PDA

View Full Version : Guinness Foreign Extra Stout



Gillman
09-26-2010, 07:43
This beer is a traditional, strong version of Guinness, available in many overseas markets but not the U.S. That will change this Friday, when the beer will be launched in the U.S., or rather re-launched, since it was available in North America into the middle 1900's after which it was replaced by Guinness Extra Stout.

It is a bottled beer (no draft but I am not 100% clear on that as yet).

FES has more body, alcohol and hops than the other forms of Guinness. It is a survival of the 19th century Guinness Stout (as opposed to Guinness's domestic porter), which was the same 7.5% ABV. One of the forms of 1800's Guinness Stout, then known as West India Porter, was intended to last a long voyage, and Guinness FES is this same beer today, essentially. Hence its enduring popularity in the Caribbean Islands and other former UK possessions or areas of influence (e.g. Hong Kong, Nigeria and other parts of Africa, Malaysia, etc.).

While craft strong porters and stouts have become common and there are some very good ones, Guinness FES is still prized amongst beer fans particularly those with an eye on history. The one coming to the U.S. is made in Dublin I believe, and that should ensure particular quality. Some of the FES sold overseas is made locally under license and while always good, I always felt the Irish-brewed one was best.

The Guinness and stout fans on the board should at least try this, with due respect for its strength, and I suspect it will gain a few fans.

Gary

unclebunk
09-26-2010, 09:07
I absolutely can't wait for this beer to hit our shores, as I had it many times in Ireland and was really impressed by it. Many Guinness fans will no doubt find it not to their liking, as it is an entirely different creature to the Guinness one buys on tap at your local watering hole. But give it a chance and you'll find how quickly it grows on you.

PAspirit1
09-26-2010, 15:20
This beer is a traditional, strong version of Guinness, available in many overseas markets but not the U.S. That will change this Friday, when the beer will be launched in the U.S., or rather re-launched, since it was available in North America into the middle 1900's after which it was replaced by Guinness Extra Stout.

It is a bottled beer (no draft but I am not 100% clear on that as yet).

FES has more body, alcohol and hops than the other forms of Guinness. It is a survival of the 19th century Guinness Stout (as opposed to Guinness's domestic porter), which was the same 7.5% ABV. One of the forms of 1800's Guinness Stout, then known as West India Porter, was intended to last a long voyage, and Guinness FES is this same beer today, essentially. Hence its enduring popularity in the Caribbean Islands and other former UK possessions or areas of influence (e.g. Hong Kong, Nigeria and other parts of Africa, Malaysia, etc.).

While craft strong porters and stouts have become common and there are some very good ones, Guinness FES is still prized amongst beer fans particularly those with an eye on history. The one coming to the U.S. is made in Dublin I believe, and that should ensure particular quality. Some of the FES sold overseas is made locally under license and while always good, I always felt the Irish-brewed one was best.

The Guinness and stout fans on the board should at least try this, with due respect for its strength, and I suspect it will gain a few fans.

Gary

Count me amongst the Guinness drinkers who are looking forward to this one. Thanks for the heads up. I'll be looking for it. I wonder where the Guinness I buy is made.

Gillman
09-26-2010, 15:47
Draught Guinness in North America is from Ireland. The "nitro" shaped bottles, and cans, ditto. The hard glass Guinness Extra Stout often sold in supermarkets is brewed in Canada. I still like the draft, I wish it was more assertive, but it is still a good beer; FES promises to be something special.

Gary

DanG
09-29-2010, 04:46
As I recall from my visit to the St. James Gate brewery in June of last year, this beer came out around 1808. It really is very tasty. The only place I can find it here is at a little Asian grocery store where the little 33cl bottles sell for €2. Considering all the other great beer we get here in Germany for very low prices, it's hard to justify... but I buy it on occasion. It's a great beer to drink in the cold months of winter when you need that heavy sweetness and the extra kick to thaw out after a long day.

In a way, it's reminiscent of some doppelbocks, like the Andechs which is my favorite of this variety.

