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Guinness Draught - Guinness Ltd.

Not Rated.
Guinness DraughtGuinness Draught

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

5,232 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,232
Reviews: 1,959
rAvg: 3.48
pDev: 20.11%
Wants: 30
Gots: 355 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Guinness Ltd. visit their website

Style | ABV
Irish Dry Stout |  4.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-02-2001)
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Ratings: 5,232 | Reviews: 1,959 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JohnnyM2002


2.35/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Sampled on-tap at Molly Brannigan's in Harrisburg...poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours a rich black with a foamy, 2-inch tan head...good retention.

S - Earthy grains & biscuity notes dominate the aroma...some hints of coffee in the background.

T - If my eyes were closed, I wouldn't take this for any style of stout, more due to the wter-like mouthfeel. Mild coffee & earthy/biscuity flavors are still there, but they all float in the background...nothing really takes a stand as the dominant taste.

M - One of the worst bodies I've yet sampled...more due to my own expectations for this beer. I was assuming it had a thicker body with some kind of bold finish...extremely thin body with little carbonation and a slightly dry finish.

D - I want to try this out of the can or bottle...and I want it at a temperature more suited to my liking...not from the tap. It needs another chance.

Serving type: on-tap

03-17-2007 02:26:07 | More by JohnnyM2002
Photo of VitBAficionado

New Zealand (Aotearoa)

2.98/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: "Darkern' a black steer's tookus on a lonely prairie night". Small but extremely stubborn tannish head. Can't forget the classic waterfall... I love that.
S: Not much. Little roasted malt, coffee and chocolate but in faint amounts.
T: Tastes of coffee and milk chocolate... like a lattee with bailey's or something. Malts and bitterness come on gradually and linger in the aftertaste (especially when warmer).
M: Chewy which is really surprising giving the ultra light body (for the style).
D: Really really drinkable for a stout due mainly to the lightness of the brew which is both a good and bad thing. What other beer tastes like a milkshake when added to Jameson and Baileys I ask... surely thats worth a 1/2 a point. Happy St. Patty's Day.

Serving type: nitro-can

03-16-2007 22:02:47 | More by VitBAficionado
Photo of Liquids


3.8/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Insane and drunk bartender is obsessed with pouring a beer with no head; "it's all beer!" he proudly proclaims. But a thin creamy head remains and never quite turns to scum. Black but reddish around the edges, and the head is an off white. The smell is really nothing special, as we know. I ususally don't bother smelling this unless by force of habit...but the taste--what could be more palatable and feel like a meal? It's totally non threatening, no charred notes, no excess sweetness, just a faint smooth roasty brew that gives the sensation of filling the mouth, has a touch of sourness which makes you want to sip it again, and one that both by ABV and easy of consumption defines session beer. I nearly always want another. I've tended to mock Guinness in the past and I typically won't stock it in favor of the occasional Murphy's, but I'm never sad if it's the best beer on tap, because it's a good beer to drink, and works well with most food, too. And otherwise it might have been a Bud or nothing. I rarely sip a Guinness and end up feeling disappointed.

Lots of not-quite beer drinkers adore this brew but know nothing about beer. That makes it hard for some to admit that, even with their refined beer palate and expansive microbrew knowledge, Guinness too IS good, for what it is, but not, and the inexperienced might shout "the best beer in the world!" as there is no such thing.

So there the Guinness tap handle sits next to two other ultra crappy beers, and calls my name. At first I balk. ..."Why be a beer snob?" I think. To Bartender: "I'll have a Guinness."

Serving type: nitro-tap

03-15-2007 14:16:36 | More by Liquids
Photo of 6sm9

Ontario (Canada)

3.98/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nitro Can. Excellent body with a gorgeous head. Goes down extremely smoothly and leaves an excellent aftertaste. Every time I drink this beer I find it puts a very slight meaty taste in my mouth and I end up having to down a sausage right after. Excellent beer. No regrets!

Serving type: nitro-can

03-15-2007 09:02:44 | More by 6sm9
Photo of kush6875


4.3/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

served out of nitro-can poured into an imperial pint:

appearance: black as night with a thick creamy off white head

smell; dark chocolate, burnt malts, maybe some coffee

taste: smooth as silk, with minimal carbonation

mouthfeel: thin

drinkabilty: a great session beer!! can throw 6 down without even trying!

had this tonight as a half and half with sierra nevada brown ale!! excellent brews to mix!

