Have a Guinness (Latte) when you're tired
September 23, 2014 11:24 AM   Subscribe

Starbucks Is Testing a Drink That Tastes Like Guinness (Without the Alcohol) by Samantha Grossman (@sam_grossman), Time magazine:
The new drink, called the Dark Barrel Latte, is being tested at select locations across Ohio and Florida, Grubstreet reports. It doesn't contain any alcohol, but it supposedly contains the dark, toasty, malty flavors of Guinness. A BuzzFeed writer who got his hands on one in Columbus confirmed that it really does taste like stout. Several customers who've tweeted about the drink agree that it tastes like Guinness — but the jury's still out on whether or not that’s actually a good thing.

When I asked a colleague who was born and raised in Dublin (Guinness's birthplace) how he felt about all this, he responded first with this GIF. Then, as he mulled it over a bit more, he added, "Holy hell. Worst." Then he posed a question: "American Guinness already doesn't taste like Guinness. So what will this taste like?" Then he barfed all over me and my stupid American ignorance.

Via Mashable.

Direct link to the Reddit post about the new flavor Starbucks, made by so_oakland.

Bonus link:

The Atlantic, "The Futureof Iced Coffee" – "At its cafes, Blue Bottle might make one of the best iced-coffee drinks in America. But are artisan businesses doomed to fail when they try going mainstream?" by Alexis C. Madrigal (@alexismadrigal).

Previously: The pumpkinification of a nation
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome (170 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
Or maybe they could just not burn the fuck out of their shitty beans?
posted by b1tr0t at 11:25 AM on September 23, 2014 [45 favorites]


Guinness gives you strength. Does this give you strength?

While the likelihood of this being an unholy abomination is high, I haven't had lunch yet and am probably feeling crabby, so I will instead lobby for the most excellent Guinness Float. Which gives you both strength and supplemental awesomeness.
posted by Celsius1414 at 11:28 AM on September 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


No one completely misunderstands things better than Americans. We're the best at it.
posted by The Whelk at 11:29 AM on September 23, 2014 [61 favorites]


The alcohol is the best part of Guinness, the taste is the worst part.
posted by Rob Rockets at 11:30 AM on September 23, 2014 [4 favorites]


Starbucks should re-brand as "McCoffee".

Someone needs to do a calorie-count expose on Starbucks drinks. Starbucks has pretty much gotten a free pass on the calories and garbage that passes for a "cafe" drink. Anyone who knows anything about coffee knows that their coffee is 2nd rate.
posted by Vibrissae at 11:30 AM on September 23, 2014


no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no


and i say that as both an irish-american and a new yorker who wants to see neither coffee nor guinness besmirched
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:30 AM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


I made a float from Young's Double Chocolate Stout and vanilla ice cream over the summer. It was not good. Is there something magic about the combination of Guinness and ice cream, or are my tastebuds just doomed to failure?
posted by minsies at 11:31 AM on September 23, 2014


Guinness is good for what ails you.

This won't be.
posted by COD at 11:33 AM on September 23, 2014


Yeah, Guinness is kind of one-note and too sweet (Although it IS better at the factory for reals) but it's usually the best dark ale available in non-beer bar bars.

(Wintergreen, Guinness tastes like wintergreen, remember that)

Why would you want to miss out on all those vitamins and minerals? Hell two pints is basically a meal. I've gotten by on that and a raw egg more than once.
posted by The Whelk at 11:33 AM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


I like it: it totally implodes the myth that the best thing about beer is the taste and not the alcohol. Nobody would drink beer if it wasn't for the ethanol content.
posted by Renoroc at 11:33 AM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


Starbucks has pretty much gotten a free pass on the calories and garbage that passes for a "cafe" drink.

...they list the calorie count for each drink right there on the overhead menu in a typeface as large and as clear as the price
posted by poffin boffin at 11:33 AM on September 23, 2014 [32 favorites]


Starbucks should re-brand as "McCoffee".

McDonald's coffee is actually better than Starbucks. Almost as good as Dunkin Donuts. (I realize that you were just talking about calorie counts, in which case, yes, many Starbucks drinks are basically just daily ice cream cones.)

Also, this Dark Barrel Latte thing sounds like a horrible idea.

On a related tangent, I do wish there was such a thing as a quality non-alcoholic beer.
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:33 AM on September 23, 2014


Or maybe they could just not burn the fuck out of their shitty beans?

The acrid burnt smell coming out of coffee chains would be the worst nosmic experience on the high street if it weren't for the peculiar an-unemptied-bin-in-high-summer aroma that wafts out of Subway.

Oh, and Lush. Flipping Lush.
posted by sobarel at 11:33 AM on September 23, 2014 [6 favorites]


American Guinness already doesn't taste like Guinness.

He's taking about the bottled/canned version or the version you get on tap?

Have I been missing out on the real taste of Guinness?
posted by coust at 11:34 AM on September 23, 2014


Nobody would drink beer if it wasn't for the ethanol content.

There are a number of fruit-based beers cut with lemonade I enjoy that have basically no alcohol content whatsoever soooooo no.
posted by The Whelk at 11:34 AM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


Nobody would drink beer if it wasn't for the ethanol content.

Your favorite beverage sucks.
posted by TypographicalError at 11:35 AM on September 23, 2014 [10 favorites]


If by too sweet you mean not hopped out of existence then yeah.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 11:35 AM on September 23, 2014 [13 favorites]


Mixing beer and ice cream is an adventure in taste blending. You will make some abominations, but stick with it, and you will find some magic.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:36 AM on September 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


Beer, like coffee, tea, and family, should be bitter.
posted by The Whelk at 11:36 AM on September 23, 2014 [14 favorites]


Oh, and Lush. Flipping Lush.

That migraine-inducing hell must be destroyed.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:36 AM on September 23, 2014 [6 favorites]


Yeah, I don't think "frappucinos are very sugary" is much of a secret these days.

Never much saw the point in stout floats myself: seems like a waste of both beer and ice cream. But they keep on being enthusiastically recommended here so there must be something to it I'm missing.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:37 AM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


American Guinness already doesn't taste like Guinness.

Oddly enough, the same goes for Coca Cola, Pad Thai, Bazooka, Paella ValencianaTM, Limp Bizkit, KFC or any other global brand produced locally to satisfy the indigenous palette. Guinness has enough competition on their hands to worry about whether it tastes the same in South Boston as it does at St. James Gate.
posted by jsavimbi at 11:37 AM on September 23, 2014


Starbucks should re-brand as "McCoffee".

You know that McCafé is already a thing, right?
posted by zamboni at 11:37 AM on September 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


That migraine-inducing hell must be destroyed.

