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View Full Version : Love my Guinness but wanting to try something new...


ryushen21
02-07-2011, 09:31 AM
So I'm a fan of the dark stuff and Guinness has been my go to beer for several years now but I'm looking for something different. I've tried some others but was curious to see what the other dark beer drinkers out there are enjoying these days. I can get my hands on just about anything so fire away.

jhick
02-07-2011, 09:46 AM
So I'm a fan of the dark stuff and Guinness has been my go to beer for several years now but I'm looking for something different. I've tried some others but was curious to see what the other dark beer drinkers out there are enjoying these days. I can get my hands on just about anything so fire away.
Guinness is watered down in flavor when compared to almost any other stout. Seriously Guinness has a similar amount of calories to a light beer, no kidding. Unless you are talking about the FES (Foreign Extra Stout) version.

As far as alternatives, it depends on what you are looking for. There are many other options available. That said, it's hard to know what to recommend since I don't know where you live. If you are looking for an intensely flavored stout, try an imperial stout. Lion Stout might be a good start. If you're looking for a regular strength stout, personally two of my favorites are Rogue Shakespeare stout and Bells Kalamazoo stout. These are fairly widely distributed (Rogue more than the Bells), if you live in the US.

ryushen21
02-07-2011, 09:57 AM
Guinness is watered down in flavor when compared to almost any other stout. Seriously Guinness has a similar amount of calories to a light beer, no kidding. Unless you are talking about the FES (Foreign Extra Stout) version.

As far as alternatives, it depends on what you are looking for. There are many other options available. That said, it's hard to know what to recommend since I don't know where you live. If you are looking for an intensely flavored stout, try an imperial stout. Lion Stout might be a good start. If you're looking for a regular strength stout, personally two of my favorites are Rogue Shakespeare stout and Bells Kalamazoo stout. These are fairly widely distributed (Rogue more than the Bells), if you live in the US.

Good catch on that. I didn't mention that I was drinking the Extra Stout.

I'm in the US (TX) to be specific. I've tried a lot of different beers. Loved Arrogant ******* for the hoppiness it had and had Avery-Keiser Imperial Octoberfest but it's a seasonal.

I've tried a few from Rogue I think. They did the Morimoto Soba beer right?

I'll look into the imperial stouts.

SlapShot
02-07-2011, 09:58 AM
Oooh, this is my sweet spot.

I love Guinness. Got to see the brewery this last spring, and LOVED my time there.

I tend to be willing to try any of the dark stuff. Like JHick, I would suggest you sample an Imperial Russian Stout.

Bell's makes a few good ones - their Export Stout is fantastic, if a little pricy. A good less expensive one would be the North Coast Brewing Old Rasputin.

You could also look at an oatmeal stout - they tend to be a bit sweeter and smoother, like a Guinness. The Southern Tier Brewing OAT is a good one. Pretty much any of the Southern Tier stouts are great.

Being that Guinness is almost always nitrogen pushed, you could also look at Murphy's (which is very similar to Guinness) or Young's Double Chocolate (which I personally think is fantastic, but it can be too sweet for some people).

jschere1
02-07-2011, 10:01 AM
You should just try and find a local brew pub. Beer always tastes better when it's super fresh and you can see the people who crafted and cared for it.

r2473
02-07-2011, 10:01 AM
Guinness is watered down in flavor when compared to almost any other stout. Seriously Guinness has a similar amount of calories to a light beer, no kidding. Unless you are talking about the FES (Foreign Extra Stout) version.

This is funny because it is pretty close to the truth (a light beer may have a handful more calories but they are very comparable).

What you say about Guinness being watered down is true for how you mean it. It is brewed to appeal to a wider "stout audience" if you will so it is not as "intense" so to speak.

ryushen21
02-07-2011, 10:08 AM
Oooh, this is my sweet spot.

I love Guinness. Got to see the brewery this last spring, and LOVED my time there.

I tend to be willing to try any of the dark stuff. Like JHick, I would suggest you sample an Imperial Russian Stout.

Bell's makes a few good ones - their Export Stout is fantastic, if a little pricy. A good less expensive one would be the North Coast Brewing Old Rasputin.

You could also look at an oatmeal stout - they tend to be a bit sweeter and smoother, like a Guinness. The Southern Tier Brewing OAT is a good one. Pretty much any of the Southern Tier stouts are great.

