Stout Week: Guinness Extra Stout and Draught

Now I’ve got a bottle of Guinness Extra Stout, the much lauded export stout, and a widget can of Guinness Draught. One should note that this bottle of Extra Stout was brewed in New Brunswick while the can comes straight from Ireland.

The Extra Stout gives a thick, creamy head that is only the slightest bit spongy. The head is straw-colored and the beer itself a caramel-tinted deep black. The nose is delicate, with major malt character. A strong biscuit and toast brown malt aroma hearkens back to the porter roots of the style. Light caramel and roast add complexity.

The flavor has a similar detached bitter astringency as in the tap version, but there is also a significant contribution of flavor from brown and roast malt. While the roast still seems underbalanced for the bitterness, it is certainly much closer to ideal. In addition, there is a meaty yeast character that was entirely lacking on tap. The palate is thick and creamy without being cloying or undrinkable.

The Guinness Draught: I have to admit, this does pour exactly like Guinness on tap, with the thick milky head falling quickly in waves, settling with a creamy off-white meringue layer over a red-tinted dark brown. I can see (though I may not understand) why they spend so much time perfecting that aspect of the experience. Like on tap this has almost no nose, though the canned version does have slightly more toast aroma and a significant diacetyl note.

The taste confirms diacetyl, which actually serves to mellow out the unpleasant bitterness I’ve come to associate with Guinness. Unfortunately there’s almost no other flavor so it is a lost cause anyway. The palate is rich and creamy, and unlike on tap, it is not at all cloying. This beer is not bad, but it could be so much more.

+Guinness Extra Stout

RateBeer: 3.4 (3-7-6-4-14)

+/-Guinness Draught

RateBeer: 3.1 (5-5-5-4-12)

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One Response to “Stout Week: Guinness Extra Stout and Draught”

  1. Awesome blog! I love beer (particularly Guinness) and I’m always excited to read a new Guinness review.

    I have a goal to drink a Guinness in every country in the world (chronicled at my blog), and I’m really trying to get a better grasp of the tasting lingo. (Perhaps I’m too left-brained, but I never think notes/aromas/etc. when drinking or eating anything.) Was this something you researched at all, or does it come naturally to you?

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