Friday, May 1, 2009

Classic Black & Tan Beer Cocktail Review

Breweries: Guinness Ltd. & Bass Brewers Ltd.
Guinness Draught & Bass Pale Ale
Cocktail Name: Classic Black & Tan
Style: Beer Cocktail | ABV: ~4.6%
Serving Method: ~9 oz. of each bottle poured into pint glass with Brutool Turtle to separate

Classic Black & Tan Beer CocktailThis review is a part of an article on beer cocktails as part of the monthly beer blogging project The Session.

Black & Tans date back to the late 1800s, when it became popular in British pubs. While any mix of Stout over Pale Ale is considered a Black & Tan, these beers represent the classic combination. However, if you're looking for something a bit more daring, you can easily find list after list of different Guinness + X lists online. They feature names as colorful as "Black Honkey," "Dirty Hippie," & "Old Dirty Englishman."

Appearance: On the bottom, the classic crystal clear, rich golden body of an English Pale Ale. Up top, the standard deep, black body of a Stout with the classic creamy nitro-head of Guinness Draught. There's a very clear line of demarcation between the two that holds for quite a while, with just a few thin strands of Guinness intermingling with the Bass. Gorgeous.

Aroma: Very much the standard Guinness. Perhaps some whiffs of somethng lighter, but that's probably just the power of suggestion. Checking in later when most of the Guinness is gone, a lot of the roasty character fades, and you're left with a darker version of an English Pale Ale.

Taste: At first it's a lot of roasty Guinness, with just a hint of caramel and hops. As you move down the pint, things start to mix a lot more and you end up with a pretty great combination. It's just what you'd think: a roasted and caramel malt body with some dark fruit and a splash of mild English hops. Towards the end, the tides change again and it becomes much more like a somewhat roastier, drier Bass.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and smooth at first. It seems like more Guinness influence than Bass, until most of the Stout is gone and the carbonation crispens up.

Drinkability: Both Guinness and Bass are brilliant session beers, so it's no surprise that this goes down easily.

Verdict: You can see easily this is such a classic mix, the beers just compliment each other perfectly. Just the presentation is worth the trouble itself, I could stare at it all day. Makes me wonder what a Russian Imperial Stout over a Double India Pale Ale would taste like...

Grade: A-

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Make sure you use the "widget" bottle or can. The bottled, "Extra Stout" Guinness doesn't work so well. I learned the hard way, but it was still pretty tasty.