Being that Guinness is almost always nitrogen pushed, you could also look at Murphy's (which is very similar to Guinness) or Young's Double Chocolate (which I personally think is fantastic, but it can be too sweet for some people).

I love Murphy's and Young's DC but that one is too sweet for my tastes to be a regular beer to drink. I'll definitely take a look at the Southern Tier though. I've seen the Old Rasputin a few times but for some reason have never gone for it.

Looks like there is a trip to the Flying Saucer for me very soon.

jhick
02-07-2011, 10:19 AM
Good catch on that. I didn't mention that I was drinking the Extra Stout.

I'm in the US (TX) to be specific. I've tried a lot of different beers. Loved Arrogant ******* for the hoppiness it had and had Avery-Keiser Imperial Octoberfest but it's a seasonal.

I've tried a few from Rogue I think. They did the Morimoto Soba beer right?

I'll look into the imperial stouts.

Yeah, they did the Soba beer. I actually am kind of hit and miss on Rogue in general but I think they really nail the Shakespeare Stout. I think it has the complexity of an impy stout without the added ABV and calories.

If you're in Texas you might want to try and track down some of the St. Arnold Divine Reserve series.

jhick
02-07-2011, 10:21 AM
You should just try and find a local brew pub. Beer always tastes better when it's super fresh and you can see the people who crafted and cared for it.
This is generally a good option, depending upon the quality of the brewpub.

jhick
02-07-2011, 10:23 AM
I love Murphy's and Young's DC but that one is too sweet for my tastes to be a regular beer to drink. I'll definitely take a look at the Southern Tier though. I've seen the Old Rasputin a few times but for some reason have never gone for it.

Looks like there is a trip to the Flying Saucer for me very soon.
FYI...Southern Tier makes VERY sweet stouts in general. If you think Young's Double Chocolate is too sweet, Southern Tier stouts are likely to put you into a diabetic coma.

ryushen21
02-07-2011, 10:32 AM
FYI...Southern Tier makes VERY sweet stouts in general. If you think Young's Double Chocolate is too sweet, Southern Tier stouts are likely to put you into a diabetic coma.

The irony of that is I am a Type 1 diabetic. :eek:

mikeler
02-07-2011, 10:48 AM
They are not dark, but how about IPAs?

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=256368&page=37

SlapShot
02-07-2011, 11:04 AM
FYI...Southern Tier makes VERY sweet stouts in general. If you think Young's Double Chocolate is too sweet, Southern Tier stouts are likely to put you into a diabetic coma.

Agreed. But I did have a smoked stout that they made a while back that was far more mild.

I still think that one of the best stouts I've had is Surly Four - that stuff was pretty special.

Ooooh...just thought of another type that I adore - the coffee stout. Founders Breakfast Stout is one to try if you love coffee in yer beer.

RealityPolice
02-07-2011, 11:05 AM
http://www.spatenusa.com/3_products/3_1_prod_spectrum/3_1_1_produkt/images/optimator.jpg
http://thefullpint.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/orkney_skullsplitter.jpg
http://www.dailyhops.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/mcewans-scotch-ale.jpg

FloridaAG
02-07-2011, 11:06 AM
From England and stout, I have always enjoyed the Mackeson XXX Stout.

FloridaAG
02-07-2011, 11:07 AM
If you drink McEwan's watch out - granted I have not had it in many years and did so when alcohol contents were lower, but that was a mighty ale.

ryushen21
02-07-2011, 11:16 AM
They are not dark, but how about IPAs?

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=256368&page=37

I've never been a big fan of IPA. I had one on special last time I went out and it just wasn't my kind of beer.

jhick
02-07-2011, 11:30 AM
Agreed. But I did have a smoked stout that they made a while back that was far more mild.

I still think that one of the best stouts I've had is Surly Four - that stuff was pretty special.

Ooooh...just thought of another type that I adore - the coffee stout. Founders Breakfast Stout is one to try if you love coffee in yer beer.
Just thinking about Speedway Stout puts a smile on my face. :)

Speaking of coffee stouts, have you ever tried Mikkeller Brunch Weasel? Very limited and expensive, but sooooo good. It's the Kopi Luwak (civet poop) beer.

jhick
02-07-2011, 11:34 AM
I've never been a big fan of IPA. I had one on special last time I went out and it just wasn't my kind of beer.
For me, IPA was somewhat of an acquired taste. I even have a friend who's slowly warming up to them, and he used to hate anything too hoppy.

