I thought I’d finish up the five days of St. Patrick’s Day madness with the king of Irish beers – Guinness. The beer itself comes in a gleaming black can with the instantly recognizable harp logo on the outside and a clever nitrogen widget hiding within. Many people don’t know it but the fine folks at Guinness actually invented the nitrogen widget. They did this so that the beers they sold in stores would match the quality of their beers when served in the pub. A brilliant concept – beautifully executed.

When pouring a pint of Guinness Draught, the widget instantly turns the beer into an inviting tan froth. As the nitrogen starts to dissipate, the deep dark color of this beer is revealed. This beer is black. I’m talking trapped in a cave dark here. Even when held up to the light I am unable to see my fingers on the other side of the glass. To quote Keenau Reeves, “Whoa!” The beer is topped by a smooth white head, about 1 finger high, that leaves nice lacing on the glass as you drink it.

The smell is very nice; with an initial hit of roasted grains fading into an almost earthy undertone. Chanel take note, if you make a perfume that smells like this, it will drive men wild.

The taste is extraordinarily well balanced. The dark malt conjures the taste of roasted espresso beans combined with a note of toffee giving it an unexpected sweetness. Their is a very light after note of hops which dries your mouth and leaves you wanting more. This beer is not as creamy as the Wexford, nor as watery as the Murphy’s, but rather straddles the line between them comfortably and offers a truly excellent mouthful.

Despite its dark color, the beer is noted for having less calories than Budweiser. Lesser well known is the fact that it also has slightly less alcohol, tipping the scales at just 4%. This makes the decision to have another a no-brainer. In fact, why not stock up – there are more recipes that call for Guinness than for any other beer I can think of. In fact, here’s one for a chocolate cake that is fantastic. Enjoy!

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