Heineken Ireland: Beamish Irish Stout (Ireland: Dry Stout: 4.3% ABV)

Visual: Very dark red to black. Large carbonation around the glass. Has a creamy inch of slight coffee froth coloured head.

Nose: Roasted nuts and sugar egg casings. Slight sour cream and chives.

Body: Creamy texture. Roasted nuts. Light bitterness and hop oils.

Finish: Creamy, bitter and with slight hop oils. More roasted nuts, Quite oily after a while. Charring and pepper.

Conclusion: It’s been a while since I have been back to the more mainstream side of the brewing market. Well, we do have here a beer aping the Guinness style, right down to the widget in the can for pouring, from Heineken no less. That should fill the mainstream slot for a while.

It has the expected thickness and creaminess to it, a bit overdone for me, but it does have a light roasted character that is done a lot better that the Guinness equivalent. In my opinion anyway. The main body is a bit odd, with the roasted and hop oil character that makes up the most pleasant elements going against a level of creaminess that would put many in mind of John Smiths Never a good thing.

The flavours are actually pretty nice, but it could really do without that Guinness trough of cream effect. A more dry base would allow it a much better show of what it’s got. The hop oils are nice, and the roasted character well done, but it just gets lost against the tide after a while.

For a cream flow beer it isn’t bad, but it’s not a great beer. The worst element can be avoided if you have a half, where it doesn’t have time to get sickly. I’d also imagine it would work a lot better on tap, but that’s a guess.  For a full pint though the finish starts lingering too long and definitely outstays its welcome.

Not overly inspiring, but ok in small doses.

Background: What is Beamish to me? Well the first thought is a Northern Museum, but no, turns out there is a beer as well. From Ireland, not Yorkshire. This confuses me muchly.  Anyway , Beamish was listed as one of Michael Jackson’s 500 beers, though I have a feeling this version differs quite a bit from that one. The bottled version is not made (I think) anymore, and is instead in a “Creamflow” can, creating a Guinness like pour.  However I thought it worth trying anyway. Thus my kind parents grabbed me a can while they were heading around Ireland. Yes I have mentioned its nice having a beer gathering family.  They tried it on tap and complemented it in that version. Many thanks.