Sunday, August 23, 2009

Guinness 250th Anniversary - Sunday, August 23

*Insert Sabbath Day joke here*

Now that we've gotten all of that religious jokery and shenanigans aside, onto the actual review. Tonight was the highly anticipated (by me at least)...Guinness 250th Anniversary Stout! Fuck yeah! I've always been a big fan of stouts and, while many scorn the lowly Guinness as a sub-par representation of the broad and robust stout category, well, they can rot in hell. I love Guinness and I credit Guinness for really turning me onto actual beer. While I will agree, unfortunately, that its NOT the best stout out there (like...oh...I dunno...Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout), its an easy-drinker and its mild enough to have a few pints and not feel like I've been drinking used motor oil strained through a campfire. This said...I have a problem. But first, here are the notes:

Pours pitch black with a one and a half finger brown head. Extremely opaque, with very little light getting through except on the edges. What is illuminated is a ruby reddish brown. Leaves minimal lacing down the glass.

Smells like traditional stout: chocolate and coffee. Slight vanilla smell as well. Little hops present, but rather a toffee-sweet malt tones. Slight campfire elements. Very muted; not a very strong nose, but an interesting one.

Tastes of toffee, creme brulee, coffee and baker's chocolate. Finish is black Italian espresso with creamy overtones. Slight prune and raisin.

Mouthfeel is slightly watery and slightly overcarbonated.

My problem is...this stuff tastes almost exactly like normal Guinness. It's not as creamy (since its not nitro-canned) and its a pinch more robust (I guess)...but it's still so damn close it doesn't really warrant a fancy label. When it said "250th Anniversary Stout" I immediately became so happy I almost hyperventilated and passed out. Not exactly but it was close. I did a happy dance. But, upon drinking, its definitely not what I was expecting. I was expecting a stout that was borderline Russian Imperial and barely an Irish Dry. I was expecting crazy flavors like balsamic vinegar and soy sauce, dark chocolate and French Press coffee. The only thing that really jumped out at me was the slightly Italian espresso crema like flavor that flitted in and out of my taste range faster than a one-legged man tiring out in an ass-kicking contest. It was pretty much just Guinness with a fancy label. Oh, and a price premium. One bottle was about 3 fucking dollars. Yeesh.

Tomorrow is another glorious jaunt to the tea store, so expect reviews up the ying yang. Oh, and sorry for my absence. I was ur New York City, drinkin ur bubble teaz.

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