“For the love of the liquor he was born”
This line from the famous song ‘Finnegan’s Wake’ comes to mind when I think about my relationship with Guinness.
One does not simply like Guinness. You don’t drink it as an alternative nor do you just have ‘the one’ before switching to another pint (unless it’s a dodgy pint, of course).
You have to love Guinness.
There’s a moment of tension when you skull the first mouthful of a pint. It’s at that moment that you realise whether it’s going to be manky, mediocre or like ‘mother’s milk’.
I come from the west of Ireland where the majority of pubs are renowned for their cracking pints of the black stuff. However, since I made the move to the big smoke, an amazing pint of Guinness has been hard to come by.
Don’t get me wrong. I haven’t covered every square inch of the county horsing down Guinness into me like there’s no tomorrow (although the chance would be a fine thing).
But, of all the pubs I have gone to so far, and there have been a few, only one pub’s Guinness has impressed me so much that it would fit perfectly among the top drinks in the west.
I only moved here recently and this is the closest thing I’ve got to perfection since I moved.
I’ll never forget the day I stepped in the door of Devitts pub on Camden Street.
It was 11:10pm and the night of the Ireland v Wales game. I was just finished work and had a throat on me like someone who had been stranded in the desert for two years.
It probably didn’t help my throat the fact that James McClean had just rifled us into the qualifiers…
My friend and I tipped in and gave the nod for two pints. We watched patiently as they were poured and as the head was added, we grabbed the two glasses off the barman like we had somewhere to be.
The first gulp was like something out of heaven. I did something to that pint that I have never done before and probably will never do again.
I demolished it within three minutes. I know that because I looked at the time to see if I could have one more or would it be too late.
It was actually like drinking water.
We stayed, had another one and went on home before the situation got out of hand, we both had to be up for work in the morning at 9am.
The girlfriend was up the following week. I hadn’t spoken about the place because I didn’t want to jinx it but we went for dinner in YUMO – a bitchin’ restaurant may I add – and there was only one location we were heading after that.
I passed the pint to her. She worked in a bar in her student days, she knew a good pint from a bad one and her eyes lit up.
Getting a good pint of Guinness once is lucky but getting it a few times is solid.
If a pint of Guinness is unreal, you’ll be satisfied looking at the glass both at the start and at the end of the drink.
At the start, you’ll be mesmerised by the creamy top which is added to the beautiful ruby red colour underneath.
At the end, you’ll be sitting there happily counting all the lines from the head of the pint that go around the glass while waiting for another to be poured.
Devitts Pub hold a little gem in its hand but yet it does not get the recognition it deserves. It doesn’t feature in the bucket list of places to go for Guinness nor is it in the top ten pints in the county.
It came a miserable 17th place in the definitive ranking of Camden Street pubs but in my heart, it’s number one for Guinness all day every day.
If you’re a Guinness lover looking for a treat, especially for the week that’s in it, you know where to go.