Guinness Draught | Guinness Ltd.

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Guinness DraughtGuinness Draught

Brewed by:
Guinness Ltd.
Ireland | website

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

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Reviews: 2,198 | Ratings: 7,403
Photo of Dithyramb
3.21/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance –Poured from the new “rocket-widget” bottle to a glass, despite the instructions not to. Poured a dense black color. Used my new towel to catch any errant overpour. The classic cascading look with a frothy tannish white head. Surprisingly had incredible head retention and great lacing throughout. Nice new packaging on the bottle (has directions to serve cold??)

Smell – French roast coffee smells. None of the chocolate and/or malty tones I’m used to in the draft version. Hopefully will still be nice and malty.

Taste – Dry and bitter on the front end, with some quick sweeter aftertones. Guinness is much creamier, sweeter and maltier on tap.

Mouthfeel – Almost too smooth and almost watery. Bitter roasted flavors don’t linger on the tongue or the mouth. I thought this was a sweet stout?

Drinkability – Definitely drinkable, since it goes down smooth and light.. Tried it over the weekend at a place that only offered

Overall –Kudos to Guiness for trying a different market segment. Who knows, maybe it will stick, and get more people to drink the beer. I’m not sure if it is the bottle version here, with the rocket-widget, or if it is just my new imperial stout kick, but it seemed weak overall.

Not a horrible beer, but not much better than average. A lot of bars are keeping this and Sam Adams as their “good” beers. Given the choice between this, and Mic Ultra, I’m definitely going for the widget bottle. The flavor is much different than the traditional tap. I thought the can had the same problems too.

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Photo of EPseja
4.76/5  rDev +38%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What can I say? When you get a properly poured pint of Guinness, there is really not much more to say than slainte! Whether or not your local bar makes a shamrock on the head of your Guinness, there are a few things to look for in a perfect pint.

First, it should be poured in two stages. The barkeep should pull 2/3 of a pint, and let it completely settle. After a minute or so, the final third should be pulled *slowly* to make the head form correctly. The height of the light cocoa-brown head shold be between 3/4" and 1" in total, the top 1/3 of which should rise above the rim of the glass.

A good pint of Guinness should have a faint scent of sweet toasted malt and not much else. Too much scent indicates that it's being served too warm. Too little, and it's too cold. Other scents may indicate a stale keg or an unclean glass.

The color of a Guinness is black in the glass from a foot away. If you hold up the pint against a bright light source (perhaps a crackling fire), it will be seen to have a faint transparency with a dark crystal ruby color, much like a tawny Port would possess when viewed from a distance.

And then the drink... A perfect pint of Guinness (in my observation) will taste malty, slightly toasty, faintly smoky, refreshing without being chilly, and very well rounded with no sharpness. It's low carbonation will allow you to draw in the entire first 1/3 of the pint without stopping (which I like to do with my first pint especially after the anticipation during the pour). It's lingering aftertaste is sweet and makes you want to have another mouthful.

Lastly, and contrary to many people's beliefs, a good pint of Guinness should not leave you bloated and/or full.

The process and understanding behind a properly poured Guinness can be very Zenlike. It is an excellent choice for those who are looking for some solace from the everyday world or perhaps relax and have some good times amongst friends and family.

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Photo of mobyfann
3.67/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This was the first beer I truly noticed a difference when poured, it pours a very dark brown base with a beautiful light chocolate colored head that keeps form for the duration. The smell however was the low point of the beer where smells of coffee and chocolate are there but hard to find.

The taste is pretty light but a very smooth and slightly bitter texture. I recommend this as a dessert or dinner beer.
The mouthfeel and drinkability are both outstanding, maybe a little too light in the mouth. Always feels great and could drink this till I die.

A staple in the refrigerator.

