1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 233 | Reviews: 154 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of kmpitz2
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a jet black color with a finger of tan head that persists nicely over top of the brew. Very opaque. Nose is big in dark fruits, light chocolate, creamyness. Good residual sweetness. Nice nose. Flavor is chocolate with a light infusion of fig. Very creamy tasting. Light bitterness hangs on the end. Tasty beer. Feel is Thick, smooth, almost silky, with a moderate carbonation. Overall, this is a good drink. Well balanced and proportioned. Very good feel. No hint of 8% anywhere.

kmpitz2, Nov 19, 2005
Photo of Bisho
4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
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!

Bisho, Jan 27, 2010
Photo of UnionMade
4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle provided by Goodbyeohio. I saved this one for a special occassion, and review #700 sounds good to me. Huge thanks, man. Best before 04/07/06.
Pitch black, with garnet accents. Looks slightly hazy, capped with a frothy mountain of craggy, tan foam. Large bubbled lace all over the glass, looking like dish soap. Smells like what I always thought Guinness, with it's reputation, should smell like. Images of grizzled coal miners with bristling beards, clutching black pints in a smoky pub. Sturdy, frowning and unwelcoming to strangers. Browned chocolate malt, coffee notes, with a distinct wooden floral english hop profile. Fairly clean otherwise, faint treacle and booze, the hops a bit soapy. The flavor opens with brown, semi-sweet chocolate, thinner than I'd expected, with hints of caramel, licorice and molasses. Not terribly sweet, more like a slightly bumped up version of your regular Guinness Extra Stout. A bit of ale fruitiness is chased by a woody, earthy, almost metallic hop bitterness. Malty bittersweetness in the finish, providing a semi-sweet, surprisingly bitter and dry finish. A touch of medicinal, aspirin-like phenols. The sweetness rallies hard with warmth, rich with coffee and chocolate maltiness. Strong coffee flavor in the finish, particularly as it warms. Excellent bitterness, quite dry, leaving my palate stripped down for the next sip. Fairly light bodied. Modest, small bubbled carbonation very much in the UK tradition. A light whiff of alcohol, brown plastic bottle style ethanol, in my sinuses with each sip.
A huge improvement on what I know as Guinness here in the states. I do enjoy the extra stout, but the nitro draught is nearly characterless. Very nice. Strong, unforgiving flavor, what I imagine Guinness should be like. I would have preferred a thicker body, but the dryness is quite nice. Much higher marks, easily a 5, on the mouthfeel if it felt as substantial as it tastes.

UnionMade, Oct 24, 2005
Photo of endovelico
4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark brown beer with thick pillowy mocha head. Good lacing and head retention. No perceivable effervescence.

Smell: Medium high intensity. Grainy notes, Chocolate, Coffee and some higher alcohols up front. Toffee and a bit of smokiness on the back.

Taste: High intensity. Black patent Roastiness, grainy, coffee, buttery, fusely and kind of a lactic twang aswell. Expected more depth to be honest.

Mouthfeel: Medium full bodied. Medium low to low carbonation. Medium bitterness. Long lasting smoky flavour. Well achieved.

Drinkability: Complex enough although it could use a bit of dark fruit complexity and more balanced roastiness. The alcohol is well hidden and makes this beer surprisingly easy to drink considering th ABV and harshness on the palate. Decent price quality ratio. Would have again although its not even the best Export Stout in Guinnesses catalog.

endovelico, Nov 28, 2010
Photo of Wchen
4.04/5  rDev -3.8%

Wchen, Oct 14, 2014
Photo of hockeyfighter19
4.04/5  rDev -3.8%

hockeyfighter19, Oct 14, 2014
Photo of mikesgroove
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have been attempting to hunt this one down for quite a while now, and it always seems to be alluding me. I am not a fan of Guinness by any means, so the chance to try one that was so highly rated was a chance I had to take. The pour was very nice, a little bit more of a dark brown then your standard jet black pour, but still essentially opaque with a thick tan head that reached a height of easily over three inches. Really a very impressive looking stout with copious amounts of side glass lace and a very evenly distributed head of lace. Really very nice indeed.

The aroma was rich chocolate and roasted malts that were predominant here. Lots of lactose aromas and a touch of coffee were present as well, this was night and day from the version we get here. The flavor was really very nice. Not nearly as dry and bitter as I was expecting, this was much more of a sweet stout, with dark chocolate hints running throughout. There was a good deal of coffee notes, lots of lactose, deep roasted malts and a touch of sweet vanilla as well. As it warmed there was some nice dark fruit coming though in the finish, more then likely a good bit of yeast. The finish was very sweet, with a smooth creamy long lasting flavor. The body on this one was really full, and nicely carbonated, much different then the dry, bitter version I had been used to.

Overall, I thought this was fantastic. A far cry from the crappy version we get here. This was really a solid beer with a great flavor profile and a full body. I would love to have this again as it is truly deserving of its reputation and worth every penny.

mikesgroove, Apr 12, 2008
Photo of GreenCard
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: just like a regular Guinness Foreign but with more head; dark mahogany, almost opaque, tan head with nice lace effects

Aroma: roasty, coffee, grain, alcohol, slight maltiness, some caramel, soy sauce, cherries

Flavor: very full flavored roastiness is almost too bitter at first but then the substantial malt sweetness starts to be more evident with each sip; tangy, toasty, caramelly, the finish dry and bitter

Mouthfeel: medium-full body, spritzy carbonation, blooming alcohol warmth (a bit harsh in the throat), slightly astringent

Overall Impression: I heard tell of this exclusive version of Guiness about a year ago and now that I live in Belgium, I can finally taste it. Pretty good stuff. Definitely tastier than the original and more "worthwhile" to drink. Give one of these to the people who think dark beers are stronger and they'll think they're right!

GreenCard, Sep 13, 2003
Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A 33cl bottle poured into a standard shaker glass. Out of the fridge and allowed to warn up for at least 15 minutes. Shared with Deuane. The stout appears a dark and opaque brown color with about two fingers of creamy, lingering ecru foam. There is no evidence of this beer clocking in at 8% judging by the aroma and flavor. Notes of bittersweet chocolate, medium roasted coffee beans, caramel, a touch of vanilla, milk chocolate, pipe tobacco are all present. This stout falls somewhere between medium and full bodied with adequate carbonation. It's a shame this one is such a bitch to obtain because it's mighty drinkable.

ClockworkOrange, Jun 16, 2009
Photo of timbro81
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ordered from an online "Belgium" "Shop" and arrived in 15 days. Pours an inky black that is impervious to light. Large frothy light tan head that laces down to a hefty little ring. Smells lightly of sweet roasted burnt malts and some vague hop bitterness. Mouth feel is light to medium with a minimal amount of silkiness to it. Nice roasted coffe notes on the tongue with a dry finish of chocolate and dark fruit. Aftertaste dwells on the roasted side. Hides the 8% pretty well. Would really like to try this out of a nitro tap or can, I think I just blew my own mind. Better than it's little brother. All in all it is a good beer, I'm glad I tried it, but I don't feel like I was missing out on much.

timbro81, Jul 25, 2008
Guinness Special Export Stout (John Martin - Belgium) from Guinness Ltd.
93 out of 100 based on 233 ratings.