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

Not Rated.
Guinness Special Export Stout (John Martin - Belgium)Guinness Special Export Stout (John Martin - Belgium)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

238 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 238
Reviews: 154
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 10.02%
Wants: 110
Gots: 22 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Guinness Ltd. visit their website
Ireland

Style | ABV
Foreign / Export Stout |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: TheLongBeachBum on 06-28-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 238 | Reviews: 154 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of diogo
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%

diogo, Mar 24, 2014
Photo of LiorS
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%

LiorS, Sep 09, 2012
Photo of Metz
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%

Metz, Apr 22, 2012
Photo of Wobbly
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%

Wobbly, Dec 18, 2013
Photo of tavernjef
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Darkly pitched in black with periodic flashes of brown tinting. Lofty huge dark tan top of smoothed over foam. Stays at the helm forever and a day and never leaves its seat, fanning out eventually to leave enormous amounts of thick lacing.

Well rounded aroma of dark cocoa and milk chocolate with a light roasted quality and even lighter fruity notions of cherries and figs.

Flavor is quite full of action from front to back. Slender and dark fruity front, sweetly sided undertones at first, then, bold and creamy, big roasted chocolate cake center, dry and bittering finish with burnt crusty edges of roasted malts and grains. Turns to smoke, charcoal, tar, coffee grounds, and dry licorice spice as it cinders off into the finish. Wonderfully complex and layered with fun roasty flavors. A great whirlwind at the finish totally knocks it out of the park.

Feel is rich, thick, and velvety with a unique sweet under carriage that keeps a very nice balance. The roast never really completely takes over but makes great efforts to do so. The body of this stout continues to grow in texture as it warms, becoming creamier and warmer in cocoa returns towards the finish as does the coffee grade.

A fantastic beer. The true Guinness! So truly sad that many here in the states don't realize what they think and drink as the "Original" - isn't actually what it should and could be. Oh well...

I thank the hell out of Shaughn256 for sending this as an extra in our latest trade! Osu!

tavernjef, Sep 20, 2005
Photo of hansavijaticar
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%

hansavijaticar, Jul 11, 2014
Photo of KLSKNick
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%

KLSKNick, Jan 12, 2013
Photo of WOLFGANG
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%

WOLFGANG, Jul 04, 2013
Photo of BarryNL
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Yet another brew from the Guinness family and again, a shame they all seem to bear the same name because this is a completely different brew from the rather bland liquid that most people know as Guinness.

A: Super black with a very stable tan head - sure the nitro kegged draught has a white 'n' tight head but this has a proper beer head with great stability and lacing and just looks like a proper beer rather than something designed by a marketing department.

S: Big smell of roasted malts and sour tang.

T: Roasty malts and sour tang. This is probably something very close to the true original taste of porters/stouts (the so-called "entire butt" beers) which were a blend of young and older, soured (almost lambic like) beers. An extremely complex combination of sweet malt, bitter hop and soured beer. One of the most complex tastes you will find. It's a shame that Guinness seem to have stopped using the soured essence in most of their beers, but at least it's still to be found here.

M: Gorgeous, big chewy mouthfeel.

D: Gimme more. I could keep drinking this one till I fall over. The taste is so well balanced between sweetness, bitterness and sourness that it never becomes tiring.

This is really an excellent beer. As outstanding as their pub draught is bland. It's so sad that this amazing beer is almost a footnote for the Guinness brand while the bland standard version is so lauded. Stock up before they stop making it!

BarryNL, Nov 01, 2008
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.72/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: A 33cl Tall thin neck brown bottle. Purchased in Belgium during my 2003 Easter Trip. Standard black, red & light orange label, very similar in style to that of Foreign Export Stout. Labeled as “Selected by John Martin, Alc. 8% Vol.”, the middle of the front label has the Red Letter M with a small JM above it, followed by the number “461009”. Brewed in St.James's Gate, Dublin for John Martin N.V., B-2060 Antwerpen. "Belgium Guinness".

Appearance: Pours a thick black color. A darkish brown thin head forms slowly as the beer is poured into my Belgium McEwan’s Scotch Ale Goblet. The minimal carbonation that existed in the beer expired quickly to reveal a rather flat looking darkish brown fluid. However, when the beer was swirled, it slowly allowed more carbon dioxide to come out of solution. The yeast that remained in the bottle slipped slowly into the Glass with the dregs of the pour.

