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In my opinion it is the best there is in terms of alcoholic beverage. A draught Guinness is just unbeatable, it's smooth and full of flavour and is one of the more consistent drinks, With other draught drinks it can be a real gamble if you're going to get a good pint or an average one. With Guinness you are almost guaranteed quality. On a recent trip to the Guinness Storehouse, Dublin, I was told it is policy in a lot of places throughout the UK for Guinness to check and clean the lines to make sure every pint is the best it can be, which may be partly why this is the case. But I also think it's just a fantastic drink. It's distinct flavours are like no other with the initial sweet taste on your tongue followed by the bitter after taste. It's mistakable ruby red (sometimes mistaken for black) colour with its creamy head make it one of the more appetising looking drinks you can purchase as well.
Guinness is brewed all over the world and is very popular in places such as Nigeria. You're looking at spending around 2-4 pound based on where about you are in the UK, however a Guinness in Dublin is worthy of being on any bucket list, as it just seems to have something extra. It seems the closest you are to where it's brewed the better the pint will be, as Guinness will loose flavour the more it's sat around, also seeming less smooth and more watery.
Guinness is smashing, well in my opinion anyway. It seems to be one of those love it or hate it products (like marmite or oysters) having said that they do manage to peddle 1.8 billion pints a year in about 100 countries.
It was first brewed in Dublin by Arthur Guinness in 1759, Guinness is sometimes credited with being the first stout ever brewed although this is now discredited and was probably brewed over 50 years before Arthur Guinness was born.
As to the drink itself it is a thick black drink with a creamy white head, it has a molassess like flavour with a bitter aftertaste and depending where and how it is bought has an alcohol content of between 4 and 5 percent. Purists will tell you it should only be drunk on draught i.e in a pub and ideally with sight of the river Liffey in Dublin from which the water for the brewing process was originally taken. If you have ever seen the River Liffey in Dublin I'm sure you wouldn't dream of drinking anything that has ever been anywhere near it. Personally I think the taste is more or less identical wherever it is poured and even quite reasonable from a draughtflow can.
In the past Guinness was attributed with various health promoting benefits although these are no longer claimed by the company (although Arthur Guinness had 21 children so it can't be all bad). My Grandmother told me that when she was in hospital after having had my Mum they gave her a bottle of Guinness after she had given birth! Got to be better than the usual hospital grub.
Guinness is also brewed in various countries around the world now and accounts for about 40 percent of beer drunk in Africa indeed Nigeria is the third largest consumer after the UK and Ireland.
Price wise in the UK it currently sells for about £2.50 - £4.00 in pubs. I have managed to pay just over £9.00 for a pint in Paris which is a record I am not proud to hold.
First brewed in 1759 by Arthur Guinness in Dublin, this beer is famous worldwide and is synonymous with Ireland. When people think of Ireland they imagine poets sat in pubs drinking the black stuff. Guinness is a stout and can be found in most bars in the UK. Like many of its big rivals it is massively pushed through TV advertising and when people drink it they are drinking the brand as much as the drink itself.
Guinness is probably best described as slow, smooth and creamy. Black as coal with a white head when held up it is a beautiful thing to look at. There are not many drinks that are as aesthetically pleasing as they are tasty.
The biggest drinking day on the calendar is probably St Patrick's Day. This celebration of the patron saint of Ireland would not be the same without Guinness and indeed for many it is the only time of the year they will drink it in any sort of volume. I feel that this is a shame because for me it is one of the nicest beers available. It is unique in the pub; nothing comes even close to the taste, texture and appearance of a perfectly pulled pint. Indeed if pulled properly you could be forgiven for thinking that last orders is going to arrive before you have the chance to taste it. A clover in the head completes the experience and once tasted it is never forgotten.
Price wise it is rather expensive and you may find it one of the most expensive in the pub. Anywhere between £2.50-3.50 seems to be the norm. In the supermarket you will pay over £5 for 4 cans and a crate of 10 for about £12. For me personally cans and bottles do not come close to the satisfaction of a pint in a pub. They just do not taste the same.
