Better than Guinness? Manchester’s Joseph Holt Trailblazer Stout comes out on top in blind taste test

The local tipple came up trumps vs Guinness in a blind taste test

Iconic local independent brewery Joseph Holt pitched their award-winning Trailblazer stout against Guinness in a blind taste test, with  85 per cent of drinkers preferring the Manchester-made brew to the Irish dry stout.

To blind test the two types of stout, drinkers were given unmarked glasses of the two products. After assessing the stouts for their appearance, they then sampled each drink to compare their taste.

You can watch a full video of drinkers carrying out the tests here:

Speaking to I Love MCR, head brewer at Joseph Holt Phil Parkinson said: “We are absolutely thrilled with the results – especially since Trailblazer is a relative newcomer to the stout market and Guinness is over 250 years old “

“Even more satisfying is that ,having blind tested drinkers of all ages,  so many younger people enjoyed Trailblazer too . And with Tryanuary a time when people are encouraged to try new things, Trailblazer is a must for those who want to enjoy a fantastic stout.

“We are delighted that Trailblazer stout was preferred by the majority. The decision for Joseph Holt to brew its own stout – in the face of long-time established brands – stemmed from opening up after lockdown and a desire to launch new products as we welcomed people back into our pubs.

“The drink proved extremely popular as soon it was available . And this taste test shows that you can be a new drink on the block and still prove more popular than those which have been around for, literally, centuries.”

Manchester-based brewery, Joseph Holt, which owns 127 pubs across the North West, says that since the launch of its Trailblazer stout, there has been a 63 per cent increase in the number of younger drinkers ordering a glass.

Brewed with distinct roasted barley, Trailblazer has a smoky, dark roast coffee aroma with hints of chocolate, treacle, liquorice, and nutty notes. With its velveted body and firm creamy head,  it also strikes a subtle bitter sweet taste with a fine, dry finish.

The industry has already recognised the quality of the product after Trailblazer took a silver medal at the 2021 International Brewing Awards.

The Joseph Holt brewery was established by its eponymous founder in 1849 and has since been in the same family for six generations. Its beers are supplied to over 500 locations nationally.

Stout was first brewed in this country at the beginning of the 18th century. It was originally known as porter since it was popular with London street market workers: the strongest variety was known as stout porter, which was eventually shortened to just stout.


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