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Guinness Draught - Guinness Ltd.

Not Rated.
Guinness DraughtGuinness Draught

Educational use only; do not reuse.

6,376 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,376
Reviews: 2,096
rAvg: 3.52
pDev: 19.89%
Wants: 79
Gots: 1,093 | 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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Photo of washburnkid
3.33/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I used to drink Guinness a lot in high school. I thought I'd revisit this beer and pay a little more attention to it than I did back then.

A: After the nitro bubbles settle, there's a black body and mahogany edges. A finger of super creamy grey and beige head took about a minute to form. Good retention, but not a ton of lacing.
S: Really roasty on the nose. Bittersweet chocolate malts and dark berry esters with a ripe fruitiness.
T: Very roasted malts here. The bitter chocolate is there from the aroma. There's an unfortunate lingering metallic flavor that I could surely do without. It really sticks to the tongue. There's a hint of weak, 3 day old watery coffee and some berries that come out with warmth.
M: Lower carbonation, a light and almost watery body. Creamy mouthfeel.
D: Guinness is really, really bitter. It is hard to drink if you're looking for balance at all.

Photo of Jwale73
3.89/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a nonic. Poured two shades shy of black with some deep ruby highlights around the base of the glass. One inch, dense, solid, off-white cap eventually settled into a quarter inch head. Excellent retention with some strands of lacing revealed during the session. Nose was mild - maybe some chocolate malt, but barely detectable. Taste consistent with nose - chocolate malt with a kiss of hops to break up the flavor profile. Mouthfeel was medium/light, somewhat watery, but also creamy at the same time. Finish was fairly dry. An incredibly easy and sessionable beer, and a standard go to when the draft list is lacking.

Photo of aquatonex
4.08/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had a good amount of real Guinness all across Ireland recently, so I figured I needed to give it another rate as it tastes TOTALLY DIFFERENT and TOTALLY BETTER there!

Pours super dark brown with a hint of red. It takes several minutes to pour a proper Guinness from a nitro tap, as the bubbles have to settle throughout. Head is thick, rich, and has a high mininiscus over the top of the glass. Nose is very toasted with coffee notes. Taste is smooth and consistently good, there are no hints of tin, skunk, or over bittered. The balance is really good and while it goes down rich, it isn't that filling. I wish I could have that quality all the time, as I would drink Guinness more.

Photo of rye726
2.07/5  rDev -41.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Decided to give the bottle a try. Pours near black with a creamy tan head. Nose has roasted malts, chocolate and not much else. Taste is quite light yet bitter. No better or worse than the can version. Body reminds me of carbonated water. Drnkable, but not very enjoyable.

Photo of Stavage
2.75/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

It's black with a thick everlasting creamy white head. How can I honestly complain?

Smells like the air in a bar. Don't know what else to say. Nothing really off putting, nothing enticing either. I guess there is something there you could possibly describe as dark roasted malts with an espresso overture but thats being insanely euphemistic.

There is a bitterness and maltiness and roasty flavour there you wouldn't find in many other beers as common and as easy to find as this one. But that's not saying much. It's not bad tasting, it doesn't leave me gagging like an adjunct lager but theres just no richness in flavour nor any complexity.

Its smooth, its creamy. I really do enjoy the mouthfeel of Guinness nitro. Maybe one day my palette will become too sophisticated for nitro smoothness. That day is not today.

I drank 8 pints without retching. It's drinkable enough.

Photo of colonelpants
1.7/5  rDev -51.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Well. Not much to say here so I'll make it short. If you're going to try some Guinness get extra stout and AVOID draught. Just walk away my friends.

Just walk away.

Watery, plain, boring beer. I hesitate to call it a beer. I hope you have saved your money. Cheers (with a bottle of something ELSE).

Photo of biegaman
2.82/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

The cascading visual effect of a Guinness Draught can be considered quite the sight. The seemingly downward path of the bubbles can be attributed to drag; some bubbles stick to the walls of the glass while others in the center quickly rise to the surface. The faster moving bubbles push the surrounding fluid that is near the glass towards the bottom.

And its pouring can be quite the event. Guinness has long advocated that "good things come to those who wait" and strictly enforce a lengthy two-step procedure that according to the brewery should take no less than 119.53 seconds.

But the modern dispensing method is relatively simple compared to the original system. In olden days, the glass was first filled with recently brewed stout that was still undergoing secondary fermentation (this would generate a deep foaming head). Once this had settled, the glass was topped up with the beer from an older, longer matured cask.

