tropical beer notes #3

Guinness Foreign Extra Stout Malaysia – Malaysia – 6.8%

This is not Guinness as you know it. Foreign Extra Stout (FES) is a world away from the super cold, creamy-headed sessional that is lugged by the kilolitre at the local. It’s good. Really good; even Catie likes it. What’s so welcome is that it has the muscle to compliment the flavours of the local grub – most of the Asian regional flagships are really not up to the job. It has back bone – a big tasty structure that holds it all together. Viscous and black as the ace of spades; frothy brown “Bells Rapid” foam head; coffee, liquorice and molasses; high in alcohol but not so strong that a second will send you tumbling from your plastic stool.

Time for some historical revisionism: stout abounds in Asia, with most of the local breweries producing one. A legacy of colonial tastes in the 19th century. Only parliaments, cricket and railways are equals in the race for such a worthy legacy of empire.


And for the beer nerds (surely the only ones left reading – hi Beno): note the dog’s head on the neck of the bottle. It’s a nod to Guinness’ history of Dublin recruiting local breweries to produce a stout based on the original St James Gate recipe. An unfermented but hopped Guinness wort extract (isn’t that what Vegemite is?) is apparently shipped from Dublin, which is combined with domestic ingredients to produce a local version. Often the local labels made little or no mention of Guinness. In Malaysia, Guinness was once known as Dogs Head Stout. So the pooch remains. Pretty cool. Confusingly, St James Gate also produces another Foreign Extra Stout, coming in at 7.5% and occasionally available in Perthland. 15/20


3 Responses to “tropical beer notes #3”

  1. bubba Says:

    I too am still there.
    It reminds me of one of the Sri Lankan heavies.

  2. kennhyn Says:

    I guess you guys are beer lover, but seems u like FES I guess u prefer strong beer. By they it was called Black Dog (黑狗) not Dog Head. Because of the black bulldog on the logo, since decade ago. So far only SEA country have the different animal symbol on the bottle. Since u hunting around asia, maybe u can find more then me… If u r still in KL and want to have some Europe beer, drop me a mail, not much choice in Malaysia but good to satisfy some taste bud. Cheers!

  3. beno Says:

    excellent work dudes and thanks for the shout out.

    i like this beer so much i have decided to remodel my apartment in an entirely-stout paint scheme.

    patent pending.

    wherever you are in this crazy world, keep on truckin.


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