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  1. #1
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    Guinness Foreign Extra Stout

    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
    Last edited by Gillman; 09-26-2010 at 07:51.

  2. #2
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    Re: Guinness Foreign Extra Stout

    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.
    "I distrust a man who says 'when.' He's got to be careful not to drink too much, because he's not to be trusted when he does." Sydney Greenstreet

  3. #3
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    Re: Guinness Foreign Extra Stout

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillman View Post
    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.

  4. #4
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    Re: Guinness Foreign Extra Stout

    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

  5. #5
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    Re: Guinness Foreign Extra Stout

    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.

  6. #6
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: Guinness Foreign Extra Stout

    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

  7. #7
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    Re: Guinness Foreign Extra Stout

    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.

  8. #8
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    Re: Guinness Foreign Extra Stout

    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

  9. #9
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    Re: Guinness Foreign Extra Stout

    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...

  10. #10
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    Re: Guinness Foreign Extra Stout

    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.
    JOE

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    Bark less.

    "Every bottle is its own learning experience." -- Sensei Ox-sama

 

 

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