Guinness Blonde American Lager

rating_verygood74 points

Looking for an American lager? Then pack your bags and head all the way to Ireland for Guinness’s new take on this classic. Then pack your bags again and head right back to Latrobe, Pennsylvania, because that’s where it’s actually brewed.

If all of this seems like a recipe for disaster, you may be surprised that the output is actually quite pleasing.

guinnessblondeThe panel found the appearance and pour of this lager appealing, with a darker, vibrant golden color highlighted by lively carbonation. It had a light nose with hints of caramel and fruit, and a solid, smooth taste. A bit of hops showed up on the aftertaste, as did a dry, somewhat metallic taste that lingered. The panel noted that beer’s taste and aftertaste improved as you drank it.

So while this brew had nothing unique to it, it’s an easy choice as a drinkable session beer, and way better than Diageo’s other offering of Harp Lager, which came in about 12 points lower.

(Appearance 7, Smell 6.33, Taste 21.67, Aftertaste 13.33, Drinkability 25.5)

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Smithwick’s Ale

rating_verygood73 points

The first thing we should address about this ale from Diageo is how to pronounce it. A quick YouTube search of the company’s advertising reveals that it’s said “SMI-thicks” — the “th” pronounced with a buzzy sound like “there” and “zither.” So you can stop saying “Smiddicks.”

smithwicksaleBut no matter how you pronounce it, this ale is solid. The panel enjoyed it’s warm caramel amber color and lively carbonation, though it didn’t produce much of a head. Aromas were light and malty, but not noteworthy.

The taste was slightly sweet as it first hits the palate, but quickly develops into a toasted, slightly smoky flavor. Aftertaste had overtones of wood and peat, with a slightly metallic taste that lingered.

The panelists were split on drinkability. Some said it was too heavy to drink more than a couple, while others said it was pleasing enough to drink all night.
Buyer Beware: Smithwick’s Ale bottles are 11.2 ounces, not a true 12 ounces.

(Appearance 8.33, Smell 6.83, Taste 22.33, Aftertaste 13.83, Drinkability 21.5)

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