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The Beer Circle » Beer Float, Stout » Stout “Floating” – Which Ice Cream Flavor is Best?

Stout “Floating” – Which Ice Cream Flavor is Best?

Recently I experimented with “Floating” an IPA, comparing whether orange sherbet or lemon sorbet was better. In my second experiment, I went with the go-to style for beer floats: Stouts. The temperature was in the 90s this past weekend so it was the perfect opportunity. The kids were eyeing the ice cream so I felt that I couldn’t wait any longer.


Green Flash’s Silva Stout, HäagenDazs’ vanilla & coffee ice creams


The beer in each of the glasses reacted with the catalyst of choice. Each flavor knocked much of the airiness out of the stout but did make the head much creamier, bordering on sea foam. Both ice cream flavors lightened the base color of the beer.

vanilla – sans ice cream – coffee

Decision: Tie


The predominant aroma from both floats was the ice cream that was used in each glass. The creaminess from the additions were imparted into the aroma; followed by the sweet vanilla scents of the base stout. Both smelled very good, but the vanilla aroma was purer compared to the coffee and was easier to make out.

Decision: Vanilla


The vanilla ice cream hit a home run here. The creaminess and the pure vanilla flavor worked well with the barrel-aged stout and served to enhance the overall experience. The coffee ice cream’s taste got a little lost with the base stout flavors: molasses, chocolate chip, vanilla with an oaky finish.

Decision: Vanilla


The stout with vanilla ice cream was amazing. I wish I could go into any ice cream shop or brewery and order it. I believe that the better the stout, the better the float so I would recommend you pick something that you like as your base. While I would choose the vanilla floated stout 95 out of 100 times the coffee stout was still very good. It would have to go to it on occasion to mix things up a bit.

Winner: Vanilla

The Aftermath

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Written by Bob Pack

Simply put, Bob is a beer lover. He goes out of his way to try new beers whenever he can find them. The love of trying new beers had resulted in a beer label collection of over 1400. When it comes down to it, Bob is a hop head. He loves IPAs (including double and black). Stouts are a close second. His tweet reviews on @nova_beer are simple and approachable. Let him know what you think. Find Bob Pack on Google Plus

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