St James what now? I don’t know about you, but I was surprised to find that one of the most famous beers in the world is made by a brewery I’ve never heard of. I always just thought Guinness came from the Guinness fairy or leprechaun… The things this blog has taught me!
Before I became the craft beer aficionado that I am today (says she who did not know who brewed Guinness), I used to think this beer was about as fancy as it got. I loved and still do love the creamy, silky head that you get with a Guinness on tap, and compared to a lot of the beers I was first introduced to, it actually had some character. I remember friends in London talking Guinness as if it was some kind of mystical protein shake: “It’s a meal in a glass,” they would say, or, “did you know you can survive off only Guinness for a month?”
This particular glass – which I drank on a raging Saturday night with Mum and her husband John at Molly’s – did not come from the tap. It came from a bottle, which I always thought was the worst kind of Guinness, but now I’m actually not so sure.
On the nose it smelled mostly of malt. Not sweet syrupy malt, but dry, uncooked grain, and perhaps a little soy. In the mouth it was medium-sweet with flavours of lightly roasted malt and a little espresso, and a lightly bitter roasty finish. It didn’t seem to be was watery or thin as Guinness on tap – but it’s still far from being a stout you could eat with a fork.
After drinking so many amazing stouts in the past year Guinness does seem pretty ho-hum, but I’ll always have a soft spot for it. It’s one of the beers Dad always had in the fridge when I was a kid, and it’s one of the beers I stole from Dad’s fridge when I was a teenager. Who needs depth and mouthfeel when you have memories like that?