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Guinness Draught | Guinness Ltd.

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2,211 Reviews
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Guinness DraughtGuinness Draught
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Guinness Ltd.
Ireland
guinness.com

Style: Irish Dry Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-02-2001

BEER STATS
Reviews:
2,211
Ratings:
7,452
Avg:
3.46
pDev:
37.57%
 
 
Wants:
146
Gots:
2,212
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 2,211 | Ratings: 7,452
Photo of Sammy
2.58/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Two tastes - weak coffee and bitter beer. Drink it straight from the bottle is the motto. However the best we can say is its coffee appearance and huge creamy head that stays there. OK to drink if you're drinking something after to take away the taste.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
2.92/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap at BJ's in Valencia, CA.

Pours an opaque black with a 1 inch dense foamy tan head that fades to a small cap. Thick and sticky ring lacing on the drink down. Smell is not impressive with watery dark malt and stale coffee. Tastes of roasted malt and watery coffee. Very thick and creamy mouthfeel. Overall, I wouldn't drink this very often. I guess I sort of was obligated to try it on tap for St. Patrick's Day.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have had the honor of having this beer at the Guninness factory in Dublin. My review is not based on this particular tasting however it is one of the first beers I tried and the one that got me turned on to beer as prior to, the beers of the college ranks had turned me off to them.

The beer is black but some light still gets through. The milky, brownish head leaves a lacing and remains for much of the experience. The aroma is of roasted malt which certainly becomes much more apparent with the tasting. Caramel malts as well as a chocolate taste is appreciated as well. The mouth feel is smooth with medium body.

Overall this is a very good beer. I think it is best tasting on tap. I will often order this beer when out as it is one of the few regulars at multiple places I frequent on the weekends.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.88/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

the orignal and most famous for a reason. this is the original dry irish stout. pours nearly black, thick, frothy mocha head. smells roasty and smooth, ever slight milk chocolate characteristics. tastes great, creamy and a little bitter at the finish. full bodied but so smooth and low alcohol that you can easily drink it all day. not the best stout in the world, not even close, but when you are at a pub and the choices are bud, bud light, heineken, and guinness, its the only choice. also nice on a hangover

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Photo of Knapp85
3.87/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.75

Guinness was my first beer, it has a very special place in my heart. It has always been my go to drink at a bar if nothing else is worthy of my time or money. I love the surge the beer has, I love how it looks like chocolate milk while pouring and fades into a very dark brownish black color. It's the smoothest texture with a very nice roasted flavor. I'll admit it's a little bit on the watery side and it's not thick at all but it still has a good quality to it for anytime of year or place.

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Photo of metter98
3.46/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is very dark amber (approaching near black) in color and poured with a finger high creamy beige head that died down but has excellent properties and consistently covered the surface. Watching the cascading bubbles after the initial pour is always a spectacle.
S: There are faint aromas of roasted malts in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste isn't very strong but has flavors of roasted malts along with some hints of chocolate and coffee. Hints of bitterness are present in the finish.
M: It feels light-bodied, creamy and smooth on the palate. There is some dryness in the finish.
D: This beer goes down very easily and is very sessionable, especially considering its low alcohol content.

Note: I also had this on nitro-tap at The Wellington in Dublin, Ireland on 6/21/14 and the beer didn't seem nearly as as dry and also seemed to be a little sweeter compared to the version exported to the United States.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.18/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First time in a long time. Trying this brew on draught is one of the most classic and endearing moments in beer. The look of the nitro-carbonation sheading the beer and floating to the top is something special. The head retention is basically a milk shake for stout lovers. Slight aromas of roasted grains, chalkiness, and mild souring. Flavors and moderate and firm, ranging from charcoal, roasted grains, mild lactose, and and underlying sweet maltiness. The feel of this beer is always supurb. Full and creamy, then thinning into a powdery, soft finish. Quite dry and fleeting in the aftertaste. It's the taste that defined the style. How can it be anything but great?

