CONFESSION: i'm not a big guinness fan. well, i'm not a fan of their regular irish stout, particularly the kind that sells on tap at every dedgum bar and grill from here to timbuktu. i don't like the stuff. guinness on tap tastes like a good stout that got watered down. i am, however, quite a big fan of the guinness extra stout, the one that sells without the little nitrogen widget, but that's a different post.
so the story goes that tonight i'm waltzing around the liquor store with two smokin' black women - my wife and our dear friend leida, in from saint louis for latonya's birfday - and all the white dudes in the store are craning their necks and saying, "damn! what kinda karma is that dude pulling to be with them?" and leida's buying lambic. and latonya's buying sweet tea flavored vodka. and i found sixers of new belgium's mighty arrow on for $5 so i nearly pee myself.
then i found a bottle of this guinness 250th anniversary stout. poured in a small taster glass, i'm seeing a stout that is phenomenally darker in appearance than the regular guinness. with carbonation decreased (by the lack of a widget), the blackness sits heavy in the glass, allowing a small purplish cola-tinted ring of light at the bottom and near the top of the glass. the aroma tells of deeply roasted malts with small hints of coffee. nothing sweet rears in the aroma - no anise or caramel, no cocoa or even raisin: just small coffee notes and a heavy malt burn. smells more like bread than beverage. the aroma does not rightly prepare the palate for the depth of flavor. again, nothing spectacular or specific stands out in the palate or the mouthfeel, just the roast of dark barley and slightly smokey grains. that's all. this is a good stout if you like the flavor of ashes. honestly, after developing a passion for the russian imperial stout, what with all her complexities of warring sweets and stringencies, this guinness 250th anniversary pales in comparison to the new possibilities i know of stouts.
overall verdict: guinness 250, while way better than guinness draught, doesn't hold a candle to guinness extra stout or, especially, american craft stouts. the typical argument goes that, since the irish invented stouts, guinness is the consummate stout. well, fine then. drink all the guinness you want, me lad. but, as for the me and my palate, i will bask in the dark and sinister russky imperial stouts of america
and also dreamy black women.