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!

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.

The Palace, Camden St. – Jan ’16 (1/4)

My goodness! Is that Guinness?

This old haunt holds a place in my heart. A great spot back in the day, there are even rumours of nabbed pints in the upstairs club. Not just nabbed pints, empty glasses of Guinness being re-filled, left to settle, then topped up to perfection. I heard a lad once got snared on the second pour & forcibly ejected as a result, an hilarious story if true. Being middle-aged, I really only venture in here for the annual pool-comp myself & some mates play at the end of January so this review is for the downstairs bar rather than the club. It’s kind of a pool hall/ games bar so I wasn’t really expecting much.

Palace 5

The pint looked fine in fairness & had an alright looking head, bit o’the cream, grand looking collar but as ever, the proof is in the tasting. I’d waited all January for this one so I went in for a gulp-gargle, hoping for the best, but alas, as soon as the black had passed the flop I got that sour taste; pure squinty-wince face. This was clearly an unloved pint. I struggled through it but it was wholly unenjoyable. Still, I went for another, just to be safe, & I was hit with the squinty-wincer all over again, all the way through. Each gulp was tough going. These were awful pints. Considering that the Fosters is €4 here, there is no reason to be drinking Guinness in this establishment. Save yourself the pain, go straight to the Fosters. I wish I had.

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.

The Long Stone, Dublin – Dec ’15 (2/4)

Not Guinness time, not here anyway.

This is a nice pub alright & was all Chrismassed up which added to the atmosphere & the anticipation because, as we all know, it’s always nice to have good G when you have all the decorations up all round & a Christmas tree in the corner. With Christmas cheer a decent looking pint landed in front of me (see bottom left below) so I gave it a good gulp-gargle. Unfortunately the head wasn’t great on the cream side & the taste was well-off. Bit o’the squinty-wince face I’m afraid; wasn’t happy. In fairness, the chap that poured it wasn’t a local so for my second I tried the back bar & a local lad. The pint tasted just a little better, nothing to drag itself over the halfway line into the much sought after 3 territory though. The head retention was good on this pint (see left below) but the taste was still off which goes to show, it’s all about the chemicals!

Long Stone 1.2.1

As ever, I trudged on through them but wasn’t too happy, considering I could practically smell the goodness from Mulligan’s around the corner. The pints never improved, nor did my G-mood. Sorry Long Stone, you gotta try harder.

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!

Ely Winebar, Dublin – Nov ’15 (2/4)

Not Guinness time, not here anyway.

As can probably be ascertained from the name of this establishment, this is not somewhere one would generally frequent if they were after the finer pint. But for those of us who are after the pint regardless of where we are, this review is pertinent. I would not expect the pint to be all that great here to be honest but they have a tap & they charge €5.30 a jar & therefore they are fully open to judgement & that’s what they’ll get.

The cosy cellar had a pleasant, if mildly-pompous, atmosphere & the pint didn’t look half bad when served; bit o’the cream, nothing overly watery & nothing to be afraid of. Upon tasting, it didn’t seem too bad at first but as I moved through it the squinty-wince came to the fore. To compound the problem, my ultra-sensitive nose was picking up extreme fermented-grape flavourings which was making the pint taste worse. As they only have a Guinness tap & a blandom high-street-beer tap here, I do not expect that much effort goes into the Guinness draft & thus the over-carbonated taste. I saw the pint through, though disappointingly couldn’t hit the finisher. You are only getting a pint of Guinness here if you don’t like wine (me) & are eager to see if they can pull off the pint-o-G in a wine bar (me) but take it from a G-man; they can’t. Try a bottled beer or maybe a tea.

The Gingerman, Dublin – Oct ’15 (2/4)

Not Guinness time, not here anyway.

I had been looking forward to my end-of-week pint for a couple of days. It was well deserved too as work had been busy-as-fork all week. Arriving at around ten past six on a Friday, the crowd was 4 deep outside, but it wasn’t at-all jammers inside so there was no bother getting served. I was at the upstairs bar & the pint on delivery looked grand; the head had a bit o’the cream so I was upbeat about how the experience would be. Unfortunately, the taste was off, not squinty-wince-face but just not on: anti-tasty; the wrong side of 2. I knew by gulp 2 that it was a full-on let-down which is always so annoying when you can see a decent bit of cream n all. Anyway, I soldiered on through but knew it would be my first n last in this establishment. Absolutely not up to standard & not worth drinking in here. Try the Writers Block lager instead, nice & tasty; like Kronenberg, just without the violence.

Cassidy’s, Camden St., Dublin – Oct ’15 (4/4)

My goodness! Now that’s Guinness!

I was starting to think I’d never find another 4/4 outside of good old Mulligans. Well, how delighted I am to be able to say I was wrong. Yes! There is another pub in Dublin that actually cares enough about the average Guinness drinker to make sure that the pints are top quality every time.

The place was fairly packed, as it was the Sunday of an Ireland weekend & there was rugby then football on the telly, so it took a few mins to get my pint but by-jaysus was it worth it. Good creamy head, nice & solid, sprouting up over the lip, perfect priest’s collar. Look at this beauty:

Cassidys 11.10.15 2 small

But the real excitement hit during my first gulp. Not only did it give me the perfect creaminess but the taste was just amazing! I was buzzing as it flowed down, I knew it was good, possibly very good. When you realise you have a really good one on your hands you get that feeling you got when you’d get into an over 18’s disco at the age of 16: pure giddy. Mmmmmm, this was a great one. I could not believe how tasty it was; pure golden creamy goodness all the way to an absolutely gorgeous finisher. Heaven for a G-man.

Cassidys 11.10.15 Double

And the good ones kept coming. Guinnesslovers, this place cares about you. This is gonna become a regular G-haunt for me; nice atmosphere, nice interior, nice staff, Sunday trad seis is good craic too &, most importantly, top-quality Guinness. Thank you Cassidy’s.