Gillman
09-29-2010, 06:38
Agreed and a few German brewers actually make a porter per se. It is a remnant of the time when porter and stout were well-known in European brewing circles, and some German brewers tried their hand at the style. I have had a couple and they were excellent. I think most are made in the former East Germany but any beer store that tries to offer more than a local/regional selection may offer one or two of these. It would be interesting to compare them to FES.

Just one more point about Guinness. Another version, at 8% ABV, called Special Export, is the standard strong version (bottled) sold in many European countries. It is all-malt (no roasted barley but rather uses black malt, which is more authentic historically in my view). This is or was due to the pure beer laws in some countries which require all-malt. That is probably the best form of Guinness. If you go in any supermarket in France or Belgium it is there, hard glass bottles, 333 ml. as I recall. FES has a slightly more lactic character due to its having been shipped further away initially. Guinness actually makes numerous forms of its famous stout, and FES and SE are the most authentic to what it sold in the 1800's as stout.

Gary

DanG
09-29-2010, 17:04
Thanks Gary for the info! I'll have to have a look next time I hop over the border to France.

As for the German porter-type beers, the black beers (Schwarzbier) are indeed often from the former East Germany, such as the ubiquitous Köstritzer. But there are many dark (dunkel) beers in Bavaria, for instance, and then there is the traditional Bavarian Doppelbock. Andechs is a monastery with a brewery (although they may license it out now). Very tasty stuff, but of course not quite like the British and Irish porters.

Gary, are you in Germany? Do you know, perhaps, where the Guinness we get on tap here actually comes from? I've yet to have an outstanding pint anywhere in Germany, but in Paris, the Guinness is much better, much closer to what I had in Ireland... and the pint glasses in the Irish and "Irish" pubs there sometimes have "Brewed in Dublin" written on them, something I haven't seen in Germany.

Gillman
09-29-2010, 19:47
I would think the draft Guinness in Europe is all from Dublin, not sure why it would taste better in France than Germany, turnover perhaps? Hard to say. I don't live in Europe but I've had Guinness in different countries in travels there over the years and Special Export struck me as the best form you could find in France and east of there. German black beers are very good, brands like you mentioned are well-known imports in North America. But some German brewers make a beer actually called porter, not too many but some. I may have the chance soon to try FES in New York and if so will post some notes.

Gary

DanG
09-30-2010, 04:17
The difference is very strong -- the Guinness isn't as full-bodied here, some of the natural malty sweetness is missing, and it's just not as smooth. When I had my first pint in Dublin I was dumbfounded, it was so good. And the first time since the end of my Irish vacation that I had a Guinness that could compare was last time I was in Paris watching the USA-Ghana game. I still enjoy a pint at Irish pubs here now and again, but it just isn't the same. And the turnover is pretty high. The beer is cold and it's poured correctly. So it seems like it has something to do with the beer itself (unless the tap lines are very dirty in every Irish pub in Germany...).

As for porter, I didn't know that they were doing it here! I just did a quick search online and found that Hoepfner makes one, and they're just up in Karlsruhe which isn't too far from me. Maybe I'll stop by a Getränkemarkt in the area someday on the way to Frankfurt...

smokinjoe
10-15-2010, 15:44
Gary, I picked up a six pack of this today. I need to get it cold, and am looking forward to trying it out later tonight.

Gillman
10-15-2010, 16:46
Joe, I look forward to your comments. As always, tell it like you see it.

Gary

unclebunk
10-15-2010, 16:49
I still can't find it and have been looking all over! Binny's isn't even showing it on their web site, though it may actually be in the store.

Gillman
10-15-2010, 17:14
Just to give more background on the beer: in the 1800's this beer and Guinness Extra Stout, which was the "domestic" version sold in Ireland and England, were both about 7.5 % ABV. Today, the Guinness draught stout is around 4% and the bottled Extra Stout 5%. Only Guinness FES retains its 19th century strength (and the somewhat similar Guinness Special Export Stout sold in European markets, made from all-malt because of the Pure Beer Law. FES is made from pale malt and roasted (unmalted) barley).

