Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Guinness Draught - Guinness Ltd.

Not Rated.
Guinness DraughtGuinness Draught

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,121 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,121
Hads: 6,951
Avg: 3.45
pDev: 37.1%
Wants: 127
Gots: 1,739 | 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.
View: Beers (36) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Guinness Draught Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,121 | Hads: 6,951
Photo of Mebuzzard
3.94/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep black pour, creamy-foamy head about 1 1/2 inch. Nice pour from the bartender.
Smells like a weak steak sauce, roasted malt and chocolate.
Taste is more roasted malt with coffee and chocolate in the background.
A nice, smooth feel to it with a good aftertaste of molasses and roasted malt.
One of my favorites.

 315 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
3.48/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Can from Bert's Better Beers.
Pours a solid black with a huge creamy tan head that displays and insane level of retention. Smells of roasted grains a hint of fruit and a touch of tart. The flavor mimics the aroma fairly well. Coffee like roasted grains that are quite drying with hints of fruit and tart. Light to medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a slick creamy mouthfeel. An old favorite that I revisited today, solid brew, a bit simple and not the fantastic beer I thought it was so long ago.

 514 characters

Photo of tempest
2.71/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I've had this periodically over that past couple years, largely because of tap-selections.

Looks great in the glass. Dark red, near black body with creamy white head and lacing.

Smells a little sweet, but something is off. Almost like the malt is a little sour. The taste really disappointed. There is some nice sweetness and the fainted bitterness, but it largely tastes like bad, watery malts.

The mouthfeel is too thin, almost watery. This makes for good drinkability, but unfortunately, one is good enough for me. I used to think this stuff was good until I tried other stout offerings.

 599 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
3.32/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.5

14.9 oz. nitro-can with widget, also a nitro bottle or two when out,

A: Black, with ruby highlights if held up to the light. Creamy, off-white, almost tan head. A pint of the black stuff, or the priest, looks as good as ever, enjoyable to watch it settle over a minute or so.

S: Hints of roastiness, chocolates, and smoke, not very substantial, but enjoyable.

T: Roasted malts, coffee, and dark chocolate.

M: Light-bodied, thin, a little too watery for my tastes.

D: Guinness Draught is a classic, very drinkable due to its lightness and easily a session beer. I would have liked to have seen and experienced it in days past when it wasn't so processed. Much better in the nitro-can, so go for that.

 704 characters

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.37/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Finally got around to actually saying a few words about one of the few 'world beers': I've had this in many places over many years. The review is of a pint in a local club near my house in Shropshire, drank during a charity auction on 27th Sep 2013.

It's dark and has a creamy head, any of the other 4,000 plus reviewers notice that?

Malty, chocolate and coffee notes in both the nose and mouth: a classic stout in every way.

Rich more than creamy on the palate, those slightly burnt malts giving a mild bitterness along with their semi-sweet molasses that flavour the beer so well.

Pleased I've put some words down.

 620 characters

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.92/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A. Wonderful lacing and a quarter inch head. One sexy beer.

S. Roasted barley. Nothing exceptional here.

T. Sweet initial taste with a smokey aftertaste.

M. Incredibly Smooth. Light and refreshing. Creamy is another word that I use to describe the texture.

D. This is a staple beer. Its good drinking. Cheers.

 314 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.96/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass, the beer pours a ruby-highlighted black with a creamy, chunky, milk-chocolate colored head. The beer leaves a great lacing on the glass as the head cascades dowwn to it's final one inch standing. Creamy sweet nose, with hints of chocolate and coffee. Very subtle aromas. The beer has a subtle dark malt sweetness to it, with flavors of dark molasses and caramel, with hints of chocolate. This is quickly followed by bitterness from coffee flavors as well as a slight hop influence. Creamy in mouth, with a smooth body. Very slight coffee and chocolate flavors on the aftertaste, with a rather quick finish. Very drinkable, and very easy to drink "en masse."

 697 characters

Photo of Kelp
3.06/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

guinness is guinness most people out there have had this. The simpsons said it right it's like having bog water and chocolate syrup. dark color tan head pours forth. Very bland stout. creamy taste though. I can always drink a few of these, but would rather have something else most days.

 287 characters

Photo of Georgiabeer
2.88/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thia isn't the greatest beer on the planet and its a far cry from the best of the Guinness products, but it does offer a certain amount of refreshment on a hot day with more flavor than a macro offers. This is by far the lightest stout I have ever tried,and the bottle is my least favorite method for drinking it. Pours a very dark brown with the trademark cascading effect in the glass Some okay lacing as well. The smell is thin,but there are some roasted grain and bitter chocolate notes as well as a slight whiff of iron. The taste is very thin with more lightly toasted grain and metal. Mouthfeel is creamy and refreshing and that combined with the low abv means you can definitely toss them down- just not a lot to keep you interested.

 741 characters

Photo of Zorro
2.39/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

"Drink From Bottle" What the hell? I poured mine in a Guinness glass anyway.

Pours a black brew with a thick tan head.

Smells a bit like chocolate and coffee, mild sweet smell.

