The perfect Guinness beer picture: doesn't it make your mouth water?
Guinness beer: collective reviews By Matt Morgan, Robb Zerr, Ashley Cotter-Cairns, Chris St. Mary, Kate McKeon, Sam Corbeil
Blind Faith by Matt Morgan
If you were given a blind taste test, could you pick Guinness from other stout varieties? In contemplating my review of the black stuff, I had to ask this question to myself and in all honesty, I’m not sure that I could.
Many would argue and shower me with obscenities, especially on St. Patrick's Day and especially with an Irish last name. What I can say about the drink is arguably there was no stout variety of beer before it; all others after are only imitating this original taste.
It's the darkest of beers and has the most delicious roasted malts on the planet. Guinness is the cornerstone of all stout beers. It usually pours with an appetizing 2-3 finger tan head, with a cascade that rivals the clouds of Armageddon.
Even out of the bottle, a proper pour yields a beautiful head minus the cascade.
Approximately 4-6% abv, Guinness gives you probably the most bang for your buck as far as flavor and alcohol content are concerned and is also very filling, with fewer calories than most lagers.
It's the closest you can get to kissing the blarney stone without the euphemism or a mouthful of peat.
Pub me! by Robb Zerr
Many years ago, Guinness ran a promotion where they gave away a pub in Ireland. I knew I had the winning slogan, got my passport and waited for my reward. I never won the darned pub, but I did gain a deep appreciation for Guinness during the contest, as I felt it my duty to be loyal to the folks who would be so kind as to give me a pub.
Deep and bold, Guinness is not for the feint of heart. It is a grownup beer. While you can get it in cans and bottles in the stores these days, I highly recommend finding a small Irish-esque pub where they will hand-pull a Guinness for you from a cask, rather then a keg.
It’s rare (in America, anyway. Ed.), but it’s really the best way to enjoy this finely crafted beer that makes all of us a wee bit Irish this time of the year.
Luck of the Irish by Ashley Cotter-Cairns
"Black turds" was what a friend told me to expect of my first trip to Dublin. An Irish girl I'd once lusted after read an article of mine in a British Airways magazine and tracked me down. I invited myself for a weekend in Dublin. Whether for moral support or in a desperate attempt to hook me up with somebody else, she recruited a leggy Belfast blonde and we all hit the town.
It was a pretty rotten night. I felt like Clint Eastwood in The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, unsure of who I should be wary of. Where's the bullet coming from: the blonde or the redhead?
It ended at 5am with us being driven home by some guy she got off with at a club (subtle hint, I thought), who lied about an all-night party in an attempt to sleep with her. The blonde went home early, to add insult to injury. 2-0 to Dublin.
The next day, I bought boots and we hiked into the hills above the city. Hours of blister hell later, we arrived at a tiny, moss-covered pub, seemingly built from slate and mushrooms, kicked back in front of a roaring fire (it was early October) and ordered... Guinness.
Finally the drink made sense. The couple of minutes it takes to unlace your boots and for your hair to begin steaming is exactly the time it takes a pint of the black stuff to settle. That initial bite smothers your thirst, cloaks it in a thrilling tidal wave of viscous caramel richness, before the bitter slap of the aftertaste.
For me, Guinness will always be walking off a hangover through chilly Irish hill mist in search of the hair of the black labrador.
Mother's Milk by Chris St. Mary
Mother’s Milk, Liquid Bread, Black Tar and Motor Oil. These are all names that many of us have heard in reference to Guinness Stout.
To the educated (beer-wise) imbiber, the first two may fit well. To the beer novice or megabrewer fan, the latter two would probably fit quite well along with a number of others that aren’t bandied about among the more refined masses.
For some, it's a tradition for St. Patrick's Day, but Guinness can be consumed any day. It used to be prescribed by doctors to nursing mothers and people that were anemic because of the minerals it contains. It also is lower in alcohol and calories than the regular lager consumed by many.
The "roastiness" and "chewiness" that you find doesn't happen in too many beers. And because of its lower alcohol content, you can enjoy a few without ending up legless.