Also, FES was made to be shipped far away, to the West Indies, China and other far away points, by clipper ship in those days. The shipping tended to ensure a dry beer, i.e., the fermentable sugars continued to ferment so the beer was not sweet on arrival but rather dry and indeed with a lactic character from bacteria resident in the casks it was shipped or aged in. Guinness FES was like the original London Porter which was aged a year and more in wooden vessels and similarly ensured a dry, winy palate. So, FES is not intended to be like a sweet rich Imperial Stout - that style was yet stronger (circa 10%) and retained more residual sugar and richness.

Nonetheless, Guinness FES is a full-tasting beer with the burned, smoky, yeasty edge a well-matured stout should have.

In the 1800's, drinkers expected a matured stout of the strength of FES to be winy and dry like a claret wine - not sour, but on the tart side.

Anyway some history because it is good I think to know what palate the brewer is aiming for when assessing (any) beer.

Gary

smokinjoe
11-05-2010, 13:34
Absolutely, delicious beer. Seems more rounded and even creamier than regular Guiness. Same beautiful cascading bubbles upon pouring, and, with the same chunky, foamy, and clingy head that Guiness is renowned for. The thing that really jumped out at me, and what I really enjoyed about FES, is that it is sweeter up front, before it gives way to that Guiness sourness on the finish. I would take this over regular Guiness every day of the week.

Thanks for the rec, Gary.

Gillman
11-05-2010, 15:32
Great notes Joe, many thanks! I happen to be in Montreal and am picking up tomorrow a sixer of Guinness FES that a kind soul brought here from the States some time ago.

That sourness is an authentic 1800's marker, an echo of a distant time...

Gary

CorvallisCracker
11-05-2010, 15:44
I've yet to see it around here (and I've been looking).

ODaniel
11-05-2010, 18:26
I like it. It's good, waay better than regular Guinness. This is what Guinness should be IMO. Although, I would still rather drink my Foreign Extra Stout I brew. I've yet to try anything that gives it a run for it's money, and I am extremely critical of my beers.

Gillman
11-05-2010, 19:09
What do you use to impart color? Guinness uses roasted barley, however in the 1800's, it used roasted malt (black patent) and some amber malt (sort of like Vienna malt). I think a richer taste would be imparted by using dark malts rather than roasted (raw) grains, is that what you use?

Gary

ODaniel
11-07-2010, 21:21
What do you use to impart color? Guinness uses roasted barley, however in the 1800's, it used roasted malt (black patent) and some amber malt (sort of like Vienna malt). I think a richer taste would be imparted by using dark malts rather than roasted (raw) grains, is that what you use?

Gary

I use 3/4lb Black Barley (non-malted) and 1/4lb Chocolate Malt (slightly lighter than Black Patent). I've tried 1/2lb of each and it changed the flavor significantly. Wasn't bad, but the first ratio is just awesome. This is for a 5gal batch. I also use a few different flaked grains.

SMOWK
11-08-2010, 07:20
Finally found a few four packs while combing Easton, MD for bottles. Excellent brew. I hope this becomes a permanent addition to the Guinness line. I'll have to buy as much as I can to make sure of that.

pepcycle
11-08-2010, 08:24
Inspired by this thread, I modified a brown porter recipe by adding some additional base malt and a full pound of roasted barley. Initial gravity is in the 80's, the upper limit for the FES style. I added a little kicker of fuggles and minor late addition of cascade to cut through the expected sweetness.

The IBU's should be in the mid 60's and SRM will be out of style at 60. Its black.

Should be ready for Christmas.

I'm naming it after my newest family addition Logan, who was born with uncharacteristically dark hair in comparison to his toe-headed brother.

(I made a Blonde called Riley Blonde, the same day)

Looking forward to Logan FES

Gillman
11-08-2010, 09:13
That sounds very good Ed.

Based on Ron Pattinson`s researches as reported on www.barclayperkins.blogspot.com (I am an active commenter on this site, as e.g., for his current posting on late 1800`s pale ales), Guinness started to use roasted barley only in the 1930`s. Before that it used patent malt and for a long time too some amber malt, on top of the pale ale malt base.

Before patent malt came in around 1820, brewers used various mixtures of brown malt, which may have been like current rauch malt, amber malt and pale malt.

