Although Guinness started its life as a porter, nowadays, it is a traditional Irish stout beer, drunk all over the world. If you find you enjoy drinking Guinness and would like to try some other versions of this style, too, we’ve got you covered. 

Below you’ll find a list of comparable Irish stouts, some very similar to Guinness, in case you want to stay as close to it as possible. We’ve also included some beers that are similar, but with slightly different tasting notes for if you’re ready to venture out a little more. Apart from the flavor, we’ll also have a look at the ABV, IBUs, calories and more. Below you’ll find ten beers to try if you enjoy Guinness.

Yes, we do taste the beers we talk about!

What does Guinness taste like? 

Guinness is a traditional stout beer. There are two types of stout; milk (or sweet) and dry stout. The latter is mostly brewed in Ireland, which is why it is also referred to as Irish stout. Guinness falls into this category too. As a result, this beer has no sweetness to it. 

It is made from roasted barley, water, hops and a strain of ale yeast. 

This yeast, along with the roasted barley, gives this beer its particular taste. 

In terms of flavor, it is a very crisp and balanced beer with a dry finish. As expected from an Irish stout, there is no real sweetness to it and has notes of fruit, coffee and dark chocolate. The color of Guiness is very dark, with a slight red hue. 

Apart from this, Guiness has an ABV of 5.6%, which is slightly higher than is normally expected from an Irish stout, 40 IBUs and 125 calories per 12 fl. oz.  

1. Keegan Ales Mother’s Milk

The first beer on this list is one brewed in Kingston, New York. Keegan Ales Mother’s Milk might have a slightly odd name, but it has been declared one of the “Top Ten Stouts in North America” by The New York Times, so it’s definitely worth a try. 

This beer is not a dry stout, but a Milk one instead. As a result, it is slightly sweeter, with a creamy mouthfeel. You’ll also find chocolate and espresso notes here, just like you would with Guinness.  

In terms of numbers, Keegan Ales Mother’s Milk has an ABV of 5%, 18 IBUs and 230 calories. After all, this beer has added lactose, which is essentially sugar derived from milk. This leaves you with a less IBUs and more calories. 

2. Left Hand Brewing Milk Stout Nitro

Next on our list is another milk stout. This beer has similar tasting notes as Guiness, with chocolate and coffee, but also adds notes of vanilla and brown sugar. Even though it is a slightly sweeter beer, it still has a subtle bitterness toward the end, which makes it not too sugary. 

What is also interesting about this particular beer, is that it is carbonated using nitrogen, instead of the usual Co2,  or a combination fo the 2, like Guinness would. The result is smaller bubbles that add to the creaminess of this beer. 

Looking at the numbers, we see a slightly higher alcohol percentage; 6%, as well as more calories; 210. This is to be expected from a milk stout. In terms of IBUs, this beer has 25 and therefore sits in the middle of Guinness and Mother’s Milk. 

If you find you like this beer, you’re in luck, as its available year-round. 

3. Sapporo Premium Black Beer

Sapporo Premium Black Beer is a bold and flavorful one, yet still goes down smoohtly. This isn’t a stout, but a dark lager instead. However, you still get distinct coffee and chocolate notes and a well balanced flavor. Additionally, this beer has a dark body with a slight red hue, much like the other beers on this list. There is also a slight aroma of stonefruit and dry finish. 

The ABV for this beer is 5.0%, and is therefore a little lower than Guinness, and 152 calories per 12 fl. oz,  which is a little higher. 

4. North Coast Brewing Old No. 38 Stout

Next up is a another Irish stout, with a very interesting name; It is named after a retired California Western Railroad steam engine on the For Bragg. In this particular stout, you’ll get notes of coffee, dark chocolate, vanilla and caramel. It also has a little smokyness to it.

Apart from similar flavor notes, this beer is also comparable with Guinness in terms of ABV, as it has 5.4%. In terms of IBUs, there are 53, compared to Guinness’ 40. 

