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The Greatness Of Guinness?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Brianhophead, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. Since I usually used to drink Guinness from a bottle, I thought it was an ok stout, but when my local package store in West Concord MA started carrying O'Hara's Irish Stout, I seldom drink G anymore @home. And Guinness doesn't really compare to Imperial Stouts (e.g. from Stone, Founders, Portsmouth (Kate)), 2 different types altogether.
  2. patto1ro

    patto1ro Advocate (500) Netherlands Apr 26, 2004

    I've details of Watney's Red Barrel and Watney's Red:

    1951 Red Barrel OG 1049 4.28% ABV
    1955 Red Barrel OG 1049 4.47% ABV
    1960 Red Barrel OG 1049 4.37% ABV
    1966 Red Barrel OG 1038 3.88% ABV
    1972 Red OG 1036 3.60% ABV

    The versions up until 1960 are actually quite strong for a Bitter of the period.

    The weakest beers in the 1950's and 1960's were Scottish Sweet Stouts, some of which were under 2% ABV. Though there were Milds and Scottish 60/- that were under 3% ABV.

    The weakest Watney's beers I can find are Cream Label Stout, Brown Ale and Mild which were 2.5 to 2.7% ABV.
  3. Like I said, from the era of ales such as Watney's Red, not specifically Watney's Red.
  4. patto1ro

    patto1ro Advocate (500) Netherlands Apr 26, 2004

    Like I said, the weakest beers were Milds, Brown Ales and Sweet Stouts. There was very little under 2.5% ABV other than Scottish Sweet Stout.
  5. Sorry if I don't take you as the authority on all ales brewed in the mid to late 20th century in the UK.
  6. You probably should.
    steveh and jesskidden like this.
  7. If you can find a greater authority on the planet please get him to post on BA.patto1ro gets his information from going through thousands of actual brewery records.
  8. Well that's where you're going wrong then mate.

    Edit: Not you marquis. That's marvellous to hear, but it would be nice to see some of that evidence referenced. I don't like to take what people say, especially ones I know nothing about, as being 100% true unless they've provided evidence to back up their claims.
  9. His website seems pretty good though, its refreshing to see stuff like that, compared with the unsourced material camra shoves at us.
  10. Ron has an excellent blog. Here's an example of what he does and how thoroughly;
    http://barclayperkins.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Whitbread gravity book
  11. The beer styles section in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide is a disgrace. Roger Protz writes stylishly and well, unfortunately he is to some extent a writer of fiction.
    Tragically many people will take what's written in the GBG as authoritative just like our friends in the US treat the BJCP and BA style guidelines.
    Tut and champ103 like this.
  12. Yep that's the one, good stuff!
    Yeah him and Pete Brown are enjoyable reads but the conclusions they come to are too exact to seem correct. I'm sure some of them are but it would be nice to see what made them think what they did.

    And yes the beer styles from Camra (basing this on 300 beers to try before you die) I would describe as at least messy. The UK styles are basic but ok, while the foreign ones are more to do with the origins of the beer than the characteristics of the beers themselves.
  13. steveh

    steveh Advocate (705) Illinois Oct 8, 2003

    It's seasonal -- out right now... if you live in Wisconsin.
  14. Black water.
  15. The descriptions of British styles will serve to perpetuate the myths that guys like patto1ro and Martyn Cornell have worked hard to debunk. Hops apparently don't grow in Scotland (though there were once five commercial Scottish hop growers and they grow well enough in Norway and Sweden) so they were expensive and used sparingly. That most breweries were within a mile of the quayside seems to have been overlooked.
    Apparently Pale Ale was derived from IPA (yes, really!) , the domestic version was less hoppy and weaker (actually it was stronger).......then we move to bitter which was "a member of the Pale Ale family" but darker through the use of darker malts such as crystal. Pure drivel and fantasy. Add to that total confusion about Burton Ale.......what a wonderful display of inventiveness and refusal to let facts get in the way of the story.
  16. This. I don't enjoy chugging much and I stay away from liquor most of the time, but I love love love car bombs. So much so, my rule is to only do them on St. Patty's Day. So I buy a couple four-packs of the nitro can Guinness along with the Jameson's and some cheap Irish Creme every year. I'm sure something like LH Milk Stout Nitro would be tastier but, especially if you're in a party situation, you go with the cheaper alternative.
  17. AleYes