I'm convinced it already contravenes several clauses of the United Nations chemical warfare treaties.
posted by sobarel at 11:38 AM on September 23, 2014 [3 favorites]


I'll see your Lush and raise you Yankee Candle: A CACOPHONY OF SYNTHETIC SMELLS.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:39 AM on September 23, 2014 [7 favorites]


The best thing about yankee candles is their Just For Men line, or whatever they call it.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:40 AM on September 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


MAN TOWN
posted by poffin boffin at 11:41 AM on September 23, 2014 [18 favorites]


In other news Greggs are developing a drink that tastes like a pint of mild and a scotch egg.
posted by sobarel at 11:43 AM on September 23, 2014 [10 favorites]


Unless that's a huge jar of amyl nitrate that candle does not smell like Man Town.
posted by The Whelk at 11:43 AM on September 23, 2014 [31 favorites]


Starbucks just made non-alcoholic beer.

Release the fucking doves.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:44 AM on September 23, 2014 [5 favorites]


poppers, vodka sweat, and obsession for men
posted by poffin boffin at 11:45 AM on September 23, 2014 [6 favorites]


Release the fucking doves.

(cue slow-motion gunfire, wailing Lisa Gerrard, dual-wielding Tom Cruise)
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:45 AM on September 23, 2014 [3 favorites]


Guinness tastes best when it is mixed with the tears of Celtic Tiger property flipper.
posted by srboisvert at 11:46 AM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


I can't believe MAN TOWN is still in stock. At any rate, it's ON TAP we should be discussing here.
posted by maryr at 11:47 AM on September 23, 2014


Guinness tastes best when it's the first thing in your mouth at the Sunday morning chip shop cause that means you're about to eat a stupefying amount of fried food.
posted by The Whelk at 11:47 AM on September 23, 2014 [7 favorites]


(The line is called Man Candles which is clearly a missed opportunity to patent the name MANDLES).
posted by maryr at 11:48 AM on September 23, 2014 [25 favorites]


No Murphy's love?
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 11:49 AM on September 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


When I was young I used to work at a supermarket and every so often we would get little old ladies coming in and buying bottles of Guinness on their doctor's orders (supposedly) as an iron supplement.

If this drink doesn't have enough iron in it to literally be prescribed on the NHS, Starbucks can get tae fuck.
posted by fight or flight at 11:49 AM on September 23, 2014 [5 favorites]


Or maybe they could just not burn the fuck out of their shitty beans?

This I don't get. Do they not have multiple roasts? Pretty sure they have dark, medium, and whatever the hell the step down from that is, raw or whatever. Are they all burnt?
posted by Hoopo at 11:49 AM on September 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


Man Candles

Manc handles?
posted by Sys Rq at 11:50 AM on September 23, 2014


Does "camouflage" smell like Dick Cheney shooting someone in the face? Or like a drunk dude with an AR15 hunting squirrels out of season?
posted by poffin boffin at 11:51 AM on September 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


I think Starbucks threads bring out the knee-jerk, "Grar! Burnt beans" comments... it's practically mandatory.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 11:51 AM on September 23, 2014 [5 favorites]


Well, if this drink makes the Irish mad, I guess I'm all for it.
posted by Greg Nog at 11:52 AM on September 23, 2014 [5 favorites]


autocorrect typo, obviously; that was supposed to say "madder"
posted by Greg Nog at 11:52 AM on September 23, 2014 [6 favorites]


No Murphy's love?

My Irish nan issues dark warnings against the consumption of said beverage, presumably for a similarly well-evidenced reason as her need to throw salt over her left shoulder the first Thursday of every month or her refusal to use the word "curtain".
posted by sobarel at 11:54 AM on September 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


Ounce-per-ounce, I bet this Starbucks creation has wayyyy more calories than a Guinness.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:55 AM on September 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


No Murphy's love?

No. And why would you ask? If Guinness is the Marks and Spencer* of stout, Murphy's is Primark.


*A respectable, middle market, but nothing special brand.
posted by Thing at 11:55 AM on September 23, 2014


Guinness is a beer you can drink all day and not get drunk. Coffee is the antidote to drunkenness. I don't see how this isn't a good marriage.
posted by uncleozzy at 11:55 AM on September 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


"If you’re already panicking about what you’re going to drink once Starbucks stops selling its beloved seasonal pumpkin spice latte, don’t worry,"

Can I leave the planet now, please? I'll wait in line if I absolutely have to.
posted by Devonian at 11:56 AM on September 23, 2014 [3 favorites]


Beer flavored coffee sounds about as appealing as coffee flavored beer.
posted by rocket88 at 11:58 AM on September 23, 2014 [4 favorites]


I like it: it totally implodes the myth that the best thing about beer is the taste and not the alcohol. Nobody would drink beer if it wasn't for the ethanol content.

This is incorrect.

First off, non-alcoholic beer does not generally taste the same as the kind of beer with alcohol in it, and it's usually made by shitty breweries. Like, yes, if I am drinking Labatt Blue I am probably trying to get a buzz. That's the kind of de-alcoholized beer I find in supermarkets. Also I might have a can or bottle of a nice beer just because I like the taste, because one beer is not going to get a 6'4" 220lb man buzzed in the slightest. It's because it tastes good, not because I'm getting wasted.

Second, it's not one or the other. People like both. In fact, I will freely admit to liking the fact that beer gives me a buzz, while also admiting to not liking a lot of the higher-alcohol beers because they taste rancid. Some people like them, I dunno.
posted by Hoopo at 11:58 AM on September 23, 2014 [4 favorites]


Why would anyone panic at the onset of PEPPERMINT STICK HOT CHOCOLATE who is this foolish writer and why are they allowed.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:58 AM on September 23, 2014 [6 favorites]


Starbucks is also still experimenting with their late-night versions that serve booze, and three separate new types of stores, including a high-end premium version.

They should skip trying to make a non-booze Guinness and move straight to doing a real Vietnamese slow-drip iced coffee with the sweetened condensed milk. Best beverage ever.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 11:59 AM on September 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


This reminds me of the alcohol-free Whisky-like beverage I recently had the exact opposite of pleasure to try.

Now that was a true abomination and I think hell will have to invent a whole new circle just for those involved in creating this... fluid.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 12:02 PM on September 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


He's taking about the bottled/canned version or the version you get on tap?

Have I been missing out on the real taste of Guinness?


Almost certainly talking about draft, but how close they taste depends where you get your Guinness (do they know how to set up the taps/gas properly) and who pours it. I'll happily drink a guinness from O'Flaherty's in downtown San Jose for example (an Irish bar owned and run by Irish people) but won't touch it with a barge pole in most other places.

