Guinness Black Lager | Guinness Ltd.

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441 Reviews
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Guinness Black LagerGuinness Black Lager
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Guinness Ltd.
Ireland | website

Style: Euro Dark Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by mdagnew on 04-03-2010

BEER STATS
Reviews:
441
Ratings:
1,955
Avg:
3.08
pDev:
41.56%
 
 
Wants:
33
Gots:
317
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 441 | Ratings: 1,955
Photo of arizcards
3.19/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Picked up a single from Fry's back in late January as part of a mixed six pack for $8.99.

Beer poured cola brown with a nice tan head that is leaving lacing behind.

Nose has slight hints of roasted malts.

Taste is slightly roasted malts, slightly sweet from the lack of hopping.

Mouthfeel is less than smooth, a tad watery.

Overall not a bad beer, worthy of a try, but not one i will seek in the future.

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Photo of TheBrewo
3.11/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

We pour a brew the color of cola, with light flecks of maroon around the edges. It holds a one and a half finger head of foamy, chunky light brown bubbles. This retains decently, leaving adherent patterned lacing all around the glass. No haze or sediment is noted, and carbonation appears medium. The nose gives cooling adjuncts, light caramels and coffees with the faintest roast, handfuls of raw barley, and a white sugar sweetness to cut. Metallics are overly apparent in the Guinness kind of way, but seem more cheap here, with a larger contribution from corn, flour, and general adjuncty grain. Our first impression is that this beer tastes pretty much how you would expect, with lightly roasted grain and simple sweetness. The flavoring opens with dulled licorice sweetness, grass, wet adjuncty grain, corn, and roasted barley. Tinny metallics crash in through the peak, with chalky yeast, dusty dryness, and overly expressed sour adjuncts. The finishing wash is sweaty and salty, with a return of the initial roastiness of grain, more chalkiness, baker’s yeast, and lime zestiness. The aftertaste breathes of more of the same, with little else noted but adjuncts and flash-roasted coffee beans. The body is medium, and the carbonation is high. There is decent slurp, sip, cream, and froth. There is no real coating around the mouth, but there is also no real dryness either. The mouth is left rather wet, but not entirely satiated. The abv is appropriate, and the beer drinks fine.

Overall, the best thing about this beer was its lightness. Unfortunately there is very little smoke, roast, or general complexity, but no other components came out as intensely offensive at really any point in the tasting. Things just remained monotone throughout, with the aroma striking overly basic notes, with the flavor following suit. The feel lent little towards redemption in thickness, froth, or coating. Happy St. Patrick’s Day (!!), but we’re reaching for something else next.

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Photo of bennetj17
2.96/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Black colored brew that you could almost see through in the light. Thin off-white foam that keeps several minutes. The aroma has a faint malty sweetness, with no roasty/black notes, no hop balance. It's clean but rather unappealing. I might as well be holding a golden lager as it doesn't smell much different.

The flavor starts with a touch of sweetness, some hints of roast with a keen dryness. I'm actually excited for a second, but as I swallow the beer it leaves the palate watery with a peppery, almost burnt note. The body is a thin/watery and the carbonation is somewhat forceful.

Not enough going on here to warrant another attempt. Not sure what the point of this beer is really.

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Photo of pmcadamis
3.12/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Stopped by the gas station to get some Guinness nitro cans for St. Patty's Day and they were out! Picked this up instead.

A - Almost black brew with a purple cast. Nice big malt-brown head but not much lace.

S - Tootsie rolls. Dusty. Has an almost grapey fruit note. Brown paper sack.

T - Big time tootsie roll. Brown to the point of mushy bananas. Hint of smoke in the super-dry finish.

M - Clean light bodied lager with a really nice dry as a bone finish.

Easy to drink, but fairly boring. If you want something like this but better, stick to authentic Schwarzbiers. Could be a good beer for non-beer geeks to drink that is dark, but not "heavy and bitter" (ha ha!) like real Guinness.

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Photo of Dave_in_GR
3.12/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Served in a pint glass from an 11.2oz bottle.

Pours a dark brown with a lot of carbonation and a couple of fingers of light tan head.

