Guinness & Bulleit

Brewed in Dublin. Aged in Baltimore. The latest from Guinness is their famous Stout Aged in Bulleit Bourbon Barrels. The Antwerpen Stout variant was aged for eight months in the barrels at the recently Open Gate Brewery in Maryland.

This location was once the Maryland Distilling Company that opened back in 1933.

The press release touts “powerful and full-bodied notes of bittersweet chocolate and aged fruits, the stout spent eight months aging in Bulleit Bourbon barrels, adding a layer of oaky richness and complexity to the beer.”

It is in very limited supply in the U.S. with four packs of 11.2oz bottles selling for a suggested retail price of $19.99.

A Book & A Beer – Miss Subways by David Duchovny

Yes, it is that David Duchovny of X-Files and Californication. And Miss Subways is his third book but the first that I have read.

The book follows Emer, a teacher in New York City whose romantic life is complicated not only by the usual pressures of life but by the existence of Gods of long ago erase her boyfriend Con, from her life, only for them to re-connect. It is a rom-com mixed with Neil Gaiman lite and chock-filled with contemporary asides.

Overall, I like quite a few of the ideas in the book. Quotes in the subway cars amidst the ads and people on phones is well done. Duchovny has selected telling quotes without being too obvious. I like the school characters as well. From the principal Sidney to her friend Izzy and even the three troublesome students have single but cool dimensions to them. New York is given a lived in and local character as well which adds a nice dimension.

The boyfriend with the weird Gaelic name seems a bit wimpy to me, especially in comparison to Emer. She could do a lot better, is something I uttered out loud on a couple of occasions. And that shortcoming sort of cuts the book’s knees out from under it. Con doesn’t have to be perfect but he seems weak even for someone who has proverbially sold his love.

Now if this blog came to you from New York and not Los Angeles, the beer choosing would be a lot easier. Most New York beer doesn’t really make it out to us but considering the romantic nature of the book, I really do need to pick an Other Half beer, so I will go for Short, Dark and Handsome, their Stout.

In wider release, since their is plenty of Irish in this book, Guinness would be a good choice. Or you could go light and go for Harp instead since that musical instrument has more romance behind it.

More local, head to Ogopogo Brewing in San Gabriel and pick up their stout, Ashrays. Those are mythical water creatures and the book deals heavily in myths but as the kicker, they are sometimes called the water lovers or water ghosts.

Baltimore Blonde

Looks like the Americanized Guinness is starting on the easy drinking side for their first big Maryland brewery release…

I do like the Maryland state flag in the background and I hope this blonde is a good choice for summer.


Take a peek at this video….

…I don’t know how people will react to the famous dark beer brewers creating a light option but I would be very interested in trying it.

Guinness 200

On International Stout Day, I found myself near Staples Center at a party thrown by Guinness to celebrate the release of their new Guinness 200th Anniversary Ale.
Was there nitro ice cream? Yes.
Was there coffee infused Guinness? Yes.
Was Guinness Blonde available or the Nitro IPA? The former for some unknown reason considering that it sure wasn’t Blonde Ale day.

I wish I had this truck in my parking spot.

The verdict on the new beer: It is a nice companion piece to the draught and Foreign Export (which I also tried) but it wasn’t strikingly different like the Antwerpen Stout is. Don’t let that nitpickery make you think that I didn’t like because I did. But it is almost less a variant and more of a slight tweak. I did hear that a barrel-aged version might be coming from the Maryland office. That really intrigues me.

Irish Dairy

The humble Milk Stout is not one of those beer styles that people decide that they are going to mass produce, it might get trotted out as a seasonal or get imperialized for an anniversary ale, so to see Guinness bring one out as part of their extension (and in cans no less) is heartening to see.

200 Years in the US

Has it been that long? Not that I was here for all of it but if Guinness says they have been sending us their fine Irish stout for 200 years, then I will believe them. It would have been cool to see the Toucans flying above other American landmarks like the Grand Canyon or the Space Needle, or even the Hollywood Sign, dare I say.

Cheers to the next 200!