O’Donoghues’s, Dublin, November’16 (3/4)

Guinness Time

It was early afternoon on a crisp but clear Autumn day & I had arranged to meet a few mates, among them a fellow G-Man, in O’Ds for a couple ahead of an Ireland match & a lengthy seis. There was no sign of them when I arrived but that wasn’t gonna stop me going right ahead & ordering for myself. I just don’t get enough of a chance to visit purveyors of The Black Gold anymore to be wasting precious G-Time sitting around waiting on friends.

As usual, there was a pile of Settlers resting at the bar, so my pint took only a minute to prepare. It looked just great to be honest, lovely bit o’the cream, as it should be, top-notch wobble-test to boot, I was well looking forward to digging in. I found myself a lovely spot near the back door &, as I lay her down before me, I noticed a lovely little cream-leak had formed. I had Ronnie Drew, Luke Kelly et al looking down approvingly from their many perches upon the wall as I pulled the Goodness towards me. After a satisfyingly solid lip-flop, the black hit the mouth & flowed in over my tongue….. mmmmm, so liquidly refreshing, the perfect concoction of a Saturday afternoon. Black & creamy; just lovely. A very enjoyable pint, as was the next. It’s always such a delight to drink in here.

Leaky and lovely

Mulligan’s, Dublin, October ’16 (3/4)

Guinness Time

Well, after my last experience in this Guinnessing-hole, I was becoming disillusioned with the state of the G in Dublin but more than keen to give it a chance for rememption considering that this establishment has served me more creamy bastards than any other. And so it was of a Thursday evening with an old friend that the opportunity arose for Mullies to save its reputation.

It was by no means jammers at half five so a handy spot just inside the lounge doors had been secured and by the time I arrived a well formed pint of the GoodBlacknWhite was sitting on the table awaiting me. I’d just done literally the most honest days work of my life sanding tables for Barretstown and was very thirsty for, if not a little deserving of, some Black Gold. The wobble test was very promising, bit o’the cream, as it should be, things were looking up for me, and for Mulligans. My excitement built; could it be a good ‘un, please be a good ‘un! The lip flop was slow and creamy leaving a good G-tache, the black goodness hit my mouth…. I couldn’t help but smile that knowing smile; it was on point. It was a solid, tasty number & I was very happy.

Thick n creamy…. just the way we like it.

It kept its form, the head hugging the glass right the way down to a nice creamy finisher. I was ready for more, just to be sure, and sure enough the five that followed were all solid. Mullies, you are back. You had an off night but you’re back in business. Not quite back on top, but back in the good-game.

Foley’s, Merrion Row, June ’16 (3/4)

Guinness Time

It was my first time upstairs in this place & being some sort of Victorian bedroom/ hipster-circus hybrid left me in fear that more effort would be going in to the decor than the pintage here. Having just come across the road from O’Donoghue’s, & a couple of serious top-notchers, I was more than a little apprehensive.

The pint was professionally poured, nice wait time, looked decent. The wobble-test proved promising so I tucked in, hitting it for an average sup. To my delight, it wasn’t too bad, bit o’the cream, as it should be, with a decent taste to boot. I was happy with it. I tried a couple more & they were just the same. Consistently grand pints I’d say, more than acceptable & leaving me pleasantly surprised.

Foleys June 16 s
Very black

The Bram Stoker, Dublin – Apr’15 (3/4)

Guinness Time

They say your first pint after the birth of a child is one you really savour. I never understood how or why but now I do; it’s because it’s been so bloody long since you had a sup of that creamy Goodness! You’d seen manys the good jar get polished off by your  mates while you were stuck at home, sober as a judge, on baby-watch & now your time has come. My time came on a Wednesday afternoon not 2 weeks after the birth of my first child, & nearly 4 weeks since my last G!

