The Cove Bar, Ardkeen, Co Waterford – Aug ’20 (3/4)

Guinness Time

In the words of the great Rod Stewart (not actually his words but so eloquently performed by him, not to mention the ridiculous bass from Ron Wood, but that’s for some other blog);”seems like a long long time” & by-Jaysus it has been! Good Lord it’s been at least wha? 6 months? Did you ever think in yer life such an insane G-drought would take hold? A drought of biblical proportions this. Those widgety cans just don’t cut it any longer, I needed the real-deal; a thirst-quenching, creamulicious, solid pint of The Good BlacknWhite. The post-lockdown new normal for all Irish garglers is: book a table in the pub, order food with a minimum value of five shillings (yes, hilarious as it seems, it’s actually true (Intoxicating Liquor Act, 1962)) & then, & only then, can you hit the G-trough, & man oh man was I ready to slurp from that trough!

So, with the lockdown finally lifted, & the pubs dishing out the pints again, I managed to sneak a few hours to book a table. Now, you only have 1.5 hours to hammer those G’s so you need to be on the G-train as soon as you sit down. We were bursting to order but you can’t actually go up to the bar in the new normal, you have to wait at the table to be served & the bloody bar girl was away off somewhere. Couldn’t she feel the anguish, the pent up G-need? I had a mouth like a badgers-arse & the G-sweats were coming on; I could smell the pints all around but I couldn’t yet partake, it was 60 seconds of hell… before we got her attention & the wait was on. The past 6 months was all coming to a head a this very moment as we waited for their arrival.

Jayz, I could have been sick I was gagging so hard for the Goodness as she settled down in front of me. She looked thick enough & I wasn’t gonna waste a second on a wobble-test, I needed her in me immediately so I just went for it. A soft yet solid lip-flop that had me salivating hard, followed by a serious gulp-gargle & an emotional G-sniff of that good old Guinness aroma; black & creamy. She was cold, with a bit o’the cream, as she should be; she was my salvation from lockdown, my G-motional rescue. There may well have been a tear as my mouthnthroat reacquainted itself with it’s former love; wholly understandable, given the circumstances.

It was exactly what I wanted & what all of us G-punters deserve at this stage. These were tasty solid numbers that you could gargle on all night; the minimum you should expect form any self-respecting public house. Unfortunately, we only had a bloody hour n a half so we had to get horsing, and, of course, we happily obliged.

Cove Aug 20 6
Get them in

The Glenbeigh Hotel, Glenbeigh, Co Kerry – Aug ’19 (4/4)

My goodness! Now that’s Guinness!

Oh yes, yes indeed. I really hoped this pint would live up to its down-the-country holiday billing & my goodness, did it deliver. The barstaff look like they’ve been around solid numbers their whole life, I had every confidence in them before they’d even grabbed the glass for these jars. They let them rest n all, none of this rushing the pour to get you to piss off out of their face. I sat down & they didn’t touch them till I went back to the bar a good two minutes later, which is exactly how it should be. My face lit up the moment I saw them, the head on them, you could walk on these things the cream was so thick.

Now that’s just thick as fuck that is.

I resisted the urge to dive in right there n then & I let her settle on the table in front of me before going to a well deserved gulp-gargle. Ahhhhhh, mmmmm, yes, the G-sniff was so black & creamy & the flavour itself was that deep & Guinnessey one that reminded me of long Saturday afternoons in O’Donoghues back in the day, the real old-school taste of quality G’s. The liquid flowed o’er my mouthnthroat like a leg into satin pants & left its delighful creamy residue in my esophagus. Each sup as good as the last, right through to the thick, creamy finisher. This is what loving Guinness is all about, those amazing instances that occur up & down the country, those times you get those top-notchers & you just savour it. Thank you Glenbeigh Hotel, I’ll be back (& I was, every day of me holiday!).

And a little cream-leak, just to get the mouth wathering.


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.

Bowe’s, Fleet St., February ’17 (4/4)

My goodness! Now that’s Guinness!

 Oh hallelujah, praise the Gods of Porter & all the beer-saints & their wives-and-girlfriends & anyone else who’s worth praising. We have found a new official G-Mecca! Yesssss!

Having heard really good things about the quality of the G in this establisment, I had long been meaning to visit & so it was of a mild February Saturday afternoon that the opportunity finally arose. I arranged to meet my friend & fellow G-man @guinnesstaster at Bowes early-doors to kick off what would be a heavy session on The Black Stuff.

He got there ahead of me & put in the order such that when I arrived there was an incredibly creamy looking beauty sittin at the bar with my name on it. The beautiful decor in this joint has has a dark, almost Victorian feel about it & on this afternoon at least, it looked as though most at the bar were on the Good BlacknWhite, which is usually a good sign. Mine looked perfect to be honest. The head seemed almost gloopy-creamy & it barely moved under the wobble-test… oh yeah, it was all coming together.

