Guinness Special Export Stout (John Martin - Belgium) - Guinness Ltd.
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 221 | Reviews: 153 | Display Reviews Only:
4.68/5 rDev +10.9%
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.
09-02-2007 21:04:59 | More by AlexLMS
4.65/5 rDev +10.2%
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.
05-23-2004 01:05:42 | More by Naerhu
4.65/5 rDev +10.2%
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.
03-08-2010 23:39:24 | More by mmmbeer
4.63/5 rDev +9.7%
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!
11-03-2004 03:58:51 | More by feloniousmonk
4.6/5 rDev +9%
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.
06-06-2005 22:25:57 | More by ChrisBowers
4.6/5 rDev +9%
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%.
07-25-2007 05:48:36 | More by BlindPig
4.6/5 rDev +9%
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.
09-25-2006 19:22:47 | More by msubulldog25
4.6/5 rDev +9%
Guinness Special Export Stout | 330 ml | 8.0% ABV | vintage
Brewer: Guinness Ltd.
Style: Foreign / Export Stout
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.
Pours a beautiful matte black with a fine mocha head of 1". Great lacing.
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.
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.
Remarkably creamy and well-carbonated. It carresses the tongue like a sudden brush of silk against supple skin.
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
06-25-2010 01:21:09 | More by BeerNemesis
4.58/5 rDev +8.5%
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.
11-16-2007 19:43:55 | More by basica
4.58/5 rDev +8.5%
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.
04-24-2009 13:04:41 | More by RuudJH
4.58/5 rDev +8.5%
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?!
10-01-2006 02:11:28 | More by biscodoll
4.58/5 rDev +8.5%
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.
06-04-2008 03:24:29 | More by brdc
4.58/5 rDev +8.5%
It looks just like a Guinness, but it's a wolf in sheep's clothing. It has the same jet black body with the almost cliched thick off-white head. That is where the similarities end. The aroma is much more Belgian than Irish. There is some funk upfront along with sweetness and caramel in the aroma. The aroma is good, but the flavor is awesome. The first thing that passed through my mind when I tasted it was DAMN!! This isn't the Guinness I'm used to. It's a different ballgame; a different sport all together. It is very sweet and malty with tasty caramel, chocolate, and yeasty flavors. It makes me think more of a quad than an export stout. It ends with a bitter finish. An amazing beer all together.
08-23-2007 01:55:00 | More by drseamus
4.56/5 rDev +8.1%
A: Dark Brown almost black, opaque with amber tinge at the edge when held to the light, lots of carbonation, a finger of tan head with a slight cherry tinge.
S: Cherries, licorice, toasted malts and molasses in addition to the typical Guinness smells.
T: Toasted malts, molasses with hints of cherries and licorice, light sweetness, coffee.
M: Medium thick body with a light syrupy weight, medium carbonation.
O: Taste like a cross between a Guinness and a Belgian dubble or dark ale. More complex and sweeter than your average Guinness.
06-20-2014 15:54:58 | More by patre_tim
4.55/5 rDev +7.8%
Guinness in its greatest form, hands down. I got this shipped to me a while back and just tried it the other night, consumed from a chalice. And it was simply awesome. Poured with a fairly generous dosage of head, thick and tan. The same "black gold" look you know and love from every form of Guinness.
Big big roasty, coffee aromas. The alcohol adds a sweetened dimension to it -- almost fruit-like. Initial flavor profile is more or less the same -- with a roasted bitterness kick. Noticeably sweet with a carmelized sugar punch -- it's got to be that alcohol giving it that sweet aspect -- it definitely turns around to bite you in the end with a bitter, dry, powerful finish. No awkward aftertaste, however.
As it warms, the alcohol really takes over. The malt drops away, and it gets a tiny bit harsh -- but not nearly enough to stop me from loving every goddamn minute of it. Heavy, thick, and viscous, this isn't a wimpy beer on the tongue, but it works. I've not had the "normal" export stout, but I do know that with this, it's really got a good something extra compared to Guiness' other products. Top shelf.