From what I remember, Ireland, the UK and the US get the stuff from James' Gate and the rest of the world gets the guinness brewed in Nigeria or elsewhere, so in theory it should taste the same in the US but in practice they definitely don't.
posted by TwoWordReview at 12:02 PM on September 23, 2014


The best thing about Starbucks is that they are everywhere (and have wifi); flavor is not a thing that they do particularly well. I do not expect this to go particularly well.
posted by OHenryPacey at 12:05 PM on September 23, 2014


First off, non-alcoholic beer does not generally taste the same as the kind of beer with alcohol in it, and it's usually made by shitty breweries

I would murder for a non-alcoholic beer that actually tasted like beer. I'm a smallish guy who doesn't drink so much anymore. I had a couple strong, delicious beers on Saturday and bought a fucking horse mask from Amazon and now I have to be Bojack for Halloween.

I like good beer. I like how it tastes. I don't like elaborate Halloween costumes.
posted by uncleozzy at 12:05 PM on September 23, 2014 [40 favorites]


I can recommend Nigella's Guinness cake if you're insistent on mixing your stout and dessert.
posted by sobarel at 12:06 PM on September 23, 2014 [8 favorites]


Beer flavored coffee sounds about as appealing as coffee flavored beer.

Lots and lots of brewers try to put coffee notes in stouts and porters.
posted by OHenryPacey at 12:07 PM on September 23, 2014 [4 favorites]


For what it's worth, I see nothing fundamentally unworthy in trying to make a non-alcoholic, Guinness-flavored foodstuff. There are already plenty of such things out there - heck, cooking stews with Guinness is common, for example. Moreover, coffee and beer flavors tend to go together well - that's why coffee stouts are a thing. This is not to say Starbucks' Guinness-flavored coffee will be particularly good, but it's not a laughable idea on its face.
posted by Mr. Excellent at 12:07 PM on September 23, 2014 [6 favorites]


Wonders if that's a pale brew
posted by infini at 12:09 PM on September 23, 2014


Wait, so is Starbucks actually saying "this shit tastes like Guinness!", or are they trying to create the vague implication and hope the whole thing goes viral?

Or is this just someone trying to raise some hackles by comparing it to Guinness at all? I guess calling it "dark barrel" coffee is trying to associate a little...
posted by JoeZydeco at 12:10 PM on September 23, 2014



From what I remember, Ireland, the UK and the US get the stuff from James' Gate and the rest of the world gets the guinness brewed in Nigeria or elsewhere, so in theory it should taste the same in the US but in practice they definitely don't.


Their website faq is sort of unhelpful on this, it says it's brewed in "almost 50 countries".
posted by poffin boffin at 12:10 PM on September 23, 2014


I know it's wrong, but I want to taste this.
posted by stoneweaver at 12:10 PM on September 23, 2014


Coffee already has a flavor.
posted by fairmettle at 12:12 PM on September 23, 2014 [4 favorites]


despair and heartburn, yes
posted by poffin boffin at 12:13 PM on September 23, 2014 [3 favorites]


bought a fucking horse mask from Amazon and now I have to be Bojack for Halloween.

Sure, blame the beer.
posted by The Whelk at 12:15 PM on September 23, 2014 [3 favorites]


I like good beer. I like how it tastes. I don't like elaborate Halloween costumes.

Go as a Sexy Curmudgeon!
posted by thelonius at 12:16 PM on September 23, 2014 [5 favorites]


Their website faq is sort of unhelpful on this, it says it's brewed in "almost 50 countries".

Yeah, I definitely don't have a solid source on that and even if I did it would probably be outdated info by now, but that was the impression I was left with after multiple 'Does it really taste different' conversations over the years with people who seemed to know what they were talking about (and may have actually worked for Guinness at the time)
posted by TwoWordReview at 12:16 PM on September 23, 2014


"American Guinness already doesn't taste like Guinness. So what will this taste like?"

if it's anything like its alleged model beverage then the answer is "rabid hippo spit," prolly
posted by invitapriore at 12:17 PM on September 23, 2014


Beer flavored coffee sounds about as appealing as coffee flavored beer.

Schlafly Coffee Stout is one of my faves, and it has an 86% on BeerAdvocate.
posted by TypographicalError at 12:17 PM on September 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


There are three reasons I like going to Starbucks:
  1. It's unfashionable. I end up working in coffeeshops a fair percentage of the time.1 Because Starbucks is unfashionable, it's possible to get a seat there, even a seat next to a power outlet, and I don't feel guilty about sitting there basically forever.
  2. The coffee? Not so bad. Not great, certainly not transcendent, but not terrible. It is at the very least significantly better than McDonalds or Dunkin Donuts, and I can't not think that anyone who claims otherwise is just being a contrarian.
  3. I recall reading a long time ago, on a website about how important it is to support local businesses, that some staggering percentage of the money brought in by chain businesses goes back to the place where that business is headquartered instead of staying in the neighborhood. And I had a slightly perverse reaction to that information. Although I've lived outside Seattle for most of my adult life, I grew up there and will likely always identify as a Seattlelite.2 As such, each time I get coffee at a Starbucks outside Seattle, I think with pleasure about how I'm working to suck money out of wherever I am and send it back home.
1: Because if I work from home actually from home I go a little bit insane. Also, I end up wasting too much time on metafilter.
2: Although we seem like offputting cold weirdos to people not from Seattle — I apologize! We're not trying to be rude! We're just all really awkward! — there's something about the place that inspires rabid devotion among people from there.

posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 12:20 PM on September 23, 2014 [5 favorites]


Lagunitas Cappuccino Stout is pretty kickass too, if you can find it. Beeradvocate 88%/96%!
posted by JoeZydeco at 12:21 PM on September 23, 2014


BBC Coffeehouse Porter (and it has a 91, ha ha, I beat you ALL!) is a personal favorite if you're in MA.
posted by maryr at 12:23 PM on September 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


You sip the beverage.

It tastes almost, but not entirely, quite unlike Guinness.

YOU HAVE: NO GUINNESS
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 12:25 PM on September 23, 2014 [21 favorites]



From what I remember, Ireland, the UK and the US get the stuff from James' Gate and the rest of the world gets the guinness brewed in Nigeria or elsewhere, so in theory it should taste the same in the US but in practice they definitely don't.


The NA stuff is brewed in Canada. The German stuff uses different ingredients. It's not the same.

I highly recommend the factory tour if you get a chance. It tastes like sex on a bed of peat.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 12:26 PM on September 23, 2014 [5 favorites]


Have I been missing out on the real taste of Guinness?

i suppose - the stuff in bottles in the u s is made in canada by labatt's - which is why they can still put "imported" on the label

it's alright

recently, the foreign export stout version has been available and that is made in ireland

and, you can't tip a buick, how can starbucks be unfashionable if everyone goes there?
posted by pyramid termite at 12:26 PM on September 23, 2014


(The line is called Man Candles which is clearly a missed opportunity to patent the name MANDLES).

