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Last night after an excessive amount of a certain stout of international acclaim, and being in a mood of severe curiosity about what I had spent eight hours shoving down my throat. So I sat down and did a bit of browsing, and a lot of hiccupping, I finally found information on a tipple I only drink once a month. As I sit here this morning, thinking I may have drunk a little too much last night, and wanting to do a bit of writing I decided that I should put my drunken info gathering to the test and see what I come up with.
In all honesty I cannot believe I like Guinness! As friends of mine will attest my normal tipples of choice are whisky (preferably single malts) and lager. So what the heck am I doing drinking Stout? Could it be because my mother drank Guinness when she was pregnant (Guinness has an incredibly high iron content) and I developed a taste for it by osmosis? Or is my taste for lager just an aberration I am growing out of? I honestly do not know what is wrong with me but each month I go through enough Guinness to sink a battleship and pay for it the next day (It is the hangover drink from hell! So don’t drink too much of it! (unlike me groan)).
Guinness, through one of the most successful marketing campaigns of the 20th century, is one of the most easily recognisable alcoholic beverages in the world today. Any pub you can think to walk into has a 95% chance of having a Guinness pump ready and waiting when you walk in. The phenomenon was incredibly freaky for me in Paris! Seeing that distinctive pump sitting there happily waiting for you when you walked into a bar was quite disturbing to say the least. You cannot avoid Guinness no matter how hard you try.
After all the stuff has been sold all over the world for the last 200 years! But the question that I have always wondered is why is it so popular. The amazing thing is that draught Guinness has only been around since 1961. Before that it was the bottled stout that they sold around the world by exporting barrels and getting it bottled locally. Nowadays with the prominence of Draught Guinness worldwide (They sell 2 billion pints a year after all) it is brewed locally. Which is in some ways rather sad, as I have heard said that the best Guinness is obtained in Dublin itself and I will most definitely try it at a certain Ciao meet in the near future:)
The drink itself is odd too look at the best of times. Unlike any other drink around if you hold it up to the light you will not see through it. In fact it is that rich darkness that is one of its most distinctive features. You know when you look at a Guinness that this is something different to say the least. Normal stout (the bottled variety) is not this rich and dark, it is more like a mild in colour. So what is the Guinness difference? How is it done? Apparently they ‘flash pasteurise’ it or something was rumour I heard but does it really matter. These pints of devilish delight are scarily addictive to the taste buds. That’s why I currently have such a bad head to say the least and it’s not that good an excuse either.
The taste of a well-poured Guinness is indescribable as well. If the bar person has got the all-important two part pour correct you are in for sheer delight. You may have to leave your drink to settle into the familiar black and white pattern we all know and love but it is well worth the wait at the best and the worst of times. The first time I drank this stuff I was surprised to say the least. Guinness is not that bitter a drink! In fact it is a surprisingly smooth beverage with a subtle hint of bite to it that makes it a very enjoyable experience.
Overall Guinness is one of those drinks that cannot be ignored, but there are other ways of enjoying it as well. Here are just a few from the official Guinness website:
“Black Velvet GUINNESS® and champagne mixed 50/50. Who says you can't move in high circles?
Arthur Narf Bottled GUINNESS® mixed half and half (get it?) with GUINNESS® Draught. Got to be tried to be believed.
Black 'n' Black GUINNESS® with a dash of blackcurrant for when you're feeling fruity.
GUINNESS® and Lime Turn the unadventurous green with envy by adding a touch of lime to your pint.
GUINNESS® Cooler Another one for hazy days. Put ice in a chilled water jug, add one measure of Curacao, 2 of Cacao, one of Dubonnet and top up with GUINNESS®.”
So why not give some of these a little try after all it could be a nice change from the norm:)
I could try and explain to you how it is made but as I am not a real ale buff and never have done brewing at any point in my life I thought I would give you the website link to get any other information you may require:)
www.guinness.com This is the official Guinness website.
www.ivo.se/guinness Another resource for you that delves into the true mysteries of Guinness and all it entails.
The basic stats for a Guinness are:
Guinness OG: 1052 (13.2 Plato) Alcohol: 4.4% abw, 5.5% abv BU: 50 Colour: 9.5 Eckhardt's Scale ( This would translate into something around or over 50 SRM and about 130 EBC)
(Could someone please let me know what the above all means so I can explain it at some later point.)
Guinness is on general release to all members of the public over 18 so go an have a try as it might be fun for you:)
Brilliant Op!!! I drink Guinness all the time, I have to agree that the Guinness in the south of Ireland is a lot better than anywhere else in the world. Its alot creamier and has hints of coffee. Ever tried a shot of whiskey in it, delightful.
Little_Raven 12.12.2002 12:19
Whilst your recipes sound delicious...yuk! Mines a kroney!