So what’s the story?
The contents of the sleek black bottle reflect the beer Guinness was likely brewing that year, which means the contents aren’t the expected black, but amber, as stouts and dark porters wouldn’t be a thing for a few more decades. But after attempting to create a beer in the same vein as that long lost style, Guinness also decided to blend in some of Ireland’s most iconic peated whiskey malt to bring out the same mellow, caramel flavor that was such a huge part of what Arthur Guinness was known for. In keeping with the historic nature of the Signature Series, they partnered up with the venerable whiskey houses of the area, some of which have been distilling since the 1600s.
How’s the taste?
Upon opening the bottle, there’s a slight carmel-y butterscotch aroma that carries into the malty taste of the beer, and there’s also a nice (decidedly non-IPA-like) bed of hoppiness, too. But what really hits you is that whiskey influence. It’s not as in your face as a barrel-aged ale, but there’s certainly a nice twist of dry, scotchy smokiness -- not too much though, because apparently overdoing that peat can give you something more akin to soy sauce than ale, and you’d have to be a kikkomaniac to want to drink an entire bottle of soy sauce.