That word is already being used for "man-sandals."

Go as a Sexy Curmudgeon!

In other words, Ron Swanson.

Re: Guinness, I don't even like Guinness and I don't like this idea.
posted by emjaybee at 12:26 PM on September 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


pyramid termite: Well, I mean, it's popular rather than avant garde, and accessible rather than exclusive. You know, unfashionable. No one goes there to be seen going there. The really good and really fashionable coffeeshops can be crowded because people will keep going there even if it's too crowded, so that they can get the really good coffee and so they can be seen going there. If a Starbucks gets too crowded, people like me stop going there — after all, it's just a Starbucks, same as any other Starbucks — and, tada, it's not crowded anymore.

apparently I've become very practical in my old age.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 12:33 PM on September 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


I remember thinking how exotic Guinness tasted back when I'd only had American lagers but after a few decades of micros, Guinness tastes pretty boring and bland to me now.
posted by octothorpe at 12:36 PM on September 23, 2014 [3 favorites]


I just want people to have to order a shake instead of a frappucino. Because that's all it is, a goddam shake.

Also, is it just me or did those Starbucks Doubleshots things you can get at the gas station just double in price? I got one the other day and it was $4. I could swear they used to be like $1.50.

Shakes fist!
posted by misterpatrick at 12:36 PM on September 23, 2014


Also, is it just me or did those Starbucks Doubleshots things you can get at the gas station just double in price? I got one the other day and it was $4. I could swear they used to be like $1.50.

Holy cow, yeah, I occasionally treat myself to one of those when I'm running early-morning errands, and I don't think I've ever paid more than $2.
posted by uncleozzy at 12:38 PM on September 23, 2014


This is the perfect storm of pretentious snobbery.

Insufferable coffee snobs get to make sure everyone knows that they don't care for Starbucks, and insufferable beer snobs get to make sure everyone knows that they don't care for American beer.
posted by Sangermaine at 12:39 PM on September 23, 2014 [23 favorites]


I remember when NYC forced chains to put calorie counts on the menu and within a week all the Starbucks dessert coffees suddenly shrank in suze by a quarter at least.
posted by The Whelk at 12:40 PM on September 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


I like it: it totally implodes the myth that the best thing about beer is the taste and not the alcohol. Nobody would drink beer if it wasn't for the ethanol content.

Why does there have to be a single best thing about beer? Its legacy is: "a combination of brewed food and water that stays safe for consumption through the winter, nourishes the body, and yes, gets you buzzin'." Learning to enjoy the taste for many certainly does come after enjoying the other benefits, but there doesn't have to be a "single" good thing about it and I'm certainly happier having microbrew options vs. being stuck with Pruno or Boone's Farm.

And I find wine-buzzes unpleasant for whatever reasons (some allergic reaction, etc) which definitely does impact the perception of taste when I'm tasting a red that I'm certain will turn my neck red.

As someone else pointed out, if all beer has always had some reasonable amount of ethanol in it, ethanol is part of the taste profile and removing it will affect the taste, just as the bitterness of caffeine is part of the taste of coffee and tea (and Barq's root beer!), and non-alcohol beers tend to be produced by terrible breweries or the most you can do is cut the level of alcohol down by making shandies or whatever.

So you already have a confounding issue where taste and intoxication are intertwined. It is fair to say that many of the bitter or "distasteful" substances people learn to enjoy come with a punch, whether it's caffeine or ethanol or coca leaves or suckin' on a Ritalin. But at some point we form an association and many of us do acquire a taste for the "distasteful" substance, even if it was buttressed by an intoxicating effect.

As one example, I don't really like 100+ proof straight Bourbons, but I do like 100+ proof Ryes. The alcohol by itself doesn't taste good, and can be overpowering, but when met with something strong, the combined flavor profile soars.

I certainly wouldn't drink as much beer if it didn't have alcohol, because it has a fair amount of calories, and getting taste + buzz for that amount of calories is a higher reward than simply "taste."

The other day I was at a swimming pool that had a bar and grill onsite where you can't take your beer anywhere, can't bring a cooler, etc...I found myself enjoying a single beer and thought to myself "I don't want to buy more $5 beers right now, I'm just hanging out and swimming, and there's no way this is even going to give me a buzz at 6', 280 lb. Huh, still tastes better than a soda with a burger!" This betrays the fact that even if I'm just doing the "beer with a meal" thing I usually get two pints and establish the sort of buzz that either knocks me down with sleepiness, or encourages further drinking after the meal. It took 16 years of drinking to conclude that I can enjoy a single beer without feeling any perceptible buzz, and that having two pints at a meal, for me, is a ticket to tired-town, or drinkin'-4-more-after-dinner-town.
posted by aydeejones at 12:47 PM on September 23, 2014 [3 favorites]


This is the perfect storm of pretentious snobbery.

Insufferable coffee snobs get to make sure everyone knows that they don't care for Starbucks, and insufferable beer snobs get to make sure everyone knows that they don't care for American beer.
posted by Sangermaine at 12:39 PM on September 23 [+] [!]

Also I get to run a deadpan reverse-backflip post-post-post-ironic normcore-flavored defense of chain coffeehouses, so really there's something here for everyone. A+ thread would be metacontrarian in again.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 12:47 PM on September 23, 2014 [16 favorites]


Oh great burnt coffee that now tastes like burnt beer
posted by robbyrobs at 12:52 PM on September 23, 2014


From what I remember, Ireland, the UK and the US get the stuff from James' Gate

Their website says "All the GUINNESS® sold in the UK, Ireland and North America is brewed in Ireland at the historic St. James's Gate Brewery in Dublin" but that might be an "error" that they haven't gotten around to fix yet.
posted by effbot at 12:53 PM on September 23, 2014


We should do some research, everyone must go down to the pub immediately.
posted by poffin boffin at 12:54 PM on September 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


Starbucks does win some flak for this IMHO because it also seems like they're obliquely hopping on the "Barrel Aged Beer" trendy-train simply by prancing around it with a name like "Dark Barrel Latte." It's supposed to evoke more than "beer" or "latte" or "barrel aged beer" and allow people to feel fake-naughty for enjoying a fake-beer before work.

It feels very smoke-and-mirrors-y (eek, smoke and mirrors-y?) but if people buy it, I will not look down on them, I promise.

And I haven't had real Guiness, but the stuff we have in America was very passable during my twenties, as a session beer, with a very insipid mild taste that most good Stouts do not possess. Then again once you've had a Ten-Fidy, Sweet-Stouts can fully piss right off.

Beer is supposed to be bitter and biting but not insipid and hollowly bitter IMHO. This is why I could never acquire a taste for Budweiser despite stealing it from my parents at an early age, but quickly rose in the ranks of beer tasting after trying Fat Tire and Sam Adam's at the tender age of 18, even if those are both considered training wheels by modern standards.
posted by aydeejones at 12:55 PM on September 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


The problem with Starbucks is not the beans- they have a variety of roasts at differing levels of darkness.

