Some of our regulars have asked us for a stout or dark beer. Guiness or Murphy's are the obvious choice but we don't (yet) have the volume for kegs, so it's time to check what's available here locally. Here are the contenders, Kostritzer (Germany), Asahi Black (Japan), and Guiness can & bottle (Ireland, maybe).
Guiness bottle: Lacking any smell, tastes weak and insipid. Nothing like a Guiness draft.
Guiness can: Slightly more aroma, and fizzier due to the widget, but almost not taste... worse than the bottle.
Asahi Black: No smell, pretty tasty though, although more like a pils with black color added. Not bad, but probably not going to satisfy our customer demands.
Kostritzer: Best smell and taste, but still no creaminess and not much bitterness, The best of the bunch, but still not right.
We like the Old Engine Oil from Harviestoun but there's currently none of it in China, and the distributor wants 5 cases minimum order, which is too much for a niche beer, I've also tried both the Xinjang Black beer (taste ok, hangover brutal) and the Qingdao Stout (not great.).
The search continues....