Guinness Special Export Stout (John Martin - Belgium) - Guinness Ltd.

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Guinness Special Export Stout (John Martin - Belgium)Guinness Special Export Stout (John Martin - Belgium)

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

256 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 256
Reviews: 157
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 10.02%
Wants: 121
Gots: 32 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Guinness Ltd. visit their website
Ireland

Style | ABV
Foreign / Export Stout |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: TheLongBeachBum on 06-28-2003

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 256 | Reviews: 157
Reviews by jhtipton:
Photo of jhtipton
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, nice stout. Pours a very dark brown almost like tar or rich corinthian leather. Initial quaff makes me thinks I bought a sherry from Jerez. It gave me some head and I appreciated it. Probably about one inch of light brown foam and it laced nicely. I feel like it is a touch of brown sugar, coffee and cocoa in both smell and taste. Mouth feel is medium bodied-kind of like a sandwich on light whole wheat bread. Drinkability is good-I could do two and WILL try to pick this up again. I like this better than its cousin that seems to be brewed in Canada now.

More User Reviews:
Photo of punkindrublic50
3.73/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Take your normal Guinness and put it on steroids. Darker. Thicker. Sweeter. Then make it only availible in Belgium and (where I found it) West Germany to torment beer drinkers everywhere else, and you have Guinness Special Export.

Coloring is almost completely black, with a strong tan head. Scent is pretty much identical to taste in every way, strong but not overpowering, dark fruits, coffee, chocolate. This beer is thick and creamy, to the point that it severely hurts the drinkability. Nice to sit down with one and relax, but this is by no means an every day sipper or a drink to get drunk sort of beer.

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

33cl bottle.

Deep dark pour that borders on black with garnet highlights when held to the light. A half inch of tan foam leaves some spotty lacing as it falls. Aromas start out with clean roasted malts along with chocolate accents. There's a slight sour / lactic edge along with dark fruits and big molasses. Caramel and licorice hints work in as well with just a touch of coffee.

First sip brings dark roasted malts upfront leading into a mix of bold molasses and licorice flavors with toffee undertones. Dark fruits meander in and out as it flows down along with a coffee/cream flavor that's just a touch sour. Finishes off with a nice lingering malty roasted flavor.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth...there's quite a bit more malt body here than in the standard Guinness we see in stores in the U.S. that is for sure. Good steady carbonation makes this one a treat. Overall, if this was the Guinness I could buy in the store here I'd be buying it quite a bit more often! Thanks to clvand0 for sending this one my way.

Photo of Billolick
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My wonderful wife returned from Belgium with one little bottle of this fine product, bless her heart! "best before end of" dating (18/02/06) Pours the expected jet black with a long lasting dark tan head, leaves respectable lacing. Nose is loaded with cocoa and vanilla. Very smooth and tasty stout, that does a masterful job of hidding its 8%. Notes of pleanty of toasted/slightly burnt malts, vanilla, cocoa, cafe au lait. Mild and quite pleasant, I wish I had a few bombers of this instead of one 11.2 oz bottle...oh well, it was a pleasure to try this one.

Photo of rastaman
3.72/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Looks delicious, deep brown to black, really compact head, tight bubbles. Didn't like the aroma so much (oily, buttery mollasses. Fat toffee and roast, thick and rich. Very long roasty finish, quite bitter. Some mollases and raisins aswell, very thick mouthfeel. Beautiful rich, bitter chocolate finish. A beautifully rich stout.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a nonic)

A- This beer has an opaque black body with tiny strands of bubbles gliding up the sides of the glass. There is a creamy oatmeal colored head that is thick and last for the full beer. There are register marks of foam on the glass with each sip.

S- The smell of fruity prunes turns into a smooth dark black malt smell with a light earthiness.

T- The dark black malt has an earthy note and a cream taste. There are some caramel malt notes that support the black malt. There is a faint roasted licorice note and a finish of black bitterness and a chalk note. The black roasted note lingers nicely after the finish.

M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with a slight slippery texture. There is a soft spice of alcohol heat at the finish.

D- This beer has a great roasted black malt flavor with smooth quality and a nice bitterness. This is not a full bodied Guinness often enhanced with NO2 but a much lighter bodied but still full flavored Guinness. Very drinkable even at 8% ABV.

Photo of pwoods
3.84/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to tprokop7 for sending this rare extra and finally knocking if off my wants list.

33cl. brown bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours pitch black with a large creamy mocha head with some pretty decent retention. Nice lacing throughout.

S: Lots of roasty aromas backed by some cream notes. There's a definite lactic smell throughout, close to a milk stout. Plenty of sweetness, maybe some vanilla.

