Guinness Black Lager: Out of Tune

This European dark lager from Guinness & Company (Diageo) in Dublin, Ireland is a dark brown colour reminiscent of cola or root beer and has a small tan head that almost completely burns off within minutes, leaving a very thin film and thick layers of lace. Guinness Black Lager has aromas of roasted grains, fishy lake water and chocolate syrup accented by sweet light malts, mild florals and a strange cardboard-like tone.

Guinness Black Lager
You’re Better Off Blending Your Own Black & Tan

Guinness Black Lager tastes like a poorly blended black and tan, with a dry roasted grain flavour that is at odds with a syrupy lager character that is so sweet it verges on cloying. This lager is surprisingly thin-bodied given its lineage, with mild carbonation and notes of grain and syrup on the tongue. The finish is rather dry with the aftertaste leaving a bitter and dirty flavour in the mouth.

The packaging of Guinness Black Lager is predominantly silver and blue, with the brewery’s iconic golden harp logo easily spotted. The back of each bottle has a very brief description of the beer and a date of bottling while the neck sticker depicts the signature of Arthur Guinness.

I’m not sure why, but I was half expecting Guinness Black Lager to be something more along the lines of a schwarzbier than the confused blend of dry and sweet that ended up in this package. I have no reason or desire to ever buy this again, though in fairness it did decently with a beef and potato stew served with fresh bread.

If you like the idea of a black and tan, you’d be better off picking up your favourite stout and lager to mix your own, though if you want to try Guinness Black Lager you can find it at both LCBO and The Beer Store in Ontario and it is distributed worldwide.

Type: European Dark Lager
Country: Ireland
Region: Dublin
Brewery: Guinness & Company (Diageo)
Format Purchased: 6 x 330 mL
Price: $13.65
Alcohol Content: 4.5%

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