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Bottled Guinness

A blasphemy? Has anyone tried this? I can't imagine having one that isn't drawn seconds before I drink it? Maybe I just want the visual experience.

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  1. Maybe you were underage when nitro taps became ubiquitous. ;-)

    Not to mention that the foreign extra version (think Russian imperial stout) that's available outside the US really rocks.

    1. Just to clarify- the traditional bottled Guinness Extra Stout is a different animal than the draft beer. Within the past decade they have also introduced another bottled product which is the lower gravity 'draft' beer with a nitro widget, essentially the same as the can.

      I can't say I really see the point of the packaging if one is going to pour it into a glass anyway, which...well...c'mon...they don't expect us to drink their beer out of the bottle, do they??? (Judging by the latest commercials, apparently they do ;) )

      7 Replies
      1. re: TongoRad

        I must say I like the extra stout better than even Guiness draft. While most groceries have both types many bars only have guiness draught in the bottle. I also make sure I clarify

        1. re: quazi

          I found a great recipe in Choclatier magazine a few years ago for Guinness brownies that calls for the extra stout. I make them every year for St. Patrick's Day and bring them into the office.

          They're evil-good little squares.

          1. re: brattenheimer

            Would you mind sharing that recipe? I've been looking for a good Guinness brownies recipe...

              1. re: luv2bake

                This looks pretty similar. I'll dig out my recipe later on this evening and post it as well.

            1. re: quazi

              i completely agree that the EXTRA STOUT in a bottle which just so happens to be widely available in most bodegas around NYC, is far superior to even tap guinness. well, its a different animal entirely, i guess i should say. apples and oranges. i love draught guinness of course. started me on beer appreciation. BUT, the extra something in the extra stout is just sooo good. now, i only wish they would do the widget bottle-thing with the extra stout brew. this way i could get my desired nitrogen-bubbled head WITH the exquisite flavor of the extra stout.

          2. When you raise that glass of bottled Guinness to make a toast be sure to include the land of the maple leaf, where it was made.

            8 Replies
            1. re: BluPlateSpec

              That would be true for extra stout, but I believe all the draught Guinness (keg, bottle and can) in the US market comes out of Ireland.

              1. re: Jim Dorsch

                Correct. Kegs, cans & widget bottles for North America are all brewed in Ireland (according to the official company line, at least), while the bottled Extra Stout is brewed over here. Specifically, the Extra Stout sold in the US is brewed in Canada by Moosehead, while the stuff sold in Canada is brewed by Labatt.

                Anyway, both versions pale in comparison to the Extra Stout and Foreign Extra Stout versions available in other countries. The Caribbean FES version is especially nice - 7.5%, thick brown-black, big and roasty with a nice sourness in the finish - mmmmm!

                1. re: gregclow

                  damn!!! so the caribbeaners have an even better extra stout??? an extra-extra stout as it were....have to go over to orbitz...

                  1. re: gregclow

                    YES THEY DO! And it makes me miss those Irish gates to the factory even more... I was at the Dublin Guinness factory for last St. Pat's and got to tour the facility and each level had tastings for each of the different beers brewed by Guinness (along with some tasty lil' oysters - hmmm I WONDER what they were trying to hint at with getting drunk and easting oysters?!). But every single specialty stouts that they brew for the foreign countries were sooooooo yummy and NONE of them are sold overseas. In fact, it also became obvious to us during the tour (and during other tastings of the draught available throughout the UK) that the draught, both cans and widgets, that make it to the US are not all made in Ireland. In fact, very few products from the actual breweries in Ireland make it to the US.... many fewer than North American bars and restaurants would like you to believe. The key to knowing - ALWAYS check the label on your can/ bottle. I think you'll find most of them state the product as being bottled in Canada. Sometimes, the better Irish pubs here get the real stuff in kegs, but I think they are only a select few... I could be wrong. Yet, I'm betting I'm right because every Guinness I've had here somehow tastes like feet....!

                    1. re: raharris

                      "... every single specialty stouts that they brew for the foreign countries ... and NONE of them are sold overseas."