Nose: Deep strong smooth malts. Slight vinuous hints mixed with some Port. Fino Sherry like whiffs occasionally permeate the air as the beer is swirled.

Taste: Massive and complex multi-layered tastes that reveal themselves at various stages. Strong coffee roasted malts that have been smoothly rounded by time in the bottle, lend Drinkability. Has a body reminiscent of a good Port. The 8% alcohol by volume is barely noticeable, yet there is a warming aspect to the finish of the beer in the stomach. Well-balanced.

Mouthfeel: Strong malts dominate the massive presence in the mouth, coating the tongue, cheeks & teeth. This all helps to create a fantastic lingering mouthfeel even after the beer has been swallowed.

Drinkability: A sipper that at times, simply dazzles you with its strong tastes, massive mouthfeel & gorgeous ‘aged’ finish. A simply huge beer, that has stood the test of time extremely well. A true, bottle-conditioned Strong Stout of the highest order and quality.

Overall: Totally Astounding. Sheer Bloody Brilliance. You can keep the Nitro-Can, the naff plastic bottle and the thin watery draft versions.

Oh, but just if all Guinness was like this….<sigh>

Note: The obverse label is dated, but its smudged, 10/11/9…., the last digit could be an ‘8’ or a ‘0’. The Zero is not as far fetched as it sounds. That’s because I bought this dusty old bottle from a tiny little Bar in Huy, Belgium. The woman who ran the Bar sold me this dusty old bottle, and the last 3 of her McEwan’s 1993 Christmas Ales (plus a free Glass) for just €5 this Easter – the stuff of legends!

TheLongBeachBum, Jun 28, 2003
Photo of Argion
4.7/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had a chance to try this beer again while in Greece. The Foreign Extra Stout has become my favorite Guinness in the US so I wanted to have another taste of this guy to see who would win out. I would say no doubt that this is my favorite Guinness stout and rates high overall on the stouts I like. Even though not classified an Imperial stout, the alcohol content is high. It lacks the bitterness of a regular Guinness; it is almost sweet. Pours a dark black colour with no head. I don't know if it is served on tap anywhere but I would like to try it if it is.

Argion, Feb 02, 2013
Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.68/5  rDev +11.7%
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

MuenchenerKindl, Mar 18, 2007
Photo of AlexLMS
4.68/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: almost black and nearly opaque due to its dark colour. The head is brown, large, rich, full and creamy. Excellent retention followed by beautiful lacing.
Aroma: very nice roasted malt aroma. Chocolate and coffee notes.
Taste: well balanced between the roasted malts and the bitter hops. A noble port presence.
Mouthfeel: unctuous and velvety, perfect carbonation and a full body. The beer is so balanced that you do not feel the 8% ABV.
Finish: lingering bitter aftertaste.

Overall: Great beer with a wonderful mix of flavours. One of my favourites in the world. Better than the average Guinness. Could not wait to get my hands in another one.

AlexLMS, Sep 02, 2007
Photo of Naerhu
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Robbeer for carrying this beer all the way to Japan for me.

This beer is more of a belgian beer in flavor and alcohol than it is Irish. The difference is more than just the difference of 0.5% alcohol. They must be using a belgian yeast.

Espresso crema. Pitch black body.
Extremely vinous black malty aroma.
The flavor is massive and fruity. If only all belgians where as bitter as this, I might understand what the big deal about belgians are.
Very oily mouth feel, but not in a bad way.

Unlike any other guinness product, this is not to be had with food as its intensity and long lasting flavor will overpower any food. This is a stand alone desert beer.

Naerhu, May 23, 2004
Photo of mmmbeer
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330 mL bottle, purchased in Rome in November '07. Best by 12/13/08, sampled 6/1/09. It pours quite black, with two thick fingers of voluminous head that pits and becomes dense as it recedes, while leaving loads of fine lacing. Very fruity and aromatic, with soft chocolate, mild coffee and an odd, ashy note that is not necessarily off-putting. Chocolate and mild fruitiness on the palate, woody?, with roasty, ashy and coffee notes, earthy malts, green hops and a sturdy bitterness. In the background, it's the same ol' Guinness, but, oddly, it lacks the light sour note one usually finds in the flagship beer. It is dry, with medium body, ample carbonation, and a very smooth, mildly bitter finish. This is a damn fine beer, one which belies its 8%, and one that has held up quite well despite all the traveling and time this bottle has been subject to.

