Heresy? Guinness is launching a brand new brew that is a massive departure from its typical fare: a black lager with a far lighter style than its usual offerings.
What’s a black lager? First off it is indeed just about black: a coffee-dark shade of deepest brown that blocks out all light. But it is also a lager, made with roasted and malted barley, Saaz and Cascade hops, and lager yeast. The alcohol level is a mere 4.5%, and Guinness suggests it is best served “ice cold straight from the bottle.”
Sure enough, this is a lively lager-style brew, full of flavor but also quite clean and refreshing. On the palate it offers light bittersweet chocolate character, graham crackers, and just a touch of hops on the finish. A roasted, molasses-style aftertaste lingers, not unpleasantly. It’s so incongruous: The dark color and light body are striking, yet the results are quite delicious. It’s a beer style that agrees with me especially. Those who love Guinness in its natural state, however, may find it to be a bit of a culture shock.
A- / $8.50 per six-pack / guinness.com
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