This version of Guinness may be called "export" but it's often difficult to find in Britain. It's currently available in Sainsbury's so my advice would be to buy several bottles and lay some down for future enjoyment.
Foreign Extra Stout (FES) is a palpable link with brewing practice in the 19th century. One beer destined for blending is matured in the Dublin brewery for up to three months. During that period it picks up a slightly sour and lactic character. It's then blended with fresh young stout and the bottles are held in the brewery for a further month to allow the flavours to meld.
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|Guinness, Foreign Extra Stout (Ireland) |
FES is brewed with pale malt, 25% flaked barley and 10% roasted barley. Galena, Nugget and Target hop varieties create a mighty 60 units of bitterness. The finished beer has the slightly sour and musty aroma that brewers call “horse blanket” and is the result of action by the yeast during the long maturation of the older beer. The aroma is complex, with bitter roasted grain, a woody and vinous note and spicy hop resins. The palate is bitter from roasted grain and hops, balanced by dark fruit, with a long, dry and bitter finish with hints of liquorice and dark mysterious fruits, including something akin to sour bananas.
FES is the base for the strong versions of Guinness brewed for the Belgian market and for Africa. For Africa, a dehydrated hopped wort is sent from Dublin and is blended with a pale beer made from barley malt and sorghum.
2009 marks the 250th anniversary of Guinness brewery in Dublin and there is no better way to salute Arthur Guinness than raising a glass of FES.
Malt: high. Hops: high. Fruit:high.
7.5% ABV, 33cl, £1.49, Sainsbury's.