Toby’s, Westport, June ’17 (4/4)

My goodness! Now that’s Guinness!

Oh good lord yes!!! We now have proof of the existance of a God. Experiences like this are a rarity these days but when they do arise they are absolute heaven. On this occasion it was a Friday afternoon & Toby’s was the first bar available on the way into town off the train. We weren’t gonna pop in n all but by Jaysus am I glad we did. It’s a tiny little local, which is usually a good omen as the pints just have to be great to keep them coming back.

Tobys June 17 - 1
Slurping from the G-trough

We were slurping from the G-trough & the every pint that landed in front of us looked excellent, very promising & the wobble-test spoke of a creamy thickness I hadn’t seen in a while. The signs were good &, as I was on a stag with nothing holding me back, I went for the full gulp-gargle. The lip-flop was incredible, leaving a solid G-tache Tom Selleck would be proud of, & the G flowed through my mouthnthroat like a silken liquid sent from the gods; cool & flavoursome in the exact right proportions. My mouth, nay, my body & all my senses were tingling as I hit it again & again. I was salivating as I drank, it was just that good! She was gone within minutes & regardless of the fact that we were on a tight schedule we just had to go again! And the next one was pure mmmm mmmm mmmm mmmm. Wow, words can barely describe these, suffice to say it’s there with the best.

Tobys June 17 2
Imagine drining this… I did!

Some pints these, I can not wait get back. Might consider moving to Westport on a permanant basis to be near these beauties.

Healy Mac’s, Breaffy House, Mayo, Aug ’17 (1/4)

My goodness! Is that Guinness?

By the time I got to Carrick-On-Shannon I knew I was going the wrong way & my chances of a pint on the first night of of my holiday were going up in smoke. I finally arrived at Breaffy House around ten & was too wrecked for a sneaky so it was five o’clock the next day before I finally had the opportunity  to have my first holiday pint & I was buzzin, absolutely gasping for it I was. That was about the height of my G-buzz for this holiday.

This establishment has won foreign bar of the year for its bars in Malaysia & Indonesia. As we all know, the Guinness is shite anywhere outside of Ireland & unfortunately they serve the same ass-juice in their Irish branch in Breaffy.

Breaffy 1 1
Looks can be deceiving

When poured initially it started out as a pencil-tache & then grew into a normal head once settled, post-second pour. This is a 100% guarantee of a shite pint. If the Settler doesn’t already have the usual creamy head that remains once topped up, you’re fucked. Being my first holiday pint, I tried to pretend to myself that this one was normal & it would be ok but deep down I knew. The wobble-test was average I guess, wasn’t saying much really, certainly did nothing to quell my fears but sher I went for a normal sup anyway. There wasn’t much in terms of a lip-flop & the taste was quite bitter, definitely off. This had all the hallmarks of many pints I’ve had before; too much carbon dioxide, just a bad gas mix. Pure amateur stuff. I knew it would be bloody brutal in no time. Next sup was worse & by now the head was quickly becoming a fluffy bubble-head! By halfway down, the pint was just undrinkable, pure piss with a pencil-tache forming; all bubbles, no cream. Where is the god damned nitrogen? I want my cream!! I was gutted, my holiday was ruined. I packed the night in even though it was only seven. Fuck it like.

Breaffy2 2
Fluffy bubble-head 101

Pints like this are the reason this website exists. The manager says they check the G every few weeks, but, regardless of what they’re doing, the Guinness is just awful. It’s a lovely spot, but it’s no G-spot & if thats the clincher, like it is for me, then it’ll be a no for holidaying here.

Breaffy 3 3
Stop it now, this is just sacrilege

The Mercantile, Dublin, June ’17 (3/4)

Guinness Time

It was a strangely warm summer’s eve & the streets were packed. Nowhere better to be on the gargle so that out on Dame Lame. You’d obviously have some fear for the G-standard as pubs like this are ten-a-penny but The Mercantile has proved its worth in the past regardless so I took some solace in this.

Mercantile June 17 1
Bit o’the cream

Out she arrived & landed in front of me lookin right-good, I was relieved & delighted. The wobbe-test showed good promise, better-than-fine, so far so good so in I went for the a gulp-gargle earning myself a huge G-tache for my trouble. Mmmmm, decent flavour, nice bit o’the cream, as should be, all round cool & tasty. I was extremely happy with the high 3’s dished out in this establishment & I horsed through a consistently enjoyable pile o’pints over the course of the evening (& night). Summer outdoor drinking in town with a cold G is one of life’s little pleasures & out back of The Mercantile on Dame Lane is most definitely one of the places to do it. I’ll be back for sure… if we get the weather for it.

Mercantile2
Solid cream rings these

Ballybeg House, Co. Wicklow, May ’17 (3/4)

Guinness Time

Whenever you attend a wedding, you always have that fear that the venue just won’t be up to scratch in the G department, not to mention the bar staff being au fait with the art of the G. And so it was for me on this summer’s afternoon in Ballybeg House, South Wicklow. The reception room itself is a huge, permanent marquis with a bar in the corner, rather than being an actual bar, so all things considered, I was obviously a little scared of what I might receive here.

Having not realised that the speeches were pre-dinner, I had been caught off guard &, unfortunately, had not managed to pint-up beforehand. So, by the time said speeches, including the most legendary ramble touching on the marriage of a local fiddlers daughter & a detailed, three-point, Francis Brennan plan for the refurbishment of a hotel in the west of Ireland, were over, I was absolutely parched! Yer man behind the bar certainly looked like he know what he was at & the Settler really looked well as she sat there taunting me. To my delight, the head on the finished product looked great & I was more than happy with what the wobble-test was saying to me. I couldn’t wait to dive in so in I went, right there at the bar, for a good gulp-gargle. I received a lovely, creamy hit to the nose & an excellent full-flavored flow over my mouthnthroat; it was absolute thirst-quenching heaven & I was delighted so I was. All my G-fears evaporated in an instant. I could tell the G would be flowing late into the night. Many more were sank, all of a decent standard.

