Review: Guinness Extra Stout

I think almost everyone's gateway beer at one point was Guinness Draught Stout, and it certainly was for me back in 2004 or so but I just didn't care for it, it was a bit watery for my palate and the nitro-like creaminess just didn't do it for me. Fast forward a couple years and trying my first non-Guinness stout... I discovered that I liked stouts. 

I went to Jamaica back in 2014 and the #1 recommendation I got (aside from trying jerk chicken, of course) was to try the Guinness Extra Foreign Stout that's brewed right in Jamaica, I was told it's a class of its own and yep.. it certainly was! I drank more Guinness that trip than Red Stripe or Heineken.

Guinness Extra Stout is now in Canada, directly imported from Ireland, just in time for St Patrick's Day. I've seen Guinness Extra Stout in Canada in the past and it's a really good stout, more comparable to a typical North American-style stout - richer, heavier and moderate bitterness here and there... That version was brewed by Moosehead for a very long time but more recently brewed by Labatt. The Canadian brewed Extra Stout still exists but it's hard to find, though I did see it at my local Liquor Mart at Christmas time in 6 packs. The Irish Guinness Extra Stout is currently on sale for $1.99 CAD, making it one of the most affordable beers here at the moment.

Appearance: Black as the night, thick, no noticeable carbonation in the body (of course) but it has a very thick and frothy burnt caramel-beige head on top, a head that diminishes a tad over time, leaves behind a light layered lacing on the glass.

Aroma: Sweet with notes of caramel, a tad bit of nuttiness, mild roasted bitterness of coffee, brown bread. This is quite smooth for the most part.

Taste: Quite a smooth-forward stout again. The roasted malt is the first thing I get this time around giving off a moderate roasted coffee presence to it. It's decently sweet with caramel and a hint of dark chocolate, hint of peat. Aftertaste is a slight burnt malt flavour and slightly tinny, fairly watery for mouth feel.

Overall Thoughts: For $1.99 on sale, this is a great value for a stout. Fairly smooth, tad roasty, sweet.

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