Guinness Draught - Guinness Ltd.

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Guinness DraughtGuinness Draught

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2,105 Reviews

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Reviews: 2,105
Hads: 6,854
Avg: 3.44
pDev: 36.92%
Wants: 119
Gots: 1,640 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Guinness Ltd. visit their website

Style | ABV
Irish Dry Stout |  4.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-02-2001

No notes at this time.
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Reviews: 2,105 | Hads: 6,854
Photo of Antg8989
3.8/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Seems to be super low ratings on here simply because it's Guinness. Pours a dark brown with s silky mocha head. Aroma is of roasted malts. Taste is similar but watered down. Feel is smooth and airy. Decent beer.

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Photo of PhillyRiver
1.51/5  rDev -56.1%
look: 3 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1.5

My husband thinks I should use the word "abomination" in my review.
Poured from can into clean tulip glass. Why do people like this beer? This is the fourth time I've tried to drink it, three times from cans, once on tap in a New England bar. Every time, I experienced it as a thin flat swill with a cardboard foretaste, nothing like the rich coffee-chocolate porters I prefer (Fuller's, Young's, Yuengling, Breckinridge, Anchor, etc.). The first can of Guinness Draught I got from the Foodery in Philly, I took it back and told them it was flat, that the fizzer must be malfunctioning. She kindly gave me a new one. Got home, it was exactly the same, I couldn't finish it and poured it down the drain. Tried a can from another store in case it was their shipment; nope, same result. It has a creamy two-tone parfait head that sticks to the glass forever, so I gave it a 3 for Look. After that, there's no pleasure, a waste of calories. OK, now I'm dumping the rest and opening a Yuengling Porter.

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Photo of Sheppard
3.87/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This a creamy, sessionable stout with light roast. Minimal aroma. Beautiful appearance when served on draught. Overall, this is a very tasty and readily available stout. There are more flavorful options out there but this is a really solid one available in most bars.

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Photo of puck1225
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

On draft. Very dark brow with a nice thick tasty head. This beer is dependable. Toasty, malty,and I like its! It goes well with food and you can find it everywhere. I believe it is underrated.

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Photo of Hahnin
4.52/5  rDev +31.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Haters want to hate, but Guinness is in a class all its own. It's not my favorite beer bc it isn't beer, it's Guinness. Always perfect in a bar, and cans in a pinch aren't bad.

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Photo of mynamewastakendamnit
2.9/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

From the can:

L: Beautiful. The cascade from the nitro is a wonderful thing to watch, and seeing it turn from brown to nearly pitch black is pretty damn exciting. A really nice tan head with great retention/lacing.

S: Not a lot of smell. What's there is chocolately, roasted barely. Maybe a small bit of toffee but there's not much to smell here. I've had way too many off cans that smell like copper as well though.

T: Okay. Definitely drinkable. A very dark chocolate toffee like taste, some coffee, maybe a little too burnt tasting though. Not too bad but burnt =/= dark and complex. Also, again, I've had way too many cans that taste like pennies towards the end. I'd call it inconsistent but it's consistently off about half the time.

F: Light but the nitro makes it kind of creamy. Some carbonation, but thankfully not as much as the bottled version, which basically tastes like burnt seltzer.

O: Not bad when you get a good can but the fact that it's really metallic half the time for me makes it something I'm not gonna go out and buy any time soon.

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Photo of oldn00b
3.96/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Seems silly to write a review of such a widely know beer.

Still, watching the nitro work through the beer is still a thing of beauty to me.

Nose is almost non-existent and beyond an iron based mineral flavor there isn't much on the palate. Still the smooth, light feel with a nice bit of malt is nice.

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Photo of 978577
1.74/5  rDev -49.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2

This is the worst beer I have ever tasted. Very hard to keep down. Weak, watery, dribble, with lots of foam. I have to say though that I am an ipa man. So maybe it's just a matter of acquiring a taste.

