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Old 12-04-2010, 05:05 PM   #1
Mar 2009
Oakland, CA
Posts: 696
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I don't understand this part of the Robust Porter description for the BJCP guidelines:

"... it may be distinguished from Stout as lacking a strong roasted barley character. It differs from a brown porter in that a black patent or roasted grain character is usually present..."

What is the difference between "roasted barkey" and "roasted grain" flavors, how can it lack one but have the other?

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Old 12-04-2010, 05:30 PM   #2
Jun 2010
Seattle, Washington
Posts: 216

Stouts and porters are essentially the same. The main difference is that a porter usually doesn't have roasted barley in it, which gives stouts a richer, toasty flavor. In the place of roasted barley, black patent (a roasted grain) is used to give it its dark color without the heaviness of a stout.

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Old 12-04-2010, 05:31 PM   #3
Captain Damage
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Apr 2008
Lowell, Massachusetts
Posts: 1,230
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The difference is whether the grain is malted or not. Black patent is black roasted malted barley. Roasted barley is not malted. The flavors are different.
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Old 02-11-2016, 09:13 PM   #4
Aug 2015
Posts: 15

I really don't think there's much of a difference. M.J.Lewis writes in "Stout", from "Classic Beer Styls Series": "Only roasted malt is used by Guiness for export beer. But for other beers, Guiness uses either roasted malt or roasted barley, and they have not been able to detect a flavor difference between these two roasted products (Robert Letters, personal communication).

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Old 02-12-2016, 03:02 AM   #5
Feb 2014
NW Bergen County, NJ
Posts: 1,009
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Plus there are lots of roasted grains, all malted: Biscuit, Amber, brown, pale chocolate, chocolate, black patent, the Carafa family. "Roasted barley" - by that name - is not malted.

You need to brew with them to get used to their contributions. It's confusing, though, I'd agree.
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