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The Best Stout Finished Whiskeys On The Market, Ranked

There are few pairings that go together better than stout and whiskey. That’s especially true when you’re talking about finishing whiskey in stout barrels. There’s a special alchemy that happens when wood soaked in the heavily roasted ale hits well-aged whiskey. Those deep bitter flavor notes from the stout — think coffee beans, dark chocolate, burnt vanilla, subtle spice, dried fruit, and dark sugar — can massage a whiskey towards bolder and deeper flavors that the palate adores.

With the whole whiskey world (and the entire spirits industry) booming, it’s no surprise to find that stout finished whisk(e)y is becoming more and more common around the world. Below, I’m ranking ten stout finished whiskeys that I dig. They each have a different vibe since we’re covering bourbon, Tennessee whiskey, Irish whiskey, scotch, and American single malt, but that’s what makes this so fun — surely there’ll be something for you in this mix.

Also Read: The Top 5 UPROXX Bourbon Posts Of 2021

10. West Cork Irish Stout Cask Matured

West Cork Stout Cask
West Cork Distillers

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $33

The Whiskey:

This is classic blended Irish whiskey of 75 percent grain whiskey and 25 percent malt whiskey. That blend is then transferred into stout barrels that held Blacks of Kinsale Stout. It’s then batched, proofed all the way down, and bottled.

Tasting Notes:

The whiskey opens with an oatmeal cookie vibe with plenty of walnuts and raisins in the mix with mild spice, buttery (almost creamy) oats, and a nice dose of brown sugar. The palate adds vanilla into the mix as the taste darkens toward cooking-grade dark chocolate, a touch of espresso bitterness, and a slight sense of rum-raisin. The finish is pretty short, leans into the nuttiness and dried fruit, and leaves you with a mildly sweet note.

Bottom Line:

This is a very easy-drinking Irish whiskey. It’s straightforward, approachable, and affordable. But it’s also really more of a mixing whiskey than anything else, and you’ll feel the water from all that proofing.

9. The Dubliner Beer Cask Series Smoked Stout

Dubliner Smoked Stout
Quintessential Brands

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $42

The Whiskey:

Dubliner teamed up with Rascals Brewery in Dublin to create this “smoked” stout Irish whiskey. In this case, the stout is the smoked component. The whiskey is unpeated. Those barrels were sent back to Dubliner where they refilled them with their signature blended whiskey (grain and malt).

Tasting Notes:

This is the closest to a classic oatmeal cookie on the nose I think I’ve ever smelled with clear cinnamon powder, oats, butter, and brown sugar. That sweetness turns into pure honey on the nose with a floral nod that leads towards more cinnamon, a light note of heavily roasted walnut. A touch of singed coffee beans arrives late which denotes the “smoked stout” aspect, while a hint of vanilla leads back towards the cinnamon spice and honey on the back end.

Bottom Line:

This is just interesting all around. It’s one of those drams that grow on you the more you drink it.

8. Deanston Dragon’s Milk Stout Cask Finished

Deanston Dragons Milk
Distell Group Limited

ABV: 50.5%

Average Price: $80

The Whiskey:

This whisky is a trans-Atlantic concoction. Barrels from New Holland’s Dragon’s Milk Stout are shipped to the Highlands of Scotland for the finishing maturation of this unpeated malt whisky.

Tasting Notes:

This is very fruity from top to bottom with a nose full of grapefruit pith, cinnamon, oats, and maybe some apricot jam with a hint of wet straw. The taste builds on that straw towards a spicy graham cracker with drip coffee just inching in on the mid-palate. The finish arrives pretty quickly with that coffee leading towards a coffee creamer vibe with distant hints of vanilla, raisin, and maybe some ginger near the end.

Bottom Line:

This is interesting for a single malt. The fruitiness and maltiness of the Highland malt invite you in but then it’s the stout cask that keeps your attention. I kind of want this to be bolder or sharper with the stout notes but it was still perfectly fine, especially if you’re cutting it with a fizzy soda.

7. Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Tasters’ Selection Barrel Reunion #2

Tennessee Tasters
Brown-Forman

ABV: 46%

Average Price: $250

The Whiskey:

This is classic Jack that’s finished off in barrels that held oatmeal stout from Tennessee breweries. That whiskey is then vatted, proofed with that iconic Jack Daniel’s cave water, and then bottled in the very limited run from 2020.

Tasting Notes:

The nose has a dryness to it that leans toward stringy cedar bark, dried espresso beans, and vanilla husks with a little note of dark chocolate-covered brandy cherries lurking in there somewhere. The palate really delivers on those boozy and chocolate-y cherries while layering in more dry wood bark that’s counterpointed by a sense of vanilla pudding that turns into a mint chocolate ice cream from the grocery store. The finish takes that dry wood and mint and cream and sort of turns it into a very faint menthol with a savory banana vibe and a final note of that cherry.

Bottom Line:

This was a bit all over the place for me back when I tasted it. Still, it has that familiar Jack vibe — thanks to the cherry — but then veers towards places you really wouldn’t expect. I can see some people really digging that or really not. For me, it’s interesting but not enthralling.

6. Rogue Rolling Thunder Stouted Whiskey

Rogue Rolling Thunder
Rogue

ABV: 57.45%

Average Price: $80

The Whiskey:

This Oregon whiskey is all about in-house production. The beer/base of the whiskey comes from Rogue’s own brewery. The juice is distilled on-site. And, finally, the barrels are hand-crafted — from barrels that held Rogue’s stout — at Rogue’s own barrel works. The American single malt spends one year mellowing in new Oregon oak casks before the juice is re-barreled in those stout casks for an additional two years of maturation.

Tasting Notes:

The nose invites you with a dark roast coffee cut with a few pumps of orange syrup and topped with a dark chocolate foam with a dusting of nutmeg. The palate largely delivers on that but lets the coffee bitter towards an espresso bean while the dark chocolate dries out into a powder and the spice warms towards candy cinnamon with a touch more of that orange lurking in the background. The mid-palate veers away from the dryness towards a creamy vanilla finish with a touch of powdered sugar and dark chocolate powder.

Bottom Line:

It’s easy to see how this took Double Gold at San Francisco last year. It’s super easy to drink and feels like a great introduction to stout finished whiskey. It does lean a little sweet for me, hence this ranking. Still, this is a fine bottle to grab if you come across it.

5. Teeling Whiskey Stout Cask Finish

Teeling Stout Finish
Teeling Distillery

ABV: 46%

Average Price: $60

The Whiskey:

The triple distilled tipple is finished in stout casks from Galway Bay Brewery, making for a special bottle with plenty of depth that transports you straight to Ireland.

Tasting Notes:

Rye spice lurks behind notes of dark chocolate on the nose with a hint of dark citrus oils adding depth. Rich caramel and vanilla show up on the palate with a note of fatty and sweet plums next to sharp orange zest and eggnog spices. Finally, that caramel and chocolate marry with a slightly herbal/minty note that leads towards and spicy and warming end.

Bottom Line:

This is one of those bottles that I wish there was more off, especially for winter sipping. This feels like winter vibes in a bottle and makes for an excellent highball this time of year, especially with an orange twist.

4. Jameson Caskmates Stout Edition

Jameson Stout Cask
Pernod Ricard

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $28

The Whiskey:

Jameson Caskmates is the most accessible option on this list — you can get this stuff nationwide very easily. The whiskey barrels are seasoned with local Dubliner craft stout before the old-school Jameson juice goes in for a long mellowing period. The result is a blend that marries Irish whiskey with its most famous style of beer.

