One of the select few offerings from Arthur Guinness’s brewing company and a relative of one of the very first beers that got me into the world of craft beer. This is one of the quintessential Irish beers. This stout pours a deep dark black with a caramel colored head that sticks around for long enough. Aroma of alcohol and roasted malt goodness. All things to expect when drinking a strong stout.
Flavor is surprisingly smooth. I get caramel upfront followed by some cocoa and then a background of black coffee. Very tasty stuff. You can definitely notice the alcohol but not in a bad way. It serves to cool the palate and breakup the roast party. This also has a bitterness that I can’t quite nail down. If I had to guess I would say lactic acid but that could be way off. The bitterness keeps you awake and your tongue active while the other ingredients slowly go in and out of focus. Coffee aftertaste stays with you for a long time. I would like to try this blended with coffee and ice.
This is a real Irish classic and stands tall as an example of a great stout. I will certainly get this again in the future. It would be fun to have this side by side with the Guinness draught and see what differences can be found. If you have a hankering for something dark and bold, this will not disappoint.
Final Score: 83% (Smooth, Roasted, and Complex)