What Does Guinness Taste Like? A Detailed Answer

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Are you someone who has never tasted Guinness before? If you are, you might be wondering what Guinness taste like, right? This is one question I have asked myself many times before tasting this amazing drink. With its sweetness and bitterness, this Irish stout has been people’s favorite drink for over a century. 


Guinness has a unique flavor. It has the sweetness of malt and a hoppy bitter taste. It also has hints of coffee and chocolate in it. In short, we can say that Guinness is a bitterly sweet drink.

This is one such drink that has surpassed time and traveled to different countries with its sheer taste. Even now, when many other beers are available on the market, nothing has gained the place of Guinness beer.

If you want to learn more about these drinks, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we will explore Guinness beer’s taste and its variants. But before knowing its taste profile, let’s understand Guinness.

What Is Guinness?

If you are in a bar, you must have heard this word multiple times. Thus, we can say that this word is familiar to most of us. But what is it really? Is this alcohol, or is it just something to drink?

Once known as a “meal in a cup,” Guinness is an Irish stout beer. It is made from barley, water, hops, and Guinness yeast. The barley used in Guinness is roasted, which gives it a dark color and a roasted flavor. “Stout” simply means a dark-colored beer.

Guinness, according to a lot of surveys, is one of the most popular beer brands in the world. This is allegedly referred to as the national drink of Ireland. It is so popular in Ireland that you’ll probably get Guinness if you order a beer without mentioning any name.

 This company has a history of over 250 years and, at present, its products are available in more than 150 countries. Guinness is often drunk as a stand-alone drink. However, due to its popularity, it is now combined with different drinks and meals.

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What Does Guinness Taste Like?


The name Guinness sounds very captivating to me. But ever since I tried Guinness, I’ve grown to appreciate its flavor! There is no doubt that many people become instant fans of this drink once they have had it.

Guinness has a unique taste to it. It has a mixed sweet and bitter taste. It tastes sloppy, bitter, and sweet from that malt. One could also sense the taste of chocolate and coffee in it.

When it comes to texture, Guinness has a very thick, foamy consistency to it. It is rich and black and looks a little exotic! If you are drinking it for the first time, be careful only to pour half a cup of the beer and leave some space for the foam!

Does Guinness Actually Taste Good?

From reading the above section, you might have got an idea of the taste and appearance of the drink. But more than its appearance, we are concerned about its taste. Is Guinness good to drink?

Yes. Guinness has a really good taste to it. Thanks to the sweet-bitter taste it holds behind its dark color. Most people who try Guinness for the first time like it so much that they buy it again.

Moreover, many brands have come up with different flavors of Guinness. Thus, even if you are someone who does not like the original taste of Guinness, you can go for other variants.

What Does Guinness Taste Similar To?


Guinness is definitely one of the most delicious Irish stouts we can experience. But what should we do when we crave it and cannot find it? The best option would be to find a similar tasting drink.

Therefore, we are bringing you some of the best-tasting Irish stouts in this section. These have a similar flavor profile to that of Guinness. Thus, look for these variants even if you can not find Guinness.

  1. Beamish Irish Stout: Famously known as “Hipster’s stout,” Beamish stout is one of the oldest Irish stouts available to us. It has a roasted malt taste with a hint of bitterness, chocolate, and coffee similar to Guinness.
  2. Murphy’s Irish Stout: Murphy dates back to 1856. It has a taste of coffee and toffee with a hint of roasted malt. It is a dry stout, giving you a silky smooth mouth feel. If you are someone who loves sweet flavors in your drink, Murphy’s is for you as it lacks any hint of bitterness.
  3. Porterhouse Oyster Stout: This Irish stout has a sharper and bolder taste than Guinness’s. It is dry and bitter with a scrumptious sweet aroma of caramel. Thus, if you want to try a stout stronger than Guinness, Porterhouse is for you.
  4. O’Hara Irish Stout: This stout has a robust flavor and an extremely smooth mouth feel. Its taste has a blend of licorice and coffee with a hint of roasted barley. O’Hara is served in a similar way to that of Guinness and is extremely popular among ordinary people.
  5. Black Rock Irish Stout: This is one of the latest drinks that is gaining popularity among the Irish masses. It is a dry stout with a taste of roasted barley, aniseed, and vanilla.

