We reported on the Guinness Surger last week and since then have had a chance to put it to the test (on multiple occasions :)). It also gave us the opportunity to buy beer on expenses which is always cool. So read our totally unbiased though alcohol induced review :). Make sure to also check out our guide on home brewing kits.
To start off we had to get a range of liquids to sample, including:
- Surger Guinness (obviously)
- Widget Guinness
- Normal cans of Guinness
- Bottled Guinness
- Pub pint of normal Guinness
- Pub pint of Extra Cold Guinness
- Some other random drinks because we could put them on the same receipt
Next we decided our scoring would be based on the following criteria:
- Taste – as compared to a pub pint in Ireland
- Head and texture – was the Guinness head up to scratch
- Cost – How much did a pint of the black stuff cost
- Convenience – Based on the prep work required
So without further ado, let the
drinking testing begin.
Normal Cans and Bottles of Guinness
We started of by trying a normal can of Guinness which we found to have the same qualities as a bottle. It tasted okay whether swigged directly from the bottle/can or poured into a glass, but it didn’t have that Guinness consistency.
Taste: 5 – okay but nothing special
Head and Texture: 4 – looked more like the head you’d find on a cheap lager
Cost: 9 – cheapest of the lot coming in at £3.48 for a 4 pack
Convenience: 9 – had to cool it in the fridge for a few hours but could then be drank straight from the can
Cans of Guinness Surger
This is what the test was all about and after reading the instructions, cooling the cans in the fridge for 24 hours to the required 5 degrees, we were impressed with the end result but not so much with the hassle.
Taste: 8: – The best out of a can Guinness
Head and texture: 9 – The head did resemble a proper pint of Guinness creating a proper Guinness mostache after every sip
Cost: 6 – Firstly we had the one off payment of £16.99 to buy the Surger base unit which wouldn’t be too bad if the cans were the same cost but they’re not. Surger cans cost £1.25 which is substantially more than any other cans of Guinness
Convenience: 5 – Again this let the surger down, firstly the time you have to wait from buying till drinking, then the fact you can only buy the cans from larger branches of Tesco. Doing the first few Surger button presses was fun but after a while having to find an ultra clean glass for every refill did become a pain.
Widget Cans of Guinness
By this time we had a few drinks so our accuracy and taste buds were probably getting somewhat cloudy.
Taste: 7 – Looked and tasted like Guinness but wasn’t up to the previous Surger quality
Head and Texture: 8 – The head looked the part but it didn’t last as long as that of the previous drink and also appeared a bit bubbly
Convenience: 8 – You need a (semi) clean glass and have to wait 30 seconds for it to settle
Cost: 7 – More expensive than bog standard cans but far cheaper than the Surger
English Pub Guinness
After trying the previous drinks at home it only seemed right to wander down the pub for a proper comparison. We were now up to pint 6 or so, so takes these results with that in mind.
Taste: 9 – Best of the lot but still no where near as nice the worst pint of Guinness you’d be served in Ireland
Head and Texture: 9 – same comments as taste really.
Cost: 5 – At 3 pounds a pint its the most expensive drink in our test but as it was a taxable expense didn’t really care
Convenience: 8 – Depends were your local pub is, as we got a lift there that didn’t really matter and as somebody else did the pouring and cleaning we could concentrate on the difficult job of drinking.
If you enjoy drinking Guinness at home, have lots of borrowed clean pint glasses, a decent disposable income and patience we would heartily recommend the Guinness Surger at least for your first 3 pints, after those you can probably drink anything and not notice the difference. Though if you have a pub on the doorstep with a fit barmaid then go to the pub instead :).
One other thing we tried was to see what would happen to widget Guinness when placed on a Surger, the following video probably demonstrates the instructions were correct when they said “Only use Guinness Surger cans on the surger unit”.