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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

236 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 236
Reviews: 154
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 10%
Wants: 108
Gots: 21 | 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: 236 | Reviews: 154 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of AgentMunky
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 33cL bottle into a Rochefort goblet.

A: Looks impressive. Dark, dense, and brown with acceptable head that quickly dissipates. Interesting tracing on the surface and nice lacing on the sides.

S: Rich roasted malts and hops hit the nose and hint at coffee and dark chocolates. This is what a stout should smell like. Unfortunately, this greatness does not endure and the smell fades with time.

T: Way better than normal Guinness and the best stout I've ever had. Surprisingly light and alcoholicly sweet at first, this inital flavour burst gives up ground to the dominant character of this beer...Assertive, strong bitter notes -- hops and roast coffee -- march on through the mouth, fading slowly into a balanced, pleasant, and dry aftertaste.

M: The 8% gives this stout the oomph it needs. Lightly carbonated for a pleasant tingle. Balance prevents overpowering bitterness.

D/O: As good as this beer is, it's one I wouldn't drink often. It's too distinctive and...arrogant. The strong hops add a different character to the traditional stout, and I heartily approve.

EDIT (16 June): Changed the Drinkability/Overall from 3.5 to 4.5.

AgentMunky, Jun 19, 2010
Photo of Boto
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

33cl bottle: I saw this sitting on a shelf in a store in France and new right away there was something out of the ordinary. The bottle said "8%ABV". Closer inspection revealed this to be the Belgian version. You can tell this is different from "normal" Guinness as soon as you open the bottle. There is much more of an aroma than you are used to. The beer pours a dark brown color. There is no hint of ruby color to it if you hold it up to the light as in standard Guinness. The aroma is much stronger. It contains notes of roastiness and chocolate. Possibly a hint of licorice (I was getting something sweet). Similar to normal Guinness in taste, but much more rich, with the flavors much more prevalent. More chocolate notes than the original. Still very creamy and silky.

Boto, Jan 03, 2005
Photo of BeerTruth
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this one from tprokop7 as an EXTRA! It's been on my 'wants' list forever so I was pretty happy when I unwrapped this bad boy.

33 cl.bottle poured into nonic.

Pours a deep cola black with the slightest bit of a ruby outline and a monstrous three finger light brown head. Crazy webbing left on the sides of the glass as the huge crown descends. Smell consists of light cocoa powder, roasted malts, and some coffee beans. Sweet caramel malts, vanilla, and a bit of lactose as well. A metallic aroma is detected in the nose too. Taste begins with molasses, caramel, and brown sugar. Midway some smokey flavors emerge with espresso and cream. Warm milk chocolate flavors in the aftertaste with a hint of alcohol, but still extremely low for a beer that clocks in at 8%. Medium to hefty body with a rich, smooth feel in the mouth. Like I mentioned before, the 8% abv is tough to find, making this scary drinkable. If this was available in the states, I'd have it in my fridge as much as possible. Good stuff, glad I had the opportunity to try. Thanks again Todd!

BeerTruth, May 06, 2009
Photo of hopdog
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

33cl bottle dated best before 03/08/06.

Poured a dark, dark brown with red edges and a large sized light brown head. Aromas of mocha chocolate, licorice, roasted malts and a light toffee almost butterscotch. Tastes of roasted malts, dark chocolate, and dark fruits. Bitter coffee finish. Creamy and smooth body. Some lacing left on the glass. Alcohol well hidden. I wish the Guinness we get here in the states was the same as this!

Notes from 11/18/05

hopdog, Nov 12, 2008
Photo of kkipple
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big props to Pingwin407 for lugging two of these back from his recent Belgium trip!

A. Looks basically like Guinness Extra Stout, good lacing, and maybe a tad bit thicker.

S. Mmm, this is Guinness Plus. Richer, sweeter, tighter, bolder. Some smoke and maybe maple syrup? Very roasty and pleasing, mocha hints and a touch of milk chocolate. Appealing, bold, approachable. Familiar, yet amped up. I like the way this smells.

T. Exactly as advertised. A sweeter, lusher Guinness that is very easy to drink and has some subtle smoke and creamy coffee flavors going on. The roasted malt is layed and complements the sweetness quite well. If you like Guinness (and who doesn't honestly?) you will dig this. Well put together and belies the 8% abv.