Smell is really nice, the highlight of the beer for me, fairly sweet with a bit of roastiness.

Taste is not as nice, best word for it is thin. Not as heavy as you would expect for a dark beer, instead it is almost like an American lager. Which is to say, not a lot of flavor.

Mouthfeel is very crisp and light, goes down easy.

A decent, surprisingly easy drinking beer.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.03/5  rDev +30.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another CAN courtesy of my local, in-person trader, tone77, who knows how to keep me happy when it comes to The CANQuest (TM)!

From the CAN: "Cold brewed with roasted barley"; "Guinness Black Lager is cold-brewed with roasted barley to deliver the refreshing taste of lager with the unique character of Guinness."

The Crack was loud and enticing and I went with an inverted Glug to get things started right. I got an initial two fingers of deep-brown head that actually lightened in color as the pseudo-cascade took place, finally becoming a finger of light-tan head with decent retention. Color was a deep mahogany with ruby highlights (SRM = 44). Nose was very roasty, like my morning coffee. Mouthfeel was silky and the taste was coffee, dark chocolate, smoke, all adding up to a roasty beer with a lager smoothness. Man, did I drink through this quickly! Finish was semi-dry and had just the right amount of roasted malt flavor to keep it from being over the top.

Original, bottle review dtd 03-09-2013 follows:

My local, in-person trader, tone77, brought this for me to try. It has been an interesting day of beer.

From the bottle: "Cold brewed with roasted barley"; "Guinness Black Lager is cold-brewed with roasted barley to deliver the refreshing taste of lager with the unique character of Guinness. Enjoy ice cold straight from the bottle. [undersigned] Arthur Guinness".

First of all, as a founding subscriber to this website's magazine, I try to read and pay attention to it each time it shows up in my mailbox. The Bros were on about glassware this month and while I may not lay my opinions on others, when I am anywhere that I can decant my beer from its medium of storage into a glass, you can bet your sweet bippy that I will do so. Directions be damned, such as the ones on this bottle or on a CAN of Heady Topper. What, if they told you to drink while jumping from a bridge, would you do that, also? Fine, if you want to be mindless sheep, herded along without hue or cry. I will do my own thing, thank you very much!

This Euro Dark Lager must be a relatively new designation as there are no guidelines listed as yet, but I am already a fan. My pour created two dense fingers of light-tan head with good retention. Color was a deep, dark brown with garnet highlights and good clarity despite its low light penetration. Nose had the characteristic lager honey-like sweetness, but in this case, married with a light roastiness. Chocolate malt, perhaps? I wonder about what, exactly, constitutes "roasted barley" for them. Mouthfeel was on the thin side, even for a lager, but the taste was a pleasant mix of chocolate and smokiness along with a mild sweetness. I do not like Cascadian/Dark/Black IPAs because I feel as though such flavors get in the way of my beloved hops, but in this case, they meld nicely. Finish was semi-dry and the mild smokiness seemed to linger well past the swallow. As usual, I would not want a steady diet of this as a self-avowed hophead, but it beats a lot of other lagers. Not bad.

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Photo of Mdog
2.77/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Appearance: Dark brown, ok head.

Smell: Molasses, muddy roasted aroma.

Taste: Roasted grains are the main flavor, not bitter. Shifts into a roasted corny flavor as it warms up. Mild roast flavor stays around for a while after the finish.

Overall: Pretty mediocre beer, really started turning into a corn bomb as I went through the glass. Stick to their stouts.

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Photo of angrybabboon
2.97/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Consumed 3/9/13

Appearance: Black from a distance, but dark brown around the edges - pours with a decently sized, light beige head - keeps a decent cap, leaves some nice streaks and spots of lacing

Smell: Some roasty malts, but not much else - unexpectedly, remarkably uninteresting - lightly roasty, hints of chocolate malts, and some light sweetness

Taste: A bit more interesting than the smell, but not by much - lightly roasted - actually looks darker than it tastes, which is rather odd - some caramel malts, and some lager malts - tastes more and more like a pilsner as it warms up - lightly bitter, mostly from the lightly spicy hops - minimal sweetness - touches of burnt in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: On the light side of medium, nicely carbonated, crisp

Overall: Better than the advertising, but that's not saying much

I hate the commercials for this beer. "How can something be both refreshing and flavorful?" I hope someone gets fired for that. I bought a bottle of this because of how much the advertising sucks. The beer itself isn't bad, but it's not memorable in any way. More bland than anything.

