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<strong>The Disgruntled Chemist</strong>

3/22/2007

Beer Blogging - Guinness Draught

Hmmm, here I sit pretty much bound to my couch. The NCAA tournament games don't start for an hour and a half. What to do?

Wait, what's this?

Mmmmm...

I'm sure most people reading this blog have at least tried Guinness, on St. Patrick's Day if nothing else. It's kind of a love-it-or-hate-it beer, I've found. Personally I can drink the stuff by the pitcher (the alcohol content is only about 4%), but some people will spit it out.

Pouring a Guinness is a treat. If you order a Guinness at a bar and they serve it to you in less than about a minute and a half, the bartender doesn't know what he's doing. If you watch a pint get poured, you can see that the beer seems to "settle"; the settling is actually carbonation from the outside of the head moving down as bubbles in the center of the beer move quickly into the head (in other words, it's convection). Whatever the explanation, it's fun to watch. The light brown head that you end up with is about a quarter inch thick, it lasts forever, and it's wonderfully creamy. You do not want to wait for the head to dissipate before you start drinking.

The smell of a Guinness is actually pretty rich. You can really smell the roasted hops, and you also get a hint of the slight coffee flavor that the beer has. Guinness Draught is pretty much black in the glass, but if you hold it up to a very bright light you can see a hint of red (which you can kind of see on the bottom of the glass in the picture above).

Now on to the drinking. Taking a sip of Guinness early in the glass is a pleasure. The first thing you get is that aforementioned creamy head, which has a much lighter flavor than the rest of the beer: hints of coffee and maybe milk chocolate, but not much of a roasted taste. Mixed with the main body of the beer, it's quite a treat. As for that body of the beer, I like to drink it a little warm to really bring out the flavors. Most bars, in my estimation, serve it far too cold.

That might be just me, though. Anyway, this beer's got some ass to it - drinking a pitcher is a lot like eating a big hamburger. The first taste you get is a surprisingly light roasted flavor, which increases in intensity as the beer warms up. After the roasted flavor, you get a strong coffee note, without really noticing the milk chocolate that peeks out in the head. The aftertaste sticks around for a while, with the roasted malt taste predominating.

Rating: 8/10. Guinness is not my favorite stout ever, but it's very, very tasty and incredibly drinkable. I don't see ever getting tired of the taste of this beer. It's recommended for anyone who likes dark beers, but if you like dark beers you've probably already had it. I will say that for you lager drinkers, this beer is a lot closer to a lager (in flavor intensity, not flavor) than any craft brewed stout I've ever had. You should try it.

Hey, look what I found! Here's me after a tour of the Guinness brewery in Dublin:



Man, that was a cool tour. Drinking two pints of Guinness in a bar overlooking the city of Dublin at ten in the morning was pretty nice, too.

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