The problem is twofold:

-The water for their coffee is just too hot. Many Americans expect a scalding cup of coffee that they can add milk and sugar too and then slowly drink in their cars, and that won't be cold as the grave 10 minutes later. This means that the initial temperature of the brew is too hot, and it extracts much more of the bitter, burnt flavors from the bean than it should. You can actually use Starbucks beans at home, with a French press, and if you let your water sit off the boil for a couple of minutes, it makes a perfectly fine cup of coffee.

-Those automatic espresso machines are just shit- the settings are never right on them, so at any given location you run the risk of either too much extraction, or not enough. Usually this is covered up by the various flavorings most people add to their coffee shakes, but a regular shot from one of those is just awful.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:55 PM on September 23, 2014 [9 favorites]


Coffee is the antidote to drunkenness.

No! This is my TV trope pet peeve! Coffee does not make you sober.
posted by armacy at 12:58 PM on September 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


As someone who no longer drinks, I am all for this, as stout is one of the few things I still miss about drinking. I don't care if it tastes like Guinness, Murphy, Beamish, or Bare Fucking Knuckle.
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:00 PM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


So far as I can see Starbucks are making a drink that they intend to taste rather like a stout--and because Guiness is the only stout that most Americans have heard of, it's being described as an attempt to make a drink that "tastes like Guiness."
posted by yoink at 1:02 PM on September 23, 2014 [3 favorites]


I applaud Starbucks' commitment to repelling the Filthy Irish.
posted by dr_dank at 1:04 PM on September 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


Coffee is the antidote to getting sleepy when you're drunk which is why I've started guzzling large coffees before going out. It's almost like not being old!
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:05 PM on September 23, 2014 [4 favorites]


I remember when NYC forced chains to put calorie counts on the menu and within a week all the Starbucks dessert coffees suddenly shrank in suze by a quarter at least.

I remember being a younger person and thinking that this NYC policy would never affect my eating choices and a week ago, my girlfriend and I walked out of a Fast Food chain after having attempted to make an impulse purchase of a bacon cheeseburger, because 1500 calories was too much for a sandwich. Now excuse me while I write BuzzFeed article about HOW WE'RE ALL SUPER OLD NOW.
posted by edbles at 1:07 PM on September 23, 2014 [3 favorites]


[old man yells at cheeseburger]
posted by poffin boffin at 1:08 PM on September 23, 2014 [4 favorites]


well technically speaking you're older than you've ever been
posted by The Whelk at 1:10 PM on September 23, 2014 [3 favorites]


I'd like to get back to the Man Room. If I remember correctly (I did "coat" check at a place called Flashpoint in the early 90's) it smelled distinctly like poppers, sweat, leather, urine and vodka. Shake.
posted by Sophie1 at 1:17 PM on September 23, 2014


Whelk: well great. now that's going to be stuck in my head for like six days.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 1:17 PM on September 23, 2014


The Anglo-American hegemony just keeps hammering it to the Celts this month, doesn't it?
posted by Apocryphon at 1:21 PM on September 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


New York City's hottest new nightclub is "man home " it has everything, an artisanal poppers bar, vodka showers , camouflage coated erotic candles, a real live grizzly bear and second choice NFL draft picks in cages.
posted by The Whelk at 1:21 PM on September 23, 2014 [15 favorites]


The acrid burnt smell coming out of coffee chains would be the worst nosmic experience on the high street if it weren't for the peculiar an-unemptied-bin-in-high-summer aroma that wafts out of Subway.

Thanks to appearances in Blade Runner, D.O.A., and numberless other movies and TV shows, the Bradbury Building had always been a landmark on my Must See expeditions list. Earlier this year, I finally took the time to see it in person.

Architecturally and emotionally, it was everything I had hoped for and more.

Except there's a fast-food place that has a prominent location in the building.

Yes, the entire lobby and first floor of the world-famous Bradbury Building smells like fucking Subway. A detail somehow missing in my dreams.
posted by Celsius1414 at 1:25 PM on September 23, 2014 [3 favorites]


I like starbucks iced vanilla lattes with a bit of Kahlua. They're even better if you keep adding the Kahlua as you drink it down.
posted by The Hamms Bear at 1:28 PM on September 23, 2014


And now you're even older.
posted by maryr at 1:29 PM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


Subway's smell is like getting an instant dose of anorexia medication - no one should be hungry after scenting it.

It's the exact opposite of the Sheetz gas stations, the architectural elements of which are apparently lovingly soaked in sugar before being constructed so the whole time you're paying for your gas you want to eat twelve million donut holes and chase it with a vat of Yoo-hoo.
posted by winna at 1:31 PM on September 23, 2014 [3 favorites]


Simply said:

The unfermented but hopped Guinness wort extract is shipped from Dublin and blended with beer brewed locally.

I see how some results-oriented executive at a stagnant global beverage retailer couldn't resist trying to do the same with their offerings.
posted by jsavimbi at 1:37 PM on September 23, 2014


Thirty years ago, the export version of Guinness was a bit like a modern IPA. Relatively high alcohol and hoppy. I was surprised how different it was in Ireland when I visited. They were both good but very different. Nowadays the export version is boring and I haven't tasted the Irish version lately.
posted by Bee'sWing at 1:46 PM on September 23, 2014


Thirty years ago, the export version of Guinness was a bit like a modern IPA.

Not the way I remember it. And it's pretty hard to imagine how anything labeled "stout" could bear even a passing resemblance to an IPA.
posted by yoink at 1:55 PM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


Don't forget the nausea after your third cup of the day!

Coffee is lovely, standard guineas can go hang. My irish grandad was teetotal so I'm not getting kicked out the family just yet.
posted by Braeburn at 1:56 PM on September 23, 2014


Not quite a prescription, but the doctor recommended that my mum drank half a pint of stout a day when she was pregnant with me to up her iron levels.
posted by Helga-woo at 1:58 PM on September 23, 2014


No, not by modern standards. Stouts are not hoppy. But hops were a preservative for the export version.
posted by Bee'sWing at 1:59 PM on September 23, 2014


Starbucks is stuck in the same pit as most fast food vendors, once you achieve market saturation growth can only be achieved by selling more crap through the existing retail outlets. So we get fake ribs from McDonalds and fake beer from Starbucks. It's a wonderful world.
posted by doctor_negative at 2:03 PM on September 23, 2014


pyramid termite: "how can starbucks be unfashionable if everyone goes there?"

Paging Yogi Berra.
posted by Chrysostom at 2:06 PM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


Someone needs to do a calorie-count expose on Starbucks drinks.

