3.44/5 rDev +2.1%
Profiled by Maria Devan and Ken Carman for PGA
This beer pours out thin and black but if held to the light you can see a dark brown hue. A fat loose head of tan foam that fell slowly to a film, then a small ring and left lace that was not permanent.
Nose is malty and grassy. Sweet malt , light toast, light caramel and grassy hops. Then some dark fruits evolve. Prune and a bit of something grapey and quite sweet. Taste follows the nose all the way except the first thing to greet your palate is metallic.
The malt is a bit awkward and husky but you begin to enjoy it, as a robust, the more you drink. The dark fruits are light and at first the prune is sour but that gives way to this grapey sweetness. Mouthfeel is light and has a nice dryness to the mid palate. Finishes a touch bitter and with that grass over top of a light caramel.
For a stout this was crisp and mild. With a bit of hop presence this is an easy drinking stout that gives some light toast and a touch of caramel to a bit of dark fruits and finishes a bit tame but altogether pleasant.
It’s always interesting to review a beer after someone else does, and I must admit Maria is better, nose-wise, than I am in many ways. And my hesitation: driven by my desire to be fair as a judge, to mention fruits except an occasional “like,” because I feel that unfair to any entries that may actually have plum etc. in them also gets in my way.
So the only thing I will comment regrading her review is the “metallic” may be the roasted barley, which is required for a stout and I believe more present as the versions of stout Guinness brews get stronger.
So here we go… nose: I just judged Murphy’s v. Guinness Daught/Dry. This is more complex with a very distinct sour to the nose, roasted barley and some chocolate: dark. Pale malt and deep roast since seems complex.
Nice big bubble, small bubble and creamy tan head. No light shines through, but the light in my place is pretty dim and I am without flashlight right now. Obsidian. On my sample the head lingered for quite a while. Of course head, as well as surface tension of the liquid itself, can be affected by the glass you pour it into. It also must be noted that even Guinness Extra is still not a heavy bodied beer, though more so than the Dry, mouthfeel-wise.
Some folks get “dry,” or “drying,” when roasted barley is used. I don’t, unless over used. This isn’t over, in my opinion. It’s not problematic either way, just a perception driven by that often stout-specific add.
The roasted barley is strong on the palate and could be mistaken for metallic. Medium on the light side of body. Carbonation low but bites on the inner cheeks pleasantly. Slight bitter but no hop flavor noted. As it warms the body seems to express itself a tad more.Some sense of chocolate driven by the malt, but the roasted barley is more the star here, backed up by that Guinness, classic, slight sour.
To me this is everything Guinness Draught should be. You have the malt. It’s not a heavy quaff, but an interesting one. There’s slight carbonation that lifts the roasted barley and the pale malt to prominence. It does fill the mouth without having a heavy or even heavier side of medium body. Slight sweet behind assertive roasted barley and pale malt.
I can get the fruit/plum and caramel notes Maria did, but as my readers know I say there’s a vast difference. Some brews actually have them as adjuncts, and I have no desire to confuse folks into thinking any brew has actual “plum” in it when it doesn’t. Usually I’d say “plum-like” at best. But that’s just me. Plenty of BJCP judges higher ranked than me love to use these descriptives and the tasting portion of the test, well, use them and you might do better. Especially the more you use specific fruits.I can also get “grassy,” though to me this is less “grassy,” and more a slight sour sense. This would be expected since they sour some Guinness and then add it back in.
I’m guessing Maria would give it a high three on the PGA scale, mine would be more a 4.3.
Welcome to the PGA beer rating system: one beer “Don’t bother.” Two: Eh, if someone gives it to you, drink. Three: very good, go ahead and seek it out, but be aware there is at least one problem. Four: seek it out. Five: pretty much “perfecto.”
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