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Beer Review: Guinness Extra Stout

In line with this week’s Irish beer theme, this review is of Guinness Extra Stout brewed by Guinness Ltd. in Dublin Ireland.  This world-famous Guinness brand is known for production of stouts that require precise pouring methods that demand server and customer patience.  However, I was a bit confused as to the different kinds of Guinness beer available in the store.  I’m sure that nearly everyone who has ever had a beer has dried a Guinness Draught at the local bar at some point.  A picture of this popular brand, Guinness Draught, is shown below.  But there are other Guinness brands on the market,
including Guinness Blond American Lager, Guinness Black Lager, and Guinness Foreign
Extra Stout.

Let’s compare five Guinness brand beers, all of which are available locally.
Name:                                          Style:                             ABV
Guinness Draught:                       Dry Irish Stout              4.2%
Guinness Extra Stout:                Dry Irish Stout:             6.0%
Guinness Foreign Extra Stout:     Foreign / Export Stout: 7.2%
Guinness Blonde American Ale: American Pale Lager:    5.0%
Guinness Black Lager:                 Euro Dark Lager:          4.5%

Guinness Draught is found on taps and in stores all across the world.  However, Guinness Draught is ranked lower compared to Guinness Extra StoutGuinness Extra Stout is ranked #29 in the Irish Dry Stout category at Beeradvocate.com.

Here is a picture of my 22 oz. bottle of Guinness Extra Stout.

Guinness Ltd: Dry Extra Stout
ABV: 6.0%
Style: Irish Dry Stout
Rating: #29 in style

Guinness Extra Stout pours a dark black and has quite an impressive 2-3 finger tan colored head with significant and impressive head retention.  Of course Guinness is known for this characteristic feature of their beers, and special “how to pour a Guinness correct” schooling for bartenders is a training must-do.  Guinness Extra Stout has a predominant sweet roasted malt smell.  The roasted malt takes the forefront on the sip, and then bitter kicks in not long after.  There are also coffee and chocolate notes present.  The hops are present in Guinness Extra Stout, but certainly not the star of the show.  The hops do provide a bit of balance that would otherwise be absent.  Late in the taste of Guinness Extra Stout, alcohol warms the palate a wee bit and roasted malt pervades the nostrils.  The mouthfeel of Guinness Extra Stout is smooth and the carbonation level is moderate despite the large foamy head that remains even after the last sip of the pint.

Now, I’ve had Guinness many, many years ago.  But during my craft beer transformation I had (mistakenly) associated this beer with other macro beers.  I’m not sure why I did that, but I am now seeing the error of my ways.  I’m not going to lie: I did not think I would enjoy Guinness Extra Stout as much as I did.  I found Guinness Extra Stout to be quite tasty and drinkable and wished I had bought another.  Guinness Extra Stout is a solid stout beer with more complexity than I had anticipated.  I am actually looking forward to trying a Guinness Foreign Extra Stout next.

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