It is certainly an acquired taste and you either love it or you hate it. It leaves a slightly bitter taste in the back of your mouth and can be quite heavy on your stomach. It is not really a drink that can be consumed all night or even with a meal, it is a meal unto its self. The smell is amazing and offers the promise of something special. For me it delivers this. If you have never tried it before then I implore you to head down to your local boozer (Once you have reviewed this article of course) and try a pint of what can only be described as creamy Irish goodness.
Guinness has been around me all my life, though not in alcoholic form! From the several Guinness Book of World Records, to the Guinness Rugby Premiership, I've known of this famous Irish product for a very long time but never really got round to trying it properly for a long time. I've always wanted to try it though, I'd heard nothing but good from it. Growing up around the local pubs I'd see the infamous posters around everywhere. It didn't help looking at photos of the Guinness brewery in Dublin when family visited there many years ago now.
Guinness is popular throughout the World and is probably Ireland's most famous export. I don't know many people who haven't heard of it, but I don't know many who have actually tried it, and even fewer who actually like it! A dry Irish stout that's orgins are in Dublin, Ireland, is now brewed internationally, and is renowned across the four corners of the globe due to it's popularity. It's mainly served on draught in severel pubs and clubs throughout the UK at 4.2% strength (with a 0.1% variation in some places) and is available in 500ml can form in most supermarkets and off-licences, with some bottled at 330ml. Variations of Guinness are also available, mainly on draught, the most popular being Guinness Extra Cold. A standard pint of draught Guinness will always depend on where you buy it from. Nowadays £3 is considered cheap, with my local pub selling it at £3.65 a pint.
I've never actually had a full pint of Guinness, but I've often had a few sips of friends' pints while out drinking, and depending on what I'm drinking I can't really decide if I like it or not. I can see why people like it so much but it's just not for me. It has quite a thick creamy taste to it which is quite unique for a stout. I can see Guinness as becoming one of those drinks that I may end up liking after a while the more I drink it. It does taste better in its Extra Cold form I reckon though.
One useless fact for you is that when I was working behind a bar, my favourite draught drink to pour would be Guinness! I loved watching the bubbles settle in its cloudy like form. I guess I can brag I could pour the perfect pint, just a shame I didn't enjoy drinking it so much.
I can see many people liking Guinness, and I recommend you try it. After all, there's only one way of telling if you like something or not, and that's after sampling it. I give it 2 stars because I can see myself liking it if I have the odd half now and again. A lot of the drinks I like now, I never used to, so let's hope this is something in the making!
I am sure I am not alone in loving a pint of Guinness. For me it is not a drink to be drunk either quickly or in volume. To drink quickly would be to miss the experience of savouring every mouthful and it isn't the kind of drink to imbibe to slake your thirst - if you are not tasting every slurp before it goes down your neck it would just be a waste.
For similar reasons, I also don't drink Guinness with a meal or even a packet of crisps or nuts. Guinness is a meal in itself, so don't spoil the taste by partaking of foodstuffs in addition.
As for drinking it in volume - every time I have done this - can't be any more than 2 or 3 times - I have had a monumental hangover. It's just too strong and heavy for my metabolism to process it adequately in volume. No, 2 pints is enough for me.
To someone who hasn't tasted it, it is difficult to describe either the taste or the sensation of drinking Guinness, but it is certainly something you have to try. You may not develop what is admittedly an acquired taste but you will not forget it in a hurry.
One of the most distinctive features of the drink is that you drink the black stuff through the thick creamy white stuff. It's not too fizzy but has a very strong taste and pleasant after taste that lingers in the mouth. The chances are that the creamy head will also linger on your top lip, so moustachioed dooyooers had better be aware of this and look out for strangers pointing and laughing at them.
For me, this isn't a drink which offers the best tasting experience if it is ice-cold. For me, it needs to be just cold.
For barpersons, it is reputed to be one of the harder drinks to master in terms of the way it needs to be poured. How it is kept as well as how it is poured is key to a good pint of Guinness. That said, the words bar maid and good head probably shouldn't appear in the same sentence.