The Bram Stoker is a really nice spot along the Clontarf seafront that is very sparsely populated on a weekday afternoon but has a waiter nonetheless. The pints are €4.50, which is solid in today’s market, so we got off on a good footing. The pint when it arrived looked well but it did seem to contain a few small bubbles which led to some spillage so I was just a little suss ahead of my first taste. I was absolutely gaggin for it at this stage though, a whole month & here it was sitting in front of me looking all lovely so I dived on in. Yesssss, thank you G-sus for giving us your beautiful nectar; it was a beauty & I was back in G-heaven. It was cold & tasty with a nice bit o’the cream, as it should be. It had a lovely G-sniff about it; that smell when yer nose is right in the glass as you gulp it down, & it was a  delight to drink; I savoured the hell out of it, I was one happy G-daddy.

Ri pint

Of course, I went for a second, just to be sure, & this one was even better. Clean headed, perfect collar, creamy & smooth all the way down to the final, glorious finisher. These were great pints & any establishment worth its salt should be able to produce this level of quality if they to ever claim to sell Guinness. A high 3.

BS 2
Look at that for a smoothie!

Middleton Park House, Castletown Geoghegan – Dec ’15 (3/4)

Guinness Time

Well, this has to be one of the most quality settings for a pint of the Good BlacknWhite you could possibly have the pleasure of drinking in. In Dublin, you can generally work to the rule; the “classier” the spot, the worse The Black Stuff. The “top-end” think they have it nailed but they forget the most basic of pub protocols; the pint of Guinness, so I usually find myself trying a pint & moving on to bottles of beer (the humanity!) if, for some reason, I happen to find myself in a posh joint. So, with that in mid, what kind of a pint would you expect from a land-owner stately-home dating back to Famine times?


I was expecting to be disappointed, especially so considering that it was my wedding. I had to hold off for the day to keep from being tired & emotional for the speeches & it was tough going seeing the guests, a number of them fellow G-Men, enjoying the pints for 5 hours before I could finally venture to the cosy confines of the bar & order my first G as a married man.

The pint was served with a decent bit o’the cream; as it should be, so I was happy to go for a good single gulp. It was nice & creamy to the touch, a more-than-acceptable lip-flop & to my surprise, nay, my delight, it had good taste to boot. This was a pint as it should be. I would honestly have been heartbroken if my wedding venue couldn’t boast half-decent pints & thankfully it wasn’t a let-down. Post-speeches I tucked into a few more & they were most certainly consistent.

I had a rake-load of them the next evening in the wonderful setting that is the Middleton Park House bar; a large open peat fire with comfortable slouch-couches, & they retained their form: good all-rounders; solid three’s.

Neary, Dublin – Dec ’15 (3/4)

Guinness Time

This is one of my favourite pubs. An oasis of calm in the centre of town & such a great place to drop in for a pint if you’re bored shopping, which for me happens after about 10 minutes. This place has a murmur; no music, no tellies, just a bunch of people murmuring the Neary murmur.

Ideally you’d like to just go into town with the other half, let her off to the shops & you just head straight to Neary but we all know you’d just look like an alco then so fortunately for me I ran into fellow G-lover Ro in town on this day, also out shopping with his other half, & he was thinking in the exact same way. Having drank The Good-BlacknWhite here on manys an occasion, I knew the quality was decent so, in the comfort of the cosy snug, I settled down to what looked like a right solid number; bit o’the cream, perfect head-size, not a bubble to be seen; happy days.

Neary 13 Dec 15 3
It looks right

The lip-flop proved the creaminess so I went right ahead & gave it a gulp-gargle; mmmm; thirst-quenching black gold. Good marks for taste, an all-round decent pint. This is what every pub should be able to give us if they take our money. Of course, I had another. And then another. And then another. But then, seeing as how I was getting married the next day, I decided to quit while I was ahead & made like a banana.

Neary serves a high 3/4; not quite cream-heaven, but a good slurp, in great surroundings.