    AleYes Aficionado (145) Virginia Mar 22, 2007

    I have to agree that Guinness is overrated. I used to like it before I knew any better. I gave-up drinking it about 6 years ago when I discovered good beer (craft beer). Prior to that, I drank a lot of Guinness of all the varieties in bottles, cans, and draft.

    I went to Ireland 6 years ago. Before the trip, my wife and I brushed-up on the Guinness flavors, drinking all the varieties to gt a good palate memory. In Ireland, the locals said the Guinness is good in Dublin and the best at St. James's Gate Brewery. I noticed no difference between the Guinness here in the USA and even at the renowned St. James's. Only difference is I now have the "bragging rights".

    I believe that maybe in the not too distant past Guinness was brewed differently and was more stout-like. Everywhere you go, even in the most out-of-the-way local bar I could find in Ireland (one off of an alley on a side street), Guinness is served lager temperature, due to the fact it doesn't have much flavor. The locals were drinking it ice-cold, right from the draft. My brother-in-law was in Ireland about 25 years ago, and he told me that Guinness was served at about 50 F then. So, it seems that after it got international recognition, they started brewing it to meet the likes of the MPB drinkers palates. Just like in the wine world, bland sells much better than good or great.
    creepinjeeper likes this.
  18. Six years ago, in the US, wouldn't "all the varieties" have consisted of only Guinness Draught and the Extra Stout that is brewed-under-license in Canada? FES (2010) and the 250th Anniversary Stout (2009) both yet to reach the US at that point.

    Well, as mentioned in posts above, there are a number of different "stouts" brewed and marketed by Guinness. The nitrogenized "Draught" only dates from the late 1950's-early 1960's - before that the primary Guinness product served from kegs in Ireland was their Porter. Guinness had been well-known around the world for well over a century prior to the creation of "Draught" - primarily for the bottled stouts labeled Foreign Extra Stout and Extra Stout. It was even, for a time, the largest brewery in the world. Like many beers that have brewed for that long, the recipes themselves have changed frequently over the years.

    "MPB"? That's a new one on me. Miller Pabst Bud?
  19. ChanChan

    ChanChan Advocate (555) California Dec 12, 2009

    The last time I really enjoyed a Guinness was at a Hollywood bar. I was watching the Marquez VS. Pacquiao IV fight and they had nothing but shitty beer on draft. According to their waitresses all of their craft beer had "run out." I ordered a Guinness on draft and enjoyed every ounce! I think we have so many good beers available that we forget about the oldies but goodies!
  20. patto1ro

    patto1ro Advocate (500) Netherlands Apr 26, 2004

    My main table of beer details has 22,580 entries. I'd estimate that 20,000 of those are British beers, spanning the period 1801 to 1990. The sources are:

    - the Gravity Books of various breweries. Breweries bought their competitors beers and had them analysed, noting the results in ledgers. The Whitbread one is a goldmine with details of beers from literally hundreds of breweris

    - brewing records. I've gone through almost every year of the records of Whitbread's Chiswell Street brewery from 1805 to 1870. In all I've looked at brewing records from more than 30 British breweries.

    - analyses in chemical journals, The Lancet and similar publications. This is for 19th century stuff.

    - The Good Beer Guide. This is for the 1970's onwards.

    - a few from other sources such as newpapers.