If you order a pint of Guinness, you ought to be prepared for a wait as it can sometimes be ten minutes or so before your pint is ready. Where a lot of Guinness is sold, you sometimes see a part pint pulled and waiting to be topped up. I would avoid this unless you know it has not been there long.
Some Guinness aficionados will whinge and moan until they get the pint the way they want it. The drink does tend to attract the Grumpy Old Man type!
Some also say that the best pint of Guinness is that served in Ireland. Having enjoyed an Irish Guinness recently, I have to say it tasted absolutely wonderful and of all the places where I could have drunk it, it was at Belfast Airport whilst waiting for a delayed flight! Airport bars are not always the best when it comes to bar stewardship, but the proof of the pudding was in the drinking.
Guinness tends to be very expensive in pubs. For the home drinker, there are cans available, which struggle to equal the drinking experience but which are at least drinkable. For goodness sake, whatever you do, don't swig it from the can - you must pour it into a glass first.
The Guinness advertising is legendary as is the extent of promotional material which has traditionally surrounded the brand. Finally, I didn't realise just how much I enjoy Guinness until I started to enthuse within this review.
It's a drink different to all others and definitely one to be savoured.
I started drinking Guinness very recently and was at first laughed at by
my mates for having such old man's taste! - But the thing is I've never
seen Guinness as an old man's beer, I've always regarded it as an
anyone's drink. So basically I carried on, and now it's pretty much all I
drink when out of town.
Allowing the beer to settle momentarily, you lift the glass to your
bottom lip, break through the head and sip generously. A cool, rich,
smooth liquid infiltrates your tongue and neck, slipping down
effortlessly into the depths of your stomach. It cures your worries,
deteriorates your insecurities, and empties your pocket! - There's
your newest advertising campaign guys!
In essence though, that is Guinness. Cool, rich and smooth, there's
nothing much away from real ale that can give you this kind of
quality. The drink may be a bitter, but you would never have
guessed it, the taste is too succulent, and in many respects, too
sweet - or was that too much?
This should never be mistaken or muddled up with Guinness's 'taste'.
I don't know or understand how, but Guinness have managed to
produce a beer which kicks in a completely different taste 1-2
seconds after each swig - and it's gorgeous.
At first I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but then I realised what
the aftertaste reminded me of, chocolate! Yes, many of you will
disagree, but the richness of this produce to me brings you to that
conclusion. It's an incredibly strong aftertaste which emits from the
back of your throat and stays with you until the next sip - however
long this may be.
Most people will already know that Guinness are renowned for
spending a hell of a lot of money - millions and millions - on TV,
Magazine, Radio, Bus, Billboard and everything else advertising.
My theory behind this begins with the money which leaves your
pocket. The very cheapest I've found a pint of Guinness in the
Nottinghamshire area is £3.00, and that's at the place I work in
Lowdham. Generally (especially in the city centre) you're paying
£3.20-3.50 for a single pint.
Now, yes the quantity and quality is there, and yes we are in a
recession, and yes we are in a time of expensive goings-out. But
surely Guinness could come just a little bit closer to John Smith's
in price (not quality!).
Anyway, the way in which Guinness could achieve this, is by
saving in the area they're spending their profits, ADVERTISING.
We know what it tastes like and we know where to get it (and that's
just from reading this review!) so let us be amazed by the price!
Guinness have brought out a new version of their beer, like many
lagers (e.g. fosters super-chilled) which claims to be extra-cold.
I thought this was worth mentioning because seriously, there's no
difference. The beer comes out the same barrel; all that happens is
it splits and goes to two separate taps. Yes, there may be slightly
more cooling in the extra-cold tap, but it's unnoticeable. Put it this
way, they wouldn't have survived without 'extra-cold' for this long if
it was required.
This really is a 5-star beer, and to be honest it's worth £3.00 a pint. It
can be drunk slowly and calmly in any situation, in any environment
and it looks fabulous when settled - that contrast between black and
white so pure!
My parents used to socialize a lot while I was a kid and they often went out to a pub which had a great garden. They allowed me to taste the beer they drank and I didn't understand how they could drink such a bitter drink. I tried it only once and never again for further 12 years at least.
