Here we go! This is it! Guinness goes light! I’m sure even non-drinkers are aware of Guinness – thanks to their bright and powerful advertising over the years – and one thing will pretty much be in common throughout all groups; when you think ‘Guinness’, you think ‘the black stuff’. How could a light beer, therefore, be any good from Dublin’s favourite brewery?
This is the third facet of the ‘brewer’s project’ gem from Guinness. They brought out a West Indies Porter [reviewed here by Paul] and a Dublin Porter [reviewed here, also by Paul], supposedly inspired from old diaries they’d found in a vault or something… I can’t say that I love ‘regular Guinness’, but the prospect of them doing a golden ale was, at least, intriguing. It was this trepidation that hung in the air as I prised off the lid to my bottle.
- 4.5% ABV
- Brewed in Dublin, Ireland
- Comes in 500ml bottles
Look The bottle’s fair enough, I guess. The shield on the front is pretty boring, but it bears the Guinness Harp, a logo of quality and authenticity [or something…]. In the glass, I thought it quite odd. It’s much more of a brown colour than a gold, and I’m not even being picky. It’s not ‘golden brown’, it’s just brown. Not even that pale for crying out loud. Plus there was absolutely no head and it all looked rather thin. 4/10
Aroma Pleasant and intriguing. Smells like a brewery, a proper wet maltiness slapping your nose. I got a woody, slightly nutty note too, as if it had been barrel aged. 7/10
Taste Tastes quite like a brown ale too: a sourish fruitiness, sweet malts. There’s a bit of nut/oak, bit of fruit [something orangey?], a bit of something flowery, even [violet?]. There’s an aggressively dry finish, like cheap lager. Sorry, I meant “crisp and refreshing” like it says on the bottle… The mouthfeel is like the look – too light for my tastes. Ok, but could’ve been so much better [and it’s still not seeming like a golden ale yet…]. 6/10
Value Well you can’t grumble too much at a three for five quid deal, unless you really didn’t enjoy it. I’ll be honest, I wouldn’t buy it again, but for a taster the value was alright. 5/10
Session All things considered, this started to grow on me as the session went on. The malts settled on my palate and developed in character. I couldn’t stand too much, though, because it’s a little too sweet for me. That’s nothing compared to the angry-lager-like gasssiness which was disconcerting to say the least. 6/10
Ehhh, what can I say about this beer? My overriding memory is that of tacky bubbliness, making the drink seem like a supercharged jacuzzi in my mouth [not as fun as it sounds, believe me. No supermodels were involved…]. Then I remember the promising aroma, though, and I think ‘hey, it wasn’t all bad’. Then I remember that it’s called a golden ale and is, in every way I can think of, not a golden ale. Can’t even make my mind up if this score is harsh or very generous, but here it is. Don’t get curious about this beer – try something else.
Final score: 56/100