Friday, September 14, 2007

Guinness Extra Stout

When some of my friends were in town for my wedding (specifically, they were all here as a part of the wedding party), we hit up the local beer store to grab some special brews to enjoy over classic comedies like Old School and, of course, Wedding Crashers. One that we picked up at Booze Brothers was Guinness Extra Stout. Having had Guinness Draught in various forms (never at a pub though...I'm saving that for Ireland), and knowing that the upcoming honeymoon may allow me to pick up the foreign version of this beer in Jamaica, I picked up the domestic (but still imported) version to try and compare. It's been sitting in my fridge for almost two months now, and since I tried Guinness Foreign Extra Stout already, it's time to taste the version we get stateside.

Guinness Extra Stout (or something thereabouts) was first brewed in 1759 at St. James' Gate in Dublin as Guinness East and West India porter by Arthur Guinness. While it is not the exact beer now as it was then, it is the direct ancestor. It became reformulated as Guinness Extra Superior Porter in 1821. There are a couple of interesting notes about this beer, particularly the name change between Britain and the United States; across the pond, it's known as Guinness Original, a more direct link to the East and West India porter of the 18th century. It's also not as strong over there, weighing in at only 4.2% ABV; according to the website, it's 5% ABV over here, though. Wikipedia (always a "trustworthy" source...) lists 4.8% ABV for Namibia and South Africa and 6% for Australia and Japan (it also says the US gets 6% too). What contradicts that last parenthesized statement is that Canada brews all the Guinness Extra Stout sold in the states; it says "Product of Canada" on the bottle (Canada being the home of 5% Guinness). (US website (requires birthday and USA for location), England website (requires birthday and England for location), Wikipedia entry)

Here are the stats:

Guinness Extra Stout
BREWERY: Guinness Ltd., Dublin, Ireland
CALORIES/SERVING: per 12 oz. bottle
ABV: 5% (though I've seen other sources say up to 8%)
FOODS TO PAIR WITH: Oysters (I'll take their word for it)

As with other Guinness entries, the beer is an opaque black color that seems to absorb all light that attempts to pass near it. It also gives off a coffee-colored head when poured, once again taking up the whole glass with bubbles moving downward, retaining a puffiness once it had compressed. (I did not attempt to pour the perfect pint, or in this case 12 oz.) The aroma that spilled forth from the beer was that of blackened dark chocolate. Its taste was stronger than that of Guinness Foreign Extra Stout, with more hoppiness, I feel, and it tasted like black coffee. While it tasted alright, the taste quickly transitioned to a funky aftertaste.

However, lots of beers have funky aftertastes, and if you want a great stout, than Guinness Extra Stout is a good one to order. Pick one up at your local beer store.



Anonymous said...

Ok after reading this I really believe you should research the product a bit more.

Not a good review.

The Beerocrat said...

Congratulations, Anonymous, you've just won the Beerocrat's Most Worthless Comment Ever Award!

Your comment makes it abundantly clear that you didn't read my entry, as I gave a history of Guinness and the beer to the best of my ability. I apologize for not tracking down every last book or article that ever mentioned Guinness. I apologize for only being able to run this blog on my spare time. In other words, I apologize for having a life.

I assume you also took issue with my "funky aftertaste" comment; I can only assume because you were too scared to leave any real criticism, let alone any other information about you. Therefore, I'm also sorry that you got butt-hurt over that comment. I don't bad mouth a beer, but I speak my opinions about a beer, knowing full well that I am just one person in a sea of opinions about beer. I also said this beer was "a great stout." Then again, since you didn't read my post, why would I expect you to know it?

If you wish to give me some examples of why it was "not a good review," and I mean real constructive criticism, then by all means tell me. Otherwise, you're not welcome here.

To summarize: Not a good comment, Anonymous.

The Beerocrat said...

Also, if that was sarcasm, it sucked.

Nicholas said...

Did you take that picture?
That definitely looks like way too much foam, did you just pour it in as fast as possible? Also those glasses are for hefeweizens. I picked up a 2 pack of Guinness Draught w/ 2 Guinness imperial pint glasses which I use for porters & stouts. I'm not a huge fan of the Draught but Extra Stout is off the hook. Check out the 250 year ann. brew from Guinness, pretty similar to the extra stout, it's really good. If you haven't had Young's Double Chocolate Stout check it out. It easily jumped to the top of my list.