T/M: Nicely roasted malts, not too bitter but nicely balanced. More of the somewhat big lactic notes. Pretty sweet with more of the vanilla. Has a pretty dry finish that kind of tastes like necco wafers. Light, milky, chocolately notes in the back that come out further as it warms. Body is medium with nicely smooth carbonation. A bit of alcohol comes out as it warms and adds a nice touch. If not at room temperature, you'd never guess this at 8%.

D: Pretty easily drinkable and 8% isn't much of a factor. Very glad I got to try this. Thanks Todd!

Photo of ggaughan
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Obtained this bottle from Belgium a year or so back and sampled on St. Patrick's Day as it seemed appropriate. The beer poured a nice black body with a thick tan fluffy head that receeds but still held up well. Poured into one of my favorite Guiness glasses purchased at the Guinness brewery 7 years ago. The nose was a very nice toasted malt quality, more than in the typical pint of Guiness that we usually drink. The taste was a pure malty sweet with chocolately notes as well. The beer was very smooth and had a nice thick body that was filling. Although I enjoy the typical Guinness, this very blows the regular away.

Photo of Metalmonk
4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not being quite as big a Guinness fan as many others out there, I was happy to get my hands on this one (thanks to msubulldog25!). I'd heard this was a great one, and it is. I just wonder why the hell it's all but impossible to acquire west of the Atlantic?!

Pours out looking like a regular Guinness stout, with a creamy head and an opaque ruby-hued black.

Aroma is fruity, milky sweet, some chocolate, some cocoa, and something that reminds of a Scottish Ale (musty? peaty?).

A plethora of flavors arrive within the first few sips: smoke, burnt grains, figs, other dark fruits, dark chocolate, pumpernickel, coffee. The mouthfeel is frothy, foamy, tight and bubbly.

A joy to enjoy. It gives you lots to contemplate and grapple with in the flavor, where it counts most. The most impressive and enjoyable that I've had from the Guinness family. Bring it over here!

Photo of Mar02x
4.14/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - A super dark red beer with a good beige head, that unfortunately retracts to a small layer.

S - Coffee and dark chocolate. There is also some strange scent prickling my nose which I cannot bring home.

T - Again coffee and chocolate - a nice dry bitter beer.

M - Medium carbonation and a medium dry finish and thickness.

O - A good stout totally nothing wrong here.

Photo of Sammy
3.73/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thank you Abusmaster. Jet black with substantial off-white creamy head. Good malty and licorice and roasted barley aroma. Taste is dry and bitter, baker's chocolate, with diesel fuel and smoke at the end of the bottle. Easy creamy mouthfeel while you absord this dry stout, Certainly better than any Guinness I have had, far from the best stout.

Photo of tempest
3.21/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bottle from Drinks of the World.

I dont know if this beer has been mistreated, but it certainly doesn't live up to my expectations. It poured a nice black body with tn head that left lacing, but it was downhill from there. The flavor and aroma especially are dominated by a thick caramel note with chocolate and coffee roast faint around the palate. Still, this beer was surprisingly drinkable and not bad overall - just nothing special.

Photo of Cromster
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased from Beer Temple in Brugge

Poured from a Bottle into a pint glass

Appearance - Dark black color with a thick medium brown colored head that lasted a long time.

Smell - Smells of coffee, roasted malt, chocolate and hops.

Taste - Chocolate, roasted malt, some spice and a stronger than normal amount of alcohol kick compaired to a normal Guinness. Has a heavy after taste of dark roasted malts.

Mouthfeel - Creamy mouth coating feel. I like how this one feels in my mouth. Just the right amount of carbonation for a stout. Very nice.

Drinkability - I wish all Guinness tasted like this. I would drink it more often if I could find this version here in the states.

Photo of russpowell
4.26/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

BBD of 4-29-11, got this from Bitterbill, cheers Bill!

Pours mahogany/ebony 3+ fingers of rocky mocha head, such a good looking pour! Great lacing & good head retention

S: Figs, woody & leafy hops, raisins & iron. all kind of drop off as this warms

T: Dark fruit in abundance, dryness, a touch of carob & just a hint of coffee up front. Figgyness & leafy hops rule the day with just a hint of molasess & vanilla as this warms. finishes dry, roasty, fruitty & with carob & leafy hops

MF: Full bodied, low but noticable carbonation, well balanced, smooth

Drinks too easy, I know I could come closer to sessioning on this versus the more well known little brother bottled or canned version. If I ever come across this I love to cellar some to see how this ages..

Photo of Bierschenker
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of many, time for a review.