Serving type: nitro-can

03-15-2007 03:38:05 | More by kush6875
Photo of Beerman420


3.85/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Classic. Great stuff on a random basis, too much and I get sick of it fast. Dark, rich, creamy with little fizz and plenty of head and lace.

A - Black as night. Not much transperacy.

S - Not very fragrant, smells of coffee and chocolate.

T - I like it nice and cold, some like it warmer though. Very tasty/chewy brew. Tastes like coffee and hersheys bars with a hint of nutty-ness. Good as an Irish Car Bomb (1 shot Jameson Whiskey 1 part baileys dropped in a glass of guiness, tastes like a coffee drink or milkshake).

M - Not much fizz, easy drinking if you like it.

D - Drinkable on occasion, I can't drink it on a regular basis but it's damn good during the cold winter months.

Serving type: on-tap

03-13-2007 01:11:49 | More by Beerman420
Photo of Kendo

New York

3.6/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a 14.9 oz pub can into a pint glass, it does that whole nitrous cascade thing. Body is dark brown -- bordering on black but not quite there -- with ruby hues on the edges when held to the light. A 1-finger creamy, foamy beige/khaki-colored head sits atop the body and is well-retained. Leaves lots of splotches of foamy lacing on the side of the glass -- almost a wall of foam, really -- and some solid rings as well when I let it sit still long enough to settle in one place.

S: Very, very faint: roasted malt and a hint of bitter coffee. But not at all the least bit strong.

T: Like the nose, it's relatively light in flavor, and like the nose, the first impression is of roasted malt and coffee bitterness. A slight burnt charcoal or burnt coffee flavor is present, with a dry, metallic bitter finish that lingers into the aftertaste. Some sweetness from the malt is more evident as it warms.

M: Very light, almost watery in fact.

D: Easily consumed in massive quantities due to its light heft and low ABV. I've been known to put down a dozen to fifteen of these in a night, no problem. A session beer if there ever was one.

Notes: A good Guinness every now and again -- preferably on tap --is still a treat, though my tastebuds have moved on from a beer that I used to drink seemingly by the gallon. On the positive side, it's a nice looking beer with the cascading nitro effect, and it's very drinkable because it's so light. There is some flavor there, but it's not nearly as interesting as other stouts. And it really doesn't smell or feel like much at all. Funny that so many folks look at this beer and think "ohmigod -- it's so DARK and HEAVY" and miss the boat entirely. A good beer to have around the house for guests, and like I said, you can drink a lot of 'em without getting too full or drunk. But there are far better stouts out there. . . .

Serving type: nitro-can

03-09-2007 19:47:25 | More by Kendo
Photo of kajerm


3.28/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This review could be a beautiful, touching retrospective, but it won't be.

Pours an absolutely stunning black with a deep ruby hue that only shows up in the light. Initially cascading tan nitro bubbles that settle out into a black beer witha majestic white cap. The Guinness Draught nitro-head is legendary, a mountain of creamy bubbles sinking into the beer.

The smell is pretty thin-- dark-roasted malt is pretty much all I could pick up here, and I'm really reaching here.

The flavor profile isn't overwhelmingly complex, but that's not what this beer is about-- it's simple black malt bitterness and drop of coffee flavor. I've had tastier, more interesting stouts, but it'd be pretty hard to hate Guinness on tap.

Mouthfeel is creamy and heavy-- it's pretty hard to forget you're drinking a nitro-beer when it feels like a milkshake in your mouth. Call it "cheating" if you want to, but that silky nitro-palate is pretty incredible.

Mouthfeel notwithstanding, Guinness is pretty damned drinkable as far as stouts go. I suppose the low ABV and diminished malt character help here, as does the bitterness. I remember pounding these back in the day and people acting like it was magic.

All told, I expected to be more disappointed than I was. Tastewise, this is a bog -standard dry stout, but the classic characteristics (almost all of them nitrogen-derived) hold the beer together and make for a sessionable brew that you can get at your local ass-bar.

NB: If Guinness didn't blend their CO2 with nitrogen, I suspect that this would be a pretty shitty beer.

