Guinness' Festive New Beers Taste Like The Holidays

Guinness Open Gate Brewery in Baltimore has big news. Announced on PR Newswire, they want you to herald in the holiday season with their new, barrel-aged Gingerbread Spiced Stout and Guinness Imperial Stout.

Don't worry. Even if you're not a holiday-beer kind of person, you can expect more innovation from Guinness Open Gate Brewery. "We're playing the long game here," Guinness brand director, Nikhil Shah, told Forbes. "We want to establish more of the brewery's potential, which is not something we can do overnight."

If you're skeptical, know that both the Imperial Stout and Gingerbread Spiced Stout have gone through test-runs already. The former was part of last year's Stock Ale blend. And the latter? "We actually made this beer last year to offer our guests something a little special," senior Guinness brewer, Sean Brennan, told Forbes. "Brewers and the team fell in love with this beer. We all wanted it." Brennan aged the Gingerbread Spiced Stout in Bulleit bourbon barrels for four months. "We wanted a shorter time frame so the smooth and vanilla characters are prominent," he explained. The 11 percent alcohol brew is deliciously infused with allspice, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

What beer reviewers say about Guinness's new holiday offerings

The results are in. Beer experts have tasted Guinness's new holiday offerings. "Surprisingly good!," says one Untappd reviewer of Guinness's new, Gingerbread Spiced Stout. "Christmas in a glass," wrote another. On Beer Advocate, reviewers of the same beer describe its flavor as a mix of "roasted malt, oak, vanilla ... caramel and whisky." Another reviewer says, "toffee, caramel, and vanilla lead in a sweet body that leans more into strong-ale or even English barleywine territory."

As for Guinness's barrel-aged Imperial Stout, says one appreciative Untappd reviewer, "Gotta like Guinness upping their game." Beer Advocate critics describe the offering as tasting of "roasty earth with a hint of bourbon and vanilla." Another describes the drinking experience from start to finish. "It opens sweet," the reviewer writes, " with lots of bittersweet dark chocolate and bourbony vanilla marshmallow — the body is very soft and smooth with an almost syrupy edge ... the drink then airs out and expands with woods and char, drying on the finish." Final verdict? Sign us up for both.