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Photo of angrybabboon
3.81/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review based on notes taken 9/19/15
Note 1: This is my 1000th full beer review.
I saved Guinness Draught for #1000 because it has a strong significance in my personal beer history. It was one of the first beers I ever tried, and it was the first beer I had on my 21st birthday. This beer has popped up at various points in my life, and I will mention those in the course of this review, prefaced with asterisks***.
Note 2: On-tap, nitro (of course)

A: Seemingly jet black from a distance, but it is really more of a dark, deep brown upon inspection - comes off the nitro with a medium-large, dense, solid, light tan head, with the characteristic cascade - small bubbles occasionally break the soft surface of the head that can only really exist thanks to nitrogen - the head does slowly fade to a small, but solid cap, but that does stick around indefinitely - leaves a wall of lacing - if nothing else, Guinness Draught on nitro is pretty to look at
***In middle school, I heard from a friend that bubbles in Guinness sink to the bottom of the glass instead of float to the top, and that this phenomenon could not be explained by science. I never bothered to look this up, as dial-up internet was too slow for anything.

S: Markedly unexciting, but charming for what it is - a straight-up whiff of nitro carbonation, which should not actually be an aroma, but I smell it every time I have anything on nitro - more stout-like aromas underneath the haze of gas, but it is very mild - dry, roasty malts - chocolate malts and roasted grains - a general graininess - dark chocolate and some hints of Tootsie rolls - lightly burnt, perhaps a touch smoky - light sweetness, with some light caramel
***In high school, I heard from a friend about how brewers at Guinness, many years ago, were cleaning out the tanks and found a dead rat. They cleaned the tank thoroughly, but then they could not get the next few batches to taste right. So since then, a rat is included in each batch for a consistent flavor. I never believed this one... I also have never detected rodent in Guinness Draught.

T: A decade ago, I thought this was rather complex, but now I realize that it is a rather simple brew - mild chocolate malts and roasted malts - lightly roasted grains, hint of medium to dark roast coffee - dark chocolate, baker's chocolate, semisweet chocolate, hints of Tootsie rolls - light touches of caramel - lightly grainy, with some straight-up un-malted barley - light astringency and touch of acidity - some minerality - very light hint of English hops with a touch of grass - low to medium bitterness - clean finish, extremely dry as the style should be
***In college, I learned in a class (a food science course about beer) that Guinness Draught should be slightly sour. A lot of homebrew clone recipes include some souring technique or acidulated malt. Personally, I have never really noticed it other than a light acidity.

M: Light but very creamy - the bizarre result of nitro, which leads many novice drinkers to describe this as anything heavier than "light" - high carbonation, finishes clean
***In grad school, I drank a lot of beer. (I don't have a Guinness-related anecdote.)

O: Always a lovely day for a Guinness

Guinness Draught is the quinntessential example of an Irish Dry Stout. It's not exciting, but it really isn't supposed to be. I have definitely had more complex and objectively superior examples of the style, but this is really the template. Definitely mild, but classic nonetheless.

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Photo of markjanderson86
2.64/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 5 | smell: 1 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass in spite of the bottle's directive to drink "straight from the bottle".

Appearance - Almost black with thick tan foam. Very iconic look.

Aroma - Barely anything at all.

Taste - Light coffee and malt. Some chocolate in there too. It is pleasant. A little taste of aluminum for some reason. Not a bad taste, but nothing crazy strong in here.

Mouthfeel - Very light and creamy.

Overall - I could drink a few of them in a session.

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Photo of Magister_Beav
5/5  rDev +45.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

As far as I am concerned this beer is perfect. It is smooth, creamy, chocolate and caramel flavors. Perfectly blended so that no one flavor is overwhelming. It is easy to drink and refreshing.

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Photo of drmeto
3.95/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Actually had this for the first time
-Big chocolate w some roasted coffee upfront
-slight notes of caramel
-incredible creamy head retension
-carbonation almost non-existent
-slightly chocoltaty,watery finish

always good seeing actual good macro beer out there.