Today it is pressurized kegs (or cans or bottles) injected with nitrogen that gives this stout its famously thick and creamy head. If you're one who values consistency you'll appreciate that this ensures the exact same head every time regardless of the serving vessel.

Beyond the infamous head, however, Guinness doesn't offer much to look at. Its body is lifelessly opaque, or so it seems away from the light. Closer inspection will reveal the beer to be not entirely black - the brewery considers it a dark shade of ruby. Meh. Maybe.

That I've spent so much time talking about its appearance is surely a testament that it must be the most worthwhile element of the beer (and the main aspect which the brewery has attempted to promote and distinguish the beer). Really, there isn't much else to the it...

Stouts can offer fantastic aromas: roasty, smokey, fruity, chocolaty, wine-like, coffee-like; they can be rich and bittersweet, they can be ambrosial and enticing. This is none of those things. It smells nothing like any of the aforementioned.

The same can be said for the taste which is also void of nearly any character. The widespread perception that Guinness is filling baffles me for two reasons: one, at 4% alcohol with less than 10 grams of carbohydrates and less than 200 calories, a pint of Guinness is in fact one of the lightest (in the literal sense) beers on the market.

Secondly, with almost zero taste of chocolate, coffee, caramel or roasted malts it is (in the figurative sense) one of the lightest stouts again.

Guinness is thought to be creamy - it isn't. Its head is, but little of that makes it into the mouth (as the leftover mounds lining the bottom of the glass will confirm). The beer itself is watery with little bitterness, sweetness or roastiness. It is almost entirely void of texture.

Contrary to their popular and long-standing slogan, Guinness is not "good for you". It certainly isn't good for me, anyhow. The world of stout offers far more excitement and experience than this. (That includes the variety of stronger Guinness Foreign Export beers brewed for overseas markets.) Guinness may have set the benchmark for stouts - but they set it really, really low.

Photo of Brenden
3.28/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This one's pretty much the same as I've had any other way except that the nitro can really adds some body and smoothness to what, without the nitro effect, is a disappointingly thin and lackluster stout in terms especially of mouthfeel. Guinness was one of my first reviews on BA and I've only just gotten to having one from the nitro bottle again to review it.

Photo of r0nyn
3.91/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap from the Blue Bar in The Algonquin Hotel in New York City.

Poured into the traditional curvy Guinness pint glass. The head is thick and foamy, as is typical of the beer. I love staring into the inky darkness filling the glass; its one of my favorite parts of the entire Guinness experience. The aroma is definitively bitter, with hints of chocolate and coffee.

The taste follows through on the smell, with the chocolate and coffee nuances blending with the natural bitterness of the beer, creating a pleasant flavoring that is easy to roll around and savor. The liquid is thick and creamy, and each sip I took was full-bodied enough to feel like I was drinking a smooth milkshake. The minimal carbonation only serves to accentuate the beer's tastiness.

Guinness has been a staple of my bar-going experiences ever since I've started going to bars. My very first Guinness was from a proper pub in Dublin, Ireland and it was delicious and filling. The pints I've had since here in the United States have not matched my first Guinness adventure, but I suspect that has quite a lot to do with the overall experience I had in Ireland. This is a beer I will continue to revisit as long as I drink.

Photo of weissbierdrinker
2.34/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a very dark almost black color very hard to see any light through with a tan creamy head that leaves some nice lacing around the glass.

Smell is faint of chocolate.

Taste is a very weak watery coffee with some faint burnt? note coming through. Extremely weak bodied beer.

After I tried guinness extra stout and thought it was decent I figured I'd give the draught a try and what a let down it was. They mot color this beer to get that dark color because I know it's not from the amount of malts used.

Photo of BeanBone
3.45/5  rDev -2%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Guinness Draught is truly a beautiful thing. Perhaps the prettiest glass of beer I have ever seen, a tulip-shaped pint glass filled with a properly pulled Guinness Draught is as iconic as it gets. It's dark reddish-brown (not quite black), pierced by laser beams of red light, and capped by a creamy tan head. And my god, the bubbles-I could get lost watching the head settle on a pint, it's simply hypnotic.

Aroma: Chocolaty, roasty, and slightly sour malt with a little dark fruit thrown in. It's lacking a bit in intensity, but some of that's probably due to the dense nature of the nitro-head.

Taste: Quite similar to what the nose promised: mild milk chocolate, weak coffee, dark fruit, and sour roasted malt predominate, with a little light bitterness thrown in to help balance everything. There's some metallic iron-like flavors from time to time, but they don't ruin everything. It's not a particularly intense as far as flavor goes, but it gets the job done as a session brew. The aftertaste is roasted malt with mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel: A creamy as hell and amazingly silky medium-light body with smooth carbonation to match. Dries out in the finish.