Becky Morgan’s, Dublin – Oct ’15 (3/4)

Guinness Time

If I haven’t had a pint in a particular establishment, it is with trepidation that I make the order as you never really know if you’re going to get dealt a bum-hand. Thankfully, this was not the case in Becky Morgans; a few excellent pours landed in front of us, ready for the drinking. Look at these beauties.

Becky Morgans 8.10.15 smaller

They settled perfectly, nice bit o’the cream & the taste was good. The pints here are solid, as they should be, worth going back for more. Unfortunately, the clock was against us & they wouldn’t budge on a sneaky after-hours pint so we had to leave it there. A nice spot with good pints of Guinness; will definitely be back here for a Black one.

Slattery’s, Beggars Bush, Dublin – Oct ’15 (3/4)

Guinness Time

As previously mentioned, this is the pre/ post -match watering hole on match days, but considering it was a positively balmy October evening, the cans were out so Slats had to wait until after the game. They reason I’m mentioning this is due to the fact that, seeing as how we’d just beaten world-champs Germany 1-0, there is the distinct possibility that I could have drank from an old-shoe & enjoyed it so take from this report what you will.

The pints this time round were served in plastic glasses but, as before, this didn’t detract from them in any way. There was a good bit o’the cream, the taste was excellent, very tasty; I really enjoyed the pint. You can see from the pic that the creaminess lasted really well right down the glass, providing a gulpulicious finisher. Was gagging for the next one once the first was polished off. This place is really consistent & serves good Guinness. Another high 3.

Slats 8.10.15 small

Gravity Bar, Guinness Storehouse – Sept ’15 (3/4)

Guinness Time

Time for the annual pilgrimage down to the Storehouse. The wander around the factory is interesting enough-ish first time round but I’ve been here a few times now so, now that you have to queue for the taster, which I’m not arsed with, it’s all about the Gravity bar. Straight to the top for the best view with a pint of Guinness in Dublin, maybe even Ireland, maybe even the world. Havin a pint while looking out across the bay & from Meath to the Wicklow mountains is such a wonderful experience but the real question for Guinnesslovers is, of course, what’s the pint like?

This place must serve the most pints of Guinness anywhere in the world. There’s always a rake o’good looking settlers at the bar & the staff fly though them, churning out pints like a Guinness machine gun. The head on my first had decent texture but, being honest, was just a little too big. Nothing to be alarmed at though as the taste was true & the head averagely creamy: worth going again, which I did. You might have expected the home of Guinness to be a nailed on 4/4 but the fact is that it’s just another bar serving nice pints. In fairness, you could sit up here all day enjoying pints with that view but when it comes to the honest assessment, this establishments effort gets a 3/4.

Yes, that's mine on the right! Note the manky lookin pint in the background; there's a rake of them up here from the tourists that realise after 1 sup that they hate the black stuff.
Yes, that’s mine on the right! Note the manky lookin pint in the background; there’s a rake of them up here from the tourists that realise after 1 sup that they hate the Black Stuff.

Slattery’s, Beggars Bush, Dublin – Sept ’15 (3/4)

Guinness time

It used to be nigh on impossible to get in the door here on matchday but they’ve since expanded out the back & upstairs & the place is now huge so we’ve made it our matchday watering hole (when not drinking cans while basking in the sunshine on the Beggar’s Bush grassy knoll of course). The match this time round was Ireland – Georgia on a Monday night so the first pints were late afternoon. The pour was exellent, the pint settled just right. Nice bit o’the cream, good taste, decent lastability; very drinkable, as it should be.

Post-match I returned & ordered from the same bar (upstairs) but was served by a different barman &, again, the pour was excellent & the pints just lovely. The decent creaminess & good head retention can be seen in the 2nd pic below: looking good. I must add that on busy match days the pints come in plastic glasses & they’re still fairly decent. I like drinking Guinness here; a high 3/4.

Pre-match / Post-match
Pre-match / Post-match