Does Guinness Taste Like Chocolate Milk?


Every food tastes better when it is served how it needs to be. But there are some foods which get totally ruined if served badly. Guinness is one such food item. Its taste very much depends on the way it is served.

Guinness gives you a hint of chocolate milk when properly poured. Its smooth mouthfeel, hoppy bitterness, and malty sweetness remind you of a chocolate milkshake.

However, when poured in the wrong way, Guinness tastes nothing like chocolate milk but like water. Therefore, always make sure to pour it in the right way to enjoy its best taste.

Is Guinness Bitter?


We all may have tasted normal beer at least once. It does have a slightly bitter taste to it. But is Guinness’s bitterness comparable to that of normal beer, or is it more potent?

Guinness does have a bitter taste to it. It is the hoppy, bitter taste that makes it taste delicious. But the bitterness in Guinness is not overpowering. Its bitterness is comparable to that of coffee.

But bitterness is not the only taste of Guinness. A malty sweet flavor compliments the bitterness of Guinness. As a result, we can say that Guinness tastes better with its bitterness.

Does Guinness Taste Flat?

Now that we have talked about Guinness stout, you must expect it to be something like the hundred other beers available to us. But let me break the ice for you: Guinness tastes nothing like regular beer.

If you compare it to the normal beer available, Guinness might taste a little bland to you. This is because Guinness, unlike carbonated beer, is a nitrogenated drink.

Therefore, it might have more of a creamier, sweeter taste than the normal beer we have. So if you will have Guinness for the first time, don’t expect it to be anything like a beer.

Does Guinness Taste Like Black Licorice?


One of the unpopular opinions about Guinness is that it tastes like black licorice. Just like black licorice, Guinness has a very dark appearance. But can we compare the taste of Guinness to that of black licorice?

 Black licorice has a very different taste than that of Guinness. Black licorice is sweet, bitter, and sour. But Guinness doesn’t have any sourness to it. Thus, don’t stop yourself from trying Guinness by thinking it tastes similar to black licorice.

 But Guinness does have a hint of black licorice taste in it. It is very mild and often goes unnoticed with the roasted malty sweetness of the drink.

 Does Guinness Taste Like Meat?

No. Guinness does not have any meaty taste to it. However, people frequently confuse the smoky malt flavor with the smoky meat. Therefore, it is safe to say that Guinness does not taste like meat in any sense.

Why Does Guinness Taste So Bad?


Not all people love Guinness. Guinness is a very light form of beer. It has a dark color and a very smooth, creamy mouth flavor. Thus, if you are someone who is expecting it to be anything similar to that of normal beer, you might find it disappointing.

 Guinness does not taste bad when it is served the right way. Most people love it for its bittersweet taste with hints of coffee. However, if it is poured incorrectly, it might taste bland, like water. 

Thus, if you are planning to drink Guinness, always make sure to try it from someone who knows how to pour it well. Moreover, if you are unsatisfied with the original taste, you can try the flavored Guinness according to your taste.

 Does Guinness Taste Like Cigarettes?


 Guinness does not specifically taste like cigarette smoke. However, it has a slightly smoky, malty flavor, which reminds many people of the mouthfeel that a cigar gives.

 Many people think Guinness tastes like a cigarette because the first taste we get from the beer is that of smokiness. But don’t make a fast assumption about Guinnesstoo soon. Once you gulp it down, it fills your mouth with a sweet malty flavor and a bitter coffee, which is very pleasant.

What Does Guinness Beer Taste Like? 


A sharp flavor comes to mind when we first hear the word beer. But does Guinness beer have a similar taste to normal beer available to us in the market?