So raise your glass in honour of St. Patrick's Day and Ireland (and good beer, in general). Slainte!
Tall, Dark and Handsome by Kate McKeon
Okay, first up, my family is Irish. Irish Catholic to be exact. This is both a blessing and a curse. Sure we can drink like it's going out of style, but it also makes us prone to ridiculous behavior. For example, cursing, drinking and singing very loudly in public in any particular order. Since I now live in Texas I am occasionally surrounded by peoples (small peoples, big peoples, young peoples, old peoples) who don't see this as endearing.
Secondly, it is not the Irish who are fond of sheep. That's the Scottish. AND YOU KNOOOOOW what I mean. ;) (Actually, it's the Welsh, at least according to rumour. Ed.)
A little bit about Guinness. The family sold out to England (who really cares to whom in England (Bass people), just note, Guinness is now English owned, harrumph) when they got their panties in a wad and needed some cash. Fine, I own a business; I know the pains of cashflow.
But selling to the English, argh! Since that time though, Guinness has spread more aggressively around the globe. Good news, right?
Well, that depends. Have you had Guinness in a tavern in Ireland? Tastes pretty good, right? It is smooth, robust like an explosion of flavor on the tongue. Yeah, so why does it taste like swill in the US? The dirty secret: they make a crappy version for the blokes overseas. Grrrrrrr.
But do not despair; they only make this crappy version for the US. We are being punished for producing such memorable beers as Bud Light (and I ain't talking good memories). I've had "regular" Guinness in China, Japan, the EU and even in Thailand. Though Guinness in August in Thailand is not a recommended option. A wee bit heavy folks, wee bit heavy.
My final thoughts on drinking Guinness: don't drink it on St. Patrick's Day! Counter-intuitive, yes, but these super mass produced batches are mixed in the boat on the way over (exaggeration) and they use baby seal skins to get the color (totally false). Are my scare tactics working?
Okay, I'm just bitter because all of a sudden people "discover" dark beer and my favorite tavern is swamped with interlopers. Get out of my tavern, you bloody ale drinkers! Go back to your Micholob Ultra, you panty-waisters!
I'll be in a better mood next week when my beer is poured promptly as I park my car. Kevin the bouncer keeps an eye out for me. Good man, good man. Never get between a woman and her talk, dark and handsome beer. It's positively dangerous.
Use the Car Bomb, Luke! by Sam Corbeil
From his role as a hermit turned sage-like mentor in Star Wars to his portrayal of Russian General Yevgraf Zhivago in the 1965 Dr. Zhivago, the Oscar award winning and knighted Sir Alec Guinness proved to be a enormously talented and versatile actor. And the beer that just happens to share its name with this late world-class thespian is also enormously delicious and versatile.
You can enjoy a Guinness in the simple, time tested traditional way, straight out of a pint glass. Watching patiently from your bar stool as the barman pulls the handle and the creamy tanned bubbles slowly cascade and wash across the glass as it pours ever so slowly from the tap. Or you can use Guinness as an ingredient in many different and delicious food recipes, from simple stews to decadent chocolate desserts (my wife made a wonderful Guinness Chocolate truffle that turned out to be outstanding).
Guinness can also be paired up with other foods, such as an intensely flavoured stilton cheese which matches perfectly with its roasted coffee notes or with oysters on the half shell to make a delicious appetizer.
Another way to enjoy the goodness of Guinness is in shot form. Yes, the all mighty and powerful Irish Car Bomb. What better way to celebrate the most Irish of days than by dropping a shot glass filled half and half with Irish Whisky and Bailey's into a half pint of Guinness and slamming it back in one quick gulp. The fury of the shot being dropped into the glass and then thrown towards the back of your throat creates a chocolate milkshake like frothiness and a flavour to match. Truly how can you celebrate St. Patrick's Day without one? And by one, I mean six.
So any St. Patty's Day when you are enjoying a few pints of Guinness with your friends at your favourite local watering hole, remember to think about how versatile that delicious black liquid is that your holding in your hand. In fact, that beer you're drinking is a lot like the Force. As Obi Wan Kenobi said, "It's an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together."
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