The other thread that Mikeler pointed you to is kind of a general beer thread, even though it focuses more on the IPA style in general.

bad_call
02-07-2011, 11:35 AM
McEwan's Scotch Ale is very good as i recall. the SN Stout is one i tried and is also good (price nice too).

http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/140/283

ryushen21
02-08-2011, 05:23 AM
Just checking this thread again now. It's 8:30am and I feel like I should be headed to the bar....

RealityPolice
02-08-2011, 05:30 AM
If you drink McEwan's watch out - granted I have not had it in many years and did so when alcohol contents were lower, but that was a mighty ale.

It was described by my brother as "the beer that tries to fight its way back out."

FloridaAG
02-08-2011, 05:42 AM
It was described by my brother as "the beer that tries to fight its way back out."

Back when I was in college, a friend of mine gave me a sixer of it. I drank 3 - and was wondering what was going on (given it was college and I was used to consuming mass quantities of beer) - Took me a while to figure out it was the strength of the beer

mikeler
02-08-2011, 05:50 AM
Back when I was in college, a friend of mine gave me a sixer of it. I drank 3 - and was wondering what was going on (given it was college and I was used to consuming mass quantities of beer) - Took me a while to figure out it was the strength of the beer


I was in Italy at a Coast Guard base many moons ago. My buddy and I went up to the bar and ordered a beer called McFarlin's Red. About half way through that beer, we both looked at each other and he said "Are you feeling this yet?". I told him I was buzzing pretty good. So we asked the bartender how strong the beer was and I think he said 6%. Back then, all I drank was Bud and other watered down beers so that was a real shock to the system at the time. Now as a fan of IPAs, I consume 6% + beers all the time and I don't feel it like I did back then.

RealityPolice
02-08-2011, 05:51 AM
Back when I was in college, a friend of mine gave me a sixer of it. I drank 3 - and was wondering what was going on (given it was college and I was used to consuming mass quantities of beer) - Took me a while to figure out it was the strength of the beer

Spaten's Optimator was the one that did that to me. It's a very easy-drinking beer, and so you don't realize how heavy it is until you try to stand up. A couple of Optimators and it's time for water.

Steve Huff
02-08-2011, 05:53 AM
Try some local breweries. I went down to Blacksburg, Va to the Blackburg Brewery and had a great Oatmeal Stout (Blackburg Oatmeal Stout). It was the smoothest beer I've tried so far.

ollinger
02-08-2011, 06:05 AM
Had a Newcastle Brown Ale at a restaurant recently -- delicious mild but rich beer.

ryushen21
02-08-2011, 06:22 AM
I very much like the Paulaner Salvator. A couple of those and and I am one happy camper. May just pick a couple up on the way home.

Y'all are intriguing me with the Scotch Ale stories.

FloridaAG
02-08-2011, 06:23 AM
I was in Italy at a Coast Guard base many moons ago. My buddy and I went up to the bar and ordered a beer called McFarlin's Red. About half way through that beer, we both looked at each other and he said "Are you feeling this yet?". I told him I was buzzing pretty good. So we asked the bartender how strong the beer was and I think he said 6%. Back then, all I drank was Bud and other watered down beers so that was a real shock to the system at the time. Now as a fan of IPAs, I consume 6% + beers all the time and I don't feel it like I did back then.

Got it - we were very ahead of the microbrew craze in college (this was the early 90's) - we stocked Sierra Nevada, Brooklyn Brewery, Saranac, Pete's Wicked (and I forget the others) - in our house - but for $$, I also drank a lot of junk like Olympia and Stroh's when I did not have enough credits on other people built up from foosball and pool victories, but the McEwans at over 8% alchohol definitely got my attention

Kevin T
02-08-2011, 07:29 AM
Try some local breweries. I went down to Blacksburg, Va to the Blackburg Brewery and had a great Oatmeal Stout (Blackburg Oatmeal Stout). It was the smoothest beer I've tried so far.

