Thursday, October 27, 2011

Wait... Guinness makes more than one kind of beer?

Maybe it's the Irish in me, but there's really nothing better than a nice cold Guinness. As a nation where the national sport is drinking and the national animal is a leprechaun, they know a thing or three about good quantity beer. We talk about quite a few mass produced beers on this site (usually with derision) but in this case Guinness is in a class all it's own. Or so I thought.

With the luck of the Irish on my side, I went to my local beer store to see what I could get to review this week. As you may not be aware, the luck of the Irish is particularly BAD luck so it's no surprise that this store's rather limited collection of Coors, Bud, and Colt 45 didn't have much to offer on the micro side that I haven't already reviewed. I was about to pick up something terrible just for the heck of it when I noticed something a little odd: a bright silver pack of Guinness. My suspicions were that Guinness might have released a commerative bottle or something, since they'd never in a million years release Guinness lite, Pumpkin Guinness, or Guinness with clamato juice.

Upon closer inspection I saw that what I had picked up was indeed Guinness, but it was not stout. All I've ever seen on this side of the pond is Guinness Original Extra Stout and Guinness Stout. This happens to be a Black Lager. What what whaaaat? It's almost like you picked up a Coke Milk. Does. Not. Compute.

Anything that seems this unusual is definitely worth my nine dollars. After a quick check of wikipedia, I discovered that this particular beer was test marketed in Northern Ireland and Malaysia. Why Malaysia? I have no idea. Probably for the same reason that they sell Malta Guinness (a non-alcoholic soda produced in Nigeria) in Malaysia. If it's anything like Malta Goya, I'd sooner degrease my engine with it than drink it but I digress.

How'd it end up in my local store? I have no idea but you read it here first (even before wikipedia): Guinness Black Lager is in the USA! And it's cheap!

Beereview: Guinness Black Lager

This lager pours a midnight black with a think creamy light caramel head. It foams up like a glass of champaign (or guinness) and the foam sticks around until well after you're done with the glass. The aroma is straight Guinness with hints of caramel and smoke.

The initial taste is sweet, smokey and creamy with notes of coffee and caramel. The only real difference between this and Guinness is it's a much heavier beer and a lot less dry.

Overall, this a great ordinary beer. If you like Guinness it's just different enough to be interesting but keeps the same great character and flavor. I highly recommend it at your next party!

Are you part of this test marketing? Have you tried other varieties of Guinness? Let me know in the comments below!

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