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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

233 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 233
Reviews: 154
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 9.76%
Wants: 108
Gots: 20 | 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
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Ratings: 233 | Reviews: 154 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Mar02x
4.2/5  rDev 0%
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.

Mar02x, Dec 19, 2011
Photo of Sigmund
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle, bought at Selfridge's, London. Black (= very dark brown) colour. Truly impressive large and thick brown head. Aroma of malts, oak, leather, coffee and dark chocolate. Flavour is overwhelmingly bitter from the roasted barley and hops, but also sweeter than regular Guinness. Elements of very strong coffee, hints of bitter chocolate. Bitterness lasts through the long aftertaste. Not for beginners. The crowd who think nitro draught Guinness is "sooo strong" should try this one!

Sigmund, Feb 28, 2005
Photo of Bitterbill
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This one pours close to a pitch black but there's definitely some reddish hues there.

The smell has notes of vanilla, coffee, and some chocolate. Weird nose but nice.

The taste is big on the roasted malt, as it should be, followed by vanilla, chocolate, and a fairly substantial amount of coffee. I also get a lot of warming from the alcohol. lol. I didn't think I'd ever say that about a Guinness but this puppy is strong and lets you know it. But I have to say, the flavours more than make up for it; you just have to take small sips and I *do* mean small sips to appreciate it.

It has a fullish mouthfeel, the carbonation is on the light side of medium, and it finishes with bitter coffee notes. This is defintely a brew where I drink 1 and I'm done but there's nothing wrong with that and I suspect that the breweres didn't intend to offer up this brew as one to session on.

Bottom line: A great taster, looks great in the glass, has a great mouthfeel, good smell, and is not meant to be sessioned on so drinkability won't be the best. Try it if you see it!

Edit, Nov 28, 2010: I'm drinking side by this and the Guinness Foreign Extra...this is less roasty and has notes of pitted fruit that I didn't notice before. (plums and cherries?) I'm glad I did a comparison..

Bitterbill, Oct 29, 2008
Photo of Prufrock
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330mL bottle poured into a pint glass.

pitch brown with a moderate layer of chocolatey dark head. moderate lacing.

tons of sweetened coffee in the aroma. dark fruit aromas as well; raisins and prunes.

heavy, malty feel with strong roasted coffee flavors. slightly metallic flavors, some sweet dark fruits, and a burnt espresso finish. if there's any guinness sour in there, it's hiding behind the roasted malt. balanced, enjoyable, and drinkable.

Prufrock, Oct 10, 2006
Photo of WeisGuy
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a - pours a dark brown, not quite black with a sizable tan head with decent retention and lacing

s - dark roasted malts with some dark chocolate, lots of caramel sweetness with some dark fruits

t - dark malts dominate, but there are notes of dark fruits and caramel, surprisingly sweet in the body with mild bitterness in the finish, not much alcohol detectable

m - medium-bodied, moderate carbonation

d - pretty drinkable, fairly easy on the palate and the alcohol is not overwhelming

This is many steps up from the Guinness everyone is used to; nothing transcendental, but very good nontheless; very solid stout that I would love drink regularly

WeisGuy, Sep 17, 2007
Photo of DefenCorps
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle that I received as an extra from Masterski. Thank you, Alex, this has been on my wants for about 2 years and I finally get a chance to drink this.

This is another first for me - this bottle actually has nutritional information on it! 0 grams of fat, 4 grams of carbs and 0.8 grams of protein per 100ml for a grand total of 64 calories per serving, best by 27 August 2010.

Pouring a very dark brown, this sits black with reddish dark brown highlights. A mocha colored head is present, dense, creamy and beautiful lacework. The nose is excellent. Licorice and molasses, there's also some spice character. The spice is a blend of yeast and licorice. Unsweetened dark chocolate syrup and a little coffee are present, but what strikes me the most is the complex yeast profile - spicy with a little clove? Some vanilla and brown sugar are also present.

