Tag Archives: Beermats

No. 16 – Guinness

No. 16 – Guinness

Guinness is a curious thing. 

A good pint can be a glorious transcendent experience.  Whereas a bad pint can be a thunderous let down.

2017-05-19 - the art of making Guinness _Antrim

In my year of beer, I tried Guinness early on at the Irish Embassy (where it was pretty good) but I tried it at various other places throughout the year as well.  I’m basing my notes and score on a pint I had at Dublin Airport last May as it stands out as head and shoulders above the others.

2017-05-18 - 16 - Guinness _500beers

After flying Montreal to Dublin last (sore arms!) I like to stop and have a beer before hopping on the bus for a couple of hours trip back up to Belfast.  The Angel’s Share, the bar near the bus stop, is a little expensive but being many people’s welcome to Ireland they have to have a good pint on tap.

It is worth noting that I hate flying so any pint I have afterwards always feels like a victory.

This pint was great.  It was creamy and smooth, served at the right temperature and oddly refreshing for a stout.

Having tried a lot of different stouts last year and having developed a taste for more complicated flavours (the beers on offer from Dieu du Ciel for example), when I think of a good Guinness it remind me of how simplicity can be perfection.  It does not have a strong flavour behind it the way a lot of microbrewery beers do but it is a perfectly balanced and well textured stout.  I can’t really describe it in more detail unfortunately (or fortunately perhaps) but in the context of a year of beer in which I tried between 50 and 75 different stouts, I will still always go back to Guinness when I fancy a good stout.

It’s a very good 8/11.

Here’s a treat,  a couple of old beer mats I found when I was back home!

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No. 1 – Bass

No. 1 – Bass

It seems a little weird writing about a beer that I tasted way back on 2nd January but the idea was to post something about each beer before the end of the year so I’m now playing catch up. 

I tried this beer on a normal night out to celebrate the new year with a few friends and it was in fact during the hangover of that evening that I decided to try five hundred different beers in a single year.  I hadn’t started taking pictures or making detailed notes at that stage, so here is a picture of a pint of Bass I had last night (7th November) and a few vintage beermats that I found when I was back in Northern Ireland in May (more of these to follow in my reviews for Guinness, Smithwicks and Harp)… 

 2017-11-06 - 1 - Bass _500beers

It’s a nice amber colour with a frothy, cloudy head that seemed to disappear quickly.  To taste, it is a little light.  Like an amber ale somewhat, with a little malty sweetness initially and followed up by a light hoppy bitter bite at the end.  In January, I initially gave it 6/10, before my rating system developed.  After re-tasting it last night I put it down to a 5/11.  It’s pretty good, and if you are into English style pale ales, I would recommend it, as it is quite a popular drink back home.  It just lacks something special that so many other beers I’ve tried have had this year.

Here’s a quite old beermat, from back when beermats were a little more fun…