When I poured the Guinness, no scent was noticeable. I used a Stange to serve this beer. The head is as fluffy and thin as a draft Guinness, but this one version has a nice beige colour. I’m impressed by the lacing: small/thin, elegant, perfect circles,…
The scent is bitter, resembles cold coffee with too much sugar.
The liquid has the same brownish colour as it’s famous brother. A slight dark red glow is visible, no carbonation.
Taste is fresh, starts off with chocolate, coffee and nuts evolves with cinnamon, burned grains/coffee beans (slight carbonation is noticeable), marzipan; overall bitter.
The aftertaste is pretty strong and bitter. Resembles dark chocolate, sweet cold coffee and cinnamon.

Quite different in respect to the Guinness on tap, but a job well done!

Photo of Bisho
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Jet black appearance with a tan head that lingers with a lacing that sticks down the glass as you sip.

Smells similar to regular Guinness but with added Belgian esters and chocolate.

Taste is great with less of the regular Guinness smokiness and bordering on Belgian Strong Dark Ale thanks to the added weight (ABV). A hint of bitter dark chocolate at the finish.

Silky smooth mouthfeel and the taste hangs around long after it's gone. Yum!

I have gone back to this stout on many occassions and it tastes damn fine.
If only the regular stuff tasted this good!

Photo of scootny
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz bottle courtesy of ggaughan. Thanks, I owe you for this rare and special experience. Pour a super dark brown. Light does NOT pierce the glass. Huge light brown head that leaves lacing throughout. It slowly diminishes to a thin soapy blanket to keep the beer cozy. Carbonation is not really evident but it had to be there cause the blanket stays and thickens a bit after each sip.

Smell is coffee, burnt caramel, roasted and sweet malt and a specter of alcohol. Faint hops in the back somewhere.

Taste is top shelf. Sweet malt and light, basically hidden alcohol sugar. Roasted malt, and toasted yeasty black bread. Coffee is strong. Hops are present and in balance but are a minor player in the body of the drink. They are more prominent in the finish where they cut off the sweet malt alcohol serenade sharply. The finish is long and hoppy dry. Delicious!

Moutfeel is creamy velvet and oh so smooth. Carbonation whips the cream and coats your mouth with nectar like drops of stouty goodness.

Drinkability is incredible. The alcohol is craftily hidden and the smooth creamy mouth experience will have you through as many bottles as you head can handle.

A world class stout. In the same neighborhood as the Brooklyn BCS in the stout hall of fame

Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle with a slightly different longer neck. The liquid is dark brown as you pour the dark liquid has blood red hue gripping the side of the glass. The head is nice, 2 big full fingers, tan with a rocky surface and leaving very good lace.

The smell is great sweet roasted malt, dark, chocolaty with a note of espresso and dark bread.

The taste is better then any Irish style stout I have ever had. This great brew is far superior to any regularly available. Rich chocolate is the heavy with other flavors like coffie and toasted dark rye bread. Wow is this great.

The mouthfeel is good but could be a little thicker.

The drinkability is very very good. I wish I did not have to go back to reg. Guinness. This brew is great.

Many thanks to AxlLives for letting me try this rare and excellent brew.
Prosit und Zum Wohl, MK

Photo of basica
4.56/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I am a little excited to try this beer; I bought it from CrackedKettle.com and it is the very much coveted Guinness Special Export Stout. After cracking it open, my first whiff told me that this was like a Belgian dark ale with the fruty nose but on a second sniff I am catching the roasted malts, milk, caramel, a bit of coffee and a bit of chocolate. Predominantly, I am getting milk and roasted malts. I do not think the smell was as strong as the FES but I like it on this one. The pour yielded a creamy rocky head (creamier than the FES) that refuses to settle (this has to be a family trait in Guinness brews). Almost jet black in color; very nice appearance and a nice lacing turned up after drinking it for a bit. I took a sip and man the first thing I notice was the ultra slick mouthfeel on entry and throughout till I swallowed it. Before getting to the taste I am already going to give a 5 to mouthfeel. Let's break my usual rules and do the mouthfeel first. Unlike many beer that goes in with a slight sting, the SES was just smooth, so very smooth creamy, milky entry of the rich and thick stout. A low but apt amount of carbonation for this one and the milky creamy smoothness with the thick richness is the winner for the mouthfeel of this one. The taste starts off with roasted malts and some hints of chocolate and coffee which is constantly flooded with this lactic milkiness backing which I loved. Best of all the bitterness was so well contained it was well acceptable by my standards. Compared to the FES this one's a pleasure to drink and it's drinkability is nothing but a 5. The taste was rich yet mellower than the FES which gets a bit stingy at times. Some very faint dark fruits (I found plums which came on just before the finish and lasted into the after taste) which got onto the nose though I think if this one has a proper sweet fruitiness to it, I am almost certain taste would score a 5 as well. Goodness... But talking about sweetness this one does have a tad bit of sweetness. The dark fruits were in the after taste led by plums wich are blended amidst roasted malts and lactic milkiness which was pretty omni-present but very nicely balanced. The milkiness found its way to the nose as the fruitiness became a little raisin like; almost analagous to the dark belgian ales. Bitterness was there but well under control. A stout brewed close to perfection; a pity it is so hard for me to obtain this one.

