Beer Einstein: Year One

The day has arrived at last. More than a year ago, my wife and I left our home in Tucson, Arizona, and headed toward Portland, Oregon, only to briefly return to Tucson, get stranded in Phoenix, and finally move back to Tucson. During that tumultuous time, I started beer(ein)stein as a way to save my sanity. Now the site is one year old, and it has a small but dedicated readership. Thanks for your support! But don’t worry, I’m not going to start ranting about birthdays again; instead, I’ll review a beer that wasn’t available when I started my blog. If any day deserves a beer, it’s this one.

The beer is Guinness Foreign Extra Stout, and it seems like a perfect choice to mark the occasion because it’s a new kid in the states. A new 200-year-old kid. From Dublin. With whom you don’t wanna mess. Until you drink it. And then abandon a suddenly awkward metaphor.

The Foreign Export Stout — originally called the West Indian Porter — isn’t actually new in the states, either. After prohibition, this extra strong, extra roasted Guinness gave us the finger and, for some reason, waited nearly 100 years to venture back.

Pouring the beer, I can immediately tell this isn’t the canned/bottled Draught (a word I’m guessing means “nitrogenated donkey water” in Ireland). This Guinness is pitch black with a dark, rocky, retentive head and thick lacing creeping up the glass. I detect sweeter-than-usual aromas, predominately cherries, raisins, and hints of dark chocolate. On the tongue, Foreign Extra Stout offers a startlingly complex mix of dark fruits and roasted malts; sugars dominate the beginning and middle of each mouthful, but the finish is dry and bitter with a smoky aftertaste. A full, creamy body and biting carbonation round out a beer that’s more intricate and bold than I ever thought Guinness could be. It reminds me of Alaskan’s Baltic Porter with a bitter, roasted twist, which smooths out deliciously as it warms. American Guinness drinkers now have yet another great alternative to the bottled Draught. In fact, I like this even more than the standard Extra Stout.

So, with a great beer, I end a great year. During the coming 12 months, you can expect tons of new content on beer(ein)stein, including a revised, more detailed reviewing system; interviews with members of the beer industry; and more attempts to get off my beer-begirded island and interact with other brew nerds. Should be fun.

11 Responses to “Beer Einstein: Year One”
  1. Jeremy Deal says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed your awkward abandon of your not quite working metaphor… yep, ready to try this Guinness now. Can’t believe it’s been a year! Proud of my writing bro for sticking it out and continuing to make me crave beers that are never readily available so that I get weird looks from people because I can’t just accept “Bud Light” as my beer option. 🙂

    • Scott says:

      Haha, glad to hear it. And thanks! There’s been a rough patch or two, but I care about beer and writing too much to give up on beer(ein)stein. And you should definitely try this beer if you can find it. It’s Guinness on flavor steroids.

      • Ben K says:

        * The makers of Guinness want you to know the product does not actually contain steroids. However, for 1,259 Foreign Stout bottle caps, we’ll send you some crack.

        • Scott says:

          Sweet! Hope I don’t die of alcohol poisoning first. Drinking that many bottles in one sitting sounds tricky, especially considering this beer is stronger than other varieties of Guinness at 7.5%. Probably should’ve mentioned that.

          • Scott says:

            * The maker of beer(ein)stein neither condones nor supports the use of illegal drugs or the abuse of alcohol. He does, however, support the collection of bottlecaps. They’re neat!

  2. James W. says:

    Congratulations on making the one-year mark! Although, I must say I miss the more frequent updates, but alas, life gets in the way. I’m still assuming that you enjoy a fine brew most days of the week anyways.

    Could you please educate me on the difference between this new Guinness brew and the other “export” or “foreign” Guinness that has eben around the past few years?

    I’ve been hearling alot about this newly arrived Guinness and kept thinking to myself “I thought this was already available in the states??”

    I’ll be needing to try this regardless.

    • Scott says:

      Are you thinking of Guinness Extra Stout? Because that’s been around for a while and has a perplexingly similar label (which says “Brewed in Dublin” or something like that). That’s supposedly the standard Guinness and has 6% ABV. It’s more flavorful than Guinness Draught, but not as flavorful (or potent) as the Foreign Extra. Great question.

      As for not posting as often, sorry about that. I was unemployed when I was posting twice a week, but when I acquired a full-time job I had to cut back a bit. Thanks for the comment!

  3. Deb says:

    Happy First Beerthday!!!

  4. Ben says:

    congrats on making it through a full year blabbering about the best booze-like substance on earth.

    am i correct in assuming that this particular guinness style does NOT taste like a boot with the foot still in it?

    • Scott says:

      Ha! Well, if you’re not a fan of normal Guinness Extra Stout, you might not like this … but it’s definitely roastier and more flavorful, so I’d say give it a try.

      And thanks! I do enjoy blabbering.

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