Tasting Guinness Marmite
Back in February I reported on the new limited edition Guinness Marmite. Since then, the salty yeast spread connoisseur in me yearned to taste this mysterious combination. Parts of me panicked at the thought of it selling out before I had a chance at it.
Enter my friend Mimi to the rescue. She kindly procured not one, but four, yes 4, 250 gram jars of Guinness Marmite for me, which arrived in the mail today. My first reaction: "ZOMG, a kilo of Marmite!" (That's about 2.2 lb for the metrically challenged.)
Calming down, I proceeded to inspect it in detail.
The original Marmite jar is a classic of product design, but the Guinness Marmite jar may have even bettered it. I love the cool white and black label against the dark brown of the jar.
The back label is just as good as the front:
"Good things come to those who wait" indeed. You can also see the ingredients: Yeast Extract, Yeast Extract, and salt. (Click on the image to see a bigger version.) How pure! It warms the cockles of my heart to see such a straightforward product being sold by a multinational conglomerate like Unilever.
Guinness Marmite has the same color as classic Marmite, but is rather more liquid in consistency.
Does Guinness Marmite have a beer-like smell? To test this, I stuck my nose deep into the jar and sniffed. Indeed it does have the slight aroma of beer, though about equal to that of Cenovis.
Taste, of course, is the most important aspect. First, I took a tiny amount on the end of a rounded knife an placed it carefully on my tongue. The top note is quite similar to that of Cenovis - a bit beer-y. The midnote is that of classic Marmite - salty and yeasty without any fishy undertones like in Vegemite. The aftertaste is the most interesting however. It's bitter and slightly dark, reminiscent of a good stout. Like Guinness, as a matter of fact.
Then the ultimate test: spread on a piece of bread that is first covered with a rather generous schmear of butter. I used the 1:8 Marmite to butter ratio as mentioned in my yeast spread opus. This worked very well. I then upped that to a 1:4 ratio,and that worked quite well too. Somehow the bitter undertones in the Guinness Marmite counteract the saltiness.
I am quite taken with this Guinness Marmite. I do hope they will continue to produce it, but if not I may need to figure out a way to preserve the remaining 3 unopened jars safely, as a Collectible for the Future. Who knows, it may pay for my niece's college education.
Where to buy
If you aren't in the UK, don't have nice friends or obliging relatives there, and are desperate to try Guinness Marmite, I've seen them listed on eBay. So...good luck!
Is it worth it, or will you regret it? Well, when it comes to salty yeast spreads, I dare not say either way.