Originally Posted by CanadaSteep
Harp's not good? Gotta contest that!
My opinion is based on the draught lager we get on this side of the Atlantic. What you get in Canada may be different.
The two Guinness at 8 % :-
1) This is the famous and relatively rare Belgian Guinness, bottled specially for John Martin
A very dark, almost black beer with faint ruby highlights and an astonishingly deep, bitter, roasty and fruity nose.
Texture is smooth and silky yielding a deeply complex and balanced taste of roast barley, vine fruits, currants, liquorice and evident alcohol. The beer is very dry and bitter which disguises the hefty alcohol fairly well, leading to a surprisingly clean bitter and dry finish.Conclusion:
A beer for the discerning drinker. Make no mistake this is not an easy drink. The bitterness and roastiness are very strong and not to everyone's liking but this is class. Complex and rewarding.
2) Guinness has three outposts in Nigeria: this example was from Ikeja. Working 'under close supervision' of the St James Gate brewery, they produce a blend of a light local beer (bottom fermenting?) with a stronger liquid brewed locally using concentrate sent from Dublin which bears more than a passing resemblance to Foreign Extra Stout. The result isn't half bad, not only stronger but much more complex and interesting than the rather dull 'Original' that's become the standard-issue bottled Guinness in mainland Britain. It's widely available from local shops in places with a significant West African population and the bottle even wears on its neck the classic slogan "Guinness is Good For You", long since banned in countries with more delicate sensibilites. The contents has a pronounced creamy, estery aroma of banana and solvents, a full burnt malt palate with some refreshing citric fruit and faint horse blanket notes (the residue, perhaps, of the Brettanomyces
that inhabits St James Gate's legendary wooden maturing vessels), and a very fresh mouthfeel for its strength. There are lingering delicate hops, bitter chocolate and ash in a pleasingly long finish. If only they'd bottle condition a beer of this complexity.