Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Bison vs. Guinness Stout Day Challenge... Total Official Review!

This totally exciting thing happened to me... I was picked by Bison Brewing Company as one of a handful of bloggers to compare their Organic Chocolate Stout to the biggest commercial example of a dry stout, Guinness Draught. Not really sure if I'm out of my league here, but I'll give it a shot...

So, Bison Brewing sent me a tasting kit that included a bottle of their Chocolate Stout, a can of Guinness Draught, and a sweet Bison Brewing pint glass to add to my collection. This is the first beer I've tried from this brewery and the first stout of the year (totally been craving dark beers lately) Full disclosure, I totally have a wicked chest cold... and as I've said before my tasting skills are the worst... but here we go...

With a little help from a pouring assistant (my wife), I started by tasting them blind. SPOILER ALERT: I didn't need to bother... it's pretty obvious. This is like comparing Bud Light to Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. It's not even in the ball park... After the blind tasting, the cat was out of the bag, so I sat down with each and gave them my best analysis...

It's been a few years since I had a Guinness, so I feel like I'm looking at them both fresh. The Guinness looked nice, just shy of black in color with the tademarked off-white creamy head. At first sniff, I honestly can't really smell anything. No aroma at all. Taking a sip, mouthfeel is thin, light, and watery. Mild muted roasty malt flavor with a pleasant bitterness. Dry but maybe not quite dry enough finish.

And the Bison... this really isn't fair...  The Bison poured thicker, promising a thick silky texture. The color is black, like black black, like seriously... black. The real comparison in color becomes obvious when both are held up to the light... The light shows the Guinness to be more of a dark brown while the Bison holds up as just a shade off of the blackest black that ever blacked. The head on the bison was dark tan in color, not quite as thick and whipped cream looking as the Guinness. The head lasted well, though not as unnaturally long as Guinness... Bison totally kills it on the aroma... Dark roast coffee and unsweetened cocoa... and totally follows through on the taste. But the biggest difference here is the mouthfeel... Where the Guinness was thin and watery, the Bison was thick, viscous, and silky. It coated the tongue like the highest quality milk chocolate. While the texture was like milk chocolate, the flavor is closer to dark chocolate. I get black coffee, even french roast, or espresso... a nice lingering bitterness with very little remaining sweetness. The Bison ended with a nice dry finish that left me wanting another sip... GJ Bison, GJ... Later.

1 comment:

  1. Matt,
    Thanks for taking the time to write this all up and take pics! Really enjoyed the little #stoutday contest and the good fun.