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Guinness Draught | Guinness Ltd.

2,189 Reviews
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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: 2,189 | Ratings: 7,358
Photo of Jason
2.83/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

What Happened To My Guinness??!!??!!??

Appearance: Same great creamy looking head and leaves rings of lace all the way down ... the color is not as black as it used to be, its more of a very dark brown. Damn, I can see the bar light through the bottom of my pint!

Smell: Rusty water with some faint grain.

Taste: The tame roasted character is laughable, bitterness has been toned down and there is a mild cloying sweetness in the back.

Mouthfeel: Same nitro mouth feel but very, very thin and watery.

Drinkability: This beer has been dumbed down so much it is like drinking water. There are far better stouts than this.

This beer is an obvious victim of thinking about the $$$ and not the quality of the product.

There are rumors that the American product is kegged in the US from a combination of the "Essence of Guinness" (A product of Ireland) and the same malt base used in malternatives. I will find out the truth one day.

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Photo of dar482
2.83/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

The beer comes in a very dark brown to black.

The aroma hits of cocoa, a bit of chocolate, sweet toasted grains.

The flavor hits of medium roasted grain, an empty and watery mid palate, unsweetened chocolate, a touch of coffee roast, onto a smooth and lacking finish and hits of earthiness.

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Photo of bark
2.83/5  rDev -18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The colour is black with a tint of very dark wine red. The finger-thick compact foam (peculiar for nitro-tap beer) is off-white.

The smell is really weak with some metallic notes and a touch of black coffee.

The carbonation is mild, yet quite fresh making it very drinkable.

The taste is much milder than I remember; there is a bitter-sour touch and a burned taste of coffee and rubber bands. The dry aftertaste got some notes of bitter hops and burned malt.

This might be the most famous of them all, but there are some far better dry stouts out there…

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Photo of JMScowcroft
2.83/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Guinness Ltd. - Guinness Draught, poured into a Craftgeer snifter.

Look - Pours a thin brown black but settles black with a small foamy head. Not a ton of lacing, very sparse.

Smell - Roasted barley, weak on the nose.

Taste - Thin and watery with a weak roast character, not a lot of variety in the flavor.

Mouthfeel - Thin, dry, ever so slightly bitter, like a light or watered down stout. Zero booziness. Good drinkability but not spectacular.

Overall - This used to be one of the kings of "craft beer" (though was it ever really considered craft, no) and I'll give it that, but this is not a great beer by any means.

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Photo of jeshii
2.83/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

As we poured the can, the beer was a uniform color of sand. As it settled, the bottom was a gorgeous black/brown, with a head the color and almost the consistency of cream. The head is a bit short (could be my novice pouring skills), but is definitely the best part of this beer. It is tenacious and tastes like whip cream. Carbonation was rather weak, and that seemed to lead to the fact that when held in the mouth, there seems to be almost no flavor at all. After that, the aroma is almost non-existent. Aside from the delicious cream, the only thing that stands out is the oppressive aftertaste. Without that, it would be a very average, drinkable beer. But, with that aftertaste, it makes you want to drink it fast, which is a shame.

Overall, enjoy the head, fear the aftertaste. Everything in between is unremarkable.

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Photo of bigkahunas4
2.83/5  rDev -18%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Had on nitro-tap, poured into a 16 oz glass at Toronto Airport.

Pours a metallic black, with a nice initial cascading head. Head goes from coffee colored to sand. Eventually the suddy head comes to a standstill, with about a finger and a half of retention. The brew really soaps the sides of this glass. Though it excels in its classic appearance, it really fails when it comes to aromatics. I'm really not picking up any prominent notes, just some faint ale yeast.

This meal in a can is more fast food drive through than first class. Not very prominent in flavor, the palete is primarily burnt coffee. Brew is smooth throughout, with some gentle viscosity and a nice feeling body.

Guinness is generally my go to at macro bars, when it's winter, and there are no other options. I wouldn't say I dislike the beer, though I don't love it, as you always know what you're getting. It's smooth, light, and at least brings some flavor to the table.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
2.83/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured unto a nonic glass.

Appearance: Do I really need to let you know?, pours an an almost opaque brown, tan head coming off the body roughly a full inch to an inch and change.

Smell: You know what nothing smells like, that's what Guinness Draught does to you.

Taste: No it's not average, it is the beer that originally changed my direction when I started my beer adventures.

Mouth: This is the definition of light carbonation, whether tap, bottle or can and personally I don't think it helps it. It is definitely an acquired liking to this beer.

Overall: I thank you Guinness, I was first introduced this back in high school in the late 90's and will never forget my first glass. This beer is smooth and easy to love, but compared to what else is out on the market it is mediocre at best, but compared to who makes a better "Irish Dry Stout" don't bother looking else where. Salud!

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Photo of machalel
2.83/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Pours very dark reddish-brown, almost black, but has a creamy pale tan head. The head is thick and lasts a long time due to the nitrogen bubbles. Reasonably good lacing down the glass, but not as much as I was expecting.

Aroma: Faint 'stout' smell of dark malts with a little roast. Also a hint of apricots.

