Daily beer project

Beer #5: Guiness

Posted in Imports, Macrobrews by dailybeerproject on January 18, 2010

Guiness is really bitter. Which is unfortunate, because if I could just get past the bitterness, it would be really, really good. I liked the flavor of the Guiness and the way it felt in my mouth the best of anything I’ve tried so far. But then the aftertaste would hit me, and it would overpower the pleasantness of what I’d just tasted.

Had I tried Guiness as my first beer, however, I’m certain I would have found it to be more bitter still than I did tonight, and I likely would not have been able to finish it. This gives me some hope that I’ll come to the point where I don’t notice the bitterness at all anymore. And since I’m only on day 5 of 30, I’ve got plenty of time. I’ll try a porter later in the project to see whether things have changed.

My experience with Guiness also suggested that beer malt and coffee beans have similar responses to roasting. Lighter coffee roasts have more acidity and less bitterness than darker roasts. As the beans are roasted longer, they lose acidity while simultaneously gaining both sweetness and bitterness. Stouts such as Guiness are made from malts that have been roasted longer, and I noticed it tasted less sour than the other beers I’ve tried, but the flavor was also more full (though I wouldn’t say sweeter) and more bitter. I’m not saying that light versus dark is better or worse in coffee or beer–I think it just depends on my mood, as both have their appeal.

Summary thoughts: I hope I’m able to overcome my aversion to the bitterness, because I can see myself really enjoying stouts (and I assume porters) if I ever get to a point where they don’t taste bitter to me. The flavor before the bitterness hit was delightful. Since the bitterness I taste in beer is identical to the bitterness I taste in brussels sprouts, I’m sure my wife would be thrilled if I overcame my aversion to it, and we’d start having brussels sprouts with dinner more than once every five years.

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3 Responses

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  1. etiberius said, on January 18, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    Guinness- If I recall, is categorically speaking a Dry Irish Stout- and the dryness doesn’t really allow for much sweetness to counteract the bitterness you picked up from the toasted/roasted malts. You might try a sweet stout or a milk stout that may have an easier to handle level of bitterness.

    While I haven’t had it in a while, you might try Left Hand Milk Stout http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/418/3434

  2. Mike said, on January 18, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    One thing that may interest you is the difference in can/bottle beer and draught. I, for one, can barely tolerate a Guinness out of a can or bottle but love it out of a tap.

  3. My Grandparents' Kitchen said, on March 14, 2011 at 11:34 am

    “Once, during Prohibition, I was forced to live for days on nothing but food and water.”
    -W.C. Fields


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