I can clearly recall the first time I tried Guinness. I was slightly older than 18 and out in a special summer camp which was organised by students of the collage I wanted to study. The camp was about preparing us to the entrance exam and we studied really hard all day and went out to an Irish pub in the evenings. I saw that almost everybody drinks a dark beer with creamy head on the top so I ordered one for myself too. This was in Central Europe and Guinness was something very new to me.
I tasted it and I loved it. Probably the atmosphere and the hot summer day or the magic of Guinness, I don't know but I found it delicious. I remember that it wasn't poured in the glasses all at once. The barista poured only half glass first then he took the next glass. There were about 50 students there so he had job those evenings. After some time he returned to the first glass and filled it up.
Although I don't drink regularly Guinness is still one of my very favourite beers and I keep it for special occasions. For me it is not an everyday beer. Now I understand how my parents could drink the bitter drink and I prefer beer to any other alcoholic drink.
Guinness Irish dry stout origins from the brewery of Arthur Guinness. Guinness beer is exclusive because of
- its burnt flavour which comes from the roasted barley,
- lactic flavour which was achieved by aging a part of the beer - these days probably the manufacturer uses other method but it is a top secret, and the
- creamy head thanks to the nitrogen which is mixed to the beer when being poured.
Guinness beer is available in the supermarkets as well in bottles and cans. I prefer the bottle to the can. A pack of four cans (4x440 ml) of Guinness Draught costs about 5 pounds which is slightly expensive but it is worth for it. The 500 ml Guinness Original Stout bottle costs about 1.6 pounds. What I like in Guinness Draught is the manufacturer's (Guinness & Co.) care. They tell you to cool the beer to extra cold, then tilt, hold the glass at 45 degrees, pour slowly and let the surge settle then enjoy it. A can of Guinness Draught contains 1.8 units of alcohol (4.1% by volume).
Do I recommend this beer? Yes, of course. It is my absolute favourite brand of beer and I really recommend it. Once you try it you will never forget it. It is very unique in its taste and its appearance. I love the creamy head on the top of it and it is in good contrast with the very dark beer. It looks very inviting.
Guinness to me more then any other beer stands out from the crowd its identifiable individual strong sleek ad stylish steeped in history I feel no other beer can compare too.
I'm no Camra real ale person, I do like experimenting, but i'm giving my opinion on this as one of the main stream drinks of our times as if at your local pub,
Drinking is about having a social relaxing time, Guinness does this for me every time no how it does this read on
It starts with the look, unless you in Ireland as you get your pint you all ready look different and unique across the majority of the pub your in,
black goes with any thing
It all-ways the 1st taste, that reminds you of your very 1st taste taking you back many years,
Its the conversation starter with the ladies, they comment on coppery taste and love to play with the foam and have a taste and go irk! i live that irky sq-eel!
you remember when you squealed but stuck with it..
its velvet in a glass,
its adverts and history are the finest there have been,
you get to grumble if poured to fast or to slow so it great for grumblers
you get to decipher the doodle in the foam if done right! you get to draw the doodle in the pint if your the bar staff
its Irish its was good to Ireland,
every time I drink Guinness I'll remember great times and great friends
Guiness and blackcurrant Guiness and Tia Maria even Guiness with Cider!! This is one of the most charming alchoholic drinks on the market and its thick black, foamy-topped body is only bettered by its warm, relaxing taste. As a stout it is still accessible to all ages and popularity has grown from being an old mans drink, to being accepted by all demographics. Its also very filling though and not really fizzy too. The bitter taste is nullified by the almost milk-like flow of its centre.
The fact that it takes about 2-3 minutes to settle after being poured into a glass, gives you a sense that in the pour there is a quality and finish which gives you a chance to anticipate and give thanks for the what you are going to receive. Or so their advertising campaigns would want you to believe.
