A Beginner's Lesson in Guinness and Four Cocktails to Get You Started
First of all, lets start off with a little debunking about what Guinness is and is not.
It is not motoroil. It is not heavy or thick. It does not have a harsh or overly bitter flavor. You're thinking of IPAs.
Guinness is light. It is creamy and smooth with only the slightest hint of carbonation. It is malty with undertones of coffee and chocolate. It is rich tasting, sure, but that should not be confused with being heavy. If you have tried porters or other stouts - especially flavored ones - and been put off by syrupy finish, don't be. Guinness is a stout unto itself. Comparisons cannot be made.
While the brew is certainly a bit dense due to the lack of excessive (read: harsh) carbonation, Guinness is in fact so light, that when mixed with other brews, it floats on top.
Now, the purists, of course, will tell you to just leave the Guinness alone in all its creamy glory and drink it as is. Find a pub that stores and pours it properly, wait for the foam to completely separate, and then drink it in about 10 "manly" swallows. No sipping, no mincing, and, for the love of God, no nursing.
We will now break for some Guinness porn...
...And we're back. You OK?
Learning to love Guinness is a rite of passage, one that - like building a proper pint - takes time. A good way to ease yourself into it is to try a few Guinness cocktails. After all, even true Guinness lovers like to shake things up every once in while.