I’ve written about Guinness Foreign Extra before, it fascinates me. I won't go over it in too much detail again but basically it's brewed using a dehydrated base beer made in Ireland, which is then flown all over the world and mixed with a local beer. In Nigeria it’s a local beer made with sorghum which gives the beer an odd banana taste and unusual aroma. I always enjoy trying a new one and was intrigued to see how the Mauritian version compared.
I was expecting Mauritian FES to taste a little like the Nigerian FES for some reason - Sweet, a bit funky, and with loads of banana character alongside the roasted malt and herbal hop dryness - But it isn't. It's another beast altogether.
Initially it's got a fruity chocolate character, then a touch of that almost stale beer flavour FES always has, but it's not overly sour like the Nigerian version, there's just a slight fruitiness and a bit of tang. It's familiar yet different. I never tire of trying the different FES beers from around the world, how they differ this much is beyond me.
This Mauritian version has sweet coffee, bittersweet reduced redcurrant, fruity dark chocolate, burnt honey roast parsnip (I know that sounds poncy, but trust me). It's all so concentrated and muddled though that it's a tough job pulling out the separate flavours. I don't mean that as a bad thing though. The flavours roll together and make a really drinkable whole.
FES has more hops than any other Guinness and this beer doesn't disappoint on that front. Maybe it's down to the fact I'd been quaffing perfectly decent but distinctly un hoppy beer for more than a week when I drank this, but this beer smacked me round the head with that hoppy finish.
P.s. Very fresh bottle this. Manufacture date is the 6th of September. So less than 3 weeks old when I drank it. Obviously a popular beer and I can see why.