    I'm pretty sure no-one else in the world has as much information about British beer over the last two centuries as I do.
  21. champ103

    champ103 Champion (860) Texas Sep 3, 2007

    For all those that love to romanticize about Guinness in Ireland, Bourdain's Layover show is on the Travel Channel right now. In Dublin. He can't get enough of the stuff:D
  22. Beejay

    Beejay Savant (495) Virginia Dec 29, 2008

    I'm of the opinion, that Guinness really needs a friend to hang out with. I never want just a guinness.. Add some cider to the mix however and I am game, or a black and tan, or a car bomb..

    If Guinness is coming to the party, he better bring a plus one.
  23. Sam_Frank

    Sam_Frank Initiate (0) California Nov 29, 2012

    when I was in Ireland I drank so much Guiness that my bowel movements were literally as black as night. i wonder if this is a common occurrence for the Irish
  24. Irish2Foam

    Irish2Foam Zealot (75) Minnesota Jul 17, 2008

    Guinness is best enjoyed at the source. Ireland.
  25. (totally not trying to single out beejay here, just a general comment...) i still find it sadly amusing how so many americans who celebrate "being irish" (including those w/o such ancestry on a certain certain day of the year) have no idea of the tragic history being made light of by these drink names. or in the case of the few who do know, just don't care.
  26. MattyG85

    MattyG85 Champion (770) Minnesota Aug 31, 2010

    Anyone else just watch Anthony Bourdain drink it like its going out of style on the Layover? Is it really that much better in Ireland?
  27. champ103

    champ103 Champion (860) Texas Sep 3, 2007

    Apparently people don't read threads anymore, they just post ;) And no, it is the same beer in Ireland that it is here.
  28. AleYes

    AleYes Aficionado (145) Virginia Mar 22, 2007

    "MPB"? That's a new one on me.Miller Pabst Bud?

    mass produced beer?
  29. ThirstyFace

    ThirstyFace Initiate (0) New York Jan 11, 2013

    Can you give me a brief synopsis, as an American who doesn't give a shit about ancestry and such drinks? The carbomb one I can guess but not B&T.
  30. google and wikipedia are your friends
  31. ThirstyFace

    ThirstyFace Initiate (0) New York Jan 11, 2013

    No, they are your friends, I would prefer a righteous dipshit tell me.
    AleYes likes this.
  32. i believe you meant "self-righteous dipshit"
    AleYes likes this.
  33. ThirstyFace

    ThirstyFace Initiate (0) New York Jan 11, 2013

    I believe you are correct.
    AleYes likes this.
  34. ilikebeer03

    ilikebeer03 Savant (335) Texas Oct 17, 2012

    I think the people you hear raving about Guinness are generally BMC drinks. IMO, Guinness is great...compared to BMC.
    AleYes likes this.
  35. ThirstyFace

    ThirstyFace Initiate (0) New York Jan 11, 2013

    What a balanced thought. : )
  36. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_and_Tans
  37. fsimcox

    fsimcox Savant (280) California Sep 1, 2006

    I seem to remember drinking it from a Green can while living in the Netherlands, and it tasked like pure nectar. Not so much in the USA. Still, I enjoy a Guinness now and then.
  38. Contrary to the current mythology, however, the term "Black & Tan" was used in the US for a dark beer decades before the RIC.

    [​IMG]
    ^ CLICK FOR LARGER VIEW ^
    Notice that, in that era when beer styles were less rigidly defined, in the US the terms stout, porter, half & half (or 'alf and 'alf ) and black & tan were used interchangably.
  39. Just to be clear, doesn't everyone realize that the Guinness we get here is the same Guinness you have had in Ireland or the UK? I didn't read this entire thread so I don't know if someone has cleared this up. It's the same exact beer and it does not taste different. I spent 14 days in Ireland and I had it at St. James Gate and I had it in an Irish Pub in Atlanta and they tasted the same.
    Guinness hold a special place in my heart but I would choose any American stout over it.
    Tut likes this.

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