Did I expect fireworks and a little leprechaun to leap out of the bottle as soon as I removed the cap? No. But I did expect something spectacular to commemorate the 250th Anniversary of the "dark stuff." And while it was definitely a good beer and worthy of the Guinness label, I was underwhelmed with the Guinness 250th Anniversary Stout.
It pours almost black, similar to the Draught. However, the head, a creamy white on the Draught, was a dirty white and didn't last very long on the Guinness Anniversary. One should expect a more robust head if poured like a Draught, but given this beer's carbonation (not nitrogenation) the pour is more in keeping with other beers - angled glass, pour slowly down the side. The maltiness is noticeable right from the start - it smells like a Guinness. I metioned Friday night when I tweeted my first impressions, the carbonation really does take you by surprise, however, it does mellow in subsequent sips. You can taste the malt and some sweet dark chocolate, as well as some dark fruity undertones, but the triple hops are definitely evident as is this beer's higher alcohol content. Don't get confused, however, this is not an IPA. It's more a watered-down Imperial Stout with less alcohol.
All in all it's a good beer, not a great beer, and left me feeling, "meh." I had hoped for (and expected) something truly kick ass for such a significant anniversary, but was disappointed. I'm not sure I'll pay the $10 for another six-pack of 11.2 oz. bottles - I'd rather pay the $13 for a 8-pack of the Draught cans. And, why 11.2 oz.? Can someone explain this to me? I have pint glasses. Pint. 16 oz. I gave up pony bottles around the same time I gave up drinking Bud. Read: a long, loooong time ago. Note to Guinness: please consider adding another few ounces please. It's only neighborly.