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Guinness Black Lager - Guinness Ltd.

Not Rated.
Guinness Black LagerGuinness Black Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.

430 Reviews

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Reviews: 430
Hads: 1,911
Avg: 3.08
pDev: 41.88%
Wants: 28
Gots: 273 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Guinness Ltd. visit their website

Style | ABV
Euro Dark Lager |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: mdagnew on 04-03-2010

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (37) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 430 | Hads: 1,911
Photo of Haydn-Juby
2.66/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Black with some ruby red highlights. Head fizzed out right away like soda.

S: Very sweet. Some caramel. Somewhat metallic as well.

T: Like the aroma. A bit too sweet for my liking. I get a bit of a metallic flavor that I picked up in the aroma as well. Fakey overdone caramel malts also come through. I get very very minimal roast character. Bitterness is very low.

M: Soda water. Very water and weak with moderately higher carbonation.

O: I wanted to like this but it really just seemed like a sweeter, black, macro lager to me. I could easily see this appealing to you're average BMC drinker if they were told to drink it straight from the bottle and didn't know it was black. Poor example of style and just a lame lack luster beer in general.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
2.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Bottle: Poured a clear dark color lager with a small off-white foamy head with OK retention. Aroma of lightly toasted malt is mildly pleasant. Taste is also dominated by lightly toasted malt with light dry bitter notes and watery finish. Body is light with OK carbonation. This is a water-down version of Guinness which says a lot about this beer.

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Photo of lochef81
3.06/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

This lager pours a deep brownish mahogany with a dish soap like off white head and minimal lacing. The nose is an unappealing blend of malt sweetness and an almost chemical aroma. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy as one would expect from a guiness product. The flavor is a lack luster blend of roasted malts and...well, not much else. This one isn't bad but it is nit something I'll be returning to again.

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Photo of T100Mark
3.75/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A 11.2 ounce bottle poured into a shaker pint glass.

Appearance - A pitch black beer with a foamy tan head that doesn't hang around very long. Good stickage. A handsome beer.

Smell - Just barely.

Taste - Mild roasted malt/black licorice flavor followed, quickly, by a crisp hop hit.

Mouth - Fizzy.

Overall - Imagine a very attractive women with little personality. This beer looks great but the overall experience is unsatisfying. Don't get me wrong; this is not a bad tasting beer. The taste, initially, is pleasant. Almost immediately, however, the flavor disappears. This beer is chugable but, aside from the buzz, what's the point. This beer is less than the some of its parts (hence, the 3.50 overall rating). P.S. Your American adjunct lager drinking buddies might like it.

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Photo of Ohiolager
2.71/5  rDev -12%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Guinness Black Lager $8.99(OH)

11.2 oz brown bottle poured into a stemless white wine glass. No freshness date.

pours a shade lighter than Guinness draught. holding it up i can see my ceiling light through the glass. a two finger tan head that doesn't last long and gives way to minimal lacing.

i can smell some roasted malts, a bit of coffee, and maybe some caramel flavors.

taste follows the nose. A decent roasted malt followed by a weak touch of coffee. A slight toffee caramel taste at the end.

the mouth feel is poor. very watery and hardly any taste clings to your palate. It is smooth, but there's not a whole lot there to smooth out to begin with.

Overall this is what i expected. A supplement for Guinness draught. Not my Cup of tea if you know what i mean. I mean Guinness was just OK, it's little brother is gonna be weaker.

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Photo of Organdrew
1.83/5  rDev -40.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.75

Picked one up on sale from the local liquor chain store. I'm under presumption that this is a new product.

Look: straight from the bottle. Very dark, and the bottle is pleasing to look at.

Smell: smelling straight from the bottle yields not much of anything.

taste: This is where it lacks. First sip tasted like water with a weird skunky taste. For a second I thought I had gotten bad beer but remembered this is a completely different style of the beer I had 30 minutes ago. Taste like bad water in my opinion with a very weak beer linger. Some weak "coffee-like" taste pokes through at the end.

mouthfeel: reminiscent of bad thick water.

overall: weak beer. I would DEFINITELY not try this again. I've tried other Guinness before and this is a WAY different beer. It does have that slightly "guinness" taste, that is coffe/roated toffee, but very subtle and under all that carbonated water. If that little Guinness signature taste was not there, I would swear I was drinking mineral water. I could not finish the beer and poured it out with about 1/3 left. It gave me a sore stomach.

