Rich and robust stout from the name most associated with stout – Guinness. Part of “The Brewers Project”.
Guinness Antwerpen Stout
By Bill Lau | Potable Pastime
8% ABV, 1st brewed in 1944 for export from Dublin to Antwerp.
Guinness & Co., St James Gate, Dublin, Ireland
Welcome back, beer & drinks fans! Today I bring you my review of this special release from Guinness. I know they’ve taken some flak from many beer geeks over some of their offerings in recent times (American Blonde Lager and Nitro IPA come to mind) (and sorry to disappoint, but I am not going to join in the negativity fest; I’ve tried both, and found them to be perfectly acceptable. Not world-beaters, but both have their own time and place, and let’s face it, I’m not drinking Stone Enjoy By IPA every time I have a beer!)
Anyway, saw this on the shelf in the singles (bottles, that is!) section, and it sounded worthy of a try. After all, I do enjoy stouts from time to time. I’m not all IPAs, heffies, and Belgians, ya know! Now I actually tried this back in February, a time of year when I’m more inclined to indulge in the higher ABV and heavier type beers. Although goodness knows, with the weather patterns we’ve had in Ohio in the past six months, we didn’t really have a typical winter, so I may have to abandon any seasonal drinking inclinations going forward. But I digress.
So without further delay or fanfare I present to you Guinness Antwerpen Stout, a survivor of WWII (seriously – check out their website).
Pours a dark, impenetrable black with deep mahogany highlight at the edge of the glass by the base, topped with a dense, thick light tan head. Sure looks stout-y! Invitingly complex aromas leap from the glass, with a tangy, almost sour-ish note over roasted malt and baked dark fruits, including currants, dates, and figs. Wow!
I hazard a sip, to be rewarded with a smooth & creamy texture with some substance on the tongue, but not too thick or heavy. Carbonation is very finely beaded and pleasant, with tiny tingles all over the palate. So far, so good!
Lots of dark flavors abound with none dominating – the baked dark fruits (currants, dates, figs) are present without much sweetness, there’s some rich toffee and treacle, and a nice level of bittering that slowly appears and sustains. There’s also a hint of smoke and some cacao. The combined effect is reminiscent of a really good fruitcake from the British Isles, with that wonderful baked richness (if you’ve never experienced this, you need to – nothing at all like most of what you see in American supermarkets!). Then it finishes with some roast and hint of a coffee note. My usual advice for similar beers applies here – don’t serve too chilled!
Spend some quality time getting to know this beer and admiring its qualities; it’s got a lot to offer. Spanking good!
Disclosure: The author has received no reimbursement or compensation for this article. All opinions and remarks are those of the author alone.