Saturday, September 1, 2007

Everyone knows Guinness tastes best from Ireland

Well err...

One of the beers we tasted before the Phoenix’s first game was a can of Irish brewed Guinness. To my relief it didn’t have a widget and hadn’t been canned under nitrogen, that unfortunately was where the nice things that could be said about the beer stopped.
Guinness is one of those major brands that manage to surround themselves in romance, myth and misunderstanding on the part of the consumer. This is in part due to its Irish roots (having watched The Wind that Shakes the Barley last night I’m not sure how romantic those Irish roots really are) and in part to the fact that it is black in a range of multinational beer brands that are all golden.
Draft Guinness in this country comes from a Lion lager factory in Christchurch, it shares most of its ingredients and production methods with those lagers, and as a result comes out a rather uninspiring yet perfectly palatable beer. Not a great dry stout but alright when the options are limited. The example from Dublin was something else...


Guinness Original 4.2%

Pours a deep black with a beige head, reassuringly there’s no Nitro cream flow here. Aromas of banana, a metallic astringent note and some roast grain. On the palate the banana dominates along with some oxidative character, perhaps even a touch of vegetal character, very little malt shows through, a little astringency. Thankfully there is no nitro in this; however the flavours that are left are not very pleasant. I would take Chch brewed version over this.

6 comments:

maeib said...

Guinness is a pretty sad beer to be fair these days, as many micros the world over brew much better stouts. Having said that the Belgian and Nigerian versions are still top quality and are very worth seeking out.

Kieran Haslett-Moore said...

The Dublin brewed Foreign Extra Stout is pretty good, I have had the chance to the Belgian or Nigerian versions although the Nigerian version is due into these shores soon.

Kieran Haslett-Moore said...

I have not had the chance I meant.

Stonch said...

You've made me want to try the ChCh version now! I'd be interested to taste a better version of standard Draught Guinness. We sure as hell need it here, if twerps will insist on drinking stuff.

Kieran Haslett-Moore said...

I’m not sure you really would be that impressed its more palatable than the Irish can. I would settle for F.E.S. being regularly available.

Stonch said...

We're swimming in FES here. You can buy it in the most unsalubrious little shops, all over London.