Taste: Roast barley (although it doesn't stand out), malt (although it doesn't stand out), a slight mineral taste (although it doesn't stand out), and a touch of sourness (although it doesn't stand out).

Mouthfeel: A much lighter body than to be expected, but thickened slightly due to the soft nitrogen carbonation.

Overall: I can't shake the feeling that this world-famous beer (probably the most famous of the stouts?) relies on a combination of marketing and its nitrogen widget for its success. Attempting to disregard the aspects that the nitrogen lends to the beer, it is actually very simple and unimpressive. It's not bad, but it just isn't good.

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Photo of mdunman
2.82/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Love the appearance of a well poured Guinness Draught. Black with rippling brown waves and a full tan head.

S: Light roasted malt and some caramel, not much overall

T: Water seems to be the most prevalent flavor here, with some light roasted malt and not even much dryness at the end.

M: Medium body with good carbonation.

Overall, this beer simply doesn't live up to the hype that it gets. Lots of attention and a fantastic appearance, but the smell and taste don't do it justice.

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Photo of Orrshow
2.82/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - Pours black with a centimeter of light tan head which appears creamy. When poured from the nitro can there is an interesting effect as the bubbles move all about the glass and eventually settle to the top. This one leaves lacing all over the glass.

Smell - Not strong at all. Roasted malts present there. Somewhat sweet. This was very difficult to decipher.

Taste - A weak smoky flavor touches the tongue with very slight hints of chocolate. Ends bitter...but not that bitter. This beer lacks flavor and tastes almost watery.

Mouthfeel - Creamy for sure but at the same time somewhat watery. The carbonation is very low Needs a lot more body.

Drinkability - I find Guinness easy to drink. The lack of bite to it makes it easy to down but takes away from the enjoyment significantly.

I don’t plan to buy Guinness in stores any time in the near future.

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Photo of BierFan
2.82/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 14.9 ounce nitro-can into a pint glass.

It's hard to knock the appearance of the beer. That creamy two finger nitro head looks damn sexy. Unfortunately from there it's all down hill. The smell and taste are very tame and watered down. Only a slight chalky roastiness to it.

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Photo of scooter231
2.82/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Dark, dark brown color. Funny, I recall when Guinness was black- like, no light escaping black. Hrm. Pours a gorgeous tan head though. No lacing, though.
Smell is lovely- sweet malts, some roastedness, a hint of caramel. Taste is not nearly as deep. In fact, it's downright lacking. Bitter, but not bitter enough. Slightly roasted. Something reminds me of soy, as well. Almost seems salty. I don't know, I'm just not digging it.
Mouthfeel is watery, not that creamy, and pretty boring.
Fairly drinkable, but on the whole, I'm no longer impressed with this Guinness. Not giving up hope, though.

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Photo of csiewert
2.82/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I don't know why I really need to explain this much but here goes... Pours black with the awesome waterfall o bubbles that everyone is used to. There is also a finger of thick off-white foamy head which you can make pretty designs with. The aroma is basically confined to some burnt malts... But not very apparent. The taste starts with some chocolately malts and then pretty much ends there... But a little bIttermess thrown in for good measure. There is also a metallic aftertaste I do not enjoy. The beer finishes smooth but I have never ever been able to get drunk off it. If you're ordering a carbomb, this is the beer to go with.

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Photo of Joshio
2.82/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 3

I have been looking for a beer that has the roasted quality of this one. I have been craving something like this in my head, but without ever having tasted anything that got close. After my first sip, I said aloud "I have finally found it". Unfortunately, I had changed my mind a few sips later.

Sure, the roastiness is superb. Yes, the coffee notes are delicious. And it is also the best looking beer that I have ever laid my eyes on.
Eventually, I noticed that there is a metallic wing to it at the finish. Not pleasant at all. Secondly, the beer is far too watery. If it had more body, a tad more bitterness, and if the metal taste was taken away it would be my go-to beer.

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Photo of travis3113
2.82/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

My very first drink of a draught beer and I have to say I wasn't impressed. Appearance was quite enticing, and it poured nicely, other than the oversize head. Speaking of which, it was very creamy looking with very tiny bubbles, if any at all. The beer itself is very dark, and smells of roasted chocolate. My first drink was actually quite tasty, but every one after all i could get was the bitterness, which isn't pleasant at all. All in all, there are better stouts and draughts out there.

 492 characters

Photo of IronCitySteve
2.82/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a viscous dark brown almost black color. Provides a thick 2 finger off white foam head. There was some spotty lacing.

S: There is some mild chocolate and earthy hops. Not much else going on here. Rather unimpressive.

T: Starts and ends the same way from beginning to end. Some chocolate, burnt coffee, vanilla and roasted barley. Not overly complex but with a decent amount of flavors.

M: Slightly slick and creamy. Not as dry on the palate as expected.

O: This is a decent representation of the style. It is better on tap then from the can. Not my first choice of brew for this style, but it is somewhat enjoyable in a pinch.

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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.

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Photo of Dbrown144
2.82/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

A: One of the better looking beers. A very dark ruby color, almost black. Had an impressive foam head which rose up quickly.

