Murphy’s Irish Stout

Reviewed by on March 17, 2018 in Spring Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: John Smith's Brewery

  • Origin: Tadcaster, England

  • Rated On: March 17, 2018

  • Best Before: May 2018

  • ABV: 4.1%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Irish Dry Stout

  • Rating: GREAT !!

The Review

Murphy’s has certainly lagged behind that other Irish Stout of renown, but now it has finally made its retail debut in my own part of the world, just in time for all yer St. Patrick’s Day needs.  I’m using this as a worthy substitute in my Irish stew, FWIW.

This 440ml can pours a clear, amber-highlighted, very dark brown colour, with two fingers of beautifully cascading tan head, which leaves a solid wall of thick and chunky lace around the glass as it slowly but surely dissipates.

It smells of semi-sweet, lightly roasted caramel malt, bittersweet cocoa powder, a touch of cafe-au-lait, some faint free-range and wispy smokiness, and very understated earthy, musty, and floral noble hops. The taste is gently roasted, bready and grainy caramel malt, a bit of dried coffee grounds, ethereal medium chocolate, a soft pitted black fruit essence, and more rather tame leafy, vegetal, and dead floral hoppiness.  The carbonation is on the low side, obviously not pelting my palate with any incessant bubbles, the body a solid middleweight, and super-smooth, with an inborn creaminess getting more prominent as things warm up a tad around here. It finishes pushing dry and very clean.

Overall – a superb (if commercial – this version is brewed at one of corporate overlord Heineken’s English operations) Irish stout, full stop. I don’t know if it’s just contrarian of me or not, but I (used to) always try to seek this out – whereas Guinness just seems to always be there, Murphy’s just wasn’t all that easy to find.  Glad that’s changed now, because I could happily sip on these all bloody day and night! Sláinte!


Brady White



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