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Photo of largadeer
2.92/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark brown with reddish highlights, slightly translucent; ultra-thick nitro head.

Smell: Lightly roasted barley, a bit grainy - not much of an aroma.

Taste: Mild roasted barley, but without much actual bitterness. A subtle grainy sweetness comes through in the middle. It finishes clean and dry with no aftertaste. I'm not too sure what else to say - it really doesn't have much depth or character.

Mouthfeel: The nitro head gives the illusion if a thick, creamy beer; but the body is very thin and watery. I know Irish dry stouts aren't supposed to be the thickest stouts around, but this is thin even for the style.

Notes: Now here's a beer that's all about image. It looks impressive, but when you get down to it, it's completely lacking in aroma, flavor and body. It's not terrible by any means, but it's also not very good.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.61/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I used to have one or two of these only on St. Patrick's day, like the rest of the beer-drinking world, until I went to Ireland a few years ago. There, it seems to often be the only non-lager available at pubs throughout the countryside, and I got my fill of it, and then some. Haven't had it in a while, but there's something about a dark pub and those ubiquitous black Guinness skirts that the waitresses wear.

A full UK pint arrives at the table in my local Irish, and looks to be an opaque black, with reddish cola highlights, barely perceptible in the low backlighting of the pub, and one finger of a perfectly solid, foamy, caked tan head, which leaves a patchwork of mesa profile lace around the glass as it very slowly abates.

It smells of nutty, lightly roasted grainy malt, with subtle ministrations of bittersweet chocolate and cold coffee grounds. The taste is dry toasty caramel malt, a mild floral hoppiness, some ethereal pithy drupe fruitiness, and a swirling cafe au lait character. Nothing particularly hoppy manifests.

There is indeed very little carbonation, the body surprisingly medium-light, a tad creamy, and definitely smooth, though it somehow feels like it's sticking to the roof of my mouth. It finishes dry, with a redux of that aromatic toasted nuttiness.

Overall, hey, it's Guinness - mild stout flavours and an easy quaffing quotient make it a reliable option for a session of whiskey and ale interlacing. Add in the decidedly un-American ABV levels, and you're good to go, once you convince your eyes that this is not actually heavy in the slightest.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.53/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nitro can: Poured a dark black beer with a nice foamy head with ultra long retention due to the nitro ball. Aroma and taste are quite dry and bitter with notes of roasted malts also being very present. Aftertaste is a bit too watery for my liking but overall I think this is a classic and pretty decent classic drink.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.07/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Ahhh Guinness... always got it at a bar but never from the 'nitro can'. Pours with that amazing cascading look.... looks amazing every time and only see it with this. Pours a very dark 'almost' black. Nice huge fluffy head. Medium to full body, pretty good mouthfeel.. taste is very bland, some malts shining through but very water to me. I actually really enjoy the draft, but the draught seems to be more gimmicy with the bottle and nitro insert.. what matters is the product. Cool to try, but really is way overhyped. Meh.

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Photo of emerge077
2.59/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Another ubiquitous macro beer, one of the first I can remember drinking all those years ago. More for the novelty of the nitro can, nowadays bottled Guinness doesn't pass muster.

Poured into a tulip glass, the color is a dark reddish brown, and black in the glass. The foam only cascades momentarily, unlike the super slo-mo version from the nitro can. It's tan foam has a creamy texture and good retention, minor arcs of lacing are left behind in the glass.

Smells a bit dull, wet barley and roasted grains, old coffee.

Tastes similarly weak, roasted barley and cardboard, folgers, vague ashy note in the aftertaste. Watery feel, bland with a lower level of carbonation. Seems to be a mere shell of its former self, or maybe the added nitrogen adds something, and without it there's just not much substance.

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Photo of LXIXME
3.62/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A rich cream light tan head falls through itself above a super dark brown to black head.

