Guinness: Foreign Extra Stout – Nigeria (Nigeria: Foreign Stout: 7.5% ABV)
Visual: Black. Small head of coffee sud froth.
Nose: Bubblegum. Crushed peanuts. Fresh cookie dough. Milky coffee. Cream cheese and chives. Roasted hazelnuts. Vanilla toffee.
Body: Charred oak. Sour dough. Bitter and lightly earthy. Vanilla toffee. Light coffee. Bubblegum.
Finish: Bitter and charred. Earth hops. Soil. Vanilla toffee. Treacle. Bitter chocolate.
Conclusion: So, the legend that is Nigerian Guinness, finally here before me. I have heard so much about this over the years as I mention in the background – so, how is it?
Eh, not bad. The aroma is awesome, mixing dough coffee, roasted character and vanilla toffee in this thick, odd, bubblegummy mix. It is very evident, unusual and speaks well of what is to come. The initial first impressions were running pretty high.
Main body continues some of that, but there is a kind of empty charred character at the core which pushes a lot of the more interesting characteristics out to the edges. In the fact the weakest elements of this seem to be that it feels, at the base, closer to standard bottled Guinness than the other, foreign extra bottlings. I’m not sure how, they just feel heavier duty. Still, the edges use the more fun notes with more sweetness and more roasted character, giving extra layers to the beer.
I can see how it got its rep, especially back in the day when the more roasted hoppy stouts were not that common. Back then this must have been an assault in the senses. Even now, at the top and tail it is a good beer with great use of the unusual elements. The bitter chocolate in the finish especially stands out against the more roasted hop character. It is just that mid body that doesn’t quite land the vault.
Still ok, and I can say I’ve had it now. Guess I am glad I tried it just because of its reputation, but I can’t see myself coming back to it.
Background: Ah, the legend of the Nigerian Guinness. I’ve heard about this one for many years, but never managed to pick up a bottle. The tales have described it as anything from treacle thick, to hop roasted to half way between the two. So, when Independent Spirit got it in I grabbed a bottle for experimentation. The legend is in my hands. Drunk while listening to Against Me!’s awesome Transgender Dysphoria Blues album.