Tasting Notes:

Bales of hay stacked under apple and pear trees weighed down with fruit mingle with milk chocolate, hazelnuts, spice, and green tea, all accented by a hint of lemon zest. On the palate, florals and apples with spice give way to a clear sense of bitter coffee beans and cocoa nibs, with a distant echo of resin-forward hops. The chocolate comes back into play with a note of butterscotch as the long finish lingers and warms.

Bottom Line:

This really feels like the quintessential stout finished whiskey. It’s very clearly an Irish whiskey that embraces the finishing as it builds towards a finish on your palate. It’s not mind-blowing but it’s just really, really easy drinking and tasty.

3. Breckenridge Whiskey Imperial Stout Cask

Beckenridge Stout Finish
Beckenridge

ABV: 54.25%

Average Price: $65

The Whiskey:

This whiskey is a match made in Colorado. The whiskey is aged in imperial oatmeal stout from Breckenridge Brewing. The brewery and distillery are only two miles apart. So, there’s very little time in between the beer getting emptied from the barrels and the whiskey getting filled in, adding extra layers of flavor to the final product. Moreover, you can actually get the beer that was aged in the bourbon barrels for this project from Breckenridge Brewing in case you’re looking for a good pairing this winter.

Tasting Notes:

The nose on this one is surprisingly fruity with a mix of dark berries that are almost ntart with hints of ripe banana and chocolate-covered strawberries with a hint of burnt vanilla husks. The palate dries out that strawberry while the chocolate darkens as salted caramel kicks with an eggnog spice base and a touch of dry and mild chili pepper flakes. The finish lingers for a while as the burnt vanilla, caramel, and dark berries coalesce under the dark and bitter chocolate.

Bottom Line:

This dropped late last year and really shines as something both unique and bold. It feels like it takes the genre in a slightly new direction while still giving off those stout vibes. It’s a nice pour over a rock.

2. Belle Meade Black Belle

Belle Meade Black Belle
Nelsons Green Brier

ABV: 54.55%

Average Price: $762

The Whiskey:

This whiskey is a collaboration between Blackstone Brewery and Nelson’s Green Brier Distilling, both in Nashville. The juice is a nine-year-old bourbon (from MGP) that spends an additional one year and eleven months in an imperial stout barrel from Blackstone in the Green Brier warehouse. That whiskey is then bottled as-is to highlight the beauty of that process.

Tasting Notes:

This opens up your sense with big notes of peppery rye spice next to orange oils, fresh and oily vanilla husks, and big woody sticks of cinnamon. The palate marries that cinnamon to a dark chocolate note that’s more like ground cacao nibs than a bar of chocolate while hints of brittle toffee, nutmeg, whole black peppercorns, and dried orange rind lurk just under the surface. The finish darkens that cacao towards oily and damn near sour espresso beans as the sip slowly fades back through the spice, sweetness, and citrus towards a warming and comforting finish.

Bottom Line:

This might as well be a tie for first place. Though these yearly releases are very rare, they’re worth lining up at the distillery to get. This is damn near perfection with a balance between real, deep bourbon notes and a stout essence that shines through but doesn’t overwhelm. Add a rock or a few drops of water and spend some time really diving deeply into this one.

1. Westward Stout Cask

Westward Stout Cask
Westward Distilling

ABV: 46%

Average Price: $83

The Whiskey:

Portland’s Westward knows how to make a killer American single malt and how to finish that juice in a quality barrel. This whiskey was finished in barrels that held several different breweries’ stouts from all over Oregon. Those barrels were sent back to Westward where this whiskey spent another year maturing before proofing and bottling.

Tasting Notes:

The nose draws you in with an apricot jam vibe that’s accented by a dense scone with a hint of whipped butter and leather. The taste lets you know the malts are there but leans them into an almost pecan danish vibe as the mid-palate embraces a slight powdered sugar icing with hints of apple core and dark chocolate shavings. The finish builds on that chocolate as it dries out towards a mildly warm and soft finish.

Bottom Line:

This is damn near magic in a glass. It’s complex and really opens up with a little water or a rock.

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