Starbucks' Explore Our Menu page lists calories, fat (g), carb. (g), fiber (g), and protein for all their drinks.
posted by kirkaracha at 2:11 PM on September 23, 2014


In NA, the Guinness in bottles (Extra Stout) comes from a brewery somewhere in Canada. The Guinness in cans (with widgets), in kegs for draft comes from St. James's Gate in Dublin. There is a bottled Foreign Extra Stout, which confusingly, also comes to NA from Dublin. The Extra Stout and the FES are both different beers than the draft in cans or kegs, and aren't intended to be the same taste.
posted by bonehead at 2:18 PM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


hops were a preservative for the export version

Do you have a citation for that?
posted by yoink at 2:20 PM on September 23, 2014


I wonder how much of the "Guinness tastes better in Ireland" has to do with the actual beer itself, and how much has to do with:

* The smell of an Irish pub.
* The water/soap used to clean the glass.
* A properly poured pint ...
* ... at the correct temperature.
* And any other number of factors that would affect smell, taste and mouth feel.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:28 PM on September 23, 2014 [3 favorites]


My mom thought she liked stouts, until I had her try an actual stout. She doesn't like them.
posted by Huck500 at 2:46 PM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


I do not begrudge people their love for Starbucks or for Guinness, but I can safely say that neither are for me.

Now that that's out of the way, I am agog at this idea.
posted by Kitteh at 2:56 PM on September 23, 2014


I wonder how much of the "Guinness tastes better in Ireland" has to do with the actual beer itself, and how much has to do with:

I personally think a lot of it has to do with it's something people say because they think it's something they're supposed to observe. I am not specifically a Guinness fan but I am quite a beer fan, and as it happens I woke up in Dublin this morning having spent the last week and drinking maybe 50 pints. [It's not my favorite but it's very easy to order and you basically cannot get drunk - nor hungover - on it.]

I will say that the pours were much more consistent, and generally I would have to leave my beer alone for about 20 minutes to get a Guinness that tasted like a typical US sports bar pour.
posted by ftm at 3:11 PM on September 23, 2014


|Do you have a citation for that?
I do not. Just the way I remember it. Perhaps it was just a matter of perception: any hops at all were remarkable compared to the mild beers commonly available at the time (Shiner Bock and Pabst, as I recall).
posted by Bee'sWing at 3:21 PM on September 23, 2014


My favorite thing at Starbucks is the Pike Place medium roast drip coffee. 9 out 10 times it's quite decent but once in awhile they leave it out too long or whatever and it's quite bad, like old McDonald's coffee. New McDonald's coffee does not hold a candle to Pike Place on a typical day. Yes the espresso beans are super dark roasted because that's what espresso is. Yes they take it up a notch to better homogenize their sourced beans. I rarely find mom and pop shops that don't do the same thing. When I do, I drink it straight up. If you drink anything but pure espresso or a short cappuccino (try one at Starbucks while you're at it, it's their best espresso drink and it's off the menu) you don't really get to complain about burnt beans drowned in milk and syrup. In my overlord book anyway
posted by aydeejones at 3:21 PM on September 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


Starbucks should re-brand as "McCoffee".

You know that McCafé is already a thing, right?


Plus, Guinness Extra Stout is already known as Mick Coffee. Starbucks doesn't need to further cloud those waters.
posted by mr. digits at 3:22 PM on September 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


Ironaically I like the extra stout in bottles and hate the canned stuff. But I'd take an Old Rasputin over either of those any day.
posted by Zalzidrax at 3:23 PM on September 23, 2014


The Guinness in cans (with widgets), in kegs for draft comes from St. James's Gate in Dublin

Hmm. So if I've only ever had Guinness on tap or in the widget cans, you're saying I've had the Irish version? What is everyone on about with respect to it tasting so much better in Ireland then?
posted by Hoopo at 3:34 PM on September 23, 2014


As if I need another reason to avoid Starbucks.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 3:41 PM on September 23, 2014


What is everyone on about with respect to it tasting so much better in Ireland then?

If there's any opening for dewy eyed sentimentality about the superiority of the Ould Sod to everywhere else, you can trust the Irish--and above all the Irish of the Irish diaspora--to find it out.

The claim that Guinness doesn't "travel" is one of those perfect, unrefutable claims. How are you supposed to do a double blind study without access to a teleportation machine? Taste memories are notoriously short-lived in actual studies (that is, people's ability to discriminate between small differences in tastes without almost immediate side-by-side comparison is extremely poor). There is essentially no way you could say for certain that a Guinness poured in a pub in Ireland tastes any better or worse than one poured in a pub in the US under equivalent conditions--but there's also no way to disprove the claim and it's one that has strong romantic appeal in its favor. Hence, it will never die.
posted by yoink at 3:43 PM on September 23, 2014 [7 favorites]


I personally think a lot of it has to do with it's something people say because they think it's something they're supposed to observe.

Yeah I tend to agree, and I say that as a native Dub who has been drinking (and pulling pints of!) guinness for over 20 years in both Ireland and N.America. There are really no "slosh it quickly in any old glass" places I've seen at home like you'll get in the US or Canada but a half decent pint in a place that serves a lot of guinness is pretty much the same to me either side of the pond. Irish guinness drinkers are also notoriously picky though and enjoy getting very visibly bent out of shape if the head is insufficiently sized, the wrong shaped pint glass is used, it's the wrong temperature outside, etc etc. They will complain loudly, which tends to keep bar staff consistent.

I have zero interest in guinness cake or beef or guinness-ish coffee though. No thanks starbucks.
posted by jamesonandwater at 3:45 PM on September 23, 2014


Bet these'd be better with a shot of whiskey in 'em.
posted by klangklangston at 3:49 PM on September 23, 2014


I do know that if I had to have one of these I would have no idea what to wear. Starbucks requires that you wear women's athletic gear to get your weekend morning cup and Guinness requires that you dress like a grumpy old man.
posted by srboisvert at 3:51 PM on September 23, 2014


I make (though, come to think of it, I haven't for years--I must rectify that) a beer-and-onion soup that is absolutely delicious if made with Guinness (though I imagine almost any stout would be fine). So I'm not, in principle, against mixing my stouts with other flavors. I've never tried a Guinness float, but I can see how it the combination would work.
posted by yoink at 3:53 PM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


Hey Starbucks, I've got something special here that tastes a lot like balls. Check it out: it's my balls.
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:59 PM on September 23, 2014 [4 favorites]


So, I figure that someone who actually tried this should comment....

I know that SB isn't the greatest coffee around, but I'm not a hater. It gets the job done. As for Guinness, I love the stuff. I know that if flew to Ireland and found a real pub, I could finally figure out what it's "supposed" to taste like, but what I can get locally is good enough to drink.

As for the Dark Barrel latte, I've actually tried it and while it does have a malty flavor, the most I can say is that the flavor reminds me of Guinness. But... it's very sweet. There's a strong caramel flavor (like milk caramel) along with the roasted malt taste. There's a little bite to the flavor, but the sweetness totally overpowers any sense of this being an adult drink. It's very like the Creme Brulee they have during the holidays, but replacing the vanilla flavor with a slight bitter caramel taste with malted overtones.

I'm not a huge fan of the coffee used in their lattes, but I do like the blonde roast. But even in brewed coffee, it's still too sweet. Two pumps (half of normal) in a grande was just about right from a sweetness perspective, but even after balancing the syrup, there's still something just night right about it.

But don't listen to me. I think pumpkin flavored coffee is gross.
posted by MCTDavid at 4:01 PM on September 23, 2014 [3 favorites]


So Guinness actually agreed to this fiendish arrangement?

What's next? Lagavulin-flavored McDonald's shakes?

IS THERE NO ONE I CAN TRUST IN THIS WORLD?
posted by nerdler at 4:03 PM on September 23, 2014


I do know that if I had to have one of these I would have no idea what to wear. Starbucks requires that you wear women's athletic gear to get your weekend morning cup and Guinness requires that you dress like a grumpy old man.

So, like, green tweed jacket and magenta sports bra? What's the problem?
posted by nebulawindphone at 4:05 PM on September 23, 2014 [6 favorites]


"American Guinness already doesn't taste like Guinness. So what will this taste like?"

Sure it does, it just tastes like Guinness that's been shipped across an ocean and some portion of a continent, and maybe inexpertly poured. Honestly though, the inability to QC a beer and distribution network to the point where a significant percentage of whats sold doesn't taste like what the brewer intends it to is not something that should be a source of pride.
posted by Gygesringtone at 4:21 PM on September 23, 2014


So, like, green tweed jacket and magenta sports bra? What's the problem?

Wow the new Watchers in the Buffy reboot are different.
posted by The Whelk at 4:35 PM on September 23, 2014 [4 favorites]


Wow the new Watchers in the Buffy reboot are different.

Dark Barrel Latte Bad is an instant classic, though.
posted by yoink at 4:40 PM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


Oh my god jesus that Guinness float recipe. Never pour the fizzy drink over the ice cream. Put the fizzy drink in first.
posted by toodleydoodley at 4:53 PM on September 23, 2014 [4 favorites]


What is everyone on about with respect to it tasting so much better in Ireland then?

I agree with everything jamesonandwater writes above. Guinness, to me is like Macdonald's, in fact. It's the same everywhere. I've had it in the brewery taproom and all around the world. It's dependably the same and a safety beer of choice if all else that's on offer is Coors lite.
posted by bonehead at 4:57 PM on September 23, 2014


I can no longer drink Guinness (I'm cœliac, diagnosed as an adult), but about once a month, I find myself eating fish (tuna or mackerel) at lunchtime and having a coffee too soon after. And coffee (a mediocre bean to cup americano) in a mouth which has just eaten oily fish gives a perfect if uncanny Guinness taste.
posted by ambrosen at 5:01 PM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


coffee (a mediocre bean to cup americano) in a mouth which has just eaten oily fish gives a perfect if uncanny Guinness taste

The ad copy just writes itself!
posted by yoink at 5:02 PM on September 23, 2014 [3 favorites]


Step One: Come into work smelling like Guinness every morning from your Dark Barrel Latte
Step Two: Prove to your boss that the Dark Barrel Latte is an actual thing and no, you're not coming in drunk
Step Three: Once your boss is placated, start filling your Starbucks cup with Guinness and coming in drunk
posted by jason_steakums at 5:11 PM on September 23, 2014 [20 favorites]


Man Candles. Candles are now a thing that has been gender-assigned. I can't even ...

Of course Guinness tastes better in Ireland, at a genuine pub, with an old wood bar, a tatty carpet, and the relaxed feel of a pub in Ireland. Also, you're in Ireland, so that's nice. The pub isn't air-conditioned to freezer temps, the beer is not icy either. Whoever said we needed to do the research is spot on. Let's taste Guinness in as many places as possible. We'll screw up the findings, but have a fine time.

I don't want my coffee to taste like beer or my beer to taste like pumpkin. I don't want my coffee to taste like pumpkin, either. At Dunkin Donuts, the coffee is always very fresh, not burnt while sitting too long on the burner. Ice cream in beer? If you like it, fine, I guess, but I'll just have the beer, please.

I used to like rice cakes, but they got Americanized to the point that you could buy chocolate rice cakes - bleah. It all went to crap, and now it's hard to find plain old rice cakes. Granola bars are now incredibly sweet, often frosted with waxy stuff claiming to be chocolate. Is there any food that we can't screw up beyond all recognition?
posted by theora55 at 5:26 PM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


Coffee is the antidote to getting sleepy when you're drunk which is why I've started guzzling large coffees before going out.

Way back in the day, we used to drink rye and jolt cola and chew on chocolate covered coffee beans all night. It was not smart or pretty, but it was basically cocaine for poor university students.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:27 PM on September 23, 2014 [3 favorites]


I have zero interest in guinness cake or beef or guinness-ish coffee though. No thanks starbucks.


My dad makes a pretty good Guinness pie, but that probably has more to do with the trotter gear he makes himself, and my mum's pastry.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:36 PM on September 23, 2014


Is there any food that we can't screw up beyond all recognition?

corn dogs
posted by poffin boffin at 6:10 PM on September 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


The alcohol is the best part of Guinness, the taste is the worst part.
posted by Rob Rockets at 7:30 PM on September 23


Congratulations! You win September's "Most Outrageously Incorrect Statement Of The Month" award!
posted by Decani at 6:25 PM on September 23, 2014 [5 favorites]


corn dogs

I was all off to Google Image Search to prove you wrong on this. I couldn't do it. I used terms like "worst corn dog" and "gross corn dog" etc etc and welp wouldn't you know it even the sketchiest looking corn dogs still looked appetizing as hell.

And so.
posted by Doleful Creature at 6:28 PM on September 23, 2014


>> The alcohol is the best part of Guinness, the taste is the worst part.

> Congratulations! You win September's "Most Outrageously Incorrect Statement Of The Month" award!