09-22-2003 22:42:21 | More by marburg
4.53/5 rDev +7.3%
I had an 10 hour layover in London, and planned to see a few sights, but due to transportation delays after the bombings, I decided to just grab this from The Beer Store (Beerfly) and head out.
Appearance: It's jet black and pours a thick tan head that diminishes after a few minutes and leaves lacing all the way down.
Smell: Somewhat sweet chocolate malts with a slight hint of alcohol. Very rich.
Taste: The taste is fantastic, wonderful deep roasty flavors, with a sweet hint of molasses that counters the bitter chocolate malts. Plenty of espresso at the back of the tongue. Perfect. There's a gentle yet lingering hop, espresso finish and a mild warming sensation in the throat (the only hint that it's 8%).
Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is incredible. It's thick and smooth with the perfect amount of carbonation. It definitely improves as it warms up. Simply amazing.
Drinkability: Considering it's 8%, the drinkability is excellent. I feel as if i could drink this all day, though anything more than slow sipping is a waste. It's silky smooth going down. I'd peg this at 5% alcohol if i didn't know better. The gentle warming of the throat is the only clue.
Incredible stout, wish i had access to it.
07-14-2005 15:38:26 | More by numenor1
4.53/5 rDev +7.3%
Inky black appearance. One finger airy light brown head. Retention is outstanding and the lacing comes in full sheets. Sharp nose of espresso, dark chocolate, vanilla bean and roasted malts. Mouthfeel is velvety. Body is a little better than medium. The taste is full of bitter goodness. Roasted bitterness dominates to a point, but doesn't overpower. There's also some nutty character and smoke and tobacco and char and baker's chocolate and...Wow. Nice mix of flavors. This is hands down the best Guiness offering.
Gotta thank the Bum for such a rare treat.
07-22-2004 04:15:36 | More by Bighuge
4.51/5 rDev +6.9%
I got this bottle from one of the trading elite, BitterBill. Happy St. Patty's Day Bill, here's to you my friend! Wow, the head on this Guinness is like that from a nitro can, very impressive. A soft pour easily conjures up two-plus fingers of incredibly creamy foam. The body is black like strong coffee and shows some flashing chestnut highlights. The head slooowly falls to one fat finger of meringue-like peaks and valleys while leaving sticky clump lacing as far as the eye can see. Impressive!
This is like no Guinness I've ever had the opportunity to imbibe. Dense roastiness kicks things off while molasses and fudge make appearances of their own. Tendrils of smoke manage to make it up through the rich maltiness and a clean alcohol brings up the rear. There are even hints of dark fruit such as plums and figs. This is a pleasant surprise.
I'm actually drinking this side by side with a Guinness Extra Stout and I don't see where these two are even close to being similar. The roastiness kicks in up front again and rides the wave all the way through the mouth. Molasses, fudge, cocoa, and those dark fruits pop in here and there to add layer upon layer of flavor to this wonderful brew. The swallow has a touch of heat but no sign of alcohol beyond that.
The mouthfeel is spot on with carbonation on the low side and a hefty enough body to coat the tongue. There's a slight slickness left behind and a somewhat powdery feel on the drying finish. The touch of heat on the swallow warms my chest after each sip.
This bottle is disappearing far too quickly and it's my only one. If this was available around here a 6-pack would go down on an evening like this without a problem, besides the buzz of course, which usually isn't a problem.
I don't know what to say about this brew. It's one of the best of one of my favorite styles. I figured good things for this brew but I'm blown away! Thanks again for this wonderful treat Bill! If you order anymore let me know.
08-19-2013 01:09:59 | More by joe1510
4.5/5 rDev +6.6%
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.
04-06-2008 08:20:58 | More by Cromster
4.5/5 rDev +6.6%
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. Im 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 its 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!
01-07-2007 22:14:57 | More by Bierschenker
4.5/5 rDev +6.6%
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
04-25-2008 02:50:30 | More by scootny
Guinness Special Export Stout (John Martin - Belgium) from Guinness Ltd.
94 out of 100 based on 221 ratings.