Serving type: on-tap

03-07-2007 20:16:22 | More by kajerm
Photo of IgnatiusReilly

New Jersey

3.33/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 14.9oz. nitro-can at home. Listen to the widget rattle.

A: Had the same great cascade when coming off the tap. Pitch black coloring with one or two finger creamy tan head. The cascade may have settle a little quicker pouring from the can compared to served off a bar tap. Tons of lace sticks down the glass.
S: Some sweet and roasty flavors come through the nose.
T: Dark roasted malt brings out that familiar coffee flavor, with a slight hint of chocolate. The malt also gives off a sharp astringent, almost metallic flavor (not exclusive to the can version but definitely more pronounced.) After the initial taste, a slight floral hoppiness comes through, but not too much. Despite the huge reputation, it comes off a little bland.
M: Thinner than the tap version.
D: Not quite as tasty or high quality as on tap, but good enough to have a few.

Not as good as at the bar, but I'll always have one or two in the fridge just to be safe.

Serving type: nitro-can

03-07-2007 17:44:57 | More by IgnatiusReilly
Photo of dciskey


3.8/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pour from a 14.9oz nitro barely fits into a 16oz pint glass. I'm guessing it's 14.9 instead of 16 so that it fits in our wee American pints. Pours black with ruby edges, along with about a thumb's worth of head. Good retention and great lace.

Smell is of roasted barley and a touch of hops. Taste is bitter from the barley, with some malt complexity on the back end. No chocolate or faint sweetness as in Murphy's; the end is more like coffee beans. Mouthfeel is what you expect from a nitro stout; it's kind of thin but not watery, with a certain creaminess. More like milk, maybe? Drinkability's great; the ABV is low and it's not heavy. Sessioner, definitely.

Some people expect a lot out of this beer because of the hype or because they resent the hype or because they feel like being overly critical. It's not a meal in a glass and you shouldn't expect it to be (if they started doing "drink Guinness instead of eating? Brilliant!" ads maybe you could expect it). It is a quite drinkable nitro Irish stout. It's not as good as Murphy's, but it's still a nice stout for an evening out (better if bars didn't charge quite as much for it) or a long card game. If you're looking for something beefy, you've come to the wrong beer, and you should have known that. To me this lines up with Murphy's and Beamish, with the only distinction being some small taste differences.

One interesting thing is that having it from the can eliminates the effect that a bar's tap and lines can have on the beer. I definitely have to wonder if I haven't been to a few bars that were a little lax with their cleanliness.

Serving type: nitro-can

03-07-2007 03:39:39 | More by dciskey
Photo of Cyberkedi


4.8/5  rDev +37.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

There is nothing quite like classic Guinness, especially served on-tap. From a bottle or can is OK, but there is only one way to drink Guinness - from the tap, nice and cool (3-6 degrees Celsius).

Its dark color - dark and opaque as finest dark chocolate - and rich head with tiny compact bubbles promise an excellent beer. The flavor is strong and a little smoky, with plenty of hoppy bitterness. Smooth as silk and thick but not heavy, it is truly a legend.

I tasted this at the Guinness Believer event in Atlanta, to confirm why I am a Guinness devotee.

Serving type: on-tap

03-04-2007 02:33:52 | More by Cyberkedi
Photo of chrisms86


4.2/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It saddens me to see the reviews characterize Guinness as "flat" or "watered down." I do was blind to the beauty of this wonderful brew at one point, pouring my first out of a nitro can and wondering what the hell all of the fuss was about over this black milk.

Then I went to Ireland. Maybe it tastes different over there but man this beer is world class. The roasted malts and the frothy mouthfeel are nothing short of addictive. The appearence is simply the best of any beer I have ever seen and believe will ever see, if there was a rating of ten I would give it that. In fact I believe a rating of ten should be created for Guinness alone.

Guinness is definately a change of pace if you're drinking nothing but American Stouts. Many people go in expecting that same flavor and are severely disappointed. Don't be. Give it a chance and you'll find that this brew has a beauty all its own.

Serving type: on-tap

02-27-2007 04:00:22 | More by chrisms86
Photo of DogFood11


2.38/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

Guinness is great to look at with its cascade effect and brilliant color of a dark ruby outside and a robust black core. The untra creamy off white head sits atop this irish dry stout for the entire tasting.

