Heaven’s! Another Guinness Stout?
This one describes itself as ‘The Original’ and I confess to getting a little confused by all these Guinness porters.
The label reads “If you were in a pub sometime between 1821 and 1970, chances are this is the Guinness you would have been drinking. Originally brewed as the XX version of our Porter.”
Nicola Parry – Marketing Manager for Guinness Western Europe commented: “…it was Guinness Original that really put us on the map, helping us develop into the iconic brand that we are today.”
Interestingly, an analysis of Guinness XX Porter in 1861 (republished here) suggests that the original ‘Original’ was brewed to a little over 5.6% ABV, rather than this 4.4% offering.
Ah well, let’s give it a try.
Well there’s no real surprise in the pour, dark, bible black with a ‘loose’ Mocha coloured head; there’s no noticeable lacing.
The nose is a little disappointing, too, yes there’s mocha coffee in there, but not enough to entice.
Flavour-wise it’s dry, with a hint of mocha in the taste, along, bizarrely, with blackcurrant.
The mouth feel is loose, there’s not enough body, it needs to be, umm, chewier.
This just feels like Guinness that’s been watered down. If I had, as the bottle suggests, ordered this in a pub in the sixties, then I doubt I’d have ordered it again.
All in all, and having tasted some six Guinness brews over the last few months, I would go for the Foreign Export Stout every time. If, as seems likely, you find yourself, in your local store or brewmonger, faced with a shelf of Guinness brews, then the ‘Foreign Export’ or ‘West India Porter’ are the ones to go for, they’re the real deal.
They might not be the cheapest, but in terms of flavour, mouth-feel or potency, it gives you the biggest bang for your buck.