A rich well roasted grain malts aroma that seem to border on slightly burnt.

Creamy well roasted malts taste, you can almost taste the roasted barley itself, with just the slightest hint of hops or something else similar.

A dryish aftertaste with the roasted malts taste lingering on with this full bodied beer.

A have a fond stop for this beer, it was one of the only beers I could find as a young one that wasn't in the mold of Grain Belt, Pabst, Bud, Miller, Coors and the endless list of crap like those.
So in a sense this is the beer that enlightened me to the fact that American light lagers were not the only option and I've been on a quest to try as many different kinds of beers as I can since then.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.87/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle (as in the new bottle without the nitrogen widget) of brown glass and with a standard pressure cap served into a conical Guinness pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Acquired at a local Ralph's market. Reviewed live. I expect this to be worse than the nitro-bottle and nowhere near the level of Guinness nitro-draught.

Served slightly warmer than refrigerator cold. Side-poured at a proper 45 degree angle.

A: Pours a half finger head of white colour, decent thickness, and nowhere near the cream of the nitro-bottle. Very disappointing. Colour is the standard extreme dark ruby (but apparent black). Pales in comparison to the other variants of Guinness Draught.

Sm: Roasted barley (but light and weak compared to nitro-variants), light smoke suggesting rauchbier qualities, and hints of chocolate and coffee. A mild strength aroma.

T: A bit creamy, hardly any roast, some coffee, and vague hints of chocolate. A weak-ass version of proper Guinness Draught. A damned disgrace. Where's my beloved cream? Imbalanced and merely decently built. Bland, boring, and dull compared to proper Guinness. Infuriatingly poor in comparison to proper Guinness.

Mf: Smooth, wet, a bit thin, and a bit watery. Not at all creamy compared to the luxurious cream of the proper Guinness variants. Incredibly disappointing.

Dr: Drinkable but an obnoxiously poor decision. The nitro-bottle was far better. As a periodic Irish resident and a huge fan of Guinness, I'm offended at this awful decision. This variant ruins the best macro-brewed beer in the world, and I won't stand for it. Feels like a poorly executed porter in this bottled form. Please don't judge the beer based on this bottled variant; it's a poor representation of the beer.

No doubt this was an upper level directive from those bastards over at Diageo. I don't blame the brewery.

I emailed Diageo customer service about this beer and the removal of the nitro widget - which I think is a disgraceful ploy to reduce manufacturing costs. I received the following response:

---We are sorry that you were disappointed by your recent Guinness experience. While we have removed the widget from the Guinness Draught In A Bottle, the liquid has remained exactly the same and continues to come from St. James’s Gate Brewery in Dublin.
Guinness Draught In A Bottle has always been meant to be enjoyed directly from the bottle. We’ve adjusted the gas mixture so that the nitrogen gas is activated every time you tilt the bottle to drink, providing the signature creamy head each time you take a sip. Guinness Draught In A Bottle is still nitrogenated.

If you prefer to pour a Guinness into a glass, we recommend Guinness Draught in a Can, which still has a widget since Guinness Draught in a Can is meant to be poured from the can and enjoyed from a glass. It is our recommendation for consumers who enjoy drinking from the glass at home, as it delivers an outstanding “from the glass” experience.

If you prefer to continue to pour from the bottles, pouring faster and from a vertical angle will give you a much better head than pouring slowly.

We’re very passionate about our beer and do everything we can to deliver a Great Guinness Experience whether it’s straight from the bottle or poured into a glass. We hope this information answers your question and ensures your next experience with Guinness will meet your – and our – high standards.

Please do not hesitate to reach out with any further questions. We would be happy to offer a refund for this purchase and look forward to speaking with you directly if you would provide us with your phone number. Thank you very much.
---

^You can draw your own conclusions, but the whole "nitrogenating according to the tipping of the bottle" bit seems like a load of steaming bollocks. As a longtime Guinness drinker in mother Ireland and abroad, I'm disappointed in this decision. We want our nitro-induced creamy mouthfeel, ye Diageo bastards!

