Not all Guinnesses are created equal. I have enjoyed Guinness Draught Stout for many years and it continues to be one of my favorite drinks. On a whim I grabbed a pint of the Extra Stout assuming there would be little difference if any between the Draught. Based upon my assumption I walked away somewhat disappointed but pleasantly surprised. Extra Stout made me appreciate a different style of stout such as Coopers - Best Extra Stout more as both were similar in style which are different than the Irish Stout Trinity (Guinness Draught, Murphy's and Beamish).
I was taken back by the Guinness Extra Stout more because I was not expecting the flavors to be rustic and less commercial than the Draught.
The Extra Stout poured dark black with a slight amber tint. The beige big-bubble head was weak as was the retention. The head was the first indication to me, this was a different style of stout when compared to the Draught.
(Note: After you pour this, let the stout sit and breathe for 5-10 minutes before drinking. The stout needs to warm to really develop its flavors.)
Initially there was very little aroma but as the stout came up to temperature a light vanilla mustiness developed and the expected roasted-smokey malts emerged.
The first thing the taste reminded me of was champagne. The stout was tangy and somewhat tart which was surprising because I was expecting the deep roasted malts to dominate the flavor. As the stout warmed, the roasted malts surfaced in the background as chocolate. Extra Stout finished very drying in the mouth with a slightly musty aftertaste.
The texture was dominated by the carbonation and it helped aerated the body of the drink giving the stout a champaign like character.
If I were to have had this blind, I would have never guessed this was from Guinness. Personally, I found this stout enjoyable in the same way I liked Coopers however I still prefer the Draught.