The flavour itself though, once you fight your way past the surface and gas is actually quite unnappealing to describe yet acquiring this taste eventually gives you a pay-off. If you have ever singed toast but then ate it out of laziness, you will get an idea of what this tastes like. From a young age we know either sweet or sour, or sweet and savoury. We are discouraged to eat burnt food as its deemd to be dangerous beacuse of the burnt out cells and unpleasant because the flavour has all been lost. What Guiness does is make this flavourless burnt state a flavour in itself, and to drink this indeed punches a hole in your palate and lines your stomach, filling you up and causing a gradual bloating effect. The fact that you are seeing the glass go through agony in contending with its contents and the fact that the repellent scent and look of this drink still makes you go back for more is a testament to its worth.
For me thats the trick, its moreish, smooth and you is the most calming drink available. You also have to be at least slightly unhinged to knock this back too which is why I have a real affinity with it.
There is usually always one drink I can depend on if everything else in the bar falls short of what I find to be drinkable, and that is Guinness.
I think Guinness has a similar reputation as Marmite; You either love it or hate it!
For years, up until a few years ago, I was firmly in the hate camp; I couldn't understand how anyone could drink something this bitter, it made me cringe!
But then one night I forced myself to drink it as I was certain I was missing out on something;
The smell, is very alluring to my nostrils. I can always detect a slight coffee smell behind the obvious and apparent toasted malt. Very pleasant.
On pouring: What can be said about this? It looks magnificent. The creaminess eventually settles, it's tricky to pour and you'll be left waiting a couple of minutes in pubs because the creamy head has to settle half way before finishing it off and repouring to the top of the pint glass.
We are left with a black brew (that is actually very mildly red when you hold it to the light!) with a small finger width white head. Classic.
Taste: It's definitely bitter at the back of the mouth, this initially put me off, but after a few sips this settles down and gives guinness it's wonderful lingering after taste along with the roasted malts and very subtle hints of coffee. It's kind of addictive, because I always seek that delcious dryness/bitterness at the back of the tongue...The texture is very creamy which also helps!
Drinkability: It's said that Guinness has the same amount of calories as a roast dinner! I'm not sure if that's true, but it is certainly filling! It's hard to get drunk off of Guinness because it's only 4% and can take longer to drink than your pilsners. For me this is a plus, I can drink this tasty beverage all night and only be a nice and warm tipsy by the end of the evening whilst all the pilsner/cider drinkers are all feeling worse for wear!
Hangovers seem a lot less pronounced with Guinness. Probably more due to the above reason more than the way it's produced though.
Overall, I grew to love this drink over time, it's definitely an aqquired taste (I suppose it's like coffee) and I aqquired it after much trying over the years!
Living in Ireland I have very early childhood memories of male relatives supping on pints of Guinness. I always thought it was funny when they ended up with the Guinness moustache after their first drink and I even remember getting a few a myself (although I didn't drink the stuff back then). I first dabbled with Guinness when I started working in a bar. It was a real mans bar and everyone drank Guinness in some shape or another. Back then to be honest I didn't really like the stuff. It was very heavy and was almost like a meal in a glass. I also found I got drunk very quickly on and it's not really practical to drink in busy clubs so I became more of a lager drinker. Over the years though as my tastes have developed I have acquired a great fondness for Guinness and now its one of the first drinks I opt for when in a pub.
What is Guinness?
Guinness is a dry stout beer that originated at St James Gate in Dublin. The brewery in Dublin is still there today and part of it has become a tourist attraction where visitors can pour their very own Guinness and receive a certificate for doing so. It also gives people a chance to learn about the brewing process of one of the worlds most famous drinks. Nowadays the drink is served in bars world wide. It's also brewed in a number of countries and you might be interested to know that the largest Guinness Brewery in the world is now located in Nigeria where locals are said to love the black stuff.
How to pour the perfect pint
There is an old saying that Guinness does not travel well and to certain extent that it true. I also believe that this has something to do with the bar staffs ability to serve the drink. For instance a pint of Guinness cannot be poured in one go. The glass should be held at the correct angle so that the drink just glides into the glass. It should be poured until it's about an inch or so from the top of the glass. Then the drink should be allowed to settle. In good bars it settles near the customer so that they get the full enjoyment of watching the pint settle. Once it turns from a light brown to a dark black the glass should then be topped up until it's full. This is done by not holding the glass at an angle and pushing the bar tap away from the bar person (opposite to the stage before). This gives a much slower flow into the pint. Despite what some people might think there is no need to put a shamrock into the head at this stage. Once full it should be allowed to settle once more before consuming.