C

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Photo of zeff80
3.6/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured a deep, dark, brown color with a creamy/foamy, small, tan head that left small traces of lace.

S - It smelled of coffee, chocolate and caramel.

T - A nice bittersweet blend of sweetness from the chocolate and caramel with the bitter kick from oatmeal and some hops.

M - It is soft, smooth and creamy. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - I've had this from a can and bottle, but it is always best on tap. It is the choice at restaurants than just feature BMC.

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Photo of Thorpe429
2.94/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to gr8134 for this can. Served in a wine glass.

Pours dark brown with a white head. Fairly dark, but much lighter than the Foreign Export Stout, which we tried this side-by-side with. The head on this one is quite creamy. From there, it goes a bit downhill and this isn't a particularly-memorable beer. There is a bit of mild roast and very, very faint dark chocolate in the nose, but that's about it. The taste is really mild and creamy--roast, light chocolate, and the tiniest touch of malt sweetness. Feel is light and creamy. Just an okay beer. This really seems to be all about texture and not big on flavor.

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Photo of nickfl
3.53/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A - One finger of thick, light brown foam that doesn't go away. The body is opaque and black.

S - Coffee and caramel with some slight sourness.

T - Light, roasted flavor with notes of dark chocolate. Quite sour in the middle with a dry, clean and slightly roasty, bitter finish.

M - Moderately thick, creamy body with low carbonation and a dry finish.

D - Roasty and dry, this is obviously a classic example of the style. Nevertheless, I can't say I really like it, it is pretty one dimensional and not particularly compelling.

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Photo of jlindros
3.29/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a can with a widget.

A: Big nitrous head that takes up the entire pour at first, then slowly rolls its way down to a nice thick dark black liquid. 3 layers are apparent, the white frothy head on top, the mixing brown in the middle, and the black beer on the bottom. It's almost pitch black, but not quite. I really love how Guinness has brought draft beer to a can!

N: Dark malts, a little chocolate malt, some creamy aromas, dark spices, nitrous aromas, a little roasted malt aroma as well.

T: Very creamy, nitrous up the wazoo. Some light chocolate and roasted malts. A slight sweet malt. Mostly creamy bitter charred malt flavors. Slight fruity flavors as well.

M: Very creamy, semi thick, lots of nitrous carbonation.

F: Semi bitter, earthy, a little sweet, lingering creamy feel and taste, some lingering fruity flavors and sweet syrupy like flavors.

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Photo of mothman
3.58/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

This was one of the darker beers that I have had, so far. It poured a nice thick head that left fairly decent lace. Color was near pitch black.

Smell and taste was of all malts. Not many hops at all. Very roasty and rich.Some chocolate in there.

Moutfeel was smooth and creamy. Decent amount of carbonation. Probably one of the better aspects to this beer.

Overall, not to bad for something that is a beer that people talk about all the time. (or at least what my college buddies say to be one of the biggest beers of all time). Decent drinkability if it's your thing.

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Photo of chinchill
3.49/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

14.9 oz can poured into a large glass stein.

Pours near black but with ample carbonation mixed in leaving most of the pour an airy tan until the bubbles rise to form a fine creamy tan head. The dark liquid can then be seen to be clear and a deep mahogany.

The aroma is quite faint, even given the relatively weak flavor one finds upon tasting.

M: M: smooth, but surprisingly thin. The thin body is initially hidden, in part, by the amp;le soft carbonation. The thinness prevents this version from attaining the fuller, creamy feel expected in a proper Irish stout.

O: this fine looking and well-respected beer struggles to rise above average.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.06/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Typical Guinness in a bottle with a widget rather than can. I don't really get it. It's in the bottle so you can drink it out of the bottle, right? Since when did it become so hard to find glassware? Hell, a plastic pint glass will do. But I guess this is all about show. In any case, I found it no different from the canned version. I didn't think the widget did as good a job, but that was with a single pour with just a few pauses along the way.