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Photo of Barracudas
5/5  rDev +45.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is an exceptional beer for any occasion. I love especially when it is extra cold. It is very tasty and very smooth. Excellent! Highly recommended!

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Photo of squirrelmaster77
4.04/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

First review here, I figured I would review my current favorite.

I purchased a 4 pack of tall cans at a local grocery store. To my dismay, they were located inside of the cooler. I brought the cans home and left them sitting out on the counter to get them to room temp.

On first inspection, the cans love to shoot foam all over the place so I recommend opening over the sink. I poured into a standard 16 oz. pint glass using a pouring method made specifically for Guinness cans with the nitrogen widget. Essentially you flip the can upside down and set it in the glass until the liquid reaches the can and you can finishing pouring from there.

A-The creamy almost coffee colored head and dark chocolatey body are perfect. It is my ideal picture for the perfect beer. 5

A-Fairly neutral. The smell of alcohol is present, unlike in the taste. There is a roasted, smokey note there as well. 3.5

T- Everything I am looking for in a stout. The hints of chocolate and coffee followed with a charred finish. Since the head is present throughout the whole drink, it's creaminess really sets up the bold flavor of this beer. 4.25

F- Very smooth. I can see no problem drinking 6, 7, or 20 of these! I prefer light carbonation in my beers due to stomach issues but it also brings out flavors that may be hidden from it. 3.5

O-I had a bad first impression of Guinness Draught by having the bottled version. Now that I have had it out of the can, I'm ready for Ireland so I can have the real thing. 4.25

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Photo of GeorgiaFunkadelic
2.91/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Was given 3 11.2oz glasses. Thankful because it had been a while since I took the opportunity to enjoy. This is not a bad beer. Dark like Coca-Cola, heavier, but not too heavy. Kinda tasty, but lacking lots of great "slap myself" kinda taste. But its Guinness, a classic. Probably better mixed w a Harp or Bass. I think I taste lots of malt

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Photo of erconn0r
3.94/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I live in California. Drinking in Ireland, Guinness shines. Not sure why the U.S. Guinness for me is terrible.
When in Ireland, (August 2015) noted the sour contribution, (lacto sourness?) & enjoyed it. Beer visually is amazing, like ice cream!

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Photo of DodgeStealth93
3.35/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown almost black into a mug or glass looks very nice! Has a very thick soapy creamy head that sticks around for a little while! Smell is very faint Taste is bready and malty has small notes of coffee and cocoa with a dry finish! It could be a good beer to try if your attempting to transition for the standard BMC beers to something with a little more character and flavor! Its not going to knock your socks off but its a good stout but there are better ones out there!

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Photo of Tom_Banjo
2.9/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Fun to watch being poured and has a nice, creamy head. Not much positive to it beyond that, in my opinion. Thin and bland. Not my idea of a good session beer, as I couldn't see myself being able to stomach more than two pints of this. And not a beer I'd want to drink with food. Sure, it's popular, but "popular" isn't the same as "good". Would look elsewhere in the Irish Dry Stout category.

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Photo of Furlinator
2.96/5  rDev -14%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Looks amazing. Dark and ominous with a beautiful khaki head but, it all goes downhill from there. Metallic smell. Faint coffee and cocoa flavors but, the metallic element creeps in on the flavor as well. Finishes dry. Average at best.

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Photo of johnnyd10vt
3.45/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Obviously the gold standard of Nitrogen Irish Stouts. A perfect introduction to stouts for beginners. Easily drinkable and with a low ABV so you can drink it all night. Doesn't have the intense flavor of most craft stouts in 2015, so that could be a pro or a con based on what you're looking for. If you like to experiment with bold flavors, this probably isn't the beer for you, but if you've been around much, you've almost certainly already tried this nostalgic standard.

Cheers, mate!

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Photo of chad_e_martin
3.26/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Look: Black as night. Like a really dark night with no moon. Good beige head retention.

Smell: Some malt, some toasted barley, a faint honey smell. Nothing strong here.