The palate opens with a blend of licorice, cocoa and some spice character. Moderately yeasty, particularly on the mid-palate. The malt backbone is quite complex, with a blend of moderate roast, a little acidic burnt malt bitterness, some burnt sugar and some molasses. Drying on the finish with some yeast, this beer is medium in body with moderate carbonation. Spicy and yeasty on the finish, this is enjoyable, and I'm glad to have got the chance to drink this. Excellent

DefenCorps, Jan 16, 2011
Photo of cypressbob
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle poured into a silver rimmed Westmalle challice

Pours with a deep dark brown body, almost black with little light penetrating. A large puffy tan head head forms about an inch and a half thick, lots of patchy lacing

Smell, estery alcohol, smokey roasted malt. Some nice roasted fresh coffee along with a hint of vanilla. Fresh coffee beans and some slightly sweet dried fruit.

Taste, crisp and crunchy roasted malt, lots of thick bitterness from the malts and a little bit of caramel and mollasses. Slightly chalky on the finish with some lingering spicy malt and a crisp dark chocolate flavour. Strong vanilla coming through once again, a touch of acidity on the fnish too. A tiny alcoholic character is present but generally its very well hidden

This bottle is about a year old or so from bottling, holding up very well. Full of rich flavours this is probably the most full flavoured guinness product available, surpasses the standard FES.

cypressbob, Jun 02, 2007
Photo of DoubleJ
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Guinness Draught was my first true love of beer. I have come a long way since then to try what is proclaimed to be the best of the Guinness line. They had this at Asterix in São Paulo, of all places, when it wasn't as ridiculously expensive (R$32) compared to other places in the city. I checked the back label, and yep, this is the Martin's edition (although mine said Anthony Martin). On to the beer:

At first, the head is thick and semi-tan on top before falling to a thin sheet and leaving thin coats of lacing. Blacker than midnight. The aroma is ripe fruit with chocolate, a tad fruity. The taste is where the fun begins. Starting off is licorice and chocolate liqueur. Some fruit, courtesy of the booze, makes appearances. More chocolate liqueur and melted chocolate bars. The aftertaste lingers of chocolate liqueur. Yet despite all this, it doesn't kick your ass.

This is a big and heavy stout. I could see why this is so widely acclaimed, it's very mellow and a pleasure to sip on.

DoubleJ, Jan 27, 2009
Photo of Floydster
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330 ml bottle purchased from Cracked Kettle in Amsterdam for a few bucks, consumed 12/30/08, reviewed from notes, drank from a Dogfish Head snifter, color is a very dark brown that is almost black, 3/4 inch creamy beige head that had good retention, nice lacing at first, aroma consists of sweetness, hazelnuts, roasted barley, other nutty scents, mild coffee and dark chocolate, and light bread, taste starts off a lot sweeter than I would expect a Guiness to, a little chewy in the middle, lots of underlying chocolate once it warms, more malts and spice continue to come out as it warms, really enjoyed the nuttiness in this brew, chewy, slightly sweet, sticky, and mildly roasted mouthfeel, moderate level of carbonation, taste lingers well, went down easy for an eight percent beer, alcohol was hidden, smooth and not near as dry as its normal version which I am used to, good drinkability, significantly better than the normal Guinness I am used to drinking, wish this stuff was available here, would enjoy drinking again, recommended

Floydster, Feb 12, 2009
Photo of dasenebler
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

30cl, Netherlands.

Pours a dark brown hue, settling to a rich ebony in the glass. Thick tan head, okay lacing.

Aroma is full of roast, with notes of maple syrup and molasses complemented by mellow alcohol. Excellent.

The flavor is also richly roasty, with a dry, bitter finish reminiscent of the Irish stout style. But this version has a lot more going for it. Nice and dry malty flavors. I get notes of molasses, coffee and buttery diacetyl mid-palate. Mouthfeel was surprisingly light, however, and just couldn't support the rich flavors of this beer.

This is an excellent stout with a lot going for it, but the mouthfeel needs to be improved in order to fit the flavor.

dasenebler, Oct 14, 2010
Photo of orbitalr0x
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

orbitalr0x, Apr 11, 2009
Photo of irishtimepiece
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

BYOB brought this back for me from Kulminator on his recent trip to Europe.
Bottled in 1997, best before March 2nd, 2000. Today is January 15th, 2007.