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Photo of PaleZombie
2.94/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Poured form a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A- Very dark brown with about a 2 finger head that quickly vanished. No lacing.

S- Malts and caramel, not much in here.

T- Again malts caramel and some slight coffee hints, but not to bold on the flavors, some bitterness.

M- Fairly light with mild to medium carbonation. Goes down ok.

O- I will not be getting this one again, I managed to get a 6 pack for 3.50. But even regret that. This was very lacking and did not have any of the Guinness flavors I was expecting.

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Photo of screamking
2.82/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

12 oz can poured into snifter.

Appearance-pours very dark brown, with a thick creamy khaki head, no lacing. 3.25

Aroma-light roasted malts, hint of brown sugar, caramel, not much here. 2.5

Taste-very light roasted malts, small amount of brown sugar, slight white bread taste. 2.75

Feel-light and watery, very drinkable feel, very slight bitter feel. 3.25

Overall-what can I say about this? It's okay. It's sessionable beyond belief, you could drink this all day with out much effort. Very light and fluffy tones in this brew. Really the only thing going for this beer is its drink ability. 3

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Photo of Seekerpilgrim
3.49/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pouring a deep, deep brown with strong burgundy tones there are strong notes of burnt malts and a creamy sweetness that seems to be common to the Euro Dark Lager style. On the tongue the same smoky dryness that you get from a Guinness Draught, but more subtle, sweeter, like mild chocolate or weak coffee. The hop presence is slight but discernible, here to add a bit of bite and balance, leaving a mild, crisp aftertaste.

I wasn't really sure what Guinness wanted to accomplish with this new offering, but since it strikes a perfect balance between the bone dry Draught and the chewy Extra Stout my guess is that is exactly what they were looking for; a beer to reach for when you want a Guinness but are put off by extremes. This is actually growing on me, a good session beer with a bit more character, as well as a great companion to a meat heavy pizza or tomato and red pepper soup. Cheers!

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Photo of barnzy78
3.28/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle, pours a cola-like black with a bubbly, tan colored head that dissipates quickly leaving some bubbly lacing at the top of the glass. Aromas and flavors are similar with roasted barley, chocolate, lager yeast, a little bit of cola in the flavor also. Thinner bodied, finishes clean while the roasted barley lingers a bit. Overall, great drinkability, but pretty one note as far as flavors go.

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Photo of JJKBeerLvr
3.13/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Nice dark color with good head. Head was light in color.

Smell: Light malt aromas, but not a very much aroma.

Taste: Some malt flavors, but only a little hops flavor.

Mouth feel: Thin.

Overall: Average. Ok for casual drinking, but it does not have anything that stands out.

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.04/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

"Guinness Black Lager is cold-brewed with roasted barley to deliver the refreshing taste of lager with the unique character of Guinness. Enjoy ice cold straight from the bottle." Thanks, but I'll pour this into a glass. Brewed in the style of a Euro Dark Lager, available in 6 packs or as part of the Guinness Holiday variety pack.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a pint glass. Served above 50º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a mocha cream brown head of a crisp frothy consistency, retention is average at best and the head settles down within a short few minutes. Body color is a very dark brown with some mahogany brown tones, but more dense than not. Lacing is thin and streaked but doesn't last long. I don't expect that one of the selling points for this beer is how good it looks in a glass, but the lack of head quality makes for a less-than-stellar start. 3

(Smell) Roasted barley is likely used in small amounts in this beer- the aroma is very shallow on potency and, like most macro lagers, doesn't smell terribly different from the big name competition, despite a mild air of dry, cold roast. A clean but shallow aroma- I expected a lot more in terms of potency and diversity but the aroma doesn't define much in this beer at all. What little is there isn't off-putting, and I suppose that is about the best I can say for it. 2.75