Drinkability: While it's not exactly my first choice for a hot Summer's day, Guinness is still an amazingly drinkable beer.

Verdict: Chances are, if you're reading this you know exactly what it's like to have a pint of Guinness Draught. Inoffensive and generally uninteresting, yet highly recognizable and iconic, it's quite the paradox. Just the kind of paradox that's perfect to ponder over a familiar pint.

Photo of burnerfinger
3.24/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: poured from the Nitro-bottle, formed about a finger of thick head after settling. Thick lacing as I drain the glass...NOTE: this head does NOT dissipate. hung in there till the last sip.
Deep red when held against the light.

S: Really lacking in this dept.

T: Definitley lacking the classic stout taste. A definite metalic tone here. Much lighter that I was expecting.

M: Not as heavy as I was expecting for a stout, with light carbonation. almost FLAT.

D: High marks for Drinkability here. Goes down super smooth, especially with the light carbonation.

Photo of mintjellie
3.19/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It says "drink straight from the bottle" but I'll ignore that. Into my A&W mug it goes.

I love the nitro-pour cascade. It looks fantastic. When it settles, I'm left with a finger of creamy beige head over a black body. The body shows ruby when held to the light. Nitro makes the head last unnaturally long. It has a very faint, simple, roasted malt aroma of coffee. It also tastes of roasted coffee. Acidity in the finish, the roasted flavour lasts into the aftertaste. The roasted character sticks around in the aftertaste. Lace is left sticking to the side of my glass as I drink it. It's a little bit on the thin side, but the dense head and low carbonation in the body still allow it to feel smooth and creamy. It's ok, but I wish it had more body to it.

In some ways, this beer seems both over and under rated at the same time. It's not the meal in a can the average bud light drinker hypes it up to be (which marketers are all to happy to go along with). It also isn't terrible either. It doesn't have a big flavour by any means, but it has at least some flavour and doesn't taste bad. A good session choice when nothing else is around.

Photo of chickencoop
4.05/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A & S - jet black with a pleasant creamy tan head.
T & M- Roasted coffee-like taste and finish. Mouthfeel is light and watery with a smooth finish.
Drinkability - This is so easy to drink and has such a nice presentation about it that it makes you slow down and a enjoy beer.

A classic, and a must have at least once.

Photo of civilizedpsycho
4.16/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: I love the way this beer looks. It's almost a solid black color, but it takes a couple minutes for the head to settle and while it's settling, you get that crazy foam flowing throughout the beer. I think it's beautiful.

Smell: It has a slightly roasted and bitter smell.

Taste: It has a roasted malt flavor with a bit of a bitter kick in the aftertaste. I love it.

Mouthfeel: Kind of thin for the style. Merely average.

Drinkability: Very good. I've gotten this several times, and I'm sure I will get it again. I really like this brew.

Photo of wordemupg
3.39/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

440ml can poured into schneider weisse glass on aug 19 2009

A black unless held up too the sun then its the deepest ruby red. the head rises and stays there, crazy retention, tightly packed head, good lace

S dark malt and a fair bit of chocolate, some mild coffee not as strong as one would think

T as it smells really, an industry standard, not too bad not too great

M/D quite nice, thick enough and creamy, easy too drink on this hot day that says something

the widget makes for a crazy head, the retention is seldom matched

Photo of vishneda
2.79/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Draught flow can poured into a pint glass.

Pretty much every BA on the planet has been in contact with this at one time or another (or at least turned it down) The only reason I felt the need to review is that I wanted to register my agreement to the opinion that this beer has been watered down in the states.

My most recent pour of this was bland and unpleasant. The creaminess was there, along with some of the typical bitterness of a dry stout. However, there was a strange watery feel to the whole experience of this pint. It wasn't extremely cold, but I had a hard time picking up the flavors I used to enjoy.

Once one of my favorite beers, this one has fallen out of favor for me. Perhaps I have been spoiled by some of the fantastic beers I have been drinking lately. At the time I had this I hadn't drank a stout in years, yet it was very pedestrian to me. That fact alone should be reason enough to say the ship has sailed on this brew in the states.

(From tasting notes recorded 27 Jul 2009)

Photo of ghebb
3.2/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a deep brown, almost black color and settled with a dense compact head.

Not much in the nose other than some faint roated barley aromas

Nice creamey mouthfeel, with some fiant coffee notes, that ends with a moderate bitterness.