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Photo of JohnW
3.9/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Guiness of draught in England varies considerably from pub to pub, and a lot has to be said for the way it is poured and kept. If it is not a popular drink in a bar, then don't touch could be flat and sour. They always say draught Guiness tastes better in Ireland, but it's probably more to do with the way it is poured than the beer itself. Somehow I do not think they brew a special Guiness just for the Irish bars ! I enjoy the dark mysterious appearance and creamy head that you can draw faces in, the very burnt malt and hops taste that lingers, though, as others have said, the finish can seem a bit thin. If it is served too cold, then you loose some of its subtle overtones. I enjoy one or two pints of Guiness, but more than that and you can have trouble in the morning!!

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
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 mattcrill
3.31/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I have a hard time not being biased towards this beer. This was the first beer that got me started being a BA. That being said, there are many stouts that far surpass this one. It pours dark black with the cascading foam that's hard to beat. Not much in the smell department but it does smell like good ol' Guinness. I really enjoy the taste although a little on the dry and on the boring side. Easy for me to drink a yit-load of these though.

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

Enjoyed at Uno's, Milford, CT, presented in a 11.2 bottle, and a frosted glass.

Usual impressive Guinness nitro head and bubble action, with great lacing. Not much in the aroma department, just a bit of dark grains and that "Guinness" smell, which I stumble trying to put into words. Taste was as expected from a nitro, somewhat deadened, but still a presence, for sure. Mouthfeel was the usual good nitro, and drinkability was excellent. Just don't know about their suggestion to drink it from the bottle, I'll take a glass, thanks.

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Photo of hulmanite
2.38/5  rDev -31%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

As far as stouts go, this is the bottom of the barrel. If you want a good stout, go out and find one, but don't settle for this one.

Its smell and appearance are very dark and thick, but the taste is something that most stouts would not be proud of. Its too thin, and runs in your mouth like water.

And to the people at Guinness, PLEASE make your Guinness on tap not foam so damn much. The bartenders spend 5 minutes scooping and repouring and it just makes it even flatter and gives the nitrogen too long to sit.

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Photo of PopeJonPaul
3.82/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First of all, I can't help but love the appearance of this beer. The black (with a deep, deep, barely noticable ruby color if you look at it right) and vanilla-white contrast is perfect. The smell though has always bugged me a little, the sour yeastiness makes me think of the old half-full cream container you end up finding in the back of your fridge.

Tasty creamy roasted malt flavor with coffee overtones. Ultra smooth, goes down fast. Like margaritas, there's hardly an alcohol in 'em and you'll have to put plenty down to fall off your barstool. Though the drinkability drops a bit with the "meal in a glass" feel, a Guinness pint only has 210 calories. But, if it takes 6 to make you happy, well, there's your calories. All in all, the more stouts I try the farther this creeps down my list of favorites, but still good stuff, and a great "old standby" in NYC where it's always on tap, even if you're stuck in a sh*thole.

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Photo of Hunter
4.2/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Lovely stuff, this. Pitch black in color, with a tan head. The nitro widget does an admirable job of replicating the cacading bubbles of a tap pour. Nice aroma of coffee and chocolate, and it comes through in the taste as well. It can be a little bland, but that's not necessarily a bad thing if you're looking for a mellow stout to knock back without needing a spoon. Mouthfeel is absolute satin. Some make a big deal about this not being genuine Guinness, or not up to a pub draw. I say let 'em, if it means there's more of it lying about for me. No point in being snobbish about what is essentially a good, light, utterly drinkable stout.

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Photo of MobBarley
3.08/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Nitro boost creates an aesthetically perfect beer that I won't describe as it has already been done ad nauseum. Smell is all roasted malts. Taste is slightly burnt malt in abundance with a hint of hops for balance. Mouthfeel is thin for a stout, and I've honestly had Browns with more body. Drinkability is decent but boring. A one-dimensional that may be representative of the fact that it was imported. Honestly though, Black Butte Porter is a stouter beer than this. Stout for people who like the idea of drinking stout, but not real stout.

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Photo of cptnjck101
4.02/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Well the almighty Guinness, we meet at last. I was up in Hell's Kitchen for Halloween and my buddy took me to this place Scruffy Duffy's (coolest damn sports bar ever, check it out if your ever in NY) and wouldn't let me order anything until I tried a Guinness on tap. I must say I was very surprised. Dark and smooth, almost coffee like. Then I saw the ABV, 4.1%, with that kinda ABV I could drink this stuff all day!