Hey Steve,

That's my old neck of the woods. Was it Bull and Bones Brew Pub? They do make a good stout and excellent wheat beers. My buddy works in food sales and is good friends with the owner. Good to see Bburg with a microbrew pub these days.

SlapShot
02-08-2011, 07:36 AM
I very much like the Paulaner Salvator. A couple of those and and I am one happy camper. May just pick a couple up on the way home.

Y'all are intriguing me with the Scotch Ale stories.

Salvator is a serious beer - that German dark stuff has some serious knockout power.

A scotch ale to try if you can find it is Founder's Dirty B@stard. They also make one aged in oak barrels called Backwoods B@stard that is FANTASTIC. Incredibly strong as well - I think it weighs in at 11%. It's almost like drinking a mild scotch/bourbon - heavy vanilla flavor and smooth mouthfeel.

So, a funny strong beer story - I was in Newcastle England for my birthday last year - my buddy and I are out at a local bar. We had been drinking most of the day, and we stumble into a bar. This was during their ale festival, and we were sampling all kinds of cask ales, but all were in the 4-5% ABV range. We order the strongest thing on the menu (at a paltry 8%) and the barmaid says "You realize that's a strong beer, right?" - my buddy looks at her dead pan and says "that's kind of the point." :D

ryushen21
02-08-2011, 07:58 AM
Salvator is a serious beer - that German dark stuff has some serious knockout power.

A scotch ale to try if you can find it is Founder's Dirty B@stard. They also make one aged in oak barrels called Backwoods B@stard that is FANTASTIC. Incredibly strong as well - I think it weighs in at 11%. It's almost like drinking a mild scotch/bourbon - heavy vanilla flavor and smooth mouthfeel.

So, a funny strong beer story - I was in Newcastle England for my birthday last year - my buddy and I are out at a local bar. We had been drinking most of the day, and we stumble into a bar. This was during their ale festival, and we were sampling all kinds of cask ales, but all were in the 4-5% ABV range. We order the strongest thing on the menu (at a paltry 8%) and the barmaid says "You realize that's a strong beer, right?" - my buddy looks at her dead pan and says "that's kind of the point." :D

Tell me about it. When I lived in Spain, I ordered a beer that I cannot for the life of me remember the name but it weighed in at 13% ABV. Talk about knocking you on your *****....

I'm gonna be raiding some of the finer grocery stores here and checking the menus of the local beer joints around for these recommendations I've been getting.

max
02-08-2011, 08:19 AM
Spaten's Optimator was the one that did that to me. It's a very easy-drinking beer, and so you don't realize how heavy it is until you try to stand up. A couple of Optimators and it's time for water.

Optimator's very nice. I think Paulaner makes something like it.

OP: consider Kostritzer dark beer. And if you're into thick beer, (I'm no fan of Guinness; I went that way for a time, valorizing it), try to get into some Belgian ales.

jhick
02-08-2011, 08:31 AM
Optimator's very nice. I think Paulaner makes something like it.

OP: consider Kostritzer dark beer. And if you're into thick beer, (I'm no fan of Guinness; I went that way for a time, valorizing it), try to get into some Belgian ales.

I tend to find doppelbocks slightly boring in general, but Ayinger's Celebrator doppelbock is pretty decent, and I think a step up from Spaten Optimator and Paulaner Salvator.

Though for me, Surly's Bourbon One, their 1st anniversary beer, takes the cake and is mindblowingly good. However, it is pretty much impossible to find, even in Minnesota (outside of beer tasting festivals)

*breaksracquet
02-08-2011, 08:49 AM
McEwan's Scotch Ale is very good as i recall. the SN Stout is one i tried and is also good (price nice too).

http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/140/283

will have to try. I have North Coast Old Stock ale in a cool dark place in my house, letting it age a little (it's only been about 3 months).

My favorite in the stout dept. is Highland black mocha stout.

DCaicedo
02-08-2011, 12:05 PM
Not a HUGE Stout fan- but definitely enjoy some Guinness Draught every now and then. Tried their Extra Stout once and regretted the purchase.

I'm a big Brooklyn Brewery fan- live nearby- so has anyone tried their Black Chocolate Stout?

Yes, Type I diabetic here too.

FloridaAG
02-08-2011, 12:15 PM
Not a HUGE Stout fan- but definitely enjoy some Guinness Draught every now and then. Tried their Extra Stout once and regretted the purchase.