Guinness beer does have a malty, fruity, sweet flavor with a bitter undertone similar to that of normal beer available on the market. However, the mouthfeel of Guinness is different from that of normal beer available to us.

While the normal beer has a crisp mouthfeel, the Guinness beer is more milky and soft. Many people even compare the mouthfeel of Guinness beer to the mouthfeel of melted ice cream.

However, the mouthfeel very much depends on the way we pour it. The right way it is poured, the better its flavor. Guinness beer gives a very wet and milky taste with hints of the original beer flavor.

What Does Guinness Stout Taste Like?

A stout is different from a beer with its dark color and smooth texture. Guinness stout tastes just like Guinness beer. It is malty sweet and hoppy bitter with hints of coffee and licorice hints.

What Does Baby Guinness Taste Like?


If you think baby Guinness has anything to do with the real Guinness, you are wrong! Baby Guinness looks like mini Guinness but is a very different drink.

A Baby Guinness is a kind of shooter. It is a cocktail that must be taken in one shot. It is prepared by pouring a scoop of Irish cream over the coffee liquor. In appearance, it is similar to a baby Guinness.

The taste profile of baby Guinness is very similar to that of Guinness. It is sweet and bitter with hints of coffee. The creaminess of the Irish cream is well balanced by the strong bitterness of the coffee liquor. 

What Does Guinness Cake Taste Like?


At the beginning of the article, we talked about how Guinness is used for various cooking methods. Guinness cake is one among the many recipes which use Guinness as one of its main ingredients.

Guinness cake tastes like gingerbread without any spices in it. The taste of Guinness is not very prominent in the cake, but if we taste it slowly, we can find hints of the Guinness taste in it.

Factors Affecting The Taste Of Guinness


Guinness might sound like a regular drink. But all food items taste best when prepared in the best way. Thus, in this section, we are going to explore some of the factors that affect the taste of Guinness.

  1. Temperature: The best temperature at which you should have Guinness is 38 degrees Celsius. Anything less or higher than that temperature could change the drink’s taste.
  2. Air: When talking about the air in a beer, carbon dioxide comes to our mind. However, that’s not always the case with Guinness. Guinness has nitrogenated drinks as well. In my opinion, nitrogenated drinks taste better than carbonated ones, making the drink much creamier.
  3. Freshness: The drink tastes best when it is served fresh. That means one shouldn’t open the drink until it’s time to drink. If oxygen enters the bottle, it will react with the yeast inside, making the drink sour.

Different Brands Of Guinness And Their Different Tastes


Guinness is something that has improved a lot ever since it was invented. Nowadays, different brands have their own Guinness, which puts us in a tough spot when choosing.

 So in this section, I’m going to introduce you to some of the best brands and their top-selling Guinness drinks. Let us understand its flavor profile and then decide which one to buy!

  1.  Guinness Draught: This is a nitrogenized drink with a very smooth mouth. It has a fruity flavor with hints of coffee. Thus, if you are someone who loves a fruity splash in your food, this one’s for you.
  2.  Guinness Nitro IPA: It has a similar fruity flavor to that of Guinness Draught but in a much stronger version. It is also much creamier in nature. If you like your drink’s strong flavor and aroma, you shouldn’t miss trying this.
  3.  Guinness Extra Stout: This one has a traditional Guinness taste. It is sharp and crisp and has hints of lemony flavor in it. This is one of the most popular flavors for the local people of Ireland.
  4. Guinness Foreign Extra Stout: This one has a very complicated taste. The first taste that hits your mouth will be bitter. But that’s not it. Guinness Extra Stout is bitter with a fruity flavor. It also has an undertone of nuttiness to it.
  5. Guinness Over The Moon Milk Stout: This is the perfect beer for you if you have a sweet tooth. It is very sweet with hints of caramel in it. Not only is it tasty, but it is also very aromatic. This one will never make you feel like you are having a beer.
Name Of The BrandTaste Profile
Guinness DraughtFruity flavor with hints of coffee
Guinness Nitro IPAPungent fruity flavor
Guinness Extra StoutSharp malt taste with hints of citric notes
Guinness Foreign Extra StoutBitter taste with a hint of nuttiness and toffee.
Guinness Over The Moon Milk StoutSweet taste with a note of caramel

Best Guinness Food Pairing


 At the beginning of this article, we talked about how Guinness can be paired with various food items. If you are someone who is using Guinness for the first time, you might be confused regarding which food items go well with Guinness.

