Guinness Foreign Extra Stout

Total Score: 6.9/10 Earth1 Barley1 Coffee1 Nonicpint1

Time for me to review the best beer to ever come out of Nigeria “Wait… what?!” I hear you say: “I thought that Guinness was an Irish beer?!” You’re right – but this is Guinness Foreign Extra Stout – a beer that is synonymous with and brewed in Nigeria. As far as I can tell (and I’m happy to be corrected by anyone on this fact) this is the best beer brewed in Nigeria. “Why?” I’ll tell you why – Export Stouts are highly concentrated versions of the Stouts we know and love, just as India Pale Ales are highly concentrated versions of Pale Ales, Export Stouts take the good stuff of Stouts and amp the volume up to a hearty 12.

Poured from an odd-sized 325ml bottle into a nonic pint.

A: Deeper and darker ruby/cola colour body than Guinness this brew presents, for all intents and purposes, as an opaque black with a centimetre of tan head that disintegrates leaving a chalky lace covering. Looks intense. Smells intense (and my nose is 3 meters away from the glass). 7/10.

S: Medicinal bitter/menthol/toffee/cola syrup. This is nothing I expected from Guinness – one of the safest pair of hands in the brewing industry… this is nuts. Huge boozy dark rum note for a 7.5% ABV brew… I’m just hoping that isn’t going to trash my tongue with fusels – I was planning on enjoying another brew after this. 7/10.

T: Flavour is a bit nuts too… there’s all sorts of craziness going on: Roasted barley, tobacco, 85% chocolate, cheap dark rum (yep was hoping I wouldn’t taste that – I detest cheap dark rum) earthy and sour notes as well. This is a handful of a Stout on first sip, but then it calms down a little bit. Finish is light roasted coffee grind bitterness with a touch of dryness. That tobacco really comes through with a toasty/earthy note – very cigar-like. 7/10.

M: Mid to light bodied, a touch watery – but then again Guinness and water go together like cats and salami – with an almost flat carbonation. 6/10.

D: There’s some interesting aspects of this brew that work together but somehow became dissonant at the same time, it’s really hard to describe, I like this but at the same time I hate it… overall this is not the best Export Stout I’ve had – I would go with Coopers Best Extra or Southwark Old Stout, both from my land of birth: South Australia… huh, I just realised why I love Stouts so much – it’s in my blood. 7/10.

Food match: Cigars are the obvious choice, less obvious: Heavy smoked cured ham with Swiss and goat cheese on crusty bread.

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