After acquiring a taste for this drink I quite simply can't get enough of it. I find it really easy to drink and when served well its one of the tastiest drinks in the pub. Guinness is proven to be good for you if drank in moderate amounts and I certainly feel better after six of seven pints lol. A pint in Belfast will set you back in the region of £3 and in many of the Belfast bars you will find some of the best Guinness pints in Ireland. A tip for looking for good Guinness is to go to bars that sell a lot of it and you will no doubt get a good pint.
The only problem I can now see with Guinness is that it's very easy to build up a beer belly on the stuff. The beer is just so heavy and so therefore might not be ideal to someone wanting to loose weight or they could like me just exercise a bit more. Overall I would really recommend this drink to anyone so long as it's served correctly.
If there is one drink that I have had to grow into liking, then it is definitely 'Guinness.' Moving from quite weak lagers to bitters in the early 00's, I started to drink the meal in a glass quite regularly due to its distinctive taste and texture.
When on nights out with tomflint and JJJJ, Guinness is usually drunk first by JJJJ and I (tomflint usually drinks bitter shandy as he is usually driving). Guinness does have a tendency to make you feel quite bloated, even though the company used to carry the slogan 'Guinness is good for you.' One of the main problems with Guinness is that it changes the colour and consistency of your excreta (sorry if you are eating your dinner.) Guinness apparently has some health benefits, my Nan used to drink a pint of Guinness a day - and she's over 90!
At my local drinkery, Guinness is served at just the right temperature with a nice cloverleaf on the head. It goes down incredibly well in a nice smooth fluid motion. It used to be that three pints of Guinness was my lot, now I can drink quite a few with not a huge amount of adverse effects (my liver may say otherwise!)
Guinness is usually one of the most expensive pints that you can buy. You can usually gauge the rest of the pub's bar tab and food just from how much a pint of the black stuff is. Don't pay over £3.10 - you're probably being ripped off!
A certain other beer brand calls itself the "King of Beers", well Guinness can call themselves "The King of Drinks".
A pint of Guinness is special, even more so when drunk here in Ireland as its a much better drink when brewed here in St James Gate or Diageo. From the first three quarter pull before letting it sit for 2 minutes(please do not rush the pint) before the pull of the head and whilst it slowly sets again do not rush it because when you get the first taste of the Guinness you are stumped, set back a bit, its a drink like no other thick and dense yet bursting with flavour.
Its a drink and one of the only drinks with a good image, when you think of Guinness you don't think of louts or violence you think of a few old men sitting by a fire in a pub high up the Kerry mountains.
The Taste; well its unique and special and at first its a taste you may not like but that's the joy of Guinness you need to grow to like it, it probably took me 5 or 6 months to really like it but once that taste is their you will never go off it its like something you never forget.
Have you tried it before? No..If not give it a try, start with a half pint at the start of your nights drinking and slowly you will really come to love it and will think of it in the same way that I think of it.
Guinness is a dry stout. It is 4.2% by vol (in the UK, in Africa you can get 7%)and costs around £4.50 for 4 large cans, this is largely in line with lagers but you are more likely to get an offer on a brand like Stella. However Guinness has a much more pronounced difference to common mere lagers than other stouts and is easily worth the money.
The flavour is very distinctive; it is not bitter and has a full texture. I have heard critics compare the flavour to vomit - that's how good it is; an average 5/5 even despite a hint of sick!
The texture is heavy and smooth, I have heard it described as meaty and filling but I consider it more creamy.
The stout is brewed using roasted barley which is supposed to give a burned flavour.
Guinness has a strong heritage and I remember one of my college lecturers saying he was chased from an Irish pub for "mutilating a national treasure" when he ordered a variant of the drink.
The recommendation on the pack is to drink cold but unlike other brands I actually prefer Guinness at room temp.