Its a confusing beer of sorts although its a confusing style for my palate as well. Its very delicate and a bit watered wich is the furthest thing from what I expect on appearance alone. This is a very easy drinking beer that requires little thought. There are some interesting subtleties like the chocolate underbelly but its quickly squashed by a watered backend. Finishes up with a nice coffee bean flavor.

Notes: Its just alright at best. As it warmed up this actually gets worse as there is a slightly astringent middle.

Serving type: nitro-bottle

02-27-2007 01:35:53 | More by DogFood11
Photo of brooks4

New York

4.25/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from Nitro-Can into a mug. It's Guinness, obviously the amazing process of pouring and watching the beer settle is part of the great experience of drinking this beer. Poured that famed dark guinness color with 2 fingers of tan head. Thick lacing on glass when swirled. Smells of nice chocolaty and nutty scents, very pleasant to the nostril. Taste is good, chocolatey followed by a coffee taste. I would like to try other stouts to compare. Unique when compared with other types of beers. Not as thick as it may look, but still quite thick, definatley not a beer to get drunk off of as it is filling and of a lower abv. A great full bodied beer that everyone must try at least once, the pride of Ireland.

Serving type: nitro-can

02-21-2007 01:34:22 | More by brooks4
Photo of penguinjive7

New York

3.6/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Ah Guinness...
Poured into pint glass, nice cascade effect finally leaving a nice two fingers worth of head and some moderate lacing on the way down.

It tastes just like it smells, creamy and smooth. This brew goes down so easily, you could easily have one or two and not even feel guilty about going for a third. I have to say the mouthfeel is definitely better on tap. In fact on tap is definitely the way to go with this brew, but I'll take it either way.

This is the best brew just to have in the fridge at all times. Not something that you expect to be complex, and full of artistry and masterfulness. It is what it is...old faithful. It's always there, and always good.

Serving type: nitro-bottle

02-18-2007 05:35:53 | More by penguinjive7
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

2.6/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

My first nitro bottle, ehh is all I have to say. Poured fantastically, if you have never seen it you must, the cascade is just gorgeous. A very slight roasted malt, but that is about it. The taste is just flat to me. I am spoiled maybe by the good stouts that I can find, but this is just bland. No real presence, too oily and not enough character. The presentation is beautiful, but looks can be decieving.

Serving type: nitro-bottle

02-18-2007 03:09:29 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of July2Nov


4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What can you say about Guinness that hasn't been said before? It's a way of life and a national treasure. I believe that Guinness can be substituted as a whole meal. Two of these bad boys and your good to go. As echoed before, If you have never seen a glass filled with this beauty, then your in store for a sight. Highly recommended.

Serving type: nitro-can

02-18-2007 01:37:02 | More by July2Nov
Photo of jjayjaye

New York

4.05/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Poured opaque black color with enormous theatrical surge that settled nicely to greater than a finger extra velvety looking head. Significant lacing right down to the last drop.

Smell - Modest roast malt aroma.

Mouthfeel / Taste - Velvety smooth texture complements the medium bodied roast malt flavor.

Drinkability - Quite smooth, very easy to drink. Excellent session beer.

A.K.A. "Vitamin G". I for one am darn glad that they enjoy the distribution that they have (prefer Murphy's). I recall recently ordering a nitro-can in a smaller Midwest town and folks in the bar gathered around to watch. Anything other than a can of AB was an 'event'. I thought someone was going to call the news team...maybe they were the news team. "I was counted" 2007 toast. To heck with beer snobs.

Serving type: on-tap

02-17-2007 14:02:50 | More by jjayjaye
Photo of awester462


3.63/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

If you haven't seen one after a pour you need to...everyone should. This beer is a classic goodie that won't let you down. The taste is a deep dark taht will really impress you. It's not so much a standby as it is an occasional beer. At least for me anyway. If you haven't try you definately need to.

Serving type: nitro-bottle

02-17-2007 01:48:39 | More by awester462
Photo of Stephen63

United Kingdom (Scotland)

3.5/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - The best bit! Black as coal with lovely creamy head.

S - Bitter coffee.

T - Pretty much as the smell bitter but fullsome, tastes like you would imagine coffee beans to be.

M - Very smooth, velvety.

