I’ve finally got hold of some Guinness Marmite (thanks Helen!) and we’ve tested it on some toast.
According to the polite and informative Marmite Loveline (really, it’s on 08000 323 656, waiting for all your Marmite queries) Guinness Marmite is still vegan as it’s simply a different blend of ingredients already present in Marmite. There’s just more Guinness yeast gunk in it, and less yeast gunk from other places.
According to the nutritional information on the jar it apparently contains 0.1 grams less salt than the normal Marmite.
When the jar was opened it definitely smelled different - there was a strong, slightly sour “Guinnessy” odour - but it quickly faded. Replacing the lid for five minutes allowed the odd smell to return, so Unilever aren’t just topping the jar with Eau de Guinness.
On toast it tasted almost exactly the same. Doing a taste comparison with normal Marmite I did wonder if ‘normal’ had a slightly stronger flavour, but soon discovered that trying to taste anything other than just Lots Of Marmite was impossible. Marmite is not a subtle food.
So, to summarise: Guinness Marmite is Marmite with a bit more Guinness, and as a result it has a slight Guinessiness to it. And I’ve spent ten minutes of my life alternately sniffing two jars of brewing by-product and making thoughtful faces.