About Irish Beer

About Irish Beer
Ireland: Stout Country

Although the country sports a handful of microbreweries, it cannot be said that one goes to Ireland to discover diversity in brewing styles. This is not to say Ireland does not produce noteworthy beer—especially if one likes dry stout, Guinness in particular. Guinness is brewed in a number of places around the world, but most Guinness exported to the U.S. market originate from the St. James Gate brewery in Dublin. Of course, this beer is even more creamy and flavorful when found directly in Irish pubs. Bottle-conditioned Guinness is available in the U.S., as are “widget” cans. Other popular Irish stouts available in the U.S. markets are Murphy’s, made by the Lady’s Well Brewery in Cork, and Beamish, made by Newcastle.

Top Picks for Ireland

Guinness Draught Nitro Stout
93 points
Murky dark brown color. Roasted aromas and flavors of dark roasted nuts, chocolate bar, and hint of jerky and sausage with a satiny, bright, finely carbonated, dry medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium-long pumpernickel raisin toast, sweet lettuces, and latte finish. A lovely, effortlessly drinkable stout that will be great for sessions and food.
Awards: 2017 Best Dry Stout , 2017 Best Irish Beer
Guinness Foreign Extra Stout
92 points
Brown black color. Nutty aromas and flavors of roasted nuts and dark chocolate vanilla cake with a supple, crisp, finely carbonated, dryish medium-to-full body and a tingling, interesting, long strong coffee and toasted meringue finish. A rich, satisfying export stout with great roasted malt flavors and a long finish.
Awards: 2017 Best Foreign/Export Stout
Guinness 200th Anniversary Export Stout
91 points
Brown black color. Creamy aromas and flavors of toasted marshmallow, cappuccino foam, and pannetone with a supple, bright, finely carbonated, dryish medium body and an interesting, medium-length lettuces, toasted fig bread, and cocoa dusted nuts finish. A refreshing, easy drinking stout with a nice snappy finish.
Boyne Brewhouse Irish Craft IPA
90 points
Brilliant amber color. Fruity, floral aromas and flavors of orange-mango chutney, pineapple cake, pine blossoms, and forest floor with a satiny, lively, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a refreshing, medium-long frisée with lemon vinaigrette, grapefruit, peppered rapini and radishes, and vegetable chips finish. A rock solid ipa-like pale ale with invigorating bitterness.
Adams Cider Company Devils Bit Mountain Cider
90 points
Brilliant old gold color. Aromas and flavors of apple yogurt, sour cream frosting, and apple pastry with a supple, crisp, effervescent, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a polished, engaging, medium-length lemon spritzed apple and melon, honeyed nuts, and straw finish. A flavorful and finely balanced Irish cider with lovely tannins.
Magners Pear Hard Cider
89 points
Clear bright silver color. Lively, yeasty, funky aromas of overripe pears citrus, brewer’s yeast, baked salted root vegetables, and straw with an even, bright, spritzy, fruity sweet light body and a smooth, swift honeyed apples and melons, vanilla, and minerals finish. A complex and nuanced perry with a solid core of fruitiness.
Guinness Extra Stout
87 points
Dark walnut color. Roasted aromas and flavors of roasted grains, brownie crust, and hint of dried fruit with a supple, crisp, finely carbonated, dry medium body and a tingling, intricate, medium-long toasted dark nut bread, chocolate espresso bean, and peppered greens finish. A spot-on stout that refreshes and satisfies.
Boyne Brewhouse Pagans Pillar Sparkling Copper Ale
87 points
Nearly opaque hazy dark copper color. Creamy aromas and flavors of flan, buttered dark nut toast, and caramel cake with a supple, finely carbonated, dryish medium body and a tingling, refreshing, medium-long toasted nuts and grains, sprouts and radicchio, and pepper finish. A fun caramelly ale with a nice smack of peppery hops on the finish.
Guinness Nitro IPA
87 points
Dusty bright maroon color. Lively, interesting aromas of floral honey, granola, kiwi marmalade, and moss with a supple, soft, bubbly, dryish light body and a smooth, odd, quick white chocolate nuts, fig bread, vanilla-orange custard, and river stones finish. An interesting creamy malty ipa with a soft hop impression that is more of a mild ale.
Finnbarra Medium Dry Irish Hard Cider
86 points
Bright light gold color. Aromas and flavors of fresh golden apples, tart golden raspberry, spearmint, and banana pudding with a satiny, vibrant, effervescent, fruity sweet light-to-medium body and an effortless, delightful, medium-length champagne vinaigrette, walnut, and fruit cup finish. A friendly, fruity cider for carefree crushing.