My fellow G-Lover @Guinnesstaster had been talking this place up for a good while. It’s his local so he regularly pops in for a sneaky here n there, sending me midweek Guinness porn, every pint-pic showing a scandalous amount of cream & getting my juices flowing when they really shouldn’t be.
When I arrived, after a huge pile of baby related stress, the lads had already got stuck into a couple but from what I could see they looked average, & @Guinnesstaster confirmed this to be the case. I ordered a little nervously but was dealt a decent looking pint with a lovely dome; so far so good. The wobble-test said “grand; nice bit o’ the cream, as it should be”, so things didn’t seem to be as bad as I was expecting. In I went, just the one gulp to start here, nothing extreme. The lip-flop was grand, exactly what you’d expect from a half-decent pint of The Good BlacknWhite, & the flavour was good n Guinessey. To my delight, the head held all the way through to a nice, creamy finisher. All round it was an enjoyable pint; nice, no complaints, the standard you would expect from every establishment in Ireland.
The same went for the pints that followed. These pints were the quintessential 3 outta 4’s or, as I so eloquenty described them at the time; “solid-as-fuck”.
This kind of place is exactly why I started this blog. If I had to say what the problem here is, just as it is in any other 1/4, I’d say it’s that they use the same chemical mix for all draughts to get the beer from keg to tap. This is fucking bullshit. The publican is actually selling a product that they have not advertised. Imagine you ordered a steak & you were served a leg of lamb? Would you accept it? Fuck no! So why do publicans expect us to accept their shite pints of Guinness?
I had been really looking forward my first local pint & no better place than the Waterside, with its amazing views across the North Dublin beaches to Howth & out to Lambay Island. Unfortunately, I knew it that it was a bogey as soon as I saw it… it was a God-damned fizzy header! The head, though correctly apportioned, was full so of bubbles it was frothing over…. CO2 alert! It certainly wasn’t gonna be a creamy one, that was for sure.
Plonked down in a great spot in front of the telly for the hurling I was but I feared for the experience as as I brought the darkness toward my mouth. Obviously, there was zero lip-flop & as soon a it rolled over my tongue I knew I was right. Once the first gulp had gone down my throat the full squinty-wince face came on; I was fucked, it was gonna be a Struggler. At this point, you know it’s bad & it’s only a matter of whether it’ll drag itself into 2 territory or if the dreaded 1 is on the cards. The pencil-tache was forming very early, which is a very bad sign, but I soldiered on, each gulp as bad as the last, until I got to the point where I could go no further. I had reached the end of my tether, with this pint and with every poxy establishment that treats Guinness drinkers like shite-on-a-shoe. Halfway down I was when I just packed it in, up, & left. This place didn’t & doesn’t deserve my custom &, if you’re a G-punter, it doesn’t deserve yours either. I won’t be back.
Red alert! Red Alert! Call the Guinness police! Holy shit, did this actually happen?! Is this some kind of creamless, wet, black nightmare from which I am yet to awaken? Please tell me it is! Mulligan’s, the original G-Mecca, with a 2 rating, what the hell is going on?!
It was a Friday evening & I was heading to a work leaving drinks being held in Mullies on my recommendation. I had talked up the Guinness no-end & I was delighted to be buying the leaver a pint of the GoodBlacknWhite in the home of the quality pint. A foreigner, & so obviously not a regular drinker, I thought “I’ll get him on the G-train after a few creamy beauties in one of Irelands foremost Guinnessing-holes”. The pints were purchased in the lounge side & when they landed on the table I couldn’t help but notice the head didn’t seem to be it’s usual uber-creamy Mulligan’s self. I’d never bother with a wobble-test in this establishment, as they have never served me anything but the best, but I was just slightly suspicious at this point.
It being Mulligan’s on a Friday after work, my anticipation had reached fever pitch. I salivated heavily as I moved the glass towards my mouth but the closer it got the worse the head looked; there seemed to be more bubble-fluff than smooth-puff. The lip-flop was a let-down, not the soft-caressing I have grown used to here so, as you can imagine, by now I was starting to wonder what was going on. The taste was not as I would expect either, definitely a bit of squints about it as it flowed over my tongue. I couldn’t take a gulp, only a sup. This pint was borderline & I was in shock. It was average at best all the way down to a watery disappointment of a finisher. Something was amiss so I decided to try the bar rather than the lounge for the second just in case it was a one-off (it never is!)…. it wasn’t. The taste again was, & it pains me to have to admit it, squinty-wince face. The issue here, for the first time ever in this establishment, was definitely the mix. Too much carbon dioxide if you ask me. I had a few more, each as disappointing as the last. To compound the problem, I had been embarrassed in front of my workmates, having made the claim that this pub served the best pints in Ireland & having then been shown up so badly.
This is the lowest point since the launch of Guinnesslove.com. I don’t know was it the staff, the proprietor trying to save money, an accident or what, but, Mulligan’s, you have forsaken us G-lovers.
We were back in The Sunny South-East for a long-weekend family trip away & I was still on the hunt to find a pub in Dunmore East that showed some love for the G (zero from two so far!). The sun was out, we had seats overlooking the bay & the view was beautiful. Not for the first time in this town, the scene was set, all that was now required was was a cool, creamy pint of The Good BlacknWhite to make this scene picture perfect.
Making the attempt was one of the bar girls &, unfortunately, she musn’ta been well versed in the art of the G. She left it settle for probably about 30 seconds before topping it off. This was a bad sign. I really hate it when a pint of Guinness doesn’t get left to its own devices for a sufficient amount of time. Whether it actually makes a difference or not, it’s part of the ritual that they say must be followed so God-damn it it should be respected. It breaks my heart so see a pint settling away, happy as Larry, when it just gets smashed by an early top-up. It settled into a dark one that had an ok look about it. The wobble-test gave me a little cause for concern as it wasn’t that creamy really but, still, there was nothing too alarming at this point. The sun, the scene & the pint in front of me all culminated in this tweet “The Strand, Dunmore East, in the sun with a cold one: G-heaven”
Unfortunately, after my first taste I realised I was, at a minimum, in G-purgatory. It tasted off, bit of the old squinty-wince face about it & the head started to dissipate after my first gulp. I was so disappointed, considering the scene as it was. We were in definite 2/4 territory here at this point. I soldiered on through but it was honestly rank; the finisher was akin to necking a mouldy lemon, it was straight out of G-hell! Though I saw no redemption for this place, I really wanted it to work so for my sins I went back to the well again & Jesus, it was off, well off, just like the first. This second wasn’t even drinkable, pure slop it was. I ended up leaving the half & heading. Again, why bother selling it if yer serving this shite? They need Francis Brennan back! As ever, my advice is to go somewhere that respects the G-punters but if you must drink here try the Birra Moratta on draft instead.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.