Pours pitch black with a thick, creamy tan head that never goes away. Lacing is spotty.
Smells of molasses, alcohol, and dark chocolate.
Tastes of chocolate, raisins and alcohol upfront with a roast bitterness and coffee finish.
Mouthfeel was as smooth as velvet. Incredibly creamy.
A little too heavy to drink a lot of, but perfect for a hearty meal.
I was impressed with how well it held up over time.

irishtimepiece, Jan 15, 2007
Photo of coldmeat23
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

GLASS: Imperial Pint Glass
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 45 degrees

Dark, dark brown. Verging on blackness. Medium pour produces a massive 5-finger head of thick creamy tan foam. About a full finger of it was standing above the rim of the glass. Excellent retention and amazing lacing.

Butterey caramel and coffee with a touch of chocolate. Dark fruits. English toffee. Vanilla extract.

Nice roasted malts upfront. Sweet vanilla caramel follows. Nice dark fruit hints. Finishes with the bite of burnt coffee grounds. Hides it's alcohol quite well, even though it does provide a slight bit of warmth.
Much more complex than the more readily available version.

Feels good, but is not quite as creamy and velvet-like as it's relative. Still great compared to others in the same style, but could stand to be a bit thicker and richer.

Very drinkable, in general. Would rate higher if not for that nasty bite, at the end. Still, I wish I could bet better access to this.

coldmeat23, Oct 30, 2008
Photo of dgilks
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's an interesting aroma. A light hint of roast, some yeast fruitiness and just a wisp of diacetyl. The aroma is unfortunately weak.

Very dark brown-black colour with a massive, creamy tan head. Good head retention.

The flavour is good. The roast bitterness is smooth tempered by a rich, round malt body and a hint of alcohol. Some nice fruity esters come through. Just a hint of acidity that is the trademark of the Guinness brand and a light touch of diacetyl. Solid.

Medium body with moderately low carbonation. Simple, smooth and effective. Greamy and with a nicely dried out finish.

A great beer. The alcohol is well hidden in the flavour and works effectively to temper some of the flavours. The best Guinness product I've tried.

dgilks, Mar 08, 2010
Photo of Suds
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My wife picked this beer up at a local supermarket in northern Italy. It pours as a deep blackish-brown liquid with a monstrously fizzy head. The head settles down quickly, but leaves some pretty lace. The aroma is fantastic...chocolate, coffee beans, very roasted grain, charcoal, and a lot of caramel. As the beer warms, a slight alcohol smell comes forth as well. The taste is solidly good. It's moderately dry, despite some notable malt flavors (quite a bit drier than the Foreign Extra Stout). There's a lot of bitterness, both from hops and also from highly roasted grains. The mouthfeel is full, thick, and satisfying. This is quite good, and easily one of the best Guinness products that I've had.

Suds, Nov 14, 2008
Photo of
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 (11. something?) oz. bottle.

Opaque, darkest brown leaning towards black, liquid. Large, cocoa colored head. Very creamy. Good lacing, modest legs.

Fruity scent (raisins & figs) at first pour. Dark chocolate. Bit of earthy funk. Alcohol. Roast character/coffee, milder than expected.

Taste brought the roast flavor to front and center. Overall, more bitter than sweet. Dark chocolate was next note, followed by coffee - mild, but espresso like. Strong herbal bittering at the finish. Alcohol.

Medium to full body. Medium carbonation. Not very dry.

Not your typical Guiness by a long shot! Very complex. I enjoyed it, but wouldn't describe it as a top stout for my taste. My preference tends towards more sweet elements in a stout.

, Jul 15, 2008
Photo of brewandbbq
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 1999

Poured thick and black, with a dense tan head.
Chewy nose filled with roasted coffee beans and dark chocolate, laced with smoke and old leather.
Cocoa dusted bacon bits in an aged wingtip.
Thick, viscous mouthfeel. Wraps around your tongue and doesn't let go. Creamy and smooth.
Rich, full, pallet- loaded with the essense of Guinness, but concentrated.
Chocolate cake batter, espresso, and a rauche-like complexity.
Finishes slow with plenty of grip, minimal bitterness and no distinguishable alcohol.
Best before 2000? Ha!