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Photo of Mark
4.13/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep black with a white head that lasted to the bottom. Lacing was in nice coats, sheets, rings, etc. Mild aroma, slight roast, some chocolate. Very very smooth, minimal roasted character. Mouthfeel is creamy and not overbearing. Very drinkable and i had forgotten how enjoyable a Guinness can be. Might have rated higher if it wasn't brought to my table accompanied by a totally frozen lager mug. I will never learn about buying beer in restaurants. I politely told the waitress that this was totally inappropriate and to bring me another glass. All they had was mugs for beer. I stooped caring and took one that wasn't frozen. Wrecked the ambience of the brew. Any how, this is a stout i'm not going to ignore any more. A solid stout.

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Photo of henrysunset
4.18/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

l: 4.5 extremely light tan/white head. very dense though not terribly tall. Bubbles so fine you can hardly see them. Not quite opaque like other stouts. Instead very dark brown with a red tone in the light.

s: 4.0 smells like the chocolate malted grains. hint of bitterness, but the majority of the scent is a sweet chocolatey smell

t: 4.0 taste in the mouth is pretty tame. a little hops and a little chocolate. Aftertaste is excellent, smooth chocolate flavor with a hint of a sweet/bittersweet flavor that is quite enjoyable. You don't sense the alcohol at all; probably due to the low alcohol content and thich flavor.

m: 4.5 nice and thick, while remaining unbelievably smooth.

d: 4:5 It is so smooth and so tasty that i could drink it all day. With so little ABV, you practically could.

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Photo of chriscolby
3.99/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

What can I say about Guinness that hasn't been said a billion times before? Obviously, the cascade of bubbles in the glass is mouthwateringly inviting. The primary aroma and flavor is that of dark roasted malts, but it's the dry, creamy mouthfeel that makes this more than your average ale.

Guinness needs to be fresh, or it can be terrible; but these days it seems easier to find fresh sources than "back in the day." I know it's popular to believe that Guinness varies a lot depending on where it's brewed, but I'm not sure if I believe this. (I'm not saying I actively disbelieve it, either.) There's a huge potential for self-delusion here.

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Photo of crackerpooch
3.86/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The quintessential dry stout. This review is on a 14.5oz can of Guinness Draught. This beer is just beautiful when poured into a glass. Two finger light brown head that is very creamy. The head hardly diminishes at all throughout the entire drink session. The beer is dark chocolate brown in color and is completely opaque.

This beer has a very light roasted coffee aroma. The taste also very light and has no sweetness. Just a slightly bitter roasted taste. Smooth as silk with a very creamy mouthfeel. For some reason, I just don’t like the mouthfeel of nitrogen charged beers. This beer surprises in that it looks heavy and full of flavor, but the taste and aroma are both very subdued. Quite a difference from an imperial stout. I’m not a big fan of this beer, but how can I review it poorly when it is the original dry stout? I mean, it’s the gold standard for this style of beer.

A very smooth, creamy and easy to drink beer that suits it’s style to a tee.

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Photo of JustinBathurst
2.88/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Okay, well, Guinness looks great when poured. The head is just perfect--a creamy off-white about a centimeter high.

Mouthfeel is kind of chalky and veering towards a strange paste when it mixes with the head. Hmm.

Taste is quite roasted and there is a prominent copper bitter. Reminds me of the chalk stuff you have to drink at the doctor...

Not a bad brew, just average.

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Photo of hobbes2112
4.23/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

What can I say, this is the beer that started it all.

A dark dream of a beer, black enough to suck in all light around it, and then seems to refocus this light in the pristine small bubble head. Having a nitro kegorator in college just for Guinness was NOT overkill.

Low alcohol lets you really knock these back, mix in a corned beef sandwhich and it is heaven.

You get a mix of head and beer in every mouthful, but makes for a very creamy experience. I love nitro taps!

