Categories
beer reviews

Strong cornershop stouts

Four stouts from our local cornershop
Four stouts from our local cornershop

Last week, we tasted four strong stouts from our local cornershop.

We know Guinness Foreign Extra is good and wanted to see how the others on the market compared.

So, we got a bottles of:

  • Dublin-made Guinness FES (7.5%)
  • Nigerian-made Guinness FES (7.5%)
  • Dragon Stout (7.5% )
  • Lion Heart Stout. (7.6% )

To save you reading too much more, Dragon and Lion Heart were pretty horrid, both lying somewhere between cola and tramp’s brew. Neither had much body, both were fizzy, and both tasted overwhelmingly of caramel. Lion Heart boasts that it’s made with “the finest pilsner malt”, but that certainly didn’t come through. And here’s a choice quote from the Big City Brewing Company’s Lion Heart Stout web-page:

Lion Heart Stout makes the men Roar and ladies Purrr. 100 percent Jamaican stout which, being true to its brewing heritage, is smoother in taste, stronger in body and flavour and not too bitter providing the drinker with the increased ability for excitement, power, tenacity and vigor in the pursuit of life’s pleasures.

Hmmm. It’s like Viagra, then? Don’t think you’d get away with that in the UK.

We poured most of these two away.

Dublin FES was as good as we remembered, so it was only the Nigerian-made version that offered any hope of a taste revelation. We drank them side-by-side and noted a creamier, lighter head on the Irish version. The Nigerian version is much sweeter, but not overwhelmingly so, and certainly miles ahead of Dragon. It’s grainy and burnt tasting, with a lot of bitterness at the end to balance things out. Boak liked it; Bailey wasn’t so impressed.

Those in the know say that Belgian version of Guinness (“Special Export Stout”) is best.  We think we’ve had it before, but are not sure.  It would have been good to try it alongside the others.

6 replies on “Strong cornershop stouts”

I absolutely loved the Irish FES. I think I read somewhere that the nigerian FES was made with sorgum as part of the grist… that should be interesting albeit not sounding that nice.

Yes, I’d heard that the Nigerian version is made with sorghum too. I think the sorghum is at least partly responsible for the grainy, burnt taste you mention – I’ve noticed similar flavours in gluten-free beers where sorghum is used extensively.

I like the Nigerian version, more so than the Irish FES or Belgium. The slightly different taste that presumably the sorghum gives makes it all the more drinkable. I have to say that I’ve never been much of a Guinness fan in any of it’s forms.

Back in my blog’s early days I reviewed Nigerian FES and Dragon Stout. The importers of the latter were also one of my sponsors for a while. Both are decent products that turn up in awful places providing some relief!

Comments are closed.

Discover more from Boak & Bailey's Beer Blog

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading