In celebration of the 250th anniversary of St. James’ Gate in Dublin, Ireland, Guinness, Ltd. has created this 250th Anniversary Stout. It’s an Irish Dry Stout, and the ABV is 5.0%. The following are our thoughts on this commemorative and limited release beer from Guinness:

Tom: Well, what do you say? “Thank you Arthur Guinness” or “congratulations Guinness for 250 years?” Whatever your feelings towards Guinness are, 250 will not disappoint. It is not carbonated with a nitrogen widget so the head is larger and not as dense. This carries over to the mouthfeel where it lacks the typical creaminess. There is still that classic burnt bitterness and sour character that exemplifies Guinness. However, 250 has a freshness, bold body, or pop to it. I’m finding this means a pronounced hop profile. It does have a lighter body than normal, but I’m enjoying by celebratory glass nonetheless. Grade: B+

Matt: Fluffy, light tan colored, dense and billowy head on top of a dark brown and ruby tinted liquid. Smells of dark malts, slight roasted coffee, some minor chocolate or cocoa aroma and a tiny metallic note that fades over time, or as the beer warms. I love this beer and find it to be good, but bland. I struggle to describe the intricacies of the flavors because none of them really stand out. It is possible that was the point, but it leaves me with nothing overly noteworthy to say. Good dark malt character, not too complex but balanced. I will say the drinkability is superb. Perfect carbonation and smoothness. I would reach for this beer on almost any occasion and happily have a few. Very mild, very approachable, especially for those who think dark beers are motor oil. This would change that false perspective instantly. Grade: B-

Michael: Huge billowy head that collapsed on itself, not quite the chewy, styrofoam head of its more well known sister. The scent was bready and slightly soapy, a fairly uninteresting nose. The color was dark, but edged with amber. The mouthfeel was shockingly thin, again lacking the creaminess of the original Draught, going down more like a flat Coke than anything titled ‘Guinness.’ There was a slight chocolate in the taste and a sweetness as well. While I realize the comparison to Guinness’ flagship is unfair, I can’t help but do so while sipping on what seems to be a far inferior brew by the gang at St. James Gate. Grade: C

Noel: For a brew as iconic as Guinness, I must say this 250th Anniversary Stout didn’t give me much to celebrate, if only because it lacked uniqueness. In my mind, it falls directly in between their popular Draught and more traditional, historic Extra Stout in terms of flavor, body, and mouthfeel. All are a bit stronger than in the former and weaker than in the latter. Certainly it’s not a bad beer…it still maintains that distinct Guinness taste: almost metallic in one sense, but nicely roasted in another. You could even argue it’s the “best of both worlds”: the smoother drinkability of the Draught coupled with the sharper coffee-like bitterness of the Extra Stout. Who knows, maybe that’s what they were going for! But I think the compromise between the two ends up weakening its character. Grade: B

Taylor: I think the best thing about this beer is what it represents historically and how it looks in a bottle. I was extremely underwhelmed with this one. The lack of nitrogren makes it look and pour like most other Irish Dry Stouts, dark with a cream-colored, bubbly head that dissipates fast and leaves no lacing at all. Though dark, it’s thin. The nose is faint, barely there at all. The taste was lost to me on this one: everything about it was faint. Faintly bitter, faintly metallic, faintly malted, faintly roasty, faintly everything. The 250th is just bland. Guinness Draught remains the only brew by Guinness that I enjoy. Grade: C-

ABV: 5.0%

Final Grade: C+