Guinness Foreign Extra Stout
Remember when we wrote articles about beer at Walt Disney World? Those were the days, right? Actually, I’ve been holding off since I’ll be there in June. However, I recently came into some Guinness Foreign Extra Stout.
Yes, that’s right, I recently came into some Guinness Foreign Extra Stout. As the story goes, my wife asks if I’ve ever had this beer at random one day. I respond that I haven’t, and she tells me that our friend “bought the wrong Guinness” and doesn’t like it, so she’s going to give the rest to us if we want it. Naturally, I say we’ll take it, and I’m currently the owner of three (well, now two) bottles of Foreign Extra.
I can understand the confusion. Guinness makes a number of beers that are very similar in color, style, and name. There’s the classic Guinness Draught sold in cans and bottles and on draft all over the place (which I’m guessing is the beer our friend was looking for), Guinness Extra Stout (also known as Guinness Original in some countries), and Guinness Foreign Extra Stout.
So what’s the difference?
Draught is the popular, smooth beer infused with nitrogen rather than carbon dioxide. Extra Stout is actually Guinness’ original beer; not quite as popular today but a bit different than Draught and carbonated instead of infused with nitrogen. Foreign Extra is also carbonated but hopped up more for export from Ireland. This is also key; Draught is fully brewed and fermented in Ireland, Foreign Extra is brewed in Ireland but the unfermented wort is exported and fermented locally, and Extra Stout is completely brewed locally (for North America, this takes place in Canada).
Foreign Extra has a strong scent of roasted malt, coffee, and dark chocolate. The beer is pretty much black and has a one finger sized tan head. The taste, however, is more complex than you would expect; sure, the roasted malt, coffee, and chocolate are there, but they’re more subdued. There’s also a dark fruit taste that blends in nicely. None of the flavors overpower. It doesn’t seem to be an especially thick liquid, and the carbonation is fairly light.
I’m surprisingly impressed with Guinness Foreign Extra Stout, which is good because it’s served at Raglan Road in Downtown Disney along with a number of other interesting beers. It’s a fairly common beer at the store, so it may not be your first choice but it’s a solid choice.