The head is very full and can be maintained right the way down if you level the bottle correctly; unfortunately this does mean it takes a long time to pour.
I dare say, that there will be a fair few pints of the black stuff drank today. St Patrick's day is all about getting together and having the craic! Celebrating that you are Irish, is what Irish people do best, and what is more Irish than Guinness? If you were to get around a table, and start sinking a few of these bad boys, then it is certain that the craic will flow, to be sure, to be sure.
It is maybe not widely known in the community, that I am from Ireland. To be exact, from Newcastle, Co Down. A wonderful place, that Percy French once described as where the Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea. The scenery, and landmarks throughout Ireland, are on par with any to be found in the rest of the UK. However, if you were to ask a group of 100 people, what they think of first when they think of Ireland, I bet at least 60 of them would say Guinness.
Ok, so that looks bad. About 60% think that Irish people are most memorable for an alcoholic beverage! But, in many ways it is as Irish as it gets. What once started as a small venture, now has become one of the largest, and most widely distibuted brands in the world. It started in 1759, when Arthur Guinness set up production, in St James's gate, Dublin. Things started off slowly, in fact it took to 1769 before they first exported Guinness when they shipped 6 and a half barrels to England. But from tiny acorns, do great oaks grow. And today, the Guinness brand which is still produces at St James's gate, now exports have reached as far as Africa, Australia, America, Canada and New zealand to mention but a few.
I think that the success comes down to advertising, as much as the stout itself. It has always employed the best to advertise its brand. Remembering back, I think we can all recall the cartoon style posters for Guinness, which had slogans like "Guinness for strength", and "my goodness, my Guinness". The most controversial of these may have been "Guinness is good for you", but there is some background to this. You see, it has anti-oxidants in it that are similar to those found in fruit. It apparently stops cholestorol build-up in the arteries, though Guinness have never claimed any health benefits from the drink. The slogan was dropped in the UK, but is still used abroad. Guinness is also a great source of Iron, and indeed was prescribed in some hospitals at the turn of the century. It was also given to woman, after giving birth, as a way of replacing iron lost during delivery.
Guinness contains water, malt, barley, hops and yeast. It is treated with isinglass, which comes from fish. Some say that this means it is not suitable for some types of vegetarians, but Guinness say that none of this isinglass remains in the final product. Some of the barley gets flaked an roasted. It is this that gives it the very dark colour that it is famous for, as well as its characteristic flavour. Despite it being called "the black stuff", it is not black, but a very dark ruby colour. Another common misconception is that it is a meal in a glass. The fact is true that it has less calories in it than a pint of orange juice.
Ideally a pint of Guinnes needs to be poured twice from the tap. And a period of about two minutes should be given for it to settle. Also, if you come accross to Ireland, the bartenders are trained to finish off the pint, by drawing a shamrock on the head with the last pour. The draught Guinness, and also its canned counterpart, contain nitrogen. This causes a funny thing. When Guinness is in a glass, the bubbles sink downwards! It is an effect that happens in a lot of liquids, but it is more noticeable in the dark Guinness. As the bubbles on the outside of the glass are stopped going up as quickly, by the glass, the ones in the centre go up first. This creates a current causing the ones on the outside of the glass to be pushed down! How Irish is that.
The taste is creamy. It is unlike any other pint you have had. The toasted, almost burnt barley is key to this. As is the fact that some of the Guinness in every batch is called sour Guinness. It is reduced down, and vinegarized. Sounds awful, but gives Guinness its distinct flavour. I will be the first to agree that it is an aquired taste. Not many people like their first pint of Guinness. But give it a chance. Its an Irish stout, with all the charm of an Irish man. It knows how to sweet-talk ya! Also, the head should be the last thing you drink. It should stay on the top of a proper pint of Guinness right down to the bottom.
So, on this St Patricks day, why not try a pint of the black stuff. I personally think it gets worse, the further away you are from St James's gate, and you need to come to Ireland to get it at its best. But wherever you are, have the craic, and be an honourary Irish for the day!
Highly Reccommended. G
Dry Stot & Porter that originated in Arthur Guinness's St. James's Gate Brewery in Dublin, Ireland.