Thursday, September 30, 2010
This is a bit of a grail for me; I've kind of purposely kept myself away from it till I could get it legit. Worth the wait, and really not at all what I expected. First, it's not heavy and thick (like some other "Caribbean" stouts); it's actually quite light for 7.5%. Second, it has a great aroma of boozy burnt malt. Third, it's properly black...like I remember "regular" Guinness being, though that could be a trick of memory. Finally, it's not sweet! It's quite bitter, burnt bitter and hop-bitter, but smooth as a swoop. Intriguing stuff, and easy to understand why it's so popular: it's 45% of total Guinness sales!
What's not so easy to understand is why it's taken Diageo so long to bring it to the positively beer-crazy U.S. market. Was it because Guinness stout was so damned popular, they were afraid of cannibalizing it? Yeah, that strategy worked so well with Guinness Extra Stout...and Smithwick's... Should have sent this ten years ago!