Wednesday, August 5, 2009

36. Murphy’s Draught Style Stout vs. Guinness Draught Style Stout

Today we're having our first annual widget draught can drink off: our contestants are Murphy’s Draught Style Stout and Guiness Draught. Murphy’s is brewed by Murphy Brewing in Cork, Ireland, and Guiness is brewed by St. James Gate Brewery in Dublin, Ireland.

Murphy’s begins with a dry burnt malt nose and a rich, creamy off-white head, created in part by the widget can. With an opaque brown color and a thick, creamy head, Murphy’s is visually pleasing. Guinness begins in much the same way; there is a light burnt malt nose that is almost crisp and a rich, creamy white head via the widget can. There is a bit more visual settling with Guinness once it is in the glass—you can see it settle out from head to fluid—but other than that, both look quite similar. As well, Guinness's body is slightly darker, the head is a bit lighter colored, and it is less opaque.
Aroma and Appearance Advantage: Guinness

In terms of taste, Murphy’s starts with a creamy roasted and slightly chalky malt sweetness; there is not much of a distinctive middle, and it finishes with a burnt bitterness. In comparison, Guinness begins with a bit of a smoother and sweeter flavor; while there is limited middle, as with Murphy’s, there is less burnt taste until the finish.
Flavor Advantage: Murphy’s

Murphy’s has a thin, smooth, and creamy mouthfeel—there is not a lot of sweetness, but the creaminess is similar to a milk stout. The dryness makes this drink and taste like a lighter stout with less body. While Guinness is much the same, there is a slightly heavier mouthfeel and more overall malt flavor with Guinness.
Mouthfeel Advantage: Guinness

Murphy’s flavor profile makes this is an easy drinking beer good for an entire evening of potable pursuits. While Guinness is in much the same category, it is the intangibles that set them apart. The visual qualities of Guinness are good, but the light chalky dryness of Murphy’s gives it the overall advantage in terms of flavor and tasty enjoyment.
Overall Advantage: Murphy’s

Both of their websites are pretty much useless for finding any interesting information about the beer in question--it’s mainly glitzy advertising copy with no substance. The Guinness website did offer this: “There’s a little bit of magic in every expertly crafted drop of Guiness. There are six distinct features that make our beer stand out from all the others. There’s our roasted barley, the extra hops we use, the special yeast, our maturation process, the famous creamy head and lastly the supremely skillful craft of our brewers. Arthur Guiness started the St. James’s Gate brewery in Dublin back in 1759. Today at our St. James Gate Brewery, there are nine key steps in our brewing process to achieve the enjoyment of our Guiness beer.” So while it tells me about how happy they are with their brewing process in general, it gives me nothing really of interest or merit—just bland advertising copy. Just once I’d like to see the brewery that tells me they use an “unspecial yeast.” That would be the day.
Website Advantage: Nobody wins with these websites.

ABV: 4.0%

ABV: 4.2%



  1. I am amazed as a Guiness lover the Murphy's is wonderful drink. Smooth and delightful! Better price and therefore I may have to allow price to make my decision! Love both!

  2. Guinness has slightly more alcohol so would have to stay with Guinness.

  3. I personally like either one. They both make this old Irish girl happy!