D - A bit rich and heavy to have too many, but would not refuse a second.

A good fall-back beer to have in places where there is no cask ale.

Serving type: on-tap

02-16-2007 20:32:30 | More by Stephen63
Photo of SMark


4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Two part pour with thick creamy head. Amber-dark chocolate color as best I could tell with the lighting. No noticeable carbonation or bubbles.

Roasted malt with coffee providing a bit of sharpness to the olfactory system. Could almost smell the thick creamy head.

Bitter coffee taste which caused some in the group to wrinkle up their noses. Not as bitter as cold coffee but a good marriage of the hops and malt to bring out just the right coffee flavor.

Everything leads up to a good mouthfeel that can be swished around in order to extract all the flavors of this beer. Savory.

A good sipping beer that takes a little effort in order to really appreciate all there is to offer. I usually do not drink more than 2 or 3 of these in a sitting as it seems like a great deal of work past that point. Good beer all around.

Serving type: on-tap

02-11-2007 19:36:42 | More by SMark
Photo of schusterbauer


4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

probably more ruby in color than black, but when first poured, it appears jet black. big ultra-creamy head is very appealing. smell is faintly of cold coffee, maybe a chocolate flavored coffee. a good smell, just not necessarily a great smell experience. (what?!?) very creamy in the mouth, which i like, with flavors of milk, chocolate, coffee, and mild roasted elements. everything is extremely balanced and rounded out, which has its advantages and draw-backs. very enjoyable, easy to drink many of. often this is a go-to beer when in a primarily-macro environment.

Serving type: on-tap

02-09-2007 15:54:30 | More by schusterbauer
Photo of HossMcGraw


3.23/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

So, the appearance is flawless. Anyone who gives it less than a 5, is delusional. Absolutley gorgeous, with three fingers of tan head and exceptional lacing.

Smell is sour and weak. Faint hint of chocolate malt, maybe some licorice. Very watery on the palate. Some faint roastiness is present, along with some sweetness. Tastes like it's got potential, but intentionally dumbs down the flavor.

Mouthfeel is very smooth. Very little carbonation makes this super drinkable. Definite session material, due to the lack of any artificial BMC adjunct notes.

Guinness seems like it has incredible potential, but in order to make $, it dumbs everything down for the NASCAR fanatic, Bud Lite drinking, streotypical American palate. I understand they have mortgages to pay, but it's a shame they have to compromise what could be a quality product.

If Guinness would brew a beer with some character (besides their extra stout, which is too sweet), and export it to the US, I believe they would have a lucrative market, if they would be willing to give it a shot.

Serving type: nitro-bottle

02-05-2007 01:49:08 | More by HossMcGraw
Photo of JimFalzone


4.63/5  rDev +33%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I was surprise to see the low reviews on these nitro cans. I personally think the concept (and results) are genius. It's the best way to drink a stout at home if you don't happen to have your own nitrous system and tap.

The "widget" makes the perfect carbonation every time. And the appearance is stellar. It's like watching a pint sized lava lamp as the tan foam mixes with the black stout.

Besides just drinking these by themselves, it's always a treat to buy some Bass and make black & tans at home.

Serving type: nitro-can

02-05-2007 00:57:51 | More by JimFalzone
Photo of zymurgy4all

New York

4.25/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I got this at the local liquor store, and enjoyed it more than I thought. This beer proves that it is possible to can a beer and make it taste wonderful. Guinness is a wonderful beer, and no matter how they ship it (canned, bottled), it comes out great. There is no way to compete with the nitro plastic rocket-ship thing that infuses the nitrogen when you open it. Pour this in a glass without hesitation, and you get the perfect head.
For those who think Guinness is heavy, stop looking at the color. This is a light bodied beer that has the flavor of all beers. The carbonation level is lower, which combined with the black color, makes people assume it is heavy. This isn't true as I've had plenty of these, and I think that once you get past the color, you will find it is highly drinkable. In addition, its alcohol level is low, so it is more nutritious than some other beers.

This beer is one reason why I started homebrewing (German Hefe being another), and if you haven't had it already, you must have hit this site by accident.

Serving type: nitro-can

02-02-2007 01:06:49 | More by zymurgy4all
Guinness Draught from Guinness Ltd.
79 out of 100 based on 5,232 ratings.