When I began my craft beer journey, Guinness Draught was naturally my first easy-to-find craft beer. However, as my palate developed, I found Guinness to be lacking in…nearly every flavor I love about craft beer. It wasn’t malty enough to hold my attention, and it wasn’t hoppy enough to help develop my appreciation for the wonderful, bitter lupulin. Ultimately, I stopped buying or drinking it unless I was pouring a shot of Canadian Whiskey in it. Guinness Foreign Extra may change my mind.
Appearance: This stout pours as black as you expect from Guinness. What Draught lacks in flavor, it makes up in pure darkness. A nice, substantial head is poured with the black gold, which leaves significant lacing while drinking.
Aroma: malty sweetness, with hints of bitterness, and some black licorice. Sadly, I have a slightly stuffy nose.
Flavor: a much bigger flavor profile than I expected from Guinness with lots of malt, roasted coffee flavors, and a significant hop bitterness throughout the finish. Not as much alcohol flavor as I expected from a 7.5% beer, but after a couple, I could feel it.
Overall: an awesome offering from the Guinness brewery. I have not liked what I have seen of the direction of the brewery recently, with their “easy drinking” black lager, and their extra cold versions found in many U.K. pubs. I had mostly written them off as a brewery more concerned with the perception of their product by the macrobeer swilling masses than they are with creating a quality product. I think I may have been premature.