brewandbbq, Dec 16, 2005
Photo of morebeergood
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried this beer for the first time last year in Belgium. It was being sold in a convenience store for 1 Euro each. More recently, I was surprised to be sitting in a bar in Milan last month and saw this offered. It was 7 Euros for the bottle, but I was on vacation, and a second chance to have this beer sounded good.
Best glass I could get from the bartender was a mug. Oh well. When poured into a glass, it looks like normal Guinness. The smell, also, has that really roasted, bitter scent. But the flavor is way different, in a much better way. It's so much flavorful than normal Guinness. Flavors of chocolate and coffee are everywhere. It has a creaminess and, at the same time, a smoothness that is remarkable. At no point do you think that you are drinking an 8% beer. It's a shame this beer is not available in the States. I guess that makes it more of a treat when you find it overseas.

morebeergood, Sep 16, 2008
Photo of Christopherchurch
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%

Christopherchurch, Sep 06, 2014
Photo of danieelol
4.11/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours an austere black with an unconventional white head like the flesh of a coconut.

Nose is yeasty and fruity. Think lamb fat and soy. Like some raw meat aromas with a really fruity accompaniment.

Taste is a sexually secure roast- able to evoke all the fruits without becoming one. Lamb fat, roast and more fruits.

Mouthfeel is a slightly water-y, macro-y roast. And more fruits.

Imagine hints of the Cooper's Sparkling yeast made more subtle and fruity and crossed with a one-part macro four-parts craft roast. Interesting (and good) combination. Guinness reinvented.

danieelol, Oct 04, 2013
Photo of Paddez
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one poured a very dark brown, almost black brew with a medium sized, tan head.
The aroma is that of strong, black coffee (espresso), chocolat (fondant), roasted malts and some hints of yeast and alcohol.
The taste contains the same elements along with something woody, smoky. The taste was impressive and complex but the bitterness in this beer was a bit over the top for me, making it hard to thoroughly enjoy it.
The mouthfeel was good: big & smooth.

I enjoyed the Hercule Stout I had a week earlier more as it was sweeter than this one. This was still a nice and very intresting drink though. Either way, I haven't had many beers in this style (which is starting to grow on me) yet so I don't know what to look for in a stout and how to judge one properly.

Paddez, Jan 02, 2005
Photo of OWSLEY069
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours jet black with a tan head. In the aroma, sweet roasted malt and a small bitterness. In the taste, roasted malts, a sweetness, a note of alcohol and a dry hop in the end. A bitter and medium to bigger bodied mouthfeel , with a dry chocolate roast in the aftertaste. It is like an imperial stout, or Guinness on steroids.

OWSLEY069, Nov 08, 2011
Photo of aerozeppl
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to drseamus for this.

A: Looks black with brown around the edges. Minimal brown head.

S: Little bit funky. A little roasty. Belgian yeast. Swetness behind it.

T: Very roasty. Nice sweetness. More of a Belgian beer than a stout. Best Guinness I have ever had.

M: Very dry. Makes sense considering the origin of this beer.

D: Very nice. Not quite top 100 for me but a damn good beer. Again the best Guinness I have ever had.

aerozeppl, Dec 08, 2008
Photo of philipquarles
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

philipquarles, Aug 12, 2008
Photo of Cozzatoad
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle

A- Black (or extremely dark brown) colour. Two finger, dense, very light brown head. Great retention at first, just a little ring after some sips. Loads of lacing on the glass

S- Quite weak, even after head has receded, but nice. Creamy chocolate aroma, with notes of nut and raisin. A light alcoholic note in the back. Maybe a hint of leafy hops as well. Overall this is much sweeter than expected

T- Very sweet as the aroma suggested. Rich, full chocolate taste, but really on the sweet side with a delicate caramel malt foundation to it. Nut, alcohol, maybe liquorice notes all blend very well and bring complexity. Finishes with a refreshing hint of bitterness. Not the slightest hint of roastiness

M- Medium body and just a hint of carbonation. Wonderfully delicate on both tongue and palate, but somehow still a dense, full creamy mouthfeel

O- Delicate and rich. Extremely drinkable but still nicely complex, perfectly balanced. Even quite refreshing, which is great to be found in a strong stout

Cozzatoad, Oct 16, 2011
Guinness Special Export Stout (John Martin - Belgium) from Guinness Ltd.
93 out of 100 based on 233 ratings.