Hardcore Guinness fans might think it best to leave well enough alone, but the massive Irish beer brand is dabbling with some line extensions again. Fortunately, they’re pretty good.
The new additions take the form of a pair of porters said to be based on Guinness recipes from the 1800s. Dublin Porter, at 3.8% abv, is quite dry, and relatively light by porter standards. Its lean, crisp character suggests some real food-friendliness.
West Indies Porter (6% abv) is rather more substantial, with its increased level of hops and alcohol. There are some rounded, toffee and caramel notes, but lifted by some significant bitterness.
‘For this launch we have gone back to the brand’s roots,’ said Stephen O’Kelly, marketing director for Guinness in Western Europe. ‘We set our most enterprising brewers on a quest to explore new recipes, reinterpret old ones and collaborate freely.’
They’re both hitting the UK on-trade first, in 500ml bottles, and with on-trade RRPs of £3.65 and £4, respectively. Dublin Porter will also be available on draught.
Existing Guinness drinkers have nothing to worry about, though. The classic Irish stout ‘maintains its position as jewel in the crown’, says Diageo senior innovation commercialisation manager Dafydd Pugh Williams. Don’t expect this to be the last line extension though. Pugh Williams confirms that the team will be looking at ‘co-creation opportunities and other recipes’.
The launch contrasts somewhat with the latest from Guinness across the pond, where a recent line extension took the form of a US-brewed, Guinness-branded lager.