  1.  Classic Irish Dishes: Nowadays, Guinness has been paired with multiple dishes. But to date, it tastes best with classic Irish dishes. Whether it is Irish stew, soda bread, or pies, Guinness pairs well with them.
  2.  Fruits: Guinness has a unique flavor profile that compliments the taste of fruits. Therefore, if you are making a fruit salad or an apple pie, Guinness is something you can totally rely on. 
  3.  Whatever fruit you enjoy along with Guinness, make sure to include a chocolate dip to enjoy it at its best.
  4.  Meat dishes: Guinness tastes excellent with meat dishes, especially the smoked ones. What is even better is the beef stew. The meaty flavor of beef pairs well with the bitterness of Guinness.
  5.  Ice Cream: This isn’t an expected combination, I know. But Guinness pairs well with ice cream, especially with the vanilla flavor.

What Is The Best Way To Serve Guinness?


The best way to serve Guinness is to serve it cold in a pint glass. Ensure that the beer’s temperature is between 30 and 40 degrees Celsius while serving the drink.

 If the beer is too cold, it will lose its flavor and aroma. Guinness is no ordinary drink. Hence, follow this method to pour Guinness while serving it to your friends or even to yourself.

 Tilt the glass 45 degrees and slowly pour the Guinness from one side. Fill it halfway and leave some space for its foam. Make sure the foam is properly settled before serving the drink.

 How To Store Guinness Properly For Best Taste?

Even though pouring Guinness needs a lot of effort, storing Guinness is a cakewalk. You do not have to refrigerate this drink like many other liqueurs available to us.

One can simply keep Guinness outside, and it is safe to be used within its expiry date. Moreover, Guinness tastes best when served at room temperature rather than in its cold state.

However, if you intend to keep Guinness for a longer period, keep it in a cool place and close its lid tightly to enjoy its best taste.

 The Health Benefits Of Guinness


Now that we have come across the taste of Guinness extensively let’s look at some of the health benefits this drink offers us. People have been enjoying this drink for a long time, so let’s find out whether it has any health benefits to offer or not.

  • Reduce the cholesterol level: Guinness has some antioxidants that prevent the deposit of cholesterol in our bodies. Hence, Guinness is a controlled level that helps us keep our hearts healthy.
  • High iron content: Guinness has a good amount of iron in it. Our bodies require iron to maintain the hemoglobin level in our bodies and fight diseases like anemia.
  •  Aids bone health: Guinness has some calcium in it, which helps us maintain good bone and dental health.

 The Nutritional Content Of Guinness

Now that we have seen Guinness’s health benefits let’s take a close look at its nutritional contents. 

Nutritional ContentAmount (per 400 ml)
Calories125 kcal
Carbohydrates11 g
Protein2 g
Alcohol 12 g


Foamy, milky, and tasty are some of the many adjectives we can give to this amazing drink. It tastes delicious with a mix of bitterness and sweetness. If you are yet to try it, grab a rightly poured glass of Guinness very soon and let us know how much you like it!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What does Guinness taste similar to?

Guinness has a coffee-like bitterness to it.

Is Guinness a good beer for beginners?

Guinness is an excellent beer for beginners as well as non-drinkers as it has a very pleasing flavor profile. It is sweet and bitter with a very smooth mouthfeel.

Should you drink Guinness warm or cold?

Guinness tastes best when it is poured at room temperature.

Is Guinness an acquired taste?

No. Guinness is not an acquired taste. Even first-time drinkers would love the taste of Guinness.

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