Let's face it - there's no escaping the Guinness machine on St. Patrick's Day. The entire population of the United States makes it's way to Temple Bar for pint of the stuff, and it's reputation as the unofficial drink of the nation seems untouchable. All in all it's very easy to resent, especially when the drink on offer is usually Guinness Draught, one of the blandest pints you'll ever have.
Safe to say I was determined to avoid the big G on March the 17th just out of principle.
However, when I saw we got some of the classic pint bottles of Extra Stout at work, I couldn't resist the novelty factor.
Guinness Extra Stout pours like a nice black with a tan head, like any other good stout. Honestly, I don't know why people don't go for this over the nitro stuff. The aroma is subdued, but produces some nice fruity notes along with the usual roasted malt character. This is more or less the same on the taste, with dark roasted grain and coffee flavours complimenting a light bitterness at the finish.
Tasty and drinkable, but then you already knew that.
This one comes third in the hierarchy of Guinness stouts, after the Special Export and Foreign Extra, and before the Draught in last place. It's well worth a go, and always a reliable one. If you're ever in a supermarket with a craft beer drought, this will do a good job.