The only plus is the great looking bottle. and maybe less calories. A strong Guinness character SHOULD NOT try to cover/dumb down their signature taste, Guinness and lager do not mix.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.81/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

11.2 FL. OZ. bottle
Served in a Guinness proper pint glass

A - This beer is about as dark as Guinness stout. I was expecting it to look more like a bock. There is no light coming through. It is the darkest lager I have had. It is topped with an inch of tan head.

S - It smells like roasted malt with whiffs of cocoa.

T - There is some roasted malt flavor, not a lot, just some. It has a clean finish.

M - Medium. It is hefty for a lager.

O - It tastes like Guinness light. I think I may prefer it to Guinness on tap. On tap it tends to fill me up. This is easier to quaff. I am pleasantly surprised by this one.

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Photo of goatgoat
3.16/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

poured from a ~15oz can into a pint glass.
A: Thick beige head that falls slowly and clings to the glass. Nice black color, clear and dark brown along the edges.
S: Bread, very light roast, a little earthy.
T: Smooth malty start, a surprisingly strong bitter kick which lingers. Pretty simple.
M: Light, smooth, creamy carbonation.
O: Nice clean black lager. Easy drinking with a light roasted character and smooth mouth.

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Photo of thehyperduck
3.19/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

330 mL bottle from a six-pack picked up at the LCBO; bottled Oct. 29 2013. I've kinda-sorta wanted to try this one for a while, but not quite enough to pay $13.50 for a sixer. This particular pack was marked down a few bucks (getting a little close to expiry, maybe), and I figured now is as good a time as any to tick the stuff. Served well-chilled.

This one - aptly enough - pours an opaque black colour, topped with one finger of fizzy, frothy, light beige-coloured head. It fizzles away fairly quickly over the next minute or so, resulting in a wispy film on the surface, a narrow collar and an attractive doily pattern of lacing on the glass. The aroma is very subdued, to the point that this beer barely even smells like anything. There's a faint wisp of roasted malt and maybe a touch of coffee... come to think of it, this basically smells the same as their regular nitro stout.

Very plain, but highly drinkable and quite clean-tasting for a black lager. Roasted barley is really the only dominant flavour in play, with smaller hints of caramel and raisin. Some weak coffee vibes toward the finish, which is rather grainy and crisp like a lager should be. Not much of an aftertaste; a bit of light roast and metallicity. Light-bodied and fairly watery, with the fizzy, high carbonation levels that are typical of a macro lager. As boring as this is, it's very light and sessionable, and completely inoffensive as well.

Final Grade: 3.19, a C+. Guinness Black Lager is no schwarzbier - it's dull and forgettable compared to the German examples I've tried, although technically this is a 'Euro Dark Lager' so I suppose that comparison is of questionable fairness. That being said, there's nothing really wrong with this beer - I'd drink it again and maybe pay for a pint at the bar if I were in the mood, though I doubt I'd buy it in-store at its standard price point. A decent rendition of an inherently mediocre beer style.

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Photo of Offa
2.73/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

This "cold brewed" lager is a bland, characterless dud.

Black, it has a medium-tan head steadily shrinking to thin veneer & foamy ring, a little lace, so it looks fairly good.

Aroma is light, roasty chocolatey prune, faintly soapy - decently good but not great and a bit mild.
Taste is the real weakness here - it's very light, thin in feel and character, with thin, light toasty taste and not much else except a hint of mineral. It is very bland, one-dimensional, finishes abruptly like mineral water with a little ground0up burnt toast in it.

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Photo of nicholas2121
3.59/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Guinness Black Lager Poured from a can into a glass. Dark also Black. Over all I really Like this brew. Not something I would get on a everyday bases. But drinkable. It is Heavy Compared to American style Lagers. I got the smell of a dark rich beer. Over all I gave this brew a 3.75. Not a big fan of Guinness Brews but this one is good.