True. For the taste of Guinness to be the worst, it would have to have a discernible taste of some sort.
posted by tonycpsu at 6:29 PM on September 23, 2014


I like how the top images given for "terrible corn dog" all involve Republicans.
posted by poffin boffin at 6:30 PM on September 23, 2014 [4 favorites]


Guinness Extra Stout from a bottle is easily the best type of Guinness, with the added benefit that the only thing it needs to be decanted into is your throat, from any angle and at any degree and speed and temperature, rendering the entire process much less of an enormous wank.
posted by turbid dahlia at 7:16 PM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


Incidentally, if anyone's still reading: the "bonus link" to the Atlantic's Blue Bottle story is really interesting.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 10:14 PM on September 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


Advantage of living in Germany #234 - there is very good non-alcoholic beer here, it is available most places beer is sold (which is most places in Germany), there are many varieties, and no-one looks at your strangely if you order it.
posted by Megami at 11:28 PM on September 23, 2014


Advantage of living in Germany #234

Hey, I live in Germany, too, how are...

- there is very good non-alcoholic beer here

Die, heretic scum!

But seriously, it took some time and some pretty decent ad campaigns to make non-alcoholic beers popular enough -- and now they're still growing while beer sales in general are declining. Personally, I'd rather mix proper beer with something else, but for fans of Pilsener's, that's not a good option.

As for Guiness, I was a Smithwick man while working in Eire, but that's not imported properly...
posted by pseudocode at 2:32 AM on September 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


Actually, I love Cuvee Coffee's Black and Blue (a cold brew, nitrogenated coffee served on tap) and it's always reminded me a little of Guinness. Of course, I've also been curious enough to visit the Starbucks "Reserve" shop that's set up in downtown Austin at the foot of the W hotel, because apparently regular Starbucks are too middle-America for the jet set. Novelty appeals to me, is what I'm saying. It appeals to lots of us. Thus, silly promotions like this one.

SB's salted caramel hot chocolate was legit good though, especially if you could wrangle extra salt sprinkles...
posted by theweasel at 7:13 AM on September 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


"Incidentally, if anyone's still reading: the "bonus link" to the Atlantic's Blue Bottle story is really interesting.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 10:14 PM on September 23 [2 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]"


I will not bury a great link like that again. Thanks for the reminder.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 7:40 AM on September 24, 2014


I made the Guinness cupcakes that someone linked on the green once; they were effing awful and a total waste of the Guinness.

I won't be trying this either.

(And now I'm longing for a pint of Harp, the best Irish beer...)
posted by vignettist at 8:47 AM on September 24, 2014


New Holland Dragon's Milk Milk Stout cupcakes recipe. Make them, even if you've tried Guinness baked goods before. You'll thank me.
posted by misskaz at 9:42 AM on September 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


It's unfashionable. I end up working in coffeeshops a fair percentage of the time.1 Because Starbucks is unfashionable, it's possible to get a seat there, even a seat next to a power outlet, and I don't feel guilty about sitting there basically forever.

I once lived in a place where the only café in walking distance was a Costa (a UK Starbucks-analogue chain, with slightly better coffee). Occasionally I would sit there with my laptop, and noticed that the ambience was like that of an airport departure lounge. The customers all seemed to be in transit. The music was blandly generic Café Background Music, chosen by head office and piped in over an ISDN line or something. In short, it didn't feel so much like A Place but rather like a space between places. It was a café substitute, rather than an actual café.
posted by acb at 9:57 AM on September 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


The claim that Guinness doesn't "travel" is one of those perfect, unrefutable claims. How are you supposed to do a double blind study without access to a teleportation machine? Taste memories are notoriously short-lived in actual studies (that is, people's ability to discriminate between small differences in tastes without almost immediate side-by-side comparison is extremely poor). There is essentially no way you could say for certain that a Guinness poured in a pub in Ireland tastes any better or worse than one poured in a pub in the US under equivalent conditions--but there's also no way to disprove the claim and it's one that has strong romantic appeal in its favor. Hence, it will never die.

One could disprove this, though it would require volunteers with passports, soundproofed containers for shipping live humans and extraordinary cooperation from Irish and US (or some other country's) customs/immigration authorities (probably a no-no in the times of the Long Siege).

One could do a version of this with the candidates seated on a light plane with the windows blacked out, being flown from some equidistant neutral country (Iceland perhaps?) to either the US or Ireland, with the plane taxiing into a blacked-out hangar (so that there are no cues to the environment). (One would have to choose similarly temperate parts of the US and Ireland, so flying the candidates selected for the US to, say, New Mexico may not work.) Then either a bartender from a nearby bar would board the plane with a freshly poured Guinness, or the candidate would be transported to a pub (stripped of any signifiers, such as visible power points, which could give away its location) in some way that didn't expose them to any hints of where they were.
posted by acb at 10:12 AM on September 24, 2014 [3 favorites]


YOU HAVE: NO GUINNESS
> take guinness

NO GUINNESS DROPPED

posted by and for no one at 12:15 PM on September 24, 2014 [2 favorites]


I made a float from Young's Double Chocolate Stout and vanilla ice cream over the summer. It was not good.

Whaa? Young's Double Chocolate is the way to go for beer floats. Did you have the can with the widget? I could see it maybe not being great in glass, but it should be way better than with Guinness.
posted by spaltavian at 5:14 PM on September 24, 2014


I once lived in a place where the only café in walking distance was a Costa (a UK Starbucks-analogue chain, with slightly better coffee). Occasionally I would sit there with my laptop, and noticed that the ambience was like that of an airport departure lounge. The customers all seemed to be in transit. The music was blandly generic Café Background Music, chosen by head office and piped in over an ISDN line or something. In short, it didn't feel so much like A Place but rather like a space between places. It was a café substitute, rather than an actual café.
posted by acb at 9:57 AM on September 24 [+] [!]

Uh, so, I'm sure you've noticed that we're living in the 1980s cyberpunk future. Empty in-between airport-terminal-spaces bearing a simulacral correspondence to nothing in particular are the only actually authentic things we have left.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 7:04 PM on September 24, 2014 [2 favorites]


well, terminal spaces and somewhat unpopular internet forums.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 7:04 PM on September 24, 2014


spaltavian, it was Double Chocolate from the bottle. I'm in the UK, and have never seen it in a can here (and I hadn't ever seen it in a can when I was in the US, either, but that was 8+ years ago). Where did you get your cans?

I'll be over in the US in November and am willing to give this another shot - it seemed like it should be 2 great tastes that taste great together and I was very surprised that it didn't appear to be so.
posted by minsies at 9:56 AM on September 26, 2014


I'm located in Maryland, and my experience is that the cans are more common than bottle by a 3:1 ratio. In my neck of the woods, can you find it at most liquor stores with a decent selection.

Here's what the can looks like. I think the widget might make the difference, but perhaps that's some sort of Americanism on my part. Good luck!
posted by spaltavian at 7:26 AM on September 29, 2014


I think the widget might make the difference

The widget injects nitrogen into the beer to create the head, instead of carbon-dioxide. Here's a pretty good primer. What they don't mention is that the Left Hand nitro beers are widget free.
posted by Gygesringtone at 7:55 AM on September 29, 2014


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