Beer Review: Guinness Draught in a can

DID you catch my last post comparing every type of bottled Guinness I could get my hands on? In it, I group tested Guinness Draught, Guinness Original, Guinness Foreign Extra and Guinness Foreign Extra Imported. If you came here the normal way, it should be directly under this post. If you didn’t, then CLICK HERE to read that post first. That’s because this post is tidying something up.

You see, that group-test nearly happened with a can of Guinness Draught instead of the bottle. Yet, I still have that can of Guinness Draught. I thought about just drinking it. But then decided to try answering a couple of outstanding questions. What is it like and is it better or worse than the bottle of Guinness Draught? Let’s find out.

Just like the bottle, it’s cleverly designed to look like a glass of Guinness. On the front, there’s precious little apart from the world-famous branding and words “Serve Chilled”.

There’s a few odd details on the ‘side’ of the can without the barcode.

Guinness Draught side of can

Among them are Guinness & Co.’s North West London address. Those reassuring words “Brewed in Dublin”. The www.guinness.com web address. And all the patents and trade mark information you could hope for.

Fortunately, the barcode ‘side’ of the can has a few more interesting titbits.

Guinness Draught barcode side of can

They open by describing it as “Smooth & Creamy”. And by declaring that this “Guinness Draught Stout” has an alcoholic volume of 4.1%. Which, in this 440ml can, brings it up to 1.8 UK units of alcohol. Which is a little more than the bottle. Mostly because it was smaller.

There’s no complete list of ingredients on here. Just that it “Contains Barley”. Under the Drink Aware messages, is the note that this can contains a floating widget. This source of all it’s powers also means that you can hear it ratting in there, and that you shouldn’t shake the can. Not unless you’re particularly cruel and intend on giving that shaken can to a victim. Not even their consumer helpline number could help you there.

And that’s all the detail there is to report. There’s noting left to do now than pour it into a glass. Something that they recommended against with the bottle. But that they haven’t said anything about on this can. Time to get pouring.

That was one of the most pleasant ‘pouring from a can’ experiences I’ve ever had. Opening it immediately triggered the widget, and I could hear some fizzing going on in there. Pouring into the glass was very smooth. There was absolutely no glugging. Presumably because it’s so much thicker and syrupy than the usual lager you get in cans, it came out at it’s own pace. Which made it very easy indeed. Even I managed to get it to look about right.

It also answers the question of whether it looks similar to the bottle of Guinness Draught. The answer is, it does. It also looks like a pint of Guinness poured for you at one of our countries fine public houses. Which, incidentally, is exactly what Guinness Draught seems to be aiming for.

What does it smell like? It smells of roasted barley with a hint of malt. Which is about how is should smell. And it’s as strong as you’d want Guinness to smell. Does it smell like the bottled version? Mostly. I remember describing the bottled version as smelling slightly of vanilla. Don’t know what I was picking up on there, but there is something a tiny bit different about this can. Otherwise, it smells right.

What does it taste like? It’s time to give it a couple of sips. Well, it’s rich, smooth and creamy. You can’t fault the description on the side of the can. A few more sips, and I begin to make sense of the flavour and taste. You can taste the flavour of slightly malty roasted barley. But it’s not as full-on as I was expecting. That would be Foreign Extra having raised my flavour expectations to impossible heights. What hits me most is that taste and aftertaste. It’s got a bit of “bite” to it. That “bite” gradually transforms into a warm, lingering bitter aftertaste. And an aftertaste that’s not particularly hoppy. Just bitter.

What will you like about Guinness Draught from a can? By my extremely limited experience, it’s one of the best ways to get a good stout from a can. I like bottles. But one thing you can say about cans, is that they’re portable. Guinness Draught from a can, then, is your Guinness or stout option that you can take with you on a train journey or buy in bulk from a supermarket.

You might also like Guinness Draught out of a can if you happen to love Guinness in all its other forms. I know there are a lot of you out there that do. If, like me, you don’t necessarily love Guinness, but you like a good bottled stout or dark ale, this can isn’t a bad option. That’s because it’s got much more body, flavour and quality than most tin based options. And, not even I could mess up the pouring of this one. It’s also as widely available as cigarettes and usually cheaper.

