Review: Guinness Foreign Extra Stout

The most celebrated beer in the world, Guinness Extra Stout, has a baby brother: Guinness Foreign Extra Stout.

What is it? Guinness brews “Foreign Extras” for a number of countries, and the U.S. had one in 1817. It was discontinued during Prohibition and has been off the market ever since.

Now it’s back, and bolder than ever. Guinness FES is higher in alcohol (7.5%), is carbonated instead of nitrogenated, and is brewed with extra hops — that was the idea behind the “foreign” part of the name, as hops allow a beer to travel better and longer. Be prepared: The head is not at all like the nitro’ed, “rising bubbles” of standard Guinness, but rather that of a typically carbonated beer (which means it’s ready to drink much more quickly).

The results are quite impressive. Full of body, with a big coffee character, it has a much richer mouthfeel than standard Guinness, which is darker in color but actually thinner in texture than Foreign Extra. Nutty, malty, and with a drying hoppy finish like an IPA, this is a stout made for true the stout lover.

A- / $2 to $3 per bottle /

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2 Responses

  1. Titus November 29, 2010 / 4:51 pm

    But is it potable out of a bottle? Guinness original recipe is generally only palatable on tap.

  2. Christopher Null November 29, 2010 / 4:54 pm

    Yes, since it’s carbonated instead of nitrogenated, it drinks like a standard brew.

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