Irony and beer, who would've thunk it?

On to details, but be forewarned to those who answered 2), this sure as hell ain't no Guinness.

First, get yourself an industrial strength bottle opener. Got it? Good.

Upon first glance poured into a glass, it appears dark, and frankly, viscous, almost like chocolate syrup. (Be glad I didn't say motor oil.) It really is dark brown, like caramel, but is nearly black. Yup.

Its smell is quite the blend, of chocolate, coffee, caramel/toffee, and is actually very fragrant, sweetish almost, but definitely heavy and distinct. My wife even noted molasses, and I'd not be surprised if you picked it up too.

If you've not been terrified to taste it by now, prepare yourself for an avalanche of bitterness. This stout is dark, heavy, unique tasting, quite malty, and smokey. The aftertaste leaves a lot of bitterness as well.

So then. There you go. Scared? This stout is definitely not for the timid, or for people who aren't even all that fussy about say, Guinness. Guinness is certainly much milder, much lighter, and packs way less alcohol; John By Imperial Stout (and there is a style of stout called "Imperial") hits you with 8.5% alcohol, hence its smaller packaging.

If you want a unique taste experience that you are not sure to forget, buy this beer. The beer notes that the kick inside is sure to ward off the Canadian winter: that I definitely agree with, but it very may well also ward off the faint of taste beer drinker!!

You gotta ask yourself: do you feel lucky? Well? Do ya?? PUNK??

Go ahead.

Try. This. Beer.

**1/4 out of 4

Purchased at a Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) store for C$2.60 (US$2.44).


LCBO #72934
Beer, Stout, Craft Brewery
8.5% Alcohol/Vol.
Sugar Content: 4
Made in: Ontario, Canada
By: Scotch Irish Brewing

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