(Taste) The flavor lets up just a notch of what the aroma must have been holding back on. Clean roasted malt airs on the watery side with a mild acidity for a pairing bitterness and little else to tell. In terms of flavor, it isn't much special, just slightly more pronounced malt character and a touch more sweetness, but ultimately comes out very lightly flavored. I think that the "cold brewed with roasted barley" is an hype-up for this beer, as there is much less roast flavor and more flavorless color than expected. Undoubtedly, it's likely geared for multiple drinks in a row. Presented with a line up of macro lager choices, this one may be a more likely pick than some others but I am still let down by how shallow these lagers are made to be. Guinness seemed to miss the potential for this beer by really creating something underwhelming. 3.25

(Mouthfeel) Peppy carbonation for the mouthfeel, quite spritely, expected for a lager. Mildly dry, slightly chalky finish. Body is just below medium for the style, light amongst all beers. I found the carbonation a bit harsh for this beer. Something that could have set it apart from the macro lager competition was a smoother and creamier texture, which I'm sure is possible even for a lager brew. 3

(Overall) Of all my Guinness choices to date, this has to be one of the more mundane ones out there. Seems like an answer to Bud-Miller-Coors phobias in regards to Guinness Draught. Very clean like a lager should be, but the flavor was dramatically lighter and the carbonation even sharper than I expected. I was really hoping that Guinness could prove what a dark lager was capable of but they missed the mark this time around. Unless the price points are dramatically in favor of this beer, I'd sooner choose their draught or export stout over this. 3

Guinness Ltd.'s
Guinness Black Lager
3.06/5.00

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Photo of SometimesIfart
2.34/5  rDev -24%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

A - Pours a very dark ruby with a finger and a half of off-white head. Left very spotty lacing.

S - Nothing but small amounts of corn, rice adjunct and skunkiness.

T - A small amount of very slightly roasted malt malt and sweet cherries, along with a small amount of skunk.

M - Medium bodied with medium to heavy carbonation.

O - Overall, It was okay at best. I don't think I'd have it again. It would be good as a crossover beer however.

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Photo of delta490
2.7/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Poured into a 12 oz. Sam Adams Glass. Pours a nice deep black, as advertized, with a short lived coffee colored head that leaves no lacing. Aroma was minimal, with little hints of the roasted malt but not much depth beyond that. It's taste isn't bad, but it's not quite as robust as a German schwarzbier. It didn't really have the chocolate or coffee profile one would expect, but just a pared down "roast" flavor. Like a schwarzbier, turned down to 5 or 6. It has a good lager mouthfeel. It could be pretty good, I just wish that the roast flavor matched it's dark color.

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Photo of wattoclone
3.55/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As a huge fan of Euro dark lagers and schwarzbiers (is there actually a difference?), I had to try the Guinness version. I found this one very smooth and drinkable as they should be. Not the sweetest or most bitter but the balance was about perfect. Sure, I would rather have a draft Kostritzer but since I live in the US, this is not always possible. Right out of the bottle this is a great dark lager which would pair well with any food. If I had more income I would keep this beer in stock but unfortunately in the present economy I cannot afford it. The McSorley's Black Irish Lager brewed by Pabst is much more affordable and IMHO has more flavor.

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Photo of schoolboy
4.17/5  rDev +35.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

My Saturday in main stream Ireland has been very much a surprise. Guinness has provided a nice variety pack.

This opens to a nice aroma. Malty and yeasty. The color is as it should be and there is almost enough head and lace (a little more would be nice).

The taste is well balanced. The after taste is quite nice too, with a little more bite than I would expect. Overall this is a nice easy brew and vastly underrated.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.02/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy patches of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, char, and a sour, metallic aroma. Taste is much the same with a dark bread and metallic flavor on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty average beer that tastes slightly better than it smells, but that isn't saying much.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.24/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Type: 11.2-oz. bottle
Glass: Stone pint glass
From: Holiday Wine Cellar in Escondido, Calif., on Jan. 5, 2012
Price: $1.79
Misc.: N/A

Poured a black color with 1-2 fingers of khaki tan head. Minimal lacing. Poor retention.