Taste is watery, mild sweetness is there. Slight chocolate and coffee flavors, really too mild in taste. Slight bitterness in the finish.

Watery Mouthfeel.

Drinkable, I guess but just a really inferior Stout. Every other stout I have tried is better, sad really.

 454 characters

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.79/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Finally got around to formally reviewing this one. Poured in to pint glass.

A - Poured a completely murky medium brown colour and slowly settled to a dark black colour with one finger of creamy cream-colored head with excellent retention.

S - Roasted malts, a touch of coffee and sweet brown sugar. Bitterness is evident as well.

T - Toasted malts with light chocolate and nutty notes in the background. A nice bitterness is present to cut through the sweet malt bill.

M - Medium body, creamy. Light carbonation.

 519 characters

Photo of biegaman
2.82/5  rDev -18.3%
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.

 3,146 characters

Photo of weeare138
3.3/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appears black with a chestnut hue when held to the light. A thick, 2 finger, foamy tan head slowly fades out akin to the typical nitro pours. Lots of thick, foamy streaks stick to the sides of the glass.
Smell is of creamy, vanilla, caramel, cocoa, and brown sugar.
Taste is of bitter bakers chocolate without much complexity going on other than some black patent/roasted malt that seems to overwhelm the brew.
Mouthfeel is of burnt wood bitterness with some sweet caramel, and vanilla lingering to a sweet finish. Medium bodied and slightly astringent.

 556 characters

Photo of plaid75
3.51/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a nitro-bottle an oil black hue with with a two finger creamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured the typical Guinness coffee aroma with a bit of burnt grain. Not as pronounced as with the can.

The taste consisted of a medium coffee flavor with a background of burnt grain bitterness.

The mouthfeel was on the thin side with a dry finish.

Not much different from the nitro can except for maybe the size of the head. Not my preferred way of drinking this beer. I probably will just stick to the cans.

 556 characters

Photo of barleywinefiend
3/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a deep, deep brown that was somewhat sluggish and slow to pour. Small tannish head. Nose was burnt barley and coffee. Taste was roasty, espresso and smooth but thin. The carbonation is ok, but the body is far too watery for a stout. Not nearly as good as tap.

 266 characters

Photo of wl0307
2.86/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

440ml nitro can. 4.1%abv. BB 30/06/06. Served cool in a jug.
A: absolutely elegant mahogany to almost black hue, with an supposedly thick and tight frothy beige head which sustains forever.
S: softly sweet coffee-mousse note, mild aroma of roasted barley and caramelised malts with a touch of cream, and some unidentifiable dark fruits. Overall very smooth and attenuated. Simple but not boring.
T&M: very light flavour of roasted barley followed by a thin-bodied and watery texture before quickly hitting the lightly sour and dryish aftertaste, while necessary bitterness for a stout is kept at bay... Smooth on the mouthfeel, but too thin in terms of body.
D: maybe the style is not my favourite and it also has to be taken into account that the can-version is not as nice as the real draught version on tap, but I've come across lots of much better and complex stouts than this giant. Got to do better to live up to its reputation and self-expectation.

 955 characters

Photo of jdhilt
2.93/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A strong, black, smooth but dry stout. I'm not quite sure how much value the plastic widget adds but it tastes just exactly like every Guinness I have had.

 156 characters

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.43/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

(Served in an American pint glass) not from the bottle as directed

A- This beer pours a milk chocolate color with the foam gentle falling to the bottom and the thin layer of black dark stout starts to form. So all the drama is over and the thick creamy head is a smooth thick layer of tan cream on a pure black body.

S- The soft note of dark roasted barley has a hint of black coffee, and dark chocolate with a note of wet horse (but in a good way). The aroma is a bit light possibly due to the thick foam.

T- This beer has a cold taste to it even though it was at 50 degrees in the beer fridge. The taste of roasted black malt with a faint dry tartness is nice but too soft. The finish has a soft soapy taste to it aswell (yes it is a clean glass). No real hops present in the finish.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with a watery texture. No astringency or alcohol warmth.

D- This beer is not the dark roasted bitter ale that I hoped for. It is a bit thin and light with not a lot of depth. The aroma was faint but nice and then the taste was just to watered down.

 1,095 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.51/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an Elysian snifter. Pours pitch black with a very fine, two finger light tan head from the nitro can. Aroma of mild toasted malt and nuts, mildly sweet. Attenuated flavor of light toasted malt, milk chocolate, nuts. Finishes very mild hops and residual malt. Light body without any creaminess I'd expect from the nice head. I enjoy an occasional actual draught Guinness, although it is mild by comparison to the stouts I usually drink, but this tastes like that Guinness slightly watered down. A pleasant Irish dry stout, but very attenuated in flavor. It was a reasonable accompaniment to dinner.

 609 characters

Photo of akorsak
3.69/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A 500 mL nitro can that my sister brought back from the St. James Gate brewery in Dublin.

A: The can opens with a fizz as the nitro widget releases its gas. The agitation almost caused white head to peter out over the mouth of the can. A three step pour into a Guinness glass resulted in the magnificent visual bubbling effect. The stout's body was a dark red-black color, more reddish at the narrower points of the glass. Atop the black body was a white, slightly tan, head that stayed in place throughout the pint. Visually stunning, regardless of how it may taste.

