The first thing you should know about Guinness’s latest creation is that it’s targeting a broader market of drinkers who may not be fans of their meal-in-a-pint stouts. Though it’s called a Black Lager, beer geeks will point out that it’s technically a very specific German brew called Schwarzbier or “black beer”. Developed long before lighter lagers were made possible thanks to short-roasted malts, the dark coloring can be quite deceiving — since one sip will reveal the beer’s true, lighter bodied nature and 4.5% alcohol content. That said, Guinness’s iteration packs all of the key taste profiles of the genre including strong hints of chocolates and coffee. In a nod to the American market, it’s also designed for ice-cold consumption right out of the bottle, so there’s no need to worry about having a pint glass on hand. We learned to appreciate how the beer floated stronger flavors on a lighter body after polishing off our first six pack over the weekend. In many ways, it’s the Guinness weekend sports fans have been waiting for, since you can have a couple without feeling like you ingested an anvil. True stout aficionados should still stick to the original though, lest they lose hope that the brew masters in Dublin have lost their way.

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