                      Huh? <g>

                      " In fact, it also became obvious to us during the tour (and during other tastings of the draught available throughout the UK) that the draught, both cans and widgets, that make it to the US are not all made in Ireland. >snip< The key to knowing - ALWAYS check the label on your can/ bottle. I think you'll find most of them state the product as being bottled in Canada."

                      Every can, bottle and keg of Guinness Draught that I've ever seen in the US is clearly labeled as being from Ireland, and, currently, every bottle of
                      Guinness Extra Stout in the US that I see is currently labeled as being
                      brewed in New Brunswick, Canada (Moosehead). (Reportedly, the Labatt brewed version is still available in Canada. The US used to get that version, when the Irish brewed GES disappeared sometime in the past decade or so.)

                      Are you basing your claim, which contradicts every other fact based report,
                      including many posts in this thread, merely on what the beer *tasted* like in the British Isles? Were you told or did you see evidence of Canadian made Guinness Draught? (Most beer writers note that Guinness Draught in kegs for the US market *is* flash pasteurized, unlike those in Ireland. The bottles and cans also note "pasteurized").

                      Have anyone EVER seen a can, bottle or keg of Guinness Draught (NOT GES) sold in the US that said "Brewed in Canada" on it?

                      Is it really possible, given the three tier system in the US, that Diageo-Guinness USA (the subsidiary that imports the brand into the US) secretly sends two different versions, Irish and Canadian, of the same beer to distributors, who then sell one version to "a select few" establishments, and the inferior versions to everyone else?

                      1. re: JessKidden

                        JessKidden=beer genius...would you do a vulcan mind meld with me sometime so I can have your knowledge?

                        Just curious. Always look forward to your posts about the beer business.

                2. re: BluPlateSpec

                  Hi, I can tell you that ALL bottled Guinness Extra Stout is brewed in Dublin, Ireland.
                  I drink 20 - 30 1/2 litre bottles every week and it really is good for me!

                  Question - Where in Melbourne, Fla can bottled Guinness Extra Stout be purchased?

                  Thanks - Chris.

                  1. re: sunofabeach41249

                    "Hi, I can tell you that ALL bottled Guinness Extra Stout is brewed in Dublin, Ireland."

                    So, how do you explain these labels that are affixed to bottles of Guinness Extra Stout sold in the USA?


                3. I'm a big fan of the extra stout, a huge fan.

                  1. The problem w/ most non-Irish bars here in the U.S. is that it's difficult to get a properly-calibrated Guinness from draft. Which is why it's almost better to get it from the can or the bottle (w/ nitro thingy) to get a proper pour.

                    In Ireland, pubs have the luxury/option to be a Licensed Seller - which basically means that someone working for St. James' Gate comes to make sure your draft is pouring properly.

                    I love Guinness. Spent about four hours at their museum/factory last March.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: brattenheimer

                      I've been to a number of supposed Irish bars that sold dreadful nitro-tap Guinness from funky, uncleaned lines. Just because a bar has an Irish name, doesn't mean the owners give a rats ass about the quality of what they're pouring.

                      1. re: braineater

                        Good point and it's not as complicated as it's often made out . . . the simple rule of thumb for pouring Guinness is that the shorter the line from the keg to the tap, the better chance of a smooth and even pour for the pint.

                        Ideally, the kegs are situated right under the taps. Many bars in the US (and maybe elsewhere too, I don't know) have their taps on the bar and the kegs under or behind the back bar . . . just that length of line, 15 feet or so from the tap to the keg, can make trouble for Guinness. Because of its "weight", it doesn't do well sitting in the line, waiting for the next pint to be drawn . . . when it sits in the line, it "settles", then when the tap is drawn again, it stirs, then it stops again, etc etc

                      2. re: brattenheimer

                        ME TOO! One of my guy friends and I actually went around reading (and of course nabbing as much of the free high gravity exports as possible) all the factoids... meanwhile our friends went almost immediately up to the fourth flour! We all made sure to take our turn to pour our "perfect pints." I still have my "certificate" from there! YUMMY memories.