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Photo of TeamMathis
3.39/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Black. Cola. Nice frothy head becomes a light lace.
Smell: Some malt and roasted coffee.
Taste: Watered down cola. Hint of roasted malt. Touch of honey.

This is pretty unremarkable. It really does have the taste and feel of a watered down cola. The malt is there, barely; something roasted is about all you'll get out of it. It's enjoyable, but mainly in the drinkability factor. I wouldn't recommend this one.

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Photo of Sipzzz
4.09/5  rDev +32.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

I'v enjoyed Guinness black lager on-tap as well as from the bottle. I have determined this beer needs poured to truly enjoy, despite the fact that the bottle says "ok to drink from bottle".

Tan, foamy head that courses through the body when poured correctly. Dark, impenetrable body.

Smell is lacking, smells the same as Guinness draught, side-by-side it would be hard to tell the difference before tasting.

Taste is amazing, full-bodied with minimal bitterness and a lasting flavorful aftertaste that lingers until your next drink.

Mouthfeel, Like Guinness draught and Blue-moon it is very smooth leaving a refreshing, satisfying feel as it goes down. Almost perfect in my opinion.

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Photo of Cavanaghty
3.33/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured from can into a pint glass.

Appearance: As the name implies, black in color with a foamy beige head. Mild lacing on the glass.

Smell: Light malts and hops.

Mouthfeel/Taste: Smooth medium bodied. Taste of light bitter hops with malts, bread like yeast as well.

Overall: Not a bad brew. I would have this again if it was offered to me.

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Photo of Mike_Moe
2.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Dark color with a brown head.
Aroma: Fairly strong-non distinct beer smell at the beginning of the pour, but diminished quickly.
Flavor: Lightly roasted barley flavor with a slightly bitter finish. This is a light bodied lager, finishing with a harsh carbonation.
Overall: I'm not sure what Guinness is trying to do with this beer. With the roasted barley, it starts out with the possibility of being a good light bodied ale. It however misses the mark starting with its light aroma. The beer starts with toasted malt promise, but ends up being with a flat commercialized beer concoction.

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Photo of Beric
3.27/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Serving: Bottle
Served: 26 December 2013

Appearance: Didn't pour this one out of the bottle. Loved the bottle cap and wish that the rest of the labeling was blue rather than silver.

Smell: Smelled weird at first, since you could pick up the lighter, bready notes from the lager yeast and just ever so faintly smell some amount of roasted malt in there too. Generally though, it just smelled like "beer" and was easily the weakest point of this offering.

Taste: Really not half bad. Basically tastes like Guinness Draught but was crisp rather than creamy. Same faint roasted malt notes hearkens back to the famous Guinness Irish dry stout but with the characteristic lager edge. Faint notes of dark chocolate and coffee smokiness.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and bubbly, two qualities that I generally don't put together with roasted malts. I like my roasty beers being smoother on the palate than this.

Overall: Not half bad, but I'm pretty sure the only difference between this and Guinness Draught is the yeast they use. I would have preferred a Guinness Draught over this because of the silky-smooth mouthfeel. Would not recommend, would not buy.

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Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.29/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

This beer came out a while back and I recall getting a six-pack and destroying this in short order while doing yard work. It served its purpose admirably at this time. Now for the formal review treatment. Does look the part, brownish black with the odd red twinkle, certainly carbonated like a Euro lager, bubbly and can muster a decent off-white to vaguely tan colored head. Smells quite sweet and fruity, some fresh dough along with the requisite dark malt aroma that in this case recalls stale dark chocolate ... There is some pleasant roasted barley character on the nose though, which is of course linked in one's brain to the prototypical Irish dry stout whose fan base this brew is intended to lure over to the lager dark side. Palate is indeed a hybrid of Guinness style roasted flavors and lager traits, including aggressive carbonation and some lager yeast character. Quite dry, tastes roasted but with a little barley sugar sweetness and a fruitiness like red grapes lurks in the background ... I get a licorice toffee effect somewhere at the interface of grainy dough, chalky chocolate, and the aforementioned sweetness. There's the odd boozy note that emerges as well, the alcohol peaking out from behind the roasted flavors, and some grain husk and ash in the dry finish. A few off-flavors, metal and cardboard, but not terrible in this regard. I had the same problem with this beer than I have with its more famous brother ... You keep trying to taste more but at the end of the day its a simple no frills brew. Could be better, could be worse.