Ballybeg1
Looking well in her glitzy surrounds

If this venue is on your wedding shortlist, & it’s coming down to the G-quality; have no fear, it’s solid here.

Symth’s, Donabate, May ’17 (3/4)

Guinness Time

The pints have been underwhelming in this establishment in the past but I couldn’t resist trying again, what being my local & all, so I gave it a go on a surprising busy Wednesday evening. The  pint, ordered from the back bar (lounge), was poured in the front bar & as soon as it arrived I tried the wobble test as the last one I’d had here was a right waterdy-wan which tasted manky. Thankfully, on this occasion, the pint seemed half decent but, as I was still scarred from my last sortie, I went for merely a sup.

Smyth May 17
I’d drink that… & I did.

Happily, my G-fear was unfounded as she had a nice bit o’the cream, as she should do, & the taste was in the slightly above average range; definitely drinkable. She was a nothing- to-blow-me-away-but-nothing-to-stop-me-going-again kind of pint. The next was just the same; a default low 3, consistent anyway sure. So, the pint here is just grand really, nothing to write home about but eminently drinkable but at €4 a pint (yes, four euro!), well you’re actually making money with every pint you sink! I have no doubt that I’ll be back for more.

The Three Sisters, Dunmore East, Mar ’17 (3/4)

Guinness Time

Back in Dunmore East again, still on the hunt for a decent pint. And I’m now delighted to report that I’ve actually found one.

It was a sleepy March weekday afternoon & I was chillin like a tourist but nonetheless I was still on the prowl (as any self-respecting G-lover always is). Having got a walk out of the way it was relax & pint time; the best part of any holiday day & the time I had been looking forward since sunrise. As the Guinness was average-to-rubbish in the three other establisments I’d previously tried in this village, it had to be one of only two remaining so The Three Sisters it was & on we head. By the façade you wouldn’t know there was a cosy, country pub waiting inside, more like a Irish water park from the 80’s (Rainbow Rapids anyone) but anyway it is lovely inside. This, though, can often lull you into a false sense of security, expecting a decent pint before any efforts have been attempted. This was exacerbated by the fact that the proprieter, a chap in his 50’s I’d say, said he’d drop the pint down to me &, as he seemed very comfortable in his surroundings, I trusted him with the pour.

Fear not though, when she arrived at my table she looked just great, exactly what I’d hoped for. Nice dome, thick lookin head & the wobble test confirmed it’s credentials; so far, so good, but of course, the proof is in the pudding, so in I went. Just a sup to start, nothing crazy, as I was with the family. The lip-flop left that which every good G-lover expects: a soft, flavour-filled residue around my nose. The liquid Goodness left a smile on my tongue; cool, black, refreshing, and a nice bit o’the cream, as it should be. I was loving this lasy afternoon pint, it was everything one would expect of a decent pint of The GoodBlacknWhite. I had another for good measure, again; solid as an ox, leaving this G-man in a good G-mood. Nice pints of Guinness are just lovely, & you will get one here.

3 Sisters 3
Nice all round

Sandyford House, Mar ’17 (1/4)

My Goodness, is that Guinness?!

Jesus H Christ! Paddy’s day like for fuck’s sake. This one won’t be forgotten.

It was Paddy’s day and Cheltenham Gold Cup day & a good ol session was planned. We’d settled on The Sandyford House as it had blessed us with some quality G’s of a Christmas season many moons ago & we knew we needed the same on this of all days in the drinking calendar. Unbeknownst to myself, in the interveneing period this establishment had changed hands &, it would turn out, it was most certainly not the place it once was. First off, they wouldnt put Cheltenham on the a telly that was being watched by literally no one, and I mean zero people; we had to move! And then my pint arrived. “Oh no” I thought, I knew the moment I saw it I was in trouble & I said as much to my drinking buddy. There were bubbles a plenty in that head & the obligatory, though wholly unnecessary, wobble-test confirmed the worst. She was definitely not gonna be a creamer.

Sandyord House 1
Oh mother of divine Jesus, what the hell is that?

Feeling bad enough, I went for it; oh no, squinty-wince face from the word go. So unenjoyable, so wrong. A horrible taste &, as expect, completely devoid of cream. This was a pure froth-ball; zero lip-flop. I was gutted, disgusted, flustered, flabbergasted! Bloody Paddy’s day, a local bleedin’ boozer (not in town where you expect most of the pints to be slop), Ireland! What the almighty fuck like! I trudged on, trying to be a soldier, but the experience just got worse. Halfway through it we had a full on pencil-tache, nothing but a few fluffy bubbles atop. I was done, I couldn’t go on, why would I? Sure I wasnt drinking TheGoodBlacknWhite here, just some black shite with suds floating on it.

This was some of the worst slop I’ve ever been served as an excuse for a pint of Guinness; pure dregs this. To compound the problem, the Paddy’s day (yes, as in our national holiday) entertainment was a bloke singing random karaoke! No Irish choons (which he said he didn’t have coz I asked him for some). This was one of the weirdest drinking session experiences of my life. This establiment’s efforts are absolutely brutal & do not deserve the custom of any self respecting G-punter. You have been warned.