I'm a big Brooklyn Brewery fan- live nearby- so has anyone tried their Black Chocolate Stout?

Yes, Type I diabetic here too.

Brooklyn Black Ops stout was awesome albeit expensive

DCaicedo
02-08-2011, 12:54 PM
Brooklyn Black Ops stout was awesome albeit expensive

Hmm..I'll have to try that one..

But for you folks from MN- was at a conference last summer in Minneapolis, and went to the Town Hall Brewery, and remember their Black H2O Oatmeal as being pretty good.

SlapShot
02-08-2011, 01:12 PM
Hmm..I'll have to try that one..

But for you folks from MN- was at a conference last summer in Minneapolis, and went to the Town Hall Brewery, and remember their Black H2O Oatmeal as being pretty good.

Ah yes - the Town Hall oatmeal stout is fantastic. It's even better served cask style - they usually have it on cask about half of the year.

ryushen21
02-09-2011, 03:54 PM
I m heading to the Saucer tomorrow. Will post some reports as to what I find there.

ryushen21
02-14-2011, 08:15 AM
Only got have two on my most recent outing which were Samuel Smiths Imperial Stout and the Rogue Mocha Stout. Smiths was good similar to some other stouts that I have tried and enjoyed but not anything that really stuck out to me.

The Rogue though was very tasty. Had the sweetness but also had an underlying note of smokiness to it and packed a good punch.

Have to hit a few other beer halls to try some of the others but so far enjoying this little odyssey.

jhick
02-14-2011, 09:04 AM
Only got have two on my most recent outing which were Samuel Smiths Imperial Stout and the Rogue Mocha Stout. Smiths was good similar to some other stouts that I have tried and enjoyed but not anything that really stuck out to me.

The Rogue though was very tasty. Had the sweetness but also had an underlying note of smokiness to it and packed a good punch.

Have to hit a few other beer halls to try some of the others but so far enjoying this little odyssey.
Your experience with the Sam Smith's Impy Stout doesn't surprise me. There are many better examples out there.

I'm guessing the Rogue must have been the Mocha Porter perhaps. I don't think they make a Mocha Stout.

There are a few issues I have with Rogue in general
1. They continually relabel beers under alternate names. So you think you're having a NEW beer and then find out it is the same as one you had before.
2. The high end Rogue beers are sold in ceramic bottles and tend to be pricy (usually $13+ for 750 mL)
3. I'm not a big fan of the flavor of their "Pacman House Yeast" that they use, especially in their lighter styles. That said, this flavor tends to be masked in some of their darker porters, stouts, and hoppy beers.

ryushen21
02-14-2011, 09:07 AM
I was honestly a little disappointed in the selection at the Saucer. There are several other places that I will have to look into for a more diverse selection.

I guess it was the Mocha Porter. I just know it was tasty. So many beers to try....lol.

jhick
02-14-2011, 09:19 AM
I was honestly a little disappointed in the selection at the Saucer. There are several other places that I will have to look into for a more diverse selection.

I guess it was the Mocha Porter. I just know it was tasty. So many beers to try....lol.
What city do you live in? If you are in Dallas/Ft. Forth the Gingerman is supposed to have nice selections.

ryushen21
02-14-2011, 09:23 AM
Ginger Man does have a good selection but the Ft.W location is tiny with almost no parking so going there can be a hassle.

There are a few newer places that are going on the same concept. Large selection, all beer no cocktails. Can't remember the names so I will have to look them up.

jhick
02-14-2011, 09:33 AM
Ginger Man does have a good selection but the Ft.W location is tiny with almost no parking so going there can be a hassle.

There are a few newer places that are going on the same concept. Large selection, all beer no cocktails. Can't remember the names so I will have to look them up.
Here is a good reference:

http://www.ratebeer.com/places/regions/dallas-fort-worth/1920/43/

DCaicedo
02-14-2011, 12:41 PM
OK, this thread was basically on my mind last Friday after work at my local watering hole, and I must report that the Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout was delicious.
Like drinking a piece of cake

siata94
02-15-2011, 05:34 PM
ever since I'd tried Deschutes Black Butte Porter, I've never bought Guinness again. Lately I've been drinking New Belgium 1554 instead.