                      3. Guiness is to great stout as a Yugo is to great cars :)

                        Try a Victory Storm King, Bells Expedition, North Coast Old Rasputin, Great Divide Yeti, or Arcadia Imperial and you'll never willingly drink another Guiness

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: Chicago Mike

                          I hear you but that might be comparing apples to oranges. The beers that you've mentioned are all Imperial Stouts. Guiness on the other hand is a Irish Stout and thus a session beer (at around 4.0% abv). So yes if I had a craving for an Imperial Stout I definitely wouldn't choose Guiness. Now, where does Guiness rate among Irish Stouts? I'm more of a Beamish guy myself; leaner, less sugar and a bit more interesting than Guiness IMHO.

                          1. re: Chinon00

                            Is that all guiness is... 4% abv ?? I would have guessed higher.

                            Most of the imperials are in the 8%+ range... WorldWide Stout goes up to around 18% and tastes like a port.

                            1. re: Chicago Mike

                              No, Guinness is deceptively low in alcohol, despite its reputation. It is, as Chinon00 says, useful as a session beer because of that. In fact, Guinness ran commercials last year pointing out that a pint of Guinness only has 125 calories! (I *think* that's the number, I may be misremembering.)

                              So anyway, yeah: it's not a fair comparison.

                              1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                yes, youre totally correct. i think its just the black color that for many years belonged solely to guinness here in the US. i mean, black beers (be they stouts, porters, imperials, even brown ales) werent WIDELY known here in the states during the 80s. its only recently with the beervolution here yknow? anyway, guinness isnt strong at all. total session beer. 6-7 pints and youll still bewalking. crooked maybe,but functioning. same amount of somethin glike Old Heathen Imperial and youll be comatosed. sleeping. feeling like absolute huddah next day.

                            2. re: Chinon00

                              I prefer Beamish over Guiness as well, but a pint of well poured Guiness is still a treat, especially the stuff made for the Irish market. Guiness gets a lot of flack from beer geeks, but I actually like it. While I love Imperial stouts, I am not always in the mood to get real drunk, a few of those and its lights outs. Guiness, you can drink all day long.

                              When I lived in Prague, I drank alot of Guiness at the Irish Pubs over there. I am not sure what type of Guiness they served(as they have different recipes for different markets) but it was excellent.

                          2. I find the draught in the widget cans and bottles to taste much like a well-poured pint, but a little "thinner", but still tastes good to me. The older bottled version (extra-stout?) tastes quite a bit different, not as good for me but I know guys who like it.

                            1. If you've never had a Guiness in Ireland you've got nothing to compare to....they definitely don't ship the 'real deal' out of Ireland.

                              8 Replies
                              1. re: jbyoga

                                That's a hard claim to make. Do you watch them? Do you think they're lying? Is it possible that the transatlantic shipping lowers the quality in some way? very likely. That said... I've only had guinness pulled in Ireland, never here in the U.S. Am I in for a dissapointment?

                                1. re: amkirkland

                                  Hard claim to make I know...but ....drank my share both here and in Ireland and it is soooo different....and not in a good way - still a quality product for sure but in Ireland it is soooooooooo delicious and here it always seems a bit off.

                                  Plus - some Irish expats living in the states concur.....for what it's worth.

                                  When drinking in the states I like to stick with fresh, quality local brews....

                                  hope that helps!

                                  1. re: jbyoga

                                    Well, the drafts i had in dublin were mind opening experiences. the bottles I've had here have been... well... seawater. Is it pretty much a crapshoot whether I'm going to get a good draw in the states?

                                    1. re: amkirkland

                                      i agree-- the best drink ever for me was the guinness at the brewery in dublin. completely unforgettable. when i got back to the states i couldn't drink a pint of guinness for years because it was so disappointing compared to what i remembered from that dreary gray morning, 10 am drinking stemmed glasses of guinness poured by a little 4 ft tall old lady, served on an ancient, cold marble bar! what a wonderful day! i drink guinness now occasionally, when the pour looks right. it is NOT the same animal as across the puddle. there is a reason the stuff is legend of prose & verse!