S: Not much of a smell really. Has a faint smell similar to that of pale lagers. Bready, maybe.

T: The flavor is fairly weak. Only flavor I can really detect is light roasted malt.

M: Really really watery and slippery.

O: Definitely not one of my favorites, but I wouldn't turn one down if someone else was buying.

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Photo of DerekP
2.81/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I poured the bottle into a nonic pint glass, appropriately.

Looks black with the typical nougat head.

Smells like a mild stout: coffee, roasted malts, far, far away.

Tastes like it's been intentionally watered down to make a MGD 64 drinker feel like they are branching out.

It literally feels like a glass of water.

This is a truly disappointing stout. I watched the "Historic Pubs of Dublin" PBS special today (again) and was inspired to have a good stout or a Guinness. A sad, sad night.

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Photo of alleykatking
2.81/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle.

A- Pours out a dark dark brown color. Almost black but night quite there. 2 finger creamy mocha white head that just sits there forever. Lacing is all over the sides of the glass. It's actually more like layers upon layers of lacing with this one. Almost a little too over the top.

S- Big roasted malts in this one. Some maybe chocolate light undertones here and there. Nothing else really going on. Just alot of roasted malts coming through and nothing else. Very one sided.

T- Very watery taste right off the bat. Light chocolate upfront with taste but that is stopped with a roasted flavor that sticks through the whole rest of the beer. The flavor like the aroma is just one sided. A watery one sided taste at that!

M- This has a heavy mouthfeel to it. Carbonation is there but not really doing anything for the stout itself. Creamy and watery feeling at the same time....it's weird to explain. Just sits there on the palate and needs a push to help it down. Leaves a roasted taste in the mouth. Mostly clean aftertaste of burnt malts. Nothing more nothing less.

D- This has some drinkability to it. I would be more than happy to kill a couple of pints of this if it is the only thing around to drink. Not my favorite stout by any means but is something I could enjoy with my non-craft friends.

-On a side note I remember the first time I had Guinness I just turned 21 and caught the Cramps play in Chicago at the Vic. I had like 5 of them because that's all I saw people drinking. Then I found out they also served Old Style. I switched to Old Style....bad idea. It was 85 degrees in there and I was wearing a leather jacket. Upon going outside I went on the Red Line and on the Chicago Street exit I blew Old Stlye and Guinness over the cement and bench in front of me. People just stepped over it like it wasn't a big deal. Oh the memories!

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Photo of jadpsu
2.81/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark brown to black with a creamy foamy head that has really good retention and terrific side glass lacing. From that point on it was pretty much down hill.
Aroma, is of roasty sweet malts, with some caramel, and or molasses and a tinge of coffee.
Taste, is really watery, with no body, which is exactly what you get for the mouthfeel category or lack of it.
Very disappointing product by Guinness.

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Photo of jdubjacket
2.81/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Overrated beer at its finest. Unfortunately, the best part of this beer is its appearance. I could pour these all day...and then not drink them.

Smell is bits of coffee. Mostly unremarkable.

Taste is not that good. The first time I had a Guinness, I thought it was a pretty solid beer. After I had "real" beers, I had another Guinness and was not impressed. Tastes like it smells - like coffee lite. Aside from that, the taste, like the smell, is unremarkable

Mouthfeel is borderline watery.

Drinkability is not that below average since the beer is filling and not that tasty as it turns out.

Try the extra draught. It's much better.

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Photo of Arithmeticus
2.81/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured chilled in tall lager glass

A: solid black; three-finger head, very creamy;
S: light aroma of dark-roasted malt
T: as a stout, this is subpar, very watery and thin-bodied; sweet and little hop presence
M: very smooth and silky; Guinness has their carb technique down perfectly

OK for a session beer, but it's not something you want to reflect on.

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Photo of HockeytownBrew
2.81/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Motor oil black with the famed, creamy head. I have to say, sipping the head was the best part.

S: Roasted malt. Faint hits of coffee and nuts.

T: Even more roasted malt flavor, almost burnt. As with the scent, notes of coffee and nuts are present.

M: Medium to high mouthfeel. Smooth.

D: It wouldn't be hard to drink a few of these. Obviously not a brew meant to have a good time with, but still.

Overall, I was not particularly impressed.

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Photo of mrandypandy
2.81/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

11.2oz nitrogen-widget bottle left at my house by a friend. Time to clear some space in the fridge.

A- Pours a clear, dark brown/amber. Almost black. Standard Guinness cascading head on pour settles into a thick mocha head. Good lacing.
S- Minimal aroma. Muted roasted notes, but not much.
T- Just like the aroma, minimal. Weak grainy and roasted notes. Like a standard, watered down stout.
M - Thin, watery, weak body. Almost chalky.
D- Medium. On one hand the light body makes this an easy drink, yet the lack of flavor or complexity makes me not want to go back for more.

Overall - Nothing to write home about. Not a bad beer, but certainly nothing special. A very light, dry, watery sout.

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Guinness Draught from Guinness Ltd.
79 out of 100 based on 2,189 ratings.
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