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Photo of a0lbudman
3.09/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Jet black with a small tan head with a good lace
S-light roasted caramel malt with some yeast smell present also
T-roasted caramel malt was low and no hop taste
M-smooth, light body and high carbonation
O-This beer had a very smooth taste that had no real flavor

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Photo of DenisKolkin
3.16/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Picked up a single bottle from the LCBO for $2.00 CDN the other day. Had a bottle on the weekend at a friend's house, wasn't impressed then but wanted to do a full write up. Served cold into a pint glass.

Appearance - Very black, almost as light eradicating as some of the big stouts and schwarzbiers I've had in the past. However small 1/2 finger of off white head is well small and disappears quickly leaving no lacing. Can't tell the carbonation levels visually.

Smell - Dark roasty coffee, some dark chocolates and a nutty undercurrent. Also some breadiness in there like many good lagers. Pretty decent for the style and OK overall. It could be a lot worse.

taste - Roasty, but not a ton of flavor. Malt dominated as expected being a black lager, with a slight bit of hops cutting through here and there. But overall not a lot else going on other than it tastes a little darker and roastier than a traditional lager.

Mouthfeel - Nice medium body and medium carbonation, but carried a decent weight for the low ABV. Quite good.

Overall - Seemed a bit better then the last time I had it, which may be due to pouring it into a glass. Overall decent enough for a black lager, but would normally prefer something else. While it may not be as accessible, if you're looking for something in the same vein try Schwarzbier as the roasty characteristics come out even more and flavor and aromas are much fuller. They also don't necessarily cost much more than this either.

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.24/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I picked up a can of Guinness Black Lager about a week ago for $1.22 at Glenn's Market. I was picking up a couple cheap beers that I haven't had in a while and this happened to be one of them, so lets see how it goes. No visible canning date. Poured from a 12oz can into an imperial pint glass.

A- The can is pretty nice looking, it's got a clean look to it. It poured a nice dark brown color that took on more of a brown color when held to the light with two fingers worth of medium tan head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and left some spotty lacing behind. This beer looked ok, I don't really have any complaints.

S- The aroma starts off with a light amount of medium sweetness followed by some malts that impart a grainy and lightly roasted malt aromas with a slight bit of chocolate coming through. Up next comes a Lager yeast like aroma. The aroma is decent, there seems to be good balance.

T- The taste seems to be fairly similar to the aroma and it starts off with a lighter amount of medium sweetness followed by some lightly roasted malts with some grainy and slight chocolate like flavors. On the finish there was pretty much no bitterness with a lightly roasted aftertaste. This was a decent tasting beer with just enough roast to live up to it's name.

M- Smooth, clean, crisp, lighter bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. The mouthfeel was decent and it worked well with this beer.

Overall I thought this was decent beer and a nice example of the style, the balance was pretty good with all of the aspects showing up just enough and there's no off flavors to be found. This beer had good drinkability, it was smooth, crisp, clean, not filling and the taste did a decent job at holding my attention, I'm sure I could drink more than a few of these if I was in the mood for it. I like the taste the most and the very thin body the least. I might buy this again and I would order it at a bar if nothing better was available. I would recommend this to anyone who wants the lightest possible dark beer, if regular Guinness is too thick for you then this might make a good alternative. All in all this isn't a bad beer and it's about the same as a remember, not a bad choice when there's not a good selection at hand.

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Photo of JimKal
3.09/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

I got this in an 8 pack(cans) of "Irish Beer" featuring Black Lager, Guinness Draft, Smithwick Irish Ale and Smithwick Pale Ale.

A: Dark with a one inch tan head that dissipates quickly leaving no lacing behind.

S: Toasty

T: Roasted malt flavor but on the mild side.

M: Very light and watery.

O: I'm glad there were only two in the eight pack. It isn't bad but I won't be looking for it.

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Photo of Caj1
3.81/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

As a fan of dark beers (stouts and porters especially, though I enjoy a good dark lager) I was wanting to try the new Guinness Black Lager I'd been seeing in the supermarkets and on TV for a while now. Gifted with a six pack of the stuff, I enjoyed it, but not as much as I had hoped I would.

