Beers of The Times - Call It Stout, Though It Isn't "PEOPLE get stuck on the word stout. It confuses, the way it connotes size and fleshiness. And the color, too — inky, impenetrable black — suggests mass and power. As a result, many people think stout is a formidable blockbuster of an ale, heavy and alcoholic, just the way they assume darker roasts of coffee have more caffeine than lighter roasts. Nothing could be further from the truth."