S: The nose has creaminess from the nitrogen introduction along with a burnt toast aroma. The swirling mixture takes on a pleasant but thin sweetness.

T: The stout has a full taste but does come up short at times. As dark and heavy as it looks, it is quite light. Burnt bread and chocolate flavors upfront mix with the creamy nitro foam. The thinness becomes apparent mid-sip as the burnt grains fade away and are not replaced by anything. A dry mouthfeel sees the beer away.

M: The mouthfeel is thin at times but the upfront mix of stout and nitro is pleasing sweet, in spite of its dryness. The lack of alcohol and overpowering malts also preserves the taste buds.

D: The ale is quite drinkable, with a sessionably low abv. It's not as robust as some stouts but it holds its own reasonably well.

 1,370 characters

Photo of aasher
4.36/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had this on tap at 9 Irish Brothers pub in West Lafayette, Indiana. They are noted as having some of the best Guinness on tap in the nation.

Appearance: Rich and creamy piling head, about an inch and a half deep, chocolate milkshake like in appearance and tones, smoothly carbonated

Smell: smells of coffee with slight chocolate scents, subtle aromas

Taste: dry and slightly chocolatey, good flavor

Mouthfeel: simply perfect, smooth and creamy

Drinkability: the most drinkable Guinness I've ever had, no where else has compared

Exceptional beer when on a nitrous tap, it puts other Guinness to shame

 607 characters

Photo of flagmantho
3.56/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Having consumed a great deal of this beer over the years, I finally decided to review it. I poured a 14.9oz nitro can into a pint glass, which fit it perfectly.

Appearance: extremely dark amber with a thick foamy head, courtesy of the nitro widget.

Smell: smell is slightly malty but very subtle; there doesn't seem to be a whole lot going on here.

Taste: malty, dry, somewhat astringent. Not a whole lot of complexity, but it is well-balanced and otherwise tasty.

Mouthfeel: pretty full-bodied and creamy. I think we can thank the nitro again.

Drinkability: though its thick body has earned it the "liquid bread" moniker, I can drink quite a lot of this. It goes down smooth and isn't so oppressive that I can't have another.

 731 characters

Photo of corby112
3.49/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark chestnut brown that appears pitch black and opaque in the glass with a 1.5 finger creamy off-white head that slowly settles into a thick lasting ring. Large chunks of soapy lacing are left behind.

Roasted malt aroma with hints of toffee, chocolate, caramel and lactic cream. Slightly toasty but this beer really smells like sweet water until it warms up quite a bit and the malt notes emerge.

Medium bodied with a creamy texture from the nitro. I'm usually not a fan of this characteristic because it's really artificial but it somehow works with Guinness. Again, as in the aroma, the beer is really boring and watery until it warms a bit. Too often this beer is served at 35 degrees and loses all of it's flavor. When it warms it's pretty nice with a decent amour of dry, roasted malt. Hints of chocolate, toffee, nut and caramel complimented by the creamy lactic feel/flavor. Dry finish. Not the best of the style but underrated, possibly because of it's popularity.

 983 characters

Photo of tobelerone
3.56/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The appearance is probably the most appealing aspect of the nitro-can version of this beer. The color is flat black, the head is big and tan and hangs around forever, and there's the cascading waves of bubbles that move about hypnotically underneath. The lacing is also above average.

The aroma is pretty mild and balances lightly roasted notes with chocolate malt. The taste follows suit; it isn't non-existent, but it is somewhat bland and has obviously bored many of the more adventurous drinkers of craft and bigger beers such as those that populate this site. The nitro obviously doesn't help the overall muted character of the flavor and aroma.

The mouthfeel is decent enough from the can and simulates the tap version well. Its very smooth; the body is thin and a bit watery, while the carbonation is very soft and restrained. Very easy to drink.

Guinness is the benchmark for the Irish dry stout style and shouldn't be compared to a Russian imperial...that should be obvious enough but some of the reviews here give me pause. I don't love this beer but it is what it is and the style as a whole isn't particularly full-flavored or exciting.

 1,151 characters

Photo of Evil_Pidde
3.23/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Ah, Saint Patrick's day! I'm having myself a Guinness! 44 cl black nitro-can, with a celtic harp in gold as a label. Looks nice and clean.

A: The pour is all off-white thick head at first but then the pitch black liquid appears. The head is compact and about an inch high just before the dissipation starts, wait a minute - what dissipation? The head stays as long as there is beer left in the glass.

S: Roasted malt, almost a bit burnt. Strong dark coffee together with dark dried fruits.

T: Sweet roasted malt together with a dry bitter taste like from strong coffee. But taste is so much lighter than the smell.

M: Thin body and light carbonation. Aftertaste is short and bitter.

D: Quite a dissapointment after the pour and the smell. But still for beeing a macro-beer, it's not bad at all.

 801 characters

Guinness Draught from Guinness Ltd.
79 out of 100 based on 2,121 ratings.