The beer is quite black, but to me lacks the ruby-brown tinge that a true Guinness stout should always have. Also much unlike a traditional Guinness, there is almost no head to speak of, and minimal lacing. The head foamed up to about a finger's worth and receded all in the span of about forty-five seconds.

The smell is much better than the appearance, thankfully. Both the aroma and flavor intensify as the beer warms. Toasty notes, brown earthy and coffee smells all predominate, with a touch of sweet fruit and malt, but minimal hops. The taste is lacking in comparison to the Guinness stout (obviously) but there is still plenty here. The toast and coffee, the earth, and some butterscotch are first on the tongue, with malty sweetness and the slightest touch of hop astringency following. The mouthfeel is thin but foamy and refreshing.

This could have been better, but taking into account that it's a lager and not meant to be a meal in a bottle, this could also be much worse. It's a good beer to bring to parties, that's for sure, and I may go get myself some more when the weather starts to warm up again. There's nothing particularly special in this so I ask you to use your discretion, but I enjoyed it. To good health and good beer.

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Photo of biegaman
3.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Guinness Black Lager is about as dark as Guinness' ubiquitous Stout, tough it lacks the brand's trademark chunky, foamy head; it doesn't even have a single bubble or thread of lace. The fact that it's no more black than the stout - both have a deep ruddy tinting - says more about the stout than this - Dark Lagers are expected to have a little colour.

The aroma has very mild notes of roast, smoke, and dark purple fruits (plum, raisin) as well as a trace of hazelnut and restrained sweetness. It's an encouraging sign: this is exactly what I'd expect from the style. Fortunately the smell of the adjuncts is just as mild as those of the grain.

The flavour kicks off with the same notes as the aroma (roast, subtle coffee, dried fruits) but quickly turns sweet and starts to taste more like corn syrup than I care for. I was anticipating a mild tasting beer based in the nose and the brand's reputation, but this is thin and textureless even for a lager. You wouldn't know dark malts were used if not for the colour.

Guinness Stout is a true Stout only as much as Kraft Singles Slices can be considered real cheese - it may be true on a technicality but mass- and industrial-production as well as intentional watering down (figuratively speaking) strip the product of virtually all of its character...

Guinness Black Lager, however, is a half-decent example of a Dark Lager. Its dulled, forgettable features, mind you, are unmistakably those of a very hackneyed, commercialized offering. As such, it's best suited as an introduction to those accustomed to mainstream lagers; drinkers already familiar with German Schwarzbiers and quality craft renditions need not bother with it.

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Photo of Huffs
3.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a pint glass, nice head developed, semi-dense and tan in color, good lacing and retention. Aroma was a milt malt and coffee with the appearance being, as expected, black. Had a dry taste with some coffee notes. Mouthfeel was lighter than expected, almost watery. Dry aftertaste. Seemed like Guinness Stout light to me.

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Photo of TheHammer
3.3/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A single finger of head that did not lace or retain doesn't bode well. It's odd because thee is carbonation that you can see in the murky, black body.

Smell: It's not overly strong and warming doesn't really help it's case, but notes of toffee malt, coffee and a slight grape note.

Taste: Starts with a somewhat fruity note of plum and grapes that give way to a toffee malt that builds into dark chocolate that ends with a hint of coffee. The fruit was certainly an interesting surprise.

Mouthfeel: The transistioning of the beer is exceptional, but the carbonation falls flat quick. It's odd to, it's like is courser lager carbonation when you thing something a bit creamier might be appropriate. The sweet malt and chocolate aftertaste that doesn't overstay it's welcome though is good.

Drinkability: It's not quite as heavy as I'd expect it to be, but it's medium bodied without a doubt. It's low carbonation does in favours, as does the mild aftertaste, but it seems to come across as stout light or a excessively heavy lager.

Final Thoughts: All in all a good experience, but world shattering it isn't. It's certainly something different from the brewery well known for it's stout, and I suppose this is a decent enough test of them to bring stout aspects to a Lager. Worth a go.

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Guinness Black Lager from Guinness Ltd.
71 out of 100 based on 430 ratings.