What else do you expect an Irishman to say?

This was brought to my attention by Slate:

President Barack Obama visited Ireland on Monday, where he had a Guinness at a pub in Moneygall (the tiny town where his great-great-great-grandfather was born). He remarked that the last time he’d ordered a Guinness in Ireland, during a stopover at Shannon Airport en route to Afghanistan, it was much tastier than any he’d had in the United States. “What I realized is you guys are keeping all the best stuff here,” he concluded. Was the president blarneying his hosts — or is Guinness really better in Ireland?

See, I knew it! And now we all know… that Barack Obama actually is… um… Irish. He probably subscribes to their bizarre beliefs and everything.

By the way, that item bore this headline: “Does Guinness Taste Better in Ireland?Yes, and not just because you’re more likely to be drunk there.”

Anyone deeply offended? Anyway, to answer the key question, as framed in the last sentence of the quote above:

It is. After the Institute of Food Technologists asked tasters to sample the so-called “black stuff” in 71 bars, 33 cities, and 14 countries over the course of a year, they gave it an average rating of 74 points out of 100 on the Emerald Isle, about 20 points higher than it got anywhere else. “This difference remained statistically significant after adjusting for researcher, pub ambience, [and] Guinness appearance,” the researchers noted.

Freshness is the key factor…

This, of course, raises another question: How does one get to be a taster with the Institute of Food Technologists? They fly you around the world and have you taste beer? Really?…

Sorry, hon, I’m only on my 8th country and 51st pub. I’ll be home when I can. I’ve got a job to do. I’m on a mission from IFT… And OH, am I jet-lagged…

14 thoughts on “What else do you expect an Irishman to say?

  1. cynthia k

    I have to agree with the President on this one. Guinness is best when imbibed in Ireland. It has an almost chocolate flavor and you can eat the foam with a spoon.

  2. jfx

    Freshness is the key factor, indeed. It’s the same with Irish Spring. You haven’t felt the true power of the stuff unless you’ve bathed in the mother country with a hunk of it fresh-mined from the soap cave at Inishbiggle.

  3. Steven Davis

    I hear french fries taste better in France, because they don’t have to be shipped over.

  4. Dan

    Love the stuff (now I’ll have to add “Visit Ireland” to that bucket list), but just never buy it anymore because of my vegetarian wife. She objects to the fish bladders used in its production.

  5. Steven Davis

    They use fish bladders in making Guinness? Well I guess that’s the reason why it tastes the way it does… it has the residual bladder liquid mixed in it.

  6. Kathryn Fenner (D- SC)

    @ Steve Davis–I always figured it was great for treating fence posts–that creosote/bile taste that is so hard to get out of my mouth must be good for something….

  7. Jesse S.

    Contrary to what wine snobs would have you believe, beer is really a delicate substance. Things like time, direct sunlight, jostling it around on a container ship and probably the biggest killer, dramatic changes in temp can really change the taste of it. There are things brewers can do like ‘tempering’ it, but only so much can be done (let Genesee Cream Ale, an untempered beer, get over 90 degrees and the stuff goes from Keystone awful, to something that taste like a mix of beer and pond scum). Guinness is no exception.

    @cynthia, the chocolate taste comes from the malting process. Basically they let some of the malt roast until the barley goes from blonde to amber to black (literally called, chocolate malt). It causes the sugar inside of the barley kernel to caramelize.

  8. Steven Davis

    Jesse S., what I’d like to know is how Budweiser can make such a superior product straight out of the bottle/can as compared to all of these beer snob beers that require trained pouring techniques or it’s “ruined”. Which is why I’ve never stepped foot in a Starbucks, it’s coffee… there shouldn’t be recipes.

  9. bud

    I had my first Budweiser in many years a few nights ago. When I drink beer it’s typically either Guiness Draft or some other pricy import. My first thought was how simply horrid the Bud was. But after a few swallows the alcohol kicked in at it was tolerable. Why anyone with money would ever drink such a fowl tasting beverage I’ll never known.

  10. SusanG

    So, has anybody tried the Pig Swig? (And how does it compare to the fowl beer bud mentioned)?

  11. Kiki

    What amazed me was the line “Guinness has a quality assurance team made up of more than 100 experts that travels throughout the United States to ensure the brew is served correctly.” Like, as a full-time job?

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