M. Fantastic. Creamy-smooth, a delight to drink. Finishes roasty-sweet and leaves you craving more.

D. Absolutely yes! Why we can't buy this in the States, I'm sure I don't know. A real treat and a beer that shows off the brewing chops of the folks at Guinness. Highly recommended.

kkipple, Feb 23, 2009
Photo of khiasmus
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours jet black with faint ruby/brown highlights. An immense amount of light tan head that laces, a solid wall.
Aroma is dominated by roast, with a distinctly sweet cream note, almost like an imperial milk stout. A milky-sweet aroma with a background hint of smokiness, almost rauchbier-esque, along with the dark roasted grain, and an excellent strong maple note.
Flavour follows the aroma. This is simply an imperial, roastier, darker, heavier version of original Guinness. That same creamy, lightly sweet note with an excellent rounded roast flavour. exceptional.
The mouthfeel is good. creamy, smooth, much like a nitro Guinness, but this is simply with carbonation. Smooth, creamy, and slides down the throat far too easily.
This beer is excellent. This would be a beer of choice were it available here. I wish it was possible to get this, other than by going to Belgium.

Many thanks to Pingwin407.

khiasmus, Feb 13, 2009
Photo of TurdFurgison
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I picked up a few bottles at the Brussels Midi station to bring back to the States, something like 2 euros each. It's always surprising how simple it can be to find my most treasured bottles so easily available in some convenience store (like Andechs beers in Munich, various Kolsch beers in Cologne, or God knows what else in Belgium).

The beer is dark brown to the point of blackness, completely opaque, with a thin mocha-hued head. The aroma is nice, big Belgian character, not too far from a BSDA. Some roasted malts but more sweet than roasty, some dark fruits like plums or figs.

The beer tastes so good, this is what I always wanted Black Albert to taste like, a Belgian stout. Definitely has Belgian character, possibly the yeast used, doesn't seem spiced at all. Sweet up front with long aftertastes of the dark fruits from the aroma. The mouthfeel is much thicker than any Guinness I've tried before, not quite syrupy but heading in that direction. Absolutely the best Guinness I've ever had, I'm so glad to have a few more to savor.

TurdFurgison, Apr 27, 2010
Photo of Douberd
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought in the Netherlands, poured from a bottle of 300 ml. Colour is a very dark brown, almost black if not against light. Pours a thick beige head, which is leaving heavy lacing around the glass as it goes down. Aroma is chocolate and coffee. The taste follows the aroma, bitter chocolate with a sweet finish. Tick in body with average carbonation. The high ABV is there but it goes unnoticeable until you think about it. Overall a great dark beer!

Douberd, Feb 08, 2012
Photo of Absumaster
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a deep black color with a creamy, fine bubbled head that clings to the glass and leaves rings with every sip.

Smell is burned, roasted with some smokiness. There is a slight tartness in there which gives the beer that extra kick.

Taste is burned with some roasted malt notes, which remind me of liquorice and give the beer a good malt bitterness. Hop bitterness is also present and makes the beer pretty intense. The tartness in the smell is also coming back in the taste and makes a nice combination with the bitterness and roast flavors. This beer is a classic!

Absumaster, Feb 24, 2007
Photo of ThatWineGuy
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to my wife and son for picking this up in Belgium about 18 months ago. My son pointed out today that the BB date is 11/07/08, I hadn't noticed that due to the very faded yellow print on the bottle. Poured darker than the Jamaican-purchased Guinness Foreign Extra (FE) I enjoyed side-by-side, opaque, darker than midnight. Despite its advanced age, the tan head was a generous four fingers with excellent retention and viscous sheet lacing. Smell of chocolate biscotti but more than that, stewed prunes with apple slices and sugar, similar to what my Polish mother made us for dessert way back when I was a kid.

Taste is more complex than the FE with rich, deep, dark bitter chocolate and a prune tort-cake fruitiness. Mouthfeel smoother than the FE as well, more viscose. With warming, there was a smell of minty chocolate and raisin bread. The taste was balanced with a nice bitter/malt equilibrium. Dry aftertaste of chocolate wafer.

Overall, more complex than the FE, smoother, tastier and better retention: with an inch of brew in my glass, there is yet a head covering the surface while the FE went relatively flat at that stage. While I tend to favour the American stouts, this is a good example of the UK style modified for the Belgian market and I can certainly admire that as well. Delightful gift from two loved ones who went to Belgium when I couldn't, everyone should be so lucky to get such a nice souvenir, I feel fortunate to have sampled a rare brew like this.

ThatWineGuy, Apr 22, 2009
Photo of Goliath
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black and is completely opaque. A large two inch frothy tan head sits on top with excellent retention and some nice lacing.

