This was a big disappointment. Oliver will swear on his 300 bottles of homebrew that this has changed since last time he had it, about nine months earlier. Apart from the alcohol content having been slashed from 6.9%, it is also lighter of body and much less rich and bitter. It is more watery. Guinness Original is, we hate to report, just not what it used to be. There are plenty of better stouts out there. In fact, most stouts are better than this.
Shame, Foster's, shame.
A visitor to homebrewandbeer.com emailed us later to say: “I agree with the comment regarding the watery nature of this new stuff. Foster's have done the marketing thing with it - It's all looks and bugger all content.”
POST SCRIPT: Oliver found some of the “old” Guinness (in 250ml “hand grenade” stubbies) in a bottle-shop in Melbourne. Indeed, it used to be 6.9%.
So, for the retasting on April Fool's Day 2001:
Not a lively beer. Geoff: “It's just so syrupy and embraces your guts.” Oliver: “So much more bitter, syrupy and aromatic than the lucklustre beer that it has now become.”