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Dry or Irish stout

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Stout and porter are dark beers made using roasted malt or barley, hops, water, and yeast. Stouts were traditionally the generic term for the strongest or stoutest beers, typically 7% or 8%, produced by a brewery.

Left: A pint of Guinness with a slice of wheaten bread and butter.

Irish stout or dry stout (in Irish, leann dubh, "black ale") is very dark or rich in colour and it often has a "toast" or coffee-like taste. The most famous example, Guinness, is from Ireland. The two other Irish dry stout breweries are Murphy's and Beamish. The alcoholic content and "dry" flavour of a dry or Irish stout are both characterised as light, although it varies from country to country.

Guinness is based on the porter style that originated in London in the early 18th century and is one of the most successful beer brands worldwide. A distinctive feature is the burnt flavour which is derived from the use of roasted barley. For many years a portion of the drink was aged to give a sharp lactic flavour, although Guinness has refused to confirm whether this still occurs. The thick creamy head is the result of the beer being mixed with nitrogen when being poured. It is popular with Irish people both in Ireland and abroad and, in spite of a decline in consumption over recent years, is the best-selling alcoholic drink of all time in Ireland.

Although Guinness may appear to be black, it is officially a very dark shade of ruby.

A long time subject of bar conversations is the Guinness cascade, where the gas bubbles appear to travel downwards in a pint glass of Guinness. The effect is attributed to drag; bubbles that touch the walls of a glass are slowed in their travel upwards. Bubbles in the centre of the glass are, however, free to rise to the surface, and thus form a rising column of bubbles. The rising bubbles create a current by the entrainment of the surrounding fluid. As beer rises in the centre, the beer near the outside of the glass falls. This downward flow pushes the bubbles near the glass towards the bottom. Although the effect occurs in any liquid, it is particularly noticeable in any dark nitrogen stout, as the drink combines dark-coloured liquid and light-coloured bubbles.

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