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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Guinness Black Lager

What do you expect when Guinness, the world's biggest brewer of stout, the classic 'black beer,' a dark, dark ale...comes out with a beer called "Guinness Black Lager"? Well, I didn't know what to expect, so I was quite curious when I popped the top on this sample.

First, like the "black beer" itself, it isn't really black. It's a very, very, very dark brown, and when you hold it to the light, you can see that around the edges. A quibble.

Second, I was, I guess, expecting something more in the way of aroma, but all I really got was a bit of wet bread and an earthy note.

But get stuck into it, and -- well, not a lot, actually. The mouthfeel's maybe the best part of it, and it does roll around nicely; there's a decent uptick of bitterness at the end, though not anything you'd pucker over. Otherwise? A bland sweetness tempered with a wisp of coffee, a breath of burnt-grain bitterness...and it's gone, leaving only a faintly pleasant sweetness behind.

I can't help thinking that this is a signifying beer, something for the guys who can't handle Guinness (!) but want something black in their jar. I don't see a lot of future here. Sorry.


Anonymous said...

I was thinking that perhaps UK and Irish beer drinkers are wanting lager beers today (Bud, Stella) rather than ales.

I tried it. Not bad but I would rather have Guiness ES or Saranac Black Forest.

Bill said...

Didn't this come out a couple of years back? Wouldn't you think that, if it's still here, it _will_ last, and give hope to brewers of other-perhaps-BETTER black lagers? Lighter mouthfeel/stomach-feel than actual Guinness, so hope to schwarzbier brewers everywhere, as in "You like Guinness Black Lager? Try THIS..."

Lew Bryson said...

I thought there was something like it out a few years ago too... But I don't think it's going to last, and that's not going to help black lagers.

Bill said...

Maybe it's new to your area. It's been in Chicago for a couple of years -- might have come out in time for the 150th anniversary alongside the one-off anniversary version and maybe the foreign extra version. Wait, just checked Wikipedia -- they say March 2010, so not in time for the anniversary, but still out for eighteen months.

Lew Bryson said...

Went back and looked at the press release; it's a national launch. Looks like Chicago was a test market. Surprised they waited that long. Too bad they didn't keep the anniversary edition around; that wasn't bad at all.

Anonymous said...

anniversary was nice because that was the ORIGINAL guiness, without the gas they started adding in the early 60's.

Nitro dumbs down beers imo.

Anonymous said...

Hey Pumpkin Head i am impressed from the guy who has never met a sample he did not like.This new gig you talk about must be given you a new outlook on things. See you at the GABF Thrusday buy you a real beer. said...


I have not had this beer yet and will try it because I want to try different beers. But Saint Arthur must be spinning in his grave, he made a stronger porter and made it a new type and everybody has been trying to beat him since. Some have but others have not. I was in Ireland this summer and they had Ice COLD Harp and Bud. I asked the publican and he said people wanted cooler beer and I have seen the commercial stating it is Ice Cold Black Lager.

But one telling thing in Dublin, One sign on a pub was Guinness as usual. And the Guinness was great there.