All in all, a basic stout thats on the lighter side, but decent nontheless. The extra stout (I think its called) is much better than this IMHO

Photo of tatoodkelt
3.76/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed 8/13/2009- from notes.

Had a couple at Lucky's Sports Bar in Alexandria, VA after a concert.

A- The cascade gets me every time. Settles to a pitch black with a creamy two finger off white head. Great lacing.

S- Not much for an aroma. A little roasted malt, little hint of coffee.

T- Roasted coffee, bitter dark chocolate.

M- Super smooth and creamy.

D- My go to session beer when out, very easy to drink.

Photo of vdread
3.34/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Guinness Draught
nitro can into glass

when poured, the cascade starts a deep black at the bottom and turns a creamy color to the top, where a tiny saucer of thick tan head forms after a moment. sometimes this leaves a wall of lace, sometimes light and spotty. i've had a range of head condition with guinness draught in a can

smells ofweak coffee and roast. not much on the nose

this is a pretty tame stout. like a watery guinness. I actually like the taste, though. guinness is an old friend of mine. roasted malts, and weak coffee and nuts tastes. reminds me of a roasty beer ice cream

the nitro can gives it a unique mouthfeel. super creamy. so much that i have to slow myself down to enjoy it

high drinkability. the low abv is good too and makes it a great session. this is one of the beers that got me into craft. good crossover for those that enjoy a bit of the dark side, but not too much

Guinness Draught in the nitro-can is more of an every-once-in-a-while beer for me because i genuinely enjoy the lighter, creamier (weaker) guinness some times. most days, it's not my favorite beer, but its definately a good session pick for me. the only deterrent is the price. good beer, but not always worth the craft beer price

Photo of greengorilla
3.14/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this beer from a nitro tap in a pint glass.

The appearance is good, a dark brown to black color with a thick tan head.

There really isn't too much smell to it.

The taste is pretty bland also. I can convince myself that there is a little bit of roasted malt flavor, but not much.

The mouthfeel is a plus, if it weren't for that it would be a pretty bad beer.

Overall, it is drinkable, but only as a last resort if there are no other good options.

Photo of Graham5161986
3.67/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Well, first off, the appearance of this beer is likely its best feature. Beautifully black with an oh-so-creamy looking tan head. Retention is legendary and some very nice, thick lacing clings to the glass. The smell emanating from this beer is, unfortunately, somewhat muted. What I am able to discern are subtle notes of bready, buttery malts, chocolate and some coffee. Taste is more pronounced with lots of bread and butter up front with the dark roasted chocolate notes picking up mid-sip resulting in a finish that is roasty with a nice amount of bitterness from the hops. Mouthfeel is thick and very creamy with not a whole lot in terms of noticeable carbonation. This stout goes down smooth. Drinkability is another excellent quality of this beer - I feel like I could drink this stuff till the cows come home. Overall, sometimes nothing goes down like it. It could be more pronounced flavour wise. However, when you're in the mood for a silky-smooth, easy drinking stout, it's hard to beat. Truly a classic - I'd love to try it closer to the source!

Photo of cudmud
3.58/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

After pouring into an ale glass, the brew produced a rich, vibrant head that is tan in color. The body of the beer is rich and dark. After the beer settled, about one-half inch of head remained. In addition, a nice layer of lace is clinging to the glass. The aroma is both malty and hoppy. The flavor is both sweet and salty with a nice essence of hops. The beer is creamy and feels very delightful in the mouth. Overall, a wonderful beer and a classic that should be used as benchmark for measuring other stouts.

Photo of goblue3509
3.31/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark coffee or cola color with a khaki color head that is nice and fluffy. The smell is not as strong or complex as other stouts, some chocolate malt in there. The taste is pleasant but again not as complex as other stouts can be. The taste is of a roasted malts.
The mouthfeel is average for a stout, not a lot going on, but smooth and creamy. Drinkability is average nothing to ward you off, but not as big and bold as some others.

Photo of JMD
2.59/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

A: Pitch black beer with nice creamy off-white. Beautiful cascade as it's being poured and nice lacing as well.

S: There really isn't much of an aroma. Faint toasted malt, some coffee. That's about it.

T: Some toasted malt, coffee, and carmel. Finishes with a soft hop bite. This is a pretty bland stout.

M: The texture of this beer is awful. It's way too watery, no carbonation and no body at all.

D: This beer is just way too watery, it ruins it for me. Flavor and aroma are very subtle, almost bland. This is basically a marco-stout. Aroma-less, flavor-less but easily chuggable. There are too many great stout available to waste my time on this one again.

Guinness Draught from Guinness Ltd.
80 out of 100 based on 6,376 ratings.