mmmbeer, Mar 08, 2010
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.63/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

solid ebon hue, saves ruby tinges around the bottom, enormous, volcanic, creamy tan head, with honeycombed appearance, leaving lace, a delight to watch dwindle down, gracefully...
the nose is a blast of dark, yet bright fruit, mingled well with molasses and mocha, delicious, a shiny sensation, bold and beautiful, trickling hints of anise and pepper, with sweetness heavier than the spice...notes of vanilla, a bit of butterscotch...staggeringly complex, and right up my alley, aroma-wise...
Thick and sweet in the mouth, with forceful, yet pleasing presence on the palate, slying slinks on the tongue, dripping flavor throughout...same complexity of flavor found in the aroma occurs again in the taste, a rich mix of cocoa and coffee, sweet caramelly tones, dark molasses, tar, licorice, pepper, and a fresh feeling, though I have no idea how long it's been since this beer was bottled. Full bodied, long, strong, sweet finish, excellent balance...tons of dark malt, not much hops, but still, a wonderful interplay and a unique flavor combination.
This is an astonishing stout...the alcohol is well hidden, and sneaks up on you, and delivers one into a comfortable lull. A relaxing brew, luxurious, and immensely rewarding. It goes without saying that I wish this were as easily available as the Extra Stout found here, let along the "Draught" version.
If I found a genie in a bottle, that's where one wish would go!

feloniousmonk, Nov 03, 2004
Photo of ChrisBowers
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Simply the finest offering from the Guinness Brewery, and only available in Belgium. Goes to show you what a great beer place that country is! Not that you needed that to know. Pours a dark dark brown. Slightly fizzy, aroma is rich, roasty. First taste is rich, roasted malts, bitter chocolate, maybe even a little licorice or rum. Great roasty yet slightly hoppy finish. All this and incredibly silky and creamy. What a great beer. Unfortunately its not available here.

ChrisBowers, Jun 06, 2005
Photo of BlindPig
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Really thick dark tan head on a black body.
S- Light roasted malts with dry grass hops. Dry in the nose too.
T- Dry roasted malts that dry out the mouth quite a lot. Grass hops come in a leave a light bitterness in mouth.
M- Full body with medium/low carbonation.
D- I think it is a very tasty stout. Maybe lacks complexity a little bit but it is very tasty and easy to drink for a 8.00%.

BlindPig, Jul 25, 2007
Photo of msubulldog25
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

We bought a 4-pack of this beer (33 cl's) at a GB Supermarket near Brussels, Belgium (cost: about €5...). Returned with it to US, poured to a pint glass & enjoyed at my kitchen table. Best before: 25.01.08.

A: Pitch black, with a rich, creamy 2-finger ivory head. Bits of clinging lace. No nitro added, so the creamy fullness of the head was a real surprise.

S: Wow! Decadent dark chocolate/cocoa maltiness. Notable candy sugar sweetness, hints of ripe fruit (plum, cherry) and a mild spiciness. Toasted malt and a potent & warm alcohol nose.

T: A cascade of chocolate bittersweetness upfront with a healthy dose of espresso bean bitterness to follow. Coupled with the sweetness is a slightly acerbic tang. The alcohol found in the smell is detectable also in the taste; it comes across similar to the spicy sweetness of rum.

M: Quite full in the mouth. A strong beer that loses some of the creaminess and approaches being a more carbonated Dark Ale. There is a lingering and likable bittersweetness.

D: Very enjoyable and extremely drinkable - only it's high gravity would prevent one from having several of these in a session. Or maybe it wouldn't? I'd put this near the top of the list for stouts, especially ones I've tried myself. Highly recommended.

msubulldog25, Sep 25, 2006
Photo of Sgtbuck854
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%

Sgtbuck854, Oct 15, 2014
Photo of BeerNemesis
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Guinness Special Export Stout | 330 ml | 8.0% ABV | vintage

Brewer: Guinness Ltd.
Style: Foreign / Export Stout
Glass: Snifter

Presentation:
Orange-yellow label with the words "Guinness Special Export St. James's Gate Dublin". I'm told this is not available in the U.S. Luckily, my friend Justin brought one over after touring Europe.

Appearance:
Pours a beautiful matte black with a fine mocha head of 1". Great lacing.