Photo of philipquarles
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown/black with a tan head that lasts for quite some time. Very nice lacing.

Smells of dark roasted malt, blueberry and grape esters, and caramelized sugar. Tastes similar, with the roasted malt prevalent. Hints of coffee and chocolate, along with very slight hints of both hops and alcohol. Mouthfeel is fantastic. Very thick with an incredibly creamy head.

Really drinkable stout; it's a shame the normal Guinness is such a far cry from this.

Photo of ToolHead
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

30 cl. bottle; served in Duvel tulip.
Black color; nice, creamy, tan head with good lastability.
Bitter, heavily roasted aroma. Impressive fullness and bite in a well-balanced bitter, dry taste that's nicely rounded and complex. The alcohol is impressively hidden and is noticeable primarily as a slowly warming sensation halfway into the glass. Assertive, long finish. Very nice, full mouthfeel. Highly drinkable.
A thoroughly impressive stout.

Photo of akorsak
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to upsjeff for this 330 mL bottle.

A: The stout is a dark brown, nearly black, color with the occasional ruby red flash. A finger and a half of tan leather head is lacing nicely.

S: The nose has lactic sourness amongst the roasted malts. Peppery flourish and mild hops round out the nose, which is much fuller than the 250th that I just had.

T: Mmmm! The stout has the thick qualities of a Guinness with a touch of Belgian spiciness. Chocolate malts are nicely roasted and augmented with cocoa powder. Lactic sweetness has an edge of sourness but not a significant one. A pronounced hoppiness resides near the end of each sip. Licorice and dark fruits are signs of the Belgian aspect. Luscious chocolate lingers on the palate long after a sip is gone.

M: The mouthfeel is rich, a nice twist on the classic Guinness export. A stout that embraces its Belgian side.

D: Quite the conundrum: it is the best Guinness but it is too rich to enjoy over and over again. The 8% doesn't really rear its ugly head, content to stay in the background.

Photo of bluejacket74
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle, 24-11-13 00:49 printed on back label. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with a half inch tan head. Head retention is decent, and there's a good amount of lacing. The brew smells like roasted malt, licorice, bittersweet chocolate, coffee, and some caramel. I think the taste is mostly like the aroma, but there's the addition of some burnt/charred malt. It starts off bitter, but gets sweeter as the beer warms up more. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's slick and creamy with moderate carbonation. The 8% ABV is well hidden in this brew. I think it's a good overall brew, I liked it.

Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of thewolf: Poured a deep black color stout with a huge light brown color head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of liquorice with some light roasted malt and some sweet malt notes. Taste is a mix between some light roasted malt with some notes of liquorice and medium sweet Belgian malt with what appears to be a Belgian type yeast. Medium full body with great carbonation and no apparent alcohol. A very well balance beer overall with a level of complexity greater then the regular version of Guinness available over here.

Photo of jmalex
3.99/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Now this I never expect to get a hold of. But after seeing it in a convenience store in Brussels, I knew I had one of my hardest finds.

APPEARANCE: Pours into an English style pub glass black in color with a 2-finger high light-tan head. The bubbles are both tight and loose and slowly dissipate to a full coating of foam with some spotty lacing dotting the glass.

SMELL: Not very aromatic at all, but the dark chocolate aroma I am getting are extremely rich. It's coupled with a slight smell of dry, acrid, black malt. That's about it though.

TASTE: My initial 2 word reaction to this beer is completely contradictory - flavorless and complex. It's got such a dry stout profile going on that it fails to deliver the rich robustness of a foreign extra stout. But the dry black malt flavor is so nice. It adds such depth and dimension to this beer that is found in no other. It really contributes most of the bitterness to this beer. Other than that, there's some raw cocoa and a hint of sweetness on the end. One thing I will say: I can tell it's a Guinness product.

MOUTHFEEL: Medium bodied with a slightly below average carbonation. No complaints here other than maybe it could've had a bit more body.

DRINKABILITY: I was on the fence here until I noticed it's listed at 8%. Holy crap, I never would've guessed! This does go down really nicely though a second bottle probably wouldn't be in order.

Wow, this is not what I was expecting, but it certainly was a nice surprise. All the different names for the different varieties of Guinness can get confusing, so I'd just call this "Guinness - The Good One"

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Guinness Special Export Stout (John Martin - Belgium) from Guinness Ltd.
93 out of 100 based on 256 ratings.