                                  2. re: amkirkland

                                    It's true that some pubs in the States simply don't know what a good pint of Guinness is supposed to taste and look like - either the temperature is all wrong, the gas mixture is off, the pour is terrible, but some pubs do a pretty decent job or pouring a nice pint of Guinness. Now it's been a while since I lived in England and would have Guinness every day, so perhaps my memory fails me, but I've had some pints here in the States at some good Irish pubs that pour a very good pint that's pretty close to the real deal. On the other hand, I've also had countless terrible pints... so it just depends on where you are and if there's a significant population of expats living in the area who know what a good pint should taste like, thereby increasing the chances that there will be a pub with good Guinness.

                                  3. re: jbyoga

                                    I've seen a few posts on beer boards claiming that the locals in Ireland prefer Murphy's over Guinness. I prefer Murphy's over Guinness, since I think it is smoother. I found Guinness to have more of an aftertaste, but that's just my opinion. They're both good beers. I prefer Young's double chocolate stout over both of them

                                    1. re: buffetking

                                      Sorry buffetking, it's not even close. Budweiser even outsells Murphy's by a wide margin country-wide. If a pub sells two stouts the "other" is usually Murphy's but the only section of the country were it's really strong is in The Southwest, i.e. Kerry and in Cork, where it originates. Beamish tends to be the "other" in The North, again, where it originates.

                                      1. re: Harp00n

                                        Thanks for the info. I'm disappointed to learn that Budweiser is also a top seller in Ireland. I thought they would have better taste in beer than most Americans. Bud is a cheap way to get wasted, but I no longer drink to get drunk.

                                  4. Just this weekend, I bought a four-pack of bottled Guiness, just for a change of pace. I cannot say that it was bad, but it wasn't close to the draft animal, which is available in one pub I know of here in Plzen. But all in all, still a pretty good product, and very tasty when you make a Black Czech, which is a Black and Tan using Pilsner Urquell...

                                    1. For an Irish Dry Stout, I would personally reccomend Sea Side Stout from Port Brewing in San diego. If anyone is in the area and has a chance to try it, please do so. It is excellent.

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: MVNYC

                                        O'Hara's from Ireland is a nice one, and Mark Thompson brews an excellent dry stout at Starr Hill, Charlottesville, VA. Mark has won medals for this style at several breweries around the US.

                                        1. re: Jim Dorsch

                                          O' Hara's Celtic Stout from Carlow is, IMO, the best of the Irish dry stouts followed in order by: Beamish, Guinness, Murphy's and, finally, Cafferty's. And yes, I've quaffed more that a few Guinness at The Mothership's Gravity Bar in Dublin. The best I've ever had from The States is Cadillac Mountain Stout but good luck finding it outside of Maine.

                                          1. re: Harp00n

                                            Cadillac Mountain, eh Findable in Bangor/Bar Harbor, right...how about York, etc Never hadit. Sounds good

                                            1. re: onlytwomuses

                                              Sorry for the ridiculously late reply, but I just saw this. Tully's Beer & Wine on Route 1 in Wells, Me. used to carry Cadillac Mountain and probably still does.
                                              They're the best source for hops & malt in the State-O-Maine.

                                              Here's their link; http://www.tullysbeerandwine.com/

                                      2. The bottled stuff is an abomination. It's a great idea, I'd love to have Guinness in my home on a regular basis, but I'd rather drink wine than that thing with the widget in it.

                                        If it's not from a tap, it's not the same. I'd rather wait until the next time I'm at a bar with wonderful tap Guinness. The stuff from the tap is so heavenly good that is becomes its own food group. Its even better than my homebrew.

                                        1. One last (well, "last" is wishful thinking when it comes to the Guinness stout(s) and it's many legends, myths & rumors) ...one more note on Guinness brands in the US.

                                          The Guinness website has separate pages for most every country it's sold in. For awhile, the wording of the entries for, say, Guinness Extra Stout would be ever so slightly different re: the Irish origin of the beer from country to country. I no longer have access to the old wording (one of the difficult things about research via the net vs. the printed page) but one country's entry might say "brewed at the St. James Gate brewery " and another might have said "brewed as it is at St. James Gate...".