Aroma:
Deep and rich coffee and dark chocolate flavors mingled with dark fruit and brown sugar. A tinge of oaky, whiskey-like alcohol lurks in the background.

Taste:
Immediately the dark chocolate and espresso notes in the nose translate onto my palate. Unlike many stouts, the Special Export manages to imbue the standard cacao and coffee with a somber richness and complexity. The middle features a flash of cola and some brown sugar. It is at this stage that I am most reminded of the common Guinness Stout.The finish is oaky and a bit alcoholic with just the slightest hint of dark fruits.

Mouthfeel:
Remarkably creamy and well-carbonated. It carresses the tongue like a sudden brush of silk against supple skin.

Harmony:
Extraordinarily complex and well-crafted. Flavors are vibrant and the aftertaste matures gracefully well after the last sip.

Price = It was a gift from the one and only Justin M.
Served/bottled on: Doesn't say
Best by: May 26, 2011

BeerNemesis, Jun 25, 2010
Photo of basica
4.58/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

basica, Nov 16, 2007
Photo of RuudJH
4.58/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This particular Guinness is one of the best stouts on the European market I've had.

Very dark brown, a thick beige head.

The smell is tough and rough: roasted grains, lactose, coffee, caramel, chocolate, vanille, even some tobacco. But also, after trying carefully, the scent of green apples and dark fruits, which gives it nice depth.

Equal is the taste with massive smoky roasted grains, burned sugar, coffee and some chocolate.
The slight hints of fruity sweetness (dried fruits (raisin, apples, plums)) are no match for all the bitter violence.

The taste stays in your mouth long, this beer is chewy.

This 8% Guinness is very robust, an acquired taste, and once you're into it, it's hard to resist.

RuudJH, Apr 24, 2009
Photo of biscodoll
4.58/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a bottle, poured into a pint glass.

While visiting Belgium last year, I quickly got tired of the "Belgian beer" style, where while there's so many different types of beer, there's a similar underlying flavor in most. I discovered the Guinness in a corner store, and instantly fell in love. I brought home two bottles and they've been aging for 18 months. I was starting to get worried that, despite it being an 8%, it might not last much longer, so I treated myself, wondering if I really loved this beer or was just excited to find a new flavor in the land of Belgian greats.

As it's from a 'regular' bottle, the Belgian Guinness looks like a normal beer, no cascade. Pours pitch black with a tinge of reddish, shining a light through the glass, with a 1-inch, dark tan head, which quickly dissipates to a thin lacing in under a minute.

Scent - like a rich red wine, mellow booziness with hints of dark chocolate, coffee and raspberries.

Taste is as it smells, a little boozier and maltier than the American version, less on the dry hop finish, additional hints of flavor are anise and figs. Very sparse carbonation. Mouthfeel is thinner than expected, leaving a light coating on the tongue and a faint chocolate milk memory.

It's the perfect dessert beer, conjuring up ideas of pouring it over vanilla ice cream, baking it into brownies, and yet would also compliment the best juicy steak or burger (with onions, caramelized in the beer of course), or Jasper Hill's Bayley Hazen Blue cheese or Cabot's Clothbound Aged Cheddar (the ACS best in show!). It may very well be *the* cheese pairing beer, and I believe it could win over any red wine fan.

Yea, this is definitely still in my top 10, and held up perfectly over time. Now, how to replenish my stock?!

biscodoll, Oct 01, 2006
Photo of brdc
4.58/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Small capped bottle. Poured into a snifter.

It is almost pitch black, except for some faint reddish-brown highlights on the edges; tan fluffy head occupies a large part of the top of the glass, slowly comes down leaving an enormous amount of lacing on its wake.
Aroma comes right out as you pour it, vibrant but not overpowering, dark fruits that somehow feel fresh, coffee and lots of chocolate, but milk chocolate, not bittersweet.
Medium bodied but easy going, it starts relatively sweet with the same milk chocolate notes, evolving into some fruitiness and then turning quite dry and roasted, which lingers a long time.
Easily the best Guiness out there, and a very nice midway between the extremely flavorful but "poorly drinkable" imperials and the less flavorful but quaffable "regular" stouts. Lots of flavor but still goes down easy.

brdc, Jun 04, 2008
Guinness Special Export Stout (John Martin - Belgium) from Guinness Ltd.
93 out of 100 based on 238 ratings.