Ok - so I'm now a Guinness snob.
I'll admit it.
After being in Ireland for a week and doing a (really shitty) tour of the Guinness "Brewery" and learning how one is supposed to be poured - I've seen my fair share of properly poured Guinesses (or is that Guinnessi per the S2 Cru Pluralization rules?). Hee - Joe and I have drank MORE than our fair share of properly poured Guinness beers.
I can live without the shamrock on top.
But - a proper pour is supposed to take 2 minutes. None of this 30 second, deliver the beer while the whole pour is still cascading down the glass.
So, a proper pour takes place with the glass at a 45 degree angle and the nitrogen tap full forward. The glass is filled approx 80% full and then left to sit for 2 minutes. Then, the remainder of the beer is poured with the tap tilted away from you (I guess then the nitrogen isn't in the beer then) and a shamrock leaf is put into the head. The head is supposed to be a certain height and the beer, if it's a really good pour, is supposed to leave rings down the glass as you drink it.