                                          So, I was surprised to see that, point blank, the current US page' FAQ says:

                                          "All the GUINNESS® sold in the UK, Ireland and North America is brewed in Ireland at the historic St. James’s Gate Brewery in Dublin."

                                          Last question- http://www.guinness.com/us_en/bottomn...

                                          Now, while some claim that some kegs, cans and bottles of Guinness Draught in the US comes from Canada (and, I think it's safe to say that there's no reports of anyone actually SEEING those), we all (those of us who read labels, at least) KNOW that the Guinness EXTRA STOUT in the US is plainly labeled "New Brunswick, Canada" (Moosehead) and previously was from Labatt. So, this rather blanket mis-statement on the official Guinness USA website is well... let's say "perplexing". (I'd say misleading and or a lie but...).

                                          So, I sent an e-mail to them and asked why they state that all Guinness in North America is brewed in Ireland when the labels on GES show Canada. And they actually responded, with:

                                          "Please note that Guinness Extra Stout can be brewed in Canada, in New
                                          Brunswick. We do apologize for the conflicting information. We do thank you
                                          for bringing your concern to our attention..."

                                          Now, isn't that strange way to word it? "Can be brewed in Canada", not "is brewed in Canada" or something more definite? "Can" seems to imply that some US GES might come from Ireland (I've haven't seen it in the past decade ever since the arrival of Labatt's version on the East Coast, but I've read West Coast people state that the GES they get is from Molson or Kankakee (a Labatt brewery). But, the point is- why not just say, plainly, "Guinness Extra Stout in the US *is* brewed in..."

                                          In another thread ("Corned Beef and Cabbage"), we discussed the fact that many "imported" brands are contract brews coming from Canada, not their true "home". "Braineater" correctly noted that most people don't care and that it also means that the beers in question are subject to less travel and time in transit so, in theory, should be fresher and in better shape. I agree, altho', must note that even if that IS the case, brewers continue to be secretive and shady about it, as shown in the example above, rather than being upfront and boasting of the freshness and true-to-tradition contract beer.

                                          I also think that if one tells someone drinking Fosters, Guinness, Harp, Sapporo, Kirin, etc., that the beer is NOT from Australia, Ireland or Japan, they often DO care. (Be careful, tho'- if you tell them before the bottle is empty, they'll turn it on it's side to read the label and get a lapful of cold beer. Suddenly YOU'RE to blame, not the contract brewery! )

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: JessKidden

                                            I seem to recall reading that all of the Guinness products, no matter where they are brewed, contain what they call 'essence', all of which comes from the St James Gate brewery (sort of like adding porterine to darken up a lighter beer). Perhaps, in order to be more accurate they should say "Some portion of all the GUINNESS® sold in the UK, Ireland and North America is brewed in Ireland at the historic St. James’s Gate Brewery in Dublin." ;)

                                            1. re: TongoRad

                                              Yeah, I love the sound of that "additive"- "Guinness Essence". A co-worker once brought me back a chocolate bar from Ireland with the stuff in it. I keep waiting from Diageo to merge with Proctor & Gamble or some other company like that so that we might one day see "Essence of Guinness" aftershave, mouthwash, shampoo and deodorant. Maybe even a bar soap to compete with "Irish Spring".

                                              (You know, I very seldom drink Guinness- maybe in a Irish bar or if there's nothing but BMC on tap in some restaurant. But all the "myths" around it fascinate me, in an annoying way...<g>).

                                              1. re: TongoRad

                                                Hmmmm...could "essence" be that part of the brew that adds the characteristic sour "tang" that Guiness has? It could be the reason that unlike other similar licensing situations, the Extra stout sold to us here in the states that originates in Canada tastes, well, like Guiness.

                                                Either way, Guiness always was and remains the benchmark for "stout".
                                                As far as I'm concerned, other brands are riffing on the original melody. That can be either good OR bad.