“Swirling clouds tumble as the storm begins to calm, settle, breathe in the moment, then break through the smooth, light head to the bittersweet reward. Unmistakeably GUINNESS®, from the first velvet sip to the last, lingering drop. And every deep-dark satisfying mouthful in between. Pure beauty. Pure GUINNESS®.” 4.2% ABV
Poured from two 14.9 oz pubs cans, enough to fill my Guinness imperial tulip glass (I had to refill my glass about half way through to finish the second can…tee hee). The nitrogen from the widget causes beautiful surging from bottom to top, one of the trademark looks of Guinness (or other nitro brews). Once settled, Guinness is reddish black, and ever-so-slightly opaque in color. The head is thick and creamy, whitish-tan in color, lasts throughout, and leaves good lacing.
Sweet, slightly bitter roasted malts, mixed with a hint of chocolate bitterness. Not too much else.
The best part of enjoying a Guinness is letting the beer break through the creamy head into your mouth. The mouth feel is thin and watery, and smooth going down. There is a roasty malt flavor, with a barely noticeable bittersweet chocolate/coffee undertone. Guinness finishes dry and roasty, and lingers a little less on the palate than other stouts. The head from the pub cans is a little metallic tasting if you get too much, and more creamy if you get it on tap (and with a proper pour).
Guinness will always have a spot in my heart, as it was truly my foray into the beer world. I was inspired to try it by Guinness guzzling Irish rock band Flogging Molly. Contrary to popular belief, Guinness is very sessionable, and easy to drink. At just 4.2% ABV and 125 calories per 12 oz serving, it is comparable, if not lighter, than a standard American macro-lager. The flavors are dry and subtle (per the Irish dry-stout style), and this is my go-to beer when it is available at restaurants/bars that only have shit beer. There are plenty of more flavorful, elaborate stouts out there. To me, it is a light beer. But still a classic. 6.5/10.
St. James Gate Brewery – Dublin, Ireland