Bowes Feb 17 1 I
Just look at the cheann on them!

It had been so long since my last G-with-friends that I just couldn’t wait to dive in, so in I went, the lip-flop covering even my nose I was so eager. Good God was it good. The head was so outrageously thick it left a heavenly residue on my face you could have for lunch! An incredible flavour flowed through my mouthnthroat, all black n creamy. I was having tongue palpitations, I felt like I was drinking liquid silk &  I didnt want to stop. Not just a gulp-gargle here, I needed, & so took, much more. By the time beautiful goo had left my mouth nearly half the pint was gone. “Wow” I thought, we have found the new G-Mecca. I was absolutely buzzin, & I could see it was the same for my G-loving friend.

Bowes Feb 17 2 I
One gulp in… heaven

Needless to say, the pint held itself together all the way to a thick, creamy finisher. Mmmm, mmmm, mmmm. The next jar was poured in that nonchalant way that speaks of pure experience. And it was perfect, again. I’d say they nail every pint they pour & they dont even think twice. This is Guinness. This place is Guinness. Thank you Bowe’s of Fleet Street.

Bowes Feb 17 3 I
Head retention 101

Mary Mac’s, Ballsbridge, Dec ’16 (4/4)

My Goodness! Now That’s Guinness!

I don’t usually drink early doors, not anymore anyways… except on very special occasions, &, to my absolute delight, one such occasion presented itself on a blustery Dublin morning in December. You can generally get a pint from 1/2 10 in the morning so, though we were the first drinkers in the bar on this special day, we certainly weren’t breaking any rules when ordering our first pint at the (usually) ungodly hour of 11am.

The bar is old school & looks genuine, & the lady runnin the shop definitely knew what she was at. Though (as any G-lover of course knows) nothing’s ever nailed on until you get that first gulp in, I was certainly hoping for, if not expecting, a decent jar… & boy did it deliver. The Settler looked lovely & was topped off in that laissez-faire way that gives you complete confidence in the pourer. The finished product landed in front of me looking like the archetypical pint-o-the-G; no messing, no pretence, just a good looking pint that smells black & creamy.

Now that is a pint

The proof is in the pudding of course but I couldn’t just jump right in as I usually would, there were cheerses all round to be done, being a special occasion n all, but as soon as the pleasantries were done it was time to get to the Goodness. Being in the company I was, a gulp-gargle was not in order, so I went with the single-slurp. A wonderfully pudgy lip-flop tickled my lip as the thickest of creams flowed like a felt river. This was followed by that deep black flavour you find in only the best pints. My mouth-mind wandered back to an incredible pints experience in O’Donoghues a good while back, mmmm, what a taste. This pint was absolutely tastastic, I couldn’t get enough. I enjoyed incredible quality all the way to the thick, creamy finisher. Mmmm mmmm mmmm mmmm: this is pints as they should be! Thank you Mary Mac, I shall be back.

O’Donoghue’s, Dublin, June ’16 (4/4)

My Goodness! Now That’s Guinness!

Talk about hotly anticipated! It was the day of the France match; this was gonna be big. As town was the meet & watch point, what better place to get rolling than good old solid-as-fork O’D’s. We made our way in for 12 & due to the rake of settlers they have nestled around the bar, even at that hour, we had some creamy looking good-things sitting in front of us within 2 minutes. From my recent foray into this much-loved establishment I knew they still had it so from the moment I awoke that morning I had been anticipating some serious pints; the salivating had reached dehydration proportions & I now had just the remedy.

From the look of the creamy head I could tell there was no need for a wobble-test, this pint just needed me to dive right in & I bloody well obliged with a full sized gulp-gargle. Each sup was a cold, full-bodied taste of heaven. Jesus, this is how it’s meant to be. I couldn’t get enough. I would describe both the smell and the taste as “black & creamy”. There was so much depth to the flavour, my whole tongue, nay, my whole mouth was tingling with enjoyment. My first was over so quickly, a second was soon required & it didn’t let me down either. After a gulp you can’t help but exclaim “mmm mmm mmm mmm mmm” & so I did. What a start to the day!

O'D's June 16 s
There’s #1 after a couple o’gulp-gargles with #2 lying in wait… look at her staring over in that close-up, I’d swear she was posing!

These guys do Guinness as it should be; a serious old-school taste & solid creamyness. Throw in the trad band playing away too (yes, they were there at midday) & these pints could just be Dublin’s best. I could drink pints here all day, in fact, I think I’ll do just that sometime in the near future.

Smyth’s Ranelagh, June ’16 (4/4)

My Goodness! Now That’s Guinness!

