Hello and welcome back to the channel! Today, I'm taking a look at London Black from Anspach & Hobday, which is effectively the first proper craft Guinness alternative that has launched in the UK. I must point out that all the other craft Guinness alternatives I've covered before are not true Guinness alternatives, but this one actually came around first. It was initially only available on tap, and every time I tried to find it, it was always off at any of the venues that stocked it. It became so popular that Anspach & Hobday had to create an interactive map of venues that sold it, but not all venues had it all the time. So, what is London Black?

Well, it's a 4.4% independent Nitro Porter. Anspach & Hobday are really emphasizing the fact that it's not from a big company like Guinness, but that they are an independent craft brewer from London. The can itself is black and gold, in line with other Guinness alternatives. London Black was first released in a can about a month ago, just before my most recent trip to Scotland. By the time I got back, it had already sold out, so I couldn't order it before my trip. But finally, I managed to get my hands on a can!

A True Guinness-like Experience

My anticipation with London Black is that it is going to be more like Guinness than any of the other alternatives I've tried so far. The two standout UK brewed alternatives are the Brewdog offering, known as Black Heart, and the Nitro Gorilla from my local brewery, Blue Monkey. While these alternatives are fantastic, they are still more flavorful than Guinness. However, with London Black, I have a feeling that it might be the closest to the real Guinness experience.

I decided to pour this Nitro Porter into a Guinness glass, which is probably sacrilegious to some, but it just felt right in this case. The cascading effect was impressive, though not as creamy as a traditional Guinness due to the lack of a widget in the can. But visually, it looked enticing, with a thick, creamy head that is reminiscent of a good stout. The aroma was also strikingly similar to Guinness, with a sweet, coffee-forward profile that was incredibly inviting.

As I took my first sip, I was pleasantly surprised. London Black truly delivers on the promise of a Guinness-like experience. It has more flavor, more body, and more subtlety compared to the mainstream Guinness. While I still prefer the bolder flavors of my local brewery's offerings, I can appreciate the craft and balance of London Black as a Guinness alternative for the average beer drinker.

Tasting Notes

At first sip, London Black presents a rich and intense coffee note, followed by hints of red berries and dark chocolate. The beer is well-balanced, with the coffee flavors evolving throughout each sip. The mid-palate introduces earthy tones and a touch of licorice, adding depth to the overall experience. The finish is smooth and sweet, with lingering berry and chocolate notes that leave a lasting impression.

One interesting detail about London Black is its red Porter classification. Hold it up to the light, and you can see hints of red glistening through the dark brew. This unique touch sets it apart from traditional stouts and porters, adding another dimension to the tasting experience.


In conclusion, London Black from Anspach & Hobday is a well-crafted and satisfying alternative to mainstream Guinness. While it may not be the most flavourful Nitro Stout or Porter on the market, it excels in capturing the essence of a classic London Porter. With its smooth mouthfeel, balanced flavours, and historical nods to London's brewing heritage, London Black is a solid choice for those looking for a Guinness-like experience with a craft twist.

Have you tried London Black, or do you plan to give it a go? Let me know in the comments below. If you have any other recommendations for Nitro Stouts or Porters to try, feel free to share them as well. Thank you for watching, and remember to like and subscribe for more beer-related content. Cheers!

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