This beer has also won several awards, including gold in the 2003 World Beer Championships, and silver in the 2006 and 2004 one. It is also Non GMO project verified, which is a nice bonus. 

5. Dogfish Head Chicory Stout

This American stout is one for those who are ready to try something a little less traditional. This beer is, as the name suggests, brewed with roasted chicory, as well as organic Mexican coffee and licorice root. 

The result is a beer that has the aroma of strong roasted coffee, but with additional flavor notes of vanilla and licorice. 

As Dogfish Head Chicory Stout is an American stout, instead of an Irish one, it still has the same dark color, but it is slighly hoppier and stronger in flavor.  

In terms of ABV, this beer has 5.2%, which is similar to Guinness, and 21 IBUs, which is significantly less than Guinness. Still, you get the same experience as drinking Guinness, except for the stronger flavor. 

6. Firestone Walker Nitro Merlin Milk Stout

This is another beer that uses nitro gas instead of CO2, which means this milk stout has a creamier mouthfeel than most other beers, including Guinness. It is brewed by Firestone Walker Brewing Co, in California and has an ABV of 5.5%, as well as an 27 IBUs. 

It is a milk stout, has a hint of sweetness. Additionally, you’ll find some toasted malt flavors, as well as chocolate, coffee and cream. This is definitaly a dessert beer, so beware of this when you decide to give it a try. Still, it isn’t sickly sweet. 

7. Grimm Artisanal Ales Lithos 

Next on our list is another black lager, that was launched in 2019. Grimma Artisanal Ales Lithos is a beer with a slightly lighter body as well as some roasty dark notes from the malts. Other flavor notes are, again, coffee and chocolate. However, these notes aren’t as strong as you would find in Guinness. It has a dry and relatively long, bitter after taste. 

In terms of ABV, this beer has 5.3%, which is 0.3% lower than Guinness. 

If this is a beer you want to try, beware that it isn’t available everywhere. You can find it in bars and stores in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, California, Florida, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. It sometimes also pops up in Missouri, Michigan, Ohio, Louisiana, Indiana, Maryland, Georgia, Maine, Illinois, Rhode Island, and Vermont, but this is more of an exception instead of the rule.

If you live on the east coast, you might be able to have send directly to your home. 

8. East Brother Beer Co. Oatmeal Stout

Number eigh on our list is a variety of stout we haven’t talked about yet; oatmeal stout. For this beer, oatmeal is added to the mash, which leaves you with a similar flavor profile and depth as regular stout, but with more of a sweetness and creamier texture.  

The result for East Brother Beer Co is a stout with flavor notes of milk chocolate, dark fruit as well as aromas of coffee. This is a very smooth beer, that isn’t overly sweet. It has an ABV of 5.4%, as well as 16 IBUs.  

The oatmeal stout is brewed in California, which is also where it is sold, as well as in Texas and Pennsylvania. 

9. Maine Beer Company Mean Old Tom Stout

Maine Beer Company’s Mean Old Tom Stout is an American stout, which was aged on vanilla beans. As a result, there are some strong aroma’s of vanilla, as well as coffee, dark chocolate and cereal. There is also oatmeal added to this stout, which leaves you with a silkier moutfeel, just like the East Brother Beer Co. stout. This beer has a slight sweetness to it, but it is definitely one with a more bitter profile. 

It has 24 IBUs, and a rather high ABV of 6.5%. It available year-round, in 32 states, so we recommend checking out their website to find if they are also sold in a store near you. 

10. Samuel Smith’s Imperial Stout

The last on our list is the beer with the highest ABV on our list; 7%. Brewed in Tadcaster, UK, Samuel Smith makes an imperial stout, which are similar to dry stouts, apart from their higher ABV. But, despite its high alcohol percentage, this beer is surprisingly smooth. 

It is rich, flavorful and has notes of dark fruits, dark roasted malts and a strong bitterness. 

With its higher ABV, it is not surprising that this beer has a good amount of calories; 230 per 12 fl. oz. It also has 35 IBUs.