Pale malt came in as a base around 1800: before that self-converting brown and-or amber malt was used only. These porters would have been acerbic and partly smoky tasting, and they were very well hopped indeed (4-5 lbs leaf hops per 36 gal. barrel).

IMO, a historical porter would use patent and pale, or even better, pale and brown malt with some amber.

Gary

Gillman
11-09-2010, 01:34
This discussion of porter (from mid-1800's, in England) may assist to answer questions which homebrewers or others have from the historical standpoint.

http://books.google.com/books?id=35ISAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA589&dq=attenuation+of+porter&hl=en&ei=BRTZTKOnGsirnAfMqJj5CQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CDcQ6AEwAzgU#v=on

This sketch of porter's history is quite revealing. Then, as now, there were different views on how best to impart dark color to porter, a question mixed with that of the yield in extract which different malts gave.

(Note there is no mention of using roasted (unmalted) barley, a practice indeed prohibited by law for parts of the 1800's).

Another noteworthy element is the insistence on porter not being a sweet drink.

Gary

Gillman
11-09-2010, 04:23
So, it seems:

1700's: brown malt was used only for porter/stout (kilned over straw or wood in some cases), and it must have had enough diastase to convert the starches to fermentable sugar, but the extract yield was not optimal.

From around 1800, brewers mixed pale malt and brown malt and/or amber malt (kilned mid-way between the first two) as the best extract/coloring yield.

When taxes on malt went up, caramel and other substances (concentrated wort and indeed roasted raw grains) were substituted for the expensive but inefficient brown and amber malts, however color and probably flavor was affected.

The law was changed in the first decades of the 1800's to require only malt and hops in beer, and black patent malt (malt roasted in a coffee-like roaster) was invented which satisfied the requirement for malt but allowed coloring efficiently since only a little black malt will darken beer considerably.

Later in the 1800's, sugar and caramel were allowed again in brewing and finally any adjunct including roasted barley.

As I mentioned earlier, it appears Guinness, and certainly the main London porter brewers (porter originated in London and "migrated" to Ireland), stayed with mixtures of pale and "high dried" malt (brown or amber) for a long time, Guinness ending with pale malt and black patent by the early 1900's and finally replacing the patent malt with roasted barley. I understand today Guinness, including FES, uses pale malt, roasted barley for color and flaked barley (another adjunct form of barley).

This little historical run-through may again interest those seeking to brew a strong stout of the old type.

While porter was said to be dry often, this reflected an older practice of long aging or conditioning it to lower its final gravity considerably. As the 1800's wore on however, the taste for dry, sub-acid or "hard" porter (think hard cider) died out: people preferred the milder, sweeter taste of young porter. Dryness today is optional therefore and in any case with a strong stout (Imperial, FES or other) you want a lot of extract in the beer, a rich dextrinous taste was part of the profile. Nonetheless the FES palate is one which also reflects the early period when porter was long aged or shipped to achieve a partial tartness.

Homebrewers using smoked malt for the coloring malt (think e.g. Alaskan Smoked Porter) are probably being historically accurate, however the smokiness in old porter was apparently not strong: it was there (a charred barrel-like taste) but not dominating as in modern German rauch beer, say.

Gary

kickert
01-03-2011, 19:15
Absolutely, delicious beer. Seems more rounded and even creamier than regular Guiness. Same beautiful cascading bubbles upon pouring, and, with the same chunky, foamy, and clingy head that Guiness is renowned for. The thing that really jumped out at me, and what I really enjoyed about FES, is that it is sweeter up front, before it gives way to that Guiness sourness on the finish. I would take this over regular Guiness every day of the week.

Thanks for the rec, Gary.

Picked up a 4-pack today and I absolutely love it. I think you nailed it Joe with your tasting notes. One sip of this is like drinking two different beers. There is a thick sweetness up front that fades and then the traditionally heavy stout flavors kick in on the finish.

Thanks Gary for the heads up.

imbibehour
01-05-2011, 13:39
I'd love to get some of this also, but the FES I got is Exit 13 from Flying Fish which is a totally different animal. I still haven't seen the Guinness FES around anywhere.

Can't wait to try that soon to.