Smelled corn, cereal, caramel, toffee, chocolate, black cherry and slight dark chocolate.

Tasted chocolate, light coffee, black cherry, caramel and still that slightly skunky corn note. Nothing really stood out here.

Medium body. Oily-to-creamy texture. Average carbonation. Abrupt, bitter finish. Easily drinkable though.

My first time rating a Guinness. I have to say this was a bit better than I thought it would be heading into it. Nothing really stands out there, but it gets the job done. Not sure if I’d have it with so many better beers out there though.

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Photo of MUSHROOMCLOUD
3.19/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Dark brown, porter like with a 1" beige head...head falls to a cap, then ring quickly...leaves a little lacing.
Very muted nose...a little roasty malt and not much more.
Had to let it warm way up - too cold at first and not much flavor. As it warmed the roasted malts were noticable....tastes decent and simple.
Comes across the mouth thinner than it looks like it will - medium carbonation and a plus one because it never gets cloyingly sweet.
Overall I thought it was an OK beer - there are definitely other Black Lagers I would choose first but this is easy to drink and not un-enjoyable.

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Photo of dacrza1
3.35/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Situation: Day nine of Christmas vacation...
Glassware: Sam Adams lager...
Appearance: dark velvet black body with an off-white head that laces in cirrus whisps--sleek, but Guinness!
Aroma: roasted malts give the beer a distinct shwarzbier aroma; in some way, the lager retains the lactic scent of the draught...
Palate: substantial body; slightly effervescent mouthfeeel with a soda fizz ending...
Taste: a malty payoff, but not much smoke or roast; serviceable in its substance, but limited in its profile...
Overall: Tought to gauge this beer's heart--is it a genuine attempt to expand a good brand, or propaganda riding the word black at the expense of Arthur's good name? At least the brewery made a modest move by staying dark with its first lager... this beer's strenght will be in its weight; however, its lack of roast will be its limitation....

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Photo of tito42
3.06/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle to an imperial pint. 11.2 oz. bottle - I feel like this must be the metric system creeping into my life. Probably exactly 1/3 liter but rounded down to 11.2 oz. I cannot verify but I believe a Julian date stamp says bottled 8/31/2012. Purchased in the holiday 12-pack.

A: Clear, dark cola in color with active carbonation and a foamy cocoa hued head. Looks like a frothy Coca-Cola.

S: Roasted malt and barley with a touch of doughy yeast. Very generic.

T: Very grassy, roasted grains, a hint of black licorice, resinous finish.

M: Crisp and thin with a very high amount of carbonation.

O: Not offensive, but not memorable. My first go of a Euro Dark Lager that I'm aware of.

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Photo of welldigger888
3.03/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a reddish hued black with a white head that disappated quickly leaving ample snow white lacing down glass.

Subdued roast a whiff of adjunct and possibly a hint of noble hops.

Easy drinking roast with a tad adjunct that sports a firm bitterness and a touch of hop flavor.

medium light bodied guzzla that has more taste than your american light lager brews.

Drinkable for sure, prolly not my cup of brew though.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.79/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

11.2 oz bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A: Pours a very dark cola color with a good amount of opacity for the style. The head is a one finger heavy cream color that leaves behind a good amount of lacing. Poor retention, as expected from a lager.

S: A bit of roasted barley, chocolate...and corn adjuncts. Completely bland, rather than subpar.

T: Hey, a bit of roasted barley to open the flavor profile! That's cool. The corn adjuncts seem to be muted, or at least more muted than I cynically feared. Finish is bit of fruity sweetness, lager crispness, and the faintest 'ping' of chocolate. Better than I expected - but still, don't let it warm up or the adjuncts will come out in full force.

M: Light and crisp, but not quite as dry as the bog-standard Guinness draught. The carbonation is fizzy and even intense as expected.

O: Not horrible. Wouldn't seek it out or probably even buy again, but I'd gladly drink one if offered to me freely. This has its place being the weak link in the Guinness winter selection pack.

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Guinness Black Lager from Guinness Ltd.
71 out of 100 based on 441 ratings.
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