It was the evening of the Ireland Sweden match and I was on holidays so I was seriously lookin forward to these pints. I’d never drank in this place so was buzzin to be tryin some new taps. It had been over an hour since I ate so I was totally ready for the pint &, thanks to my mate Rob, by the time I arrived there was already a right creamy looking bastard sittin at the table awaiting me. A brief wobble-test confirmed its credentials; the head almost tried to flop for my mouth! The lip-flop hit like a fluffy cloud of darkened goodness caressing my face, & it was oh-so-smooth as it rolled over my tongue & down my throat. The taste was deep & Guinnessey, a delight; I couldn’t wait to get another in.

Smyth Ranelagh June 16 2
Jesus, just look at that cream-leak.

And there were many more, all above par. These guys serve great pints, I will definitely come here again for the G. As with all solid Guinnessing-holes, this place comes with a warning: it’s so good you’ll be 5 deep in a couple of hours. Plan accordingly….. and enjoy.

O’Donoghue’s, Dublin – Mar ’16 (4/4)

My goodness! Now that’s Guinness!

It had been over 15 years since I’d drank here & with the unrivalled amount of good-pints talk surrounding this Guinnessing-hole I was more than eager to give an honest assessment of this establishments efforts. Last time I was here it was small, dark, single-roomed joint & you could barely see bar, not to mention breathe, for the smoke. I don’t recall the quality of the pint at that time, though I was only a nipper in G-terms, a Baby Guinness if you like.

As I had to walk from from work, a good 10 minute journey, I had a serious pre-G going on. This place has trebled in size since my last visit so thankfully there was no problem getting a quick pint, &, to my delight, they keep a load of Settlers at the ready so I had a pint of The Good-BlacknWhite in front of me within seconds.

Ods 1-2

The pint looked grand, bit o’the cream, as it should be, so no issue at first glance. The lip-flop you’d expect from such a sighting followed & the pint was still firmly in the 3/4 bracket. It was at this point that the flavour hit. “Jesus Christ!” I thought; the taste was unreal, G-licious, incredible! My whole mouthnthroat was overcome with flavourful euphoria. I couldn’t get it in quick enough. I followed with 2 gulp-gargles & the flavour was still there throughout. For some reason the taste reminded me of pints of old, such allround thick flavouring. My drinking partners could see the look of astonished delight on my face. God was it good. I had a few more, just to be sure, but believe me, the place lives up to it’s name as a purveyor of fine G. This place has pintability; 4/4 & I cannot wait to get back in here for some more of their incredibly tasty Black Stuff.

Ods 3-2

Mulligan’s, Dublin – Feb ’16 (4/4)

My goodness! Now that’s Guinness!

By now any blog followers will be fully aware that this is my favourite pub, due mainly to the fact that it never delivers anything less than a 4/4. Though I’d had plenty of nice pints over the festive period, I hadn’t had top-notcher in 2016 so was delighted to finally get the chance to drink at the best Guinnessing-hole of them all.

T’was a Wednesday evening but the place was still well populated creating a nice din & the perfect drinking temperature. The pints are fiver even, which is well worth it for the black-soupy perfection that this establishment produces time after time. This beauty landed in front of me, the creamy head seemingly ready to plop out over the top, & my anticipation grew as I knew from experience what to expect.

Mulligans Jan16 2

At this point in a pint you start salivating; it’s the pre-G. I couldn’t resist, I couldn’t savour, I just dived straight in. The quick lip-flop barely had a second to hit me when I was into to gulp-gargle. So tasty on the palate & all the way down; pure BlacknWhite perfection, all the way to the loaded, creamy finisher. Mmmmmm. Never a frown with Mulligan’s brown.  It put me in such a great G-mood that I just delighted in those that followed.

Mulligan’s, Dublin – Dec ’15 (4/4)

My goodness! Now that’s Guinness!

Had been seriously looking forward to this pint as it had been over 2 months since my last visit to G-Mecca. Got in early from a cold & blustery winters day, ordering my first pint at around 1/2 1. The place was all Christmassed up so, though it was pretty empty, it was still cozy enough & the though of Dublin’s best pints would warm any heart. The anticipation… imagine how happy I was when this landed in front of me. Holy crap! Look at the head on that; cream-heaven! It’s actually gravitating towards my mouth!

Mulligans 2 dec 15
I could eat you for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

Yes, it treated me to the softest & most glorious lip-flop, like I’d just popped my head up through a cloud. So cold, so delicious…. so consistent. As you can see from the pic, once the dribble cream-leak fell overboard, the head closed up again immediately; quality (the alternative is when a cream leak starts a waterfall, that’s a bad sign).

The pints in here never cease to amaze me. All day they were just perfect. And they just kept on flowing, mmmmm…..

mulligans dec 15 1 1
Quite a few had been consumed at this point so you’ll have to excuse the tardy 9pm look about them.

Guinness as it should be in here. Again, thank you Mulligans for your efforts; you keep our faith in the G alive!