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Saturday, March 19, 2005

The Brilliance of Guinness

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, here are my thoughts on the liquid black stuff.

I'll never forget the day my lips first settled upon a pint glass filled with Guinness Stout. I picked up the glass and watched the beer settle into its calm blackness. I then raised the mighty stout to my mouth and gently poured in a hearty swallow. I almost gagged. It was 1993 and my usual beer tastes were formed around cases of Miller Lite and buckets of Rolling Rock. That night, my rugby mates encouraged me to finish the beer. Not one to waste alcohol, I tried again. Two swallows, three, half the pint. By the time I got to the bottom of the glass, Guinness was growing on me. By the time I finished my second pint, I was hooked. Guinness Draught became my beer. Guinness gets all the credit for opening my door to the world of different beer flavors and styles. Once I had learned to appreciate my first Guinness, I began to search out imported and microbrewed beers. I started to read beer books, subscribed to a "Beer of the Month Club" and even became an avid homebrewer. Nowadays, I have had almost every beer style out there, traveled the world to taste beers where they are actually brewed and as you can see, even write about my beer experiences. And not once have I forgotten my first love.

Guinness Draught is the one beer I would not be caught without. The taste of a pint of Guinness is almost indescribable. All I can say, is that when that first sip crosses my lips, the sensation in my brain is "Ahhhhhhhh." The second sip is pure heaven. It is rare that I don't finish my first pint in four mouthfulls. To this day, when driving home after a long hard days work, Guinness is the only beer that will actually make me start to salivate in anticipation. Liquid gold.

The icing on the cake, is that contrary to the average person's opinion, Guinness is not as filling as it seems. Less calories than a regular beer and less alcohol, it is the perfect session beer. Perfect as an appertif, digestif and desert beer, one can't really describe a time when a Guinness is not called for. One of my favorite things to do, is purchase a few cans of smoked oysters at the Whole Foods Market (healthy oysters) and sip a pint of Guinness while eating the succulent shellfish. Guinness is so dear to my heart, that when an opportunity to live in Ireland and work in Dublin for a 1 1/2 year period came up, I jumped all over it. I drank Guinness at its source, St. James Gate, Guinness Brewery and some of the busiest Guinness serving pubs in Dublin. They say the Guinness in Ireland tastes much better than the Guinness in the United States. They say it is fresher. Well, it is not that the actual untapped keg of beer is fresher, the kegs may be almost the same age. What determines the freshness of the Guinness, as any beer, is how long the beer sits in the keg once it is opened. And the fact is, the Guinness flows through the beer lines in Ireland way faster then it does at your local Fridays. So, does the Guinness taste better in Ireland? You bet your pint it does. On the same note, a bottle of Guinness Draught here, tastes the same as there. Believe me. I brought some back with me and I had a blind taste test. Couldn't tell them apart. So, where can you get the best tasting Guinness on tap? Frequent the pubs that have the most Irishmen in them. You would be hard pressed to taste the difference between a pint from Dublin and a pint from the Pig and Whistle Irish Pub in Manhattan, NY.

In closing, nothing, I mean nothing is better than a pint of Guinness. Brilliant, just Brilliant.

Cheers!

14 Comments:

At 7:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jay I was happy to read your review of Guinness as promised at Maloneys last Saturday. I will be taking the my kids to the I max over at the Trop to see Robots today. Perhaps I can sneak over to Re Rah's for a freshie! Sorry about the misspelling of severe last week!
Paul

 
At 12:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doc,

Glad to see we both share a love of Guinness. I am currently setting up a keg system in my home! Liquid gold on tap.

From a chiropractic standpoint what do you know about TMJ? I suffer from it, bruxism being the worst symptom. Specialists say alcohol exacerbates the problem!!! So I definitely need to fix this, any suggestions?

nb450@hotmail.com

 
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