Friday, 31 August 2012

A drop of the black stuff...

  Guinness Black Lager, Guinness' newest offering, certainly lives up to it's promises in that it's a lager and it's black.  Very black in fact, inky.  It tastes nothing like Guinness stout though, there's no tang or maltyness present at all.  Close your eyes and take a sip and you'd swear you were drinking a regular, generic, amber lager.  Personally I wasn't very impressed, it seems to be a very average lager with an unusual colour attached and I can't see where the market is for it.  Too bland for craft beer fans and too weird looking for lager drinkers.  Time will tell I suppose.

  If it's not broke, don't fix it, sound advice that someone should pass on to the marketing department of Guinness.  I love Guinness, I really do, the original 'black stuff' and still the best.  The Guinness marketing heads don't appear to share my love though as they keep trying to recreate Guinness in new variations that never seem to work.
  In recent years we've has :

Guinness Light - low calorie stout launched in the 1980's - an infamous failure that's still a laughing stock

Breo - marketed as white Guinness it was actually a German style Weissbier with a thick head - gone within two years

Guinness Brewhouse Series - a series of four stouts made by Guinness using different recipes and ingredients  each available for a limited period of six months - due to poor sales and despite a major ad campaign the Brewhouse series was abandoned after the third stout was released

Guinness Red - a red ale with a creamy Guinness head, launched in the U.K. in 2007 it never made the trip across the Irish sea and now seems to have quietly disappeared

  After all those failures and embarrassments we still have the original product doing well, a sedate cash-cow producing steady profits from a legion of loyal drinkers.

  Honourable mention for 'Bad King Johns Black Ale', a bitter very dark ale from England with a smooth finish.  Well worth sampling.

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