Saturday, 19 November 2016

1894 Thomas Usher Export Stout

Stout never seems to have enjoyed the same popularity in Scotland as it did South of the border. Consequently there are far fewer recipes for the style than there are for various strengths of Pale Ales.

I’m sure the reason is historical. Scotland never experienced a Porter boom the same way London did, where it was totally dominant for nigh on 100 years. Porter and Stout were popular in Scotland, but never pre-eminent. And the appeal of Brown Beer started to fade after 1850.

Usher’s Export Stout is a funny beer. It doesn’t look like an Export Stout to me. Not even a Stout, really. At just 5% ABV this would have been considered a Porter in London. And it has a classic mid-19th-century London Porter grist: a combination of pale, brown and black malt. Though a London Porter would have contained more pale malt and less brown. One of the weird things is that while Scottish brewers rarely used dark malts in other styles, their percentage was often very high in Stouts.

Here’s a London Porter for comparison purposes:

1894 Whitbread P
pale malt 83.33%
brown malt 7.58%
black malt 9.09%
OG 1056.8
FG 1018
ABV 5.13
Apparent attenuation 68.31%
Whitbread brewing record held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/09/089.

The boil is quite long at 3.5 hours. Long boils weren’t unusual for London Porters in the early part of the 19th century. Especially for the later, weaker worts. But by the end of the century shorter boils were the order of the day – 1.5 to 2 hours – except for the strongest Stouts. I would wonder if the long boil here was designed to add colour, but with 30% dark malts in the grist, I don’t think that would have been necessary.

It looks like a very pleasant drinking Porter to me. A beer I’d rather like to try.

1894 Thomas Usher Export Stout
pale malt 9.50 lb 70.37%
brown malt 2.25 lb 16.67%
black malt 1.75 lb 12.96%
Cluster 210 min 1.25 oz
Cluster 120 min 1.25 oz
Cluster 90 min 1.25 oz
Cluster 30 min 1.25 oz
OG 1055
FG 1016
ABV 5.16
Apparent attenuation 70.91%
IBU 98
SRM 46
Mash at 148º F
Sparge at 170º F
Boil time 210 minutes
pitching temp 58º F


Lee said...

Would a beer of this OG, with all that dark malt and all those IBUs,take a lot of aging to be drinkable?

Ron Pattinson said...


possibly. Though I've no idea if this was aged or not.