Dry or sweet, flavoured with roasted malt barley, oats or certain sugars, stouts and porters are characterized by darkness in colour and rich roasted malt flavour. Porter is an ale brewed with a special combination of malts to create a heavier flavour, aroma and colour. To complement this heavier flavour, porters generally have a fuller body and a slightly sweeter taste.
Stouts often use a portion of unmalted, roasted barley to develop a dark, slightly astringent, coffee-like character. Stout features a rich, creamy head and is similar to a dark porter, but is usually less sweet-tasting and more heavily hopped.