Taste: Toasted malts, barleys are present. Faint chocolates and a sweet honey taste. But everything feels watered down.

Feel: It's somewhat easy drinking, but they feel a bit heavy.


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Photo of hopphead31415
3.95/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

This is such a common beer that I have tried many times at the local Irish Pub and you really can’t go wrong with this one. It has so much to offer that I’ll describe below, but you should know that it has a rather low alcohol content (as it should for this style) at 4.2% ABV.

Look-Pours a jet black and rather iconic look in its characteristic pub glass. There are dim glimmers of reddish copper in the right back light. The head blossoms from the infused Nitrogen that is sustained for a long time. The head has the most silky smooth texture and appearance that reminds me of the upper inner thigh of a lovely babe.

Smell-It has a weak smell that is very pleasant, but not multifaceted. I get sweet oak, and smoky caramel.

Taste-The taste is great, but starts off loose with a delayed release of the flavors. I get a bitter coffee flavor that comes in most noticeable on the middle palate and as the flavors slowly emerge, I get toasty and smoky oak flavors that are rounded off by hints of coffee, caramel, toffee and then a mild spiciness to it.

Mouthfeel-It starts watery and moist with the most silky smooth texture (remember that upper thigh), and has the perfect amount of fizz from the carbonation. The bubbles are so tiny that it is more of an ambient and intrinsic carbonation instead of an apparent cola fizz. It finishes slightly dry and with a mild sweet smoky coating on the tongue.

Overall-This is such a refreshing beer and I can easily drink several of them without getting very drunk, because they are so drinkable and with such a low alcohol content. Cheers!

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Photo of CurtisGarrett
3.32/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

440ml Poured into a pint glass.

Look) Guinness has an Iconic appearance and it's clear to see why, the pint is a glorious black drink with hints of ruby when the light hits the bottom of the glass. This is all topped with a cream coloured head, which thanks to the nitrogen sustains throughout your experience.

Smell) This is where I feel the drink is lacking, there is definitely a subtle dark malt aroma, but you will have to agitate it to pick up on this, however with that being said, there is nothing unpleasant about the aroma, just a lack of it.

Taste) When the beer is cold, the flavour again is very sutble at first, but the bitterness sits nicely at the back of the mouth, However as the beer warms slightly, the flavours seep begin to grow ever so slightly, the sweetness in the foretaste is very apparent and then the coffee notes set in and balance brilliantly.

Feel) This is the strongest aspect I feel. The beer is velvety (some may say watery but I feel otherwise) and sits nicely in your mouth with very little carbonation to deter you from admiring the flavour.

Overall) I do enjoy a guiness as a whole, would I pick it over some of the locals like "Bad King John" most likely not. I would recommend this to anybody who is just trying stout and doesn't want to jump into the deep end of complex flavoured stouts. Enjoy

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Photo of Fair_Winds
4.71/5  rDev +36.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

It is easy to be biased when reviewing a beer like Guinness. Particularly for me being Irish-American. But one thing about this beer is certain. It lives up to all expectations. It is a mass produced beer that is a new and exciting adventure every time I drink it. It's color although many think is pitch black is actually a deep deep red. However this color and it's contrast to its trademark creamy white head, poured into an imperial tulip is a symbol known the world over. Perhaps the only beer in the world that can be identified simply by color and glassware. It uses its own signature gas mixture when poured from the tap to keep its light and distinct carbonation level. It's aroma breathes of the dark malts used in making irish stouts. And lastly it's taste. No matter where you go your Guinness may be slightly different depending on temperature, age, which brewery it's from but it always has a dark coffee flavor to it. Few beers have such a beautiful presentation (when done correctly) and even fewer have such a long distinguished history.

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Photo of Andrewharemza
3.33/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pleasant roasted aroma. Great creamy and extremely durable head. Clear almost black body. Smooth and pleasant roasted bitterness in taste. A little bit watery but still very good.

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Guinness Draught from Guinness Ltd.
78 out of 100 based on 2,105 ratings.