Creamy pint. It sounds so tasty. For me, this is the crux. The lack of a creamy head is an immediate turn-off. It’s such a giveaway when you see a fluffy bubble-head, you know the pint is gonna be sub-par. After an initial shake you can tell if you’re in dodgy territory or not. The creaminess is key for me because with a good pour the head retention will be perfect all the way to the end of the pint & you get to have that lovely creamy finish for your last gulp. Mmmmmm.
Now, don’t be fooled, the head needs to be the right size. Non-existant is not acceptable but, also, a giant head is an awful sign. A giant collar is a clear sign that your pint is gonna be crap; the taste is going to be off. The thing is, so many places get it right, so why can’t everyone?
Here’s an example of fail. At this point I would be praying the head eases off but you just know that when this settles about 25% of the drink will be head which is a really bad portent as far as the taste is concerned.