What won’t you like about Guinness Draught from a can? If you don’t like Guinness there might be problems. If you don’t like stout or dark ale there could be issues. And if you don’t like strong flavours and tastes, you may be disappointed. But, if you’ve purchased a can and have drunk it, you probably know all of these things already. So what isn’t there to like here? If you’re new to this style of beer, are a lager drinker or a woman, you’ll probably be scared off. And that’s no bad thing. I have been for a long time, but I keep coming back. And you know what? It’s starting to grow on me.

Guinness Draught from a can is, in my uninformed view, nearly identical to Guinness Draught from a bottle. Both of which are probably very similar to a pint of Guinness. I say similar, because I haven’t yet had a pint in a pub. But I am now looking forward to trying it.

How can I sum up Guinness Draught? If you love Guinness already, you’ll probably like this. If you don’t, then you won’t. If, like me, you’re new to the stuff, then it’s a good way in. Nearly at the bottom of the glass now, and I’ve rather enjoyed this can.

Rating: 4

Have you tried Guinness Draught from a can? What did you think of it?

Do please leave your comments, thoughts, corrections, opinions, requests, recommendations, and, for our overseas readers, places to buy this drink.

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10 Responses to “Beer Review: Guinness Draught in a can”

  1. Steve Says:

    Definitely MY favorite beer of choice, maybe because I’m Irish by descent!
    Very very drinkable and goes down like chocolate milk.

    A recommendation for anyone who actually gets a chance to go to St. James Gate Brewery in Dublin…

    When visiting the storehouse and purchasing your tickets, opt to buy them from the automated kiosks instead of from the concierge desk. When paying by credit card at the machine and it asks you if you’d like a receipt, GET A RECEIPT!! All tickets have a complimentary free Guiness stub on them, the receipts are also printed on these same tickets. Hence, you get TWO free Guinesses instead of one.

  2. Beva Says:

    Was there ever a problem making guinness beer?
    a friend told me that, there was a problem making guinness taste right.

  3. tom Says:

    where can i buy guinness beer??

  4. tom Says:

    or what store do they sell it?

  5. derikr Says:

    Sams and Costco have the best deals. Pouring this from the can is amazinly close to a pub experience!

    http://grillandbarrel.com/2009/01/comfort-brew/

  6. Holt Says:

    I first tasted Guiness in Ireland as a tourist. One night I had a grieviously upset stomach from sinus infection and drainage. I ask the bar tender for a drink of club soda and explained why. He immediately prescribed a pint of guiness and guaranteed welness or return of my money. My doubts were grave since I do not like beer in general, though Scotch is is at the other end of the spectrum.

    He was one of the best doctors I have ever known. It worked very well and still does. However on return to the states my purchases of Guiness in bottles were beyond disappointing. They tasted like river mud, so I quit drinking it. A few years later they began the import of the Guiness draught in a can. It is as good as the draught in Ireland.

    I will have to try the foreign and foreign extra that you also critiqued but I have doubts they will match my taste for what is the greatest bee for me (and yes I have been to Germany and drank their beers as well as other countries).

  7. Klinsi Says:

    I tried Guinness Draught, but it was undrinkable

  8. Runswithbeer Says:

    Guinness Draught in can was my first stout and i must say after i downed my second pint i have fell in love. I can’t stop drinking the stuff and look foward to trying other guinness products.

  9. Leah Says:

    I’m a woman and I LOVE Guinness Draught in the can. The bottles in America don’t compare and the Extra Stout is carbonate (I think) so I don’t like it as much as the can with the widget. To my great dismay I just learned that Sam’s Club has decided to discontinue their sales of the 18 case of 14.9oz cans. I’m just at a loss! :-( Now I will have to find the 4 packs at my grocery store instead… Guess I’ll discontinue my Sam’s membership since that was mainly the reason I shopped there.

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