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Photo of mactrail
2.24/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Starts with a dirty aftertaste. No malt to speak of, except a possible infusion of very old, well-used coffee grounds. Truly a dishwater flavor with a little more salt than I like in my dishwater. Watery is the word. Faint medicinal smell. Sloshy froth of nitro does nothing for it. Pours in three parts-- brownish beer topped by a gray layer, and then a beige head.

What is going on with this? Maybe I got the product from Guinness Somalia instead. Barely drinkable. Air has more flavor. Water tastes better. At least water doesn't have this terrible metallic aftertaste. Probably what a dung beetle would use to wash the dust down his little throat. It's that nasty. Can has the newer big golden harp thanks to Diageo.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.23/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from an 11.2oz. nitro-bottle into a flute glass.

A: After the beautiful cascade of bubbles subsides, the beer is a pitch black color with a very dense off-white head that fades at extremely slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of creamy chocolate and roasted malt and overall it’s a little stronger than most beers that I’ve had in the style.

T: I typically don’t use the same words to describe a beer’s taste as I do a beer’s smell, but as I sip the beer, creamy chocolate and roasted malt are the first words that come to mind. There’s a little bit of smokiness to it and although there’s a little bit more flavor than other beers that I’ve had in the style, the taste just seems weak overall.

M: Very smooth, heavy body, light carbonation, finish is dry but a little bit sticky.

D: Within the style this beer is tasty, but it’s not a style that I favor. It goes down very easily which has caused this beer to gain so much appeal. I used to think that I couldn’t handle this beer, but after having tried a wide range of high ABV beers and knowing that this beer has the ABV of a Light Lager, I now realize that I simply don’t like it. Having said that, I still appreciate the quality of this beer with respect to its style.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.06/5  rDev -40.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Appearance: Dark brown body with a dense cream-colored head.

Smell: Exceedingly mild, plain aroma of creamy roasted barley.

Taste: Very vague overall taste with only a mild coffee-like bitterness. From the first sip to the last there's just very little to offer here.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Mild carbonation. Joyless, watery texture.

Drinkability: Perhaps the widget-bottle isn't the way to go, 'cause this beer lacks any sort of distinct characteristics and comes across as watery and uninteresting.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
1.93/5  rDev -44.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Despite the fact that the plastic label beseeches me to 'drink straight from the bottle' and to 'serve extra cold', I will do neither. This will be at my beer fridge temperature of 50 degrees and will be poured into a nonick pint glass. I don't take orders from beer bottles. I'm also chagrined to discover that it checks in at less than 10 carbs (9.9 to be exact). That is what is commonly known as a red flag.

I get the usual nitro cascade effect on the pour, though it seems to be less impressive than what I see from the average nitro can. When the show is over--no more than 15 seconds--I'm left with an opaque, dark brown liquid crowned by a slim finger of heavily creamy, grayish brown foam. The nose is meek and is of roasted malt, chocolate and coffee in roughly equal proportions. Not bad, not great.

Guinness Draught tastes like watered-down Guinness Extra Stout. I mean that literally. It seems less like a weak stout (that was brewed as such) and more like water was added before bottling. What flavor I can discern is of lightly roasted dark malt and weak iced coffee with very little chocolatiness at all. The finish is nonexistent because there's very little flavor to begin with. The body/mouthfeel is, again, watery in the extreme.

Guinness Draught is one of the wimpiest stouts that I've ever had. It challenges my taste buds about as much as kindergarten final exams would challenge my intellect. It may have been a slightly better experience if I had sampled it straight from the bottle, but any beer that has to rely on a gimmick such as that gets no respect from me. This is a beer that doesn't deserve to be taken seriously. Next.

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Guinness Draught from Guinness Ltd.
3.46 out of 5 based on 7,452 ratings.
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