The taste is not pushing the envelope, but you get your little bitter fix in all the creamy goodness.

Some beers are more appropriate at times, but Guinness is always ready to step up to the plate.

Edit:I've got to knock the taste from a 5 down to a 4. Either this beer is changing or my tastes are drastically different now. Still good...but not close to perfect.

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Photo of cypressbob
3.48/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

500ml can with widget

On tap, this stuff is everywhere here.

Pours with a thick, dense milky head. Dark black body

Smell is malty, with little to deliver. Not a strong beer so this may be the reason.

Malty in taste. Refreshing and thick, with a coffee kick followed by a vanilla punch and a biiter aftertaste

A fair stout, found everywhere in the world. Easier to drink than guinness original, but not as full of flavour or as complex.

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Photo of psyco1
2.31/5  rDev -33%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

It's black as night and a light tan head abount an inch thick. So far everything's ok.

It smells like burnt barley, I can live with that.

The taste is where it falters. What taste there is, is of burnt barley and not much else. Dry and unpleasant. The mouthful is ok, like waterd down cream, with it's low carbonation.

I think that Guinness is where a lot of people are turned off by dark beers. I'd take it over a budmillercoors, but if there were a decent stout or porter around, I'd leave this for someone else.

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Photo of BadBadger
3.59/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A descent stout. Was nice and dark with a very nice foamy off-white head which lasted for some time. Taste was rather bland, it was neither sweet or bitter. I found the taste to be disappointing. Very nice smooth mouthfeel. OK if this is the only dark choice at the bar.

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Photo of FranklinPCombs
3.18/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

THis is a step up from the standard macroswill that college campuses tend to be congested with. I'm at leats happy that my friend drinks this instead of Busch Lite. Appearance is a light translucent brown, and seeing as how i took the advice of the bottle and drank straight from it, i couldnt tell you any more than that, save for the fact that it kept foaming over the top. Smell is mettalic and wheaty, with some meaty protein hints but not very much complexity at all. Taste is about the same, with a bitter metallic taste, but its clearly not from hops. Tastes kind of earthy, with some wheat and malt in there. Mouthfeel is thicker than most other macros, as would be expected, and there is little carbonation, which combines to make it feel like youre drinking foamy milk. Its an ok choice if you want something a step above regular macro, but not really a good choice if you want a real stout. I hear the Guinness Extra Stout is better though...

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Photo of JAL67
3.43/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Good solid stout.'s Guiness and the marketing machine is in high gear. But...have to say there is a bitterness about that I just don't care for. It is a very good beer though and will find myself going back to it every know and then. However, Murphy's is the Stout to have. It's just much bettter without the bitter. Murphy's doesn't have the marketing muscle but hell I think it better.

Low ABV so plenty will go down.


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Photo of beergeek279
3.51/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in the 14.9 oz. nitro can, into a pint glass. The color is black, with a creamy white head. The smell is a very slight roasted malt. The taste is a bit of the roasted malt, not very strong at all. Mouthfeel, despite the nitro, seems a bit thin. As for drinkability, well, could have a few of them, especially with the low ABV.

Well, I have to say that one of my favorite parts of beer is the lovely Guinness cascade, which the nitro can didn't do very well. Guinness may have been the first "dark beer" I ever had, but I can tell that I've outgrown it, as this just doesn't have the bite that most other stouts do. It's a good fallback beer, especially at bars that don't have much else, but I wouldn't go looking for it (not that I have to, of course).

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Photo of watermelonman
3.55/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this from the bottle, as the label instructed me to. I peeled the label off, so I have some idea what it looked like. A nice head rested on top throughout the bottle, and even managed to leave some lace on the inside of the bottle.

The taste is somewhat dark but more dry and creamy than anything else. It's got a hint of sour on top of its mild bitterness.

More than anything else, it's uniquely Guinness. It's not as special as some have made it out to be, but it's definitely still a good beer.

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Guinness Draught from Guinness Ltd.
3.45 out of 5 based on 7,403 ratings.
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