The aroma is quite nice. Notes of banana, clove, and dark roasted malts are all present.

The taste is also quite nice. Hints of banana, dark roasted malts with chocolate flavors that are fairly bitter. Delicious.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with good carbonation.

Drinkability is moderate due to moderately high alcohol and big flavor. A pleasant evening drink.

Goliath, Apr 26, 2008
Photo of ccrida
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle that I brought back from Belgium about 2 months ago, poured into my Delirium snifter, Guinness Special Export is black with a big dark tan head, which is very dense and fluffy, with long last and tons of foamy lace.

Smell is very fruity, classic cured dark fruit Belgian esters. Very strong, prunes.

Taste is quite a bit more Belgian strong dark ale then stout, not much roast to speak of, just dark malts and fruity esters. Most acrid on the finish, more char then roast, but just enough that it can be legitimately called a stout. Really quite tasty, if not what I was expecting. The stout aspect builds on my palate as I work through the beer, but it's still very Belgian.

Mouthfeel is very dry, viscous but medium bodied.

Drinkability is pretty good, a nice Belgian stout. Much better then the regular Guinness, it actually has flavor, and it's good.

ccrida, Dec 29, 2009
Photo of rvdoorn
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Special version of bottled Guinness for Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. Poured into a Westvleteren glass. The beer pours a dark-brown-black color, with a nice beige-head.

Smell: coffee, dark chocolate, caramel and roasted malts all over the place, but also a bit alcoholic, sweet and fruity.

Taste: Roasted malts up front, then roasted coffee, caramel, hops, vague hints of liquorice, dark fruit (plum). Nicely balanced beer. Earthy hop and roasted malts with some dry coffee in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: very high carbonation for a Guinness beer (medium-high carbonation in general). Medium-bodied. Nice and drinkable.

Overall: By miles the best Guinness worldwide. Full of taste. Not a typical sport-pub beer like other Guinness beers, but a beer that one should drink at home with friends, while eating some nice trappist cheese! One word; YES

rvdoorn, Sep 19, 2009
Photo of Billolick
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

Billolick, Jul 20, 2005
Photo of Metalmonk
4.33/5  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!

Metalmonk, Oct 03, 2007
Photo of mdagnew
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml Bottle bought from The Vineyard, Belfast

Poured a deep dark red colour with slight hint of brown when held up to light... Head was big and foamy. Colour was creamy tan - lasted quite a long time...

Aroma - Strong roasted malts, coffee, dark chocolate, slight spiciness, nuttiness...

Taste – Nice roasted maltiness, dark fruits (prunes, raisins), peppery, vanilla hints, strong coffee...

Feel - Quite smooth and creamy. Medium carbonation...

Overall - An exceptional stout, highly recommended. If only all Guiness was as good as this...

mdagnew, Oct 31, 2005
Photo of Wasatch
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a chalice a nice black color, nice small creamy tannish head, which leaves some nice sticky lacing afterwards. The nose is malty, sweet, slight scents of toffee, chocolate, caramel. The taste is sweet, malty, and some nice dark tones to it. Medium body. Very drinkable, this one is way better than the original. Highly recommended.

Wasatch, Jan 25, 2008
Photo of Gueuzedude
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled in Belgium. This is a thick dense beer, much thicker than any other Guinness that I have had. It pours with a tan head. It is loaded with flavor, unlike the draft U.S.A. version, which I find bland. It tastes thick and sweet with lots of roast malt character.

Gueuzedude, Nov 13, 2003
Photo of Overlord
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown, black core. Large whipped cream looking light tan head. Very long lasting foam.

Smells like roast coffee and vanilla. Taste is roast, and more roast, of malt, bitter chocolate, and some vanilla. There's an acrid twang that adds a sour note to the after-taste, it's pleasant at first, then a bit offputting.

Mouthfeel is thin, but overall, an excellent beer.

Thanks to brdc for the trade.

Overlord, Sep 06, 2008
Photo of russpowell
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
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..

russpowell, Jan 03, 2011
Photo of Traquairlover
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

33cl bottle poured into a tulip. Marked 07.12.08 (which I assume means bottled on Pearl Harbor Day, 7 December 2008). Drank 9 Sept 2009. Thanks to coldmeat23 for this bottle.

A = Pours a dark mahogany, not quite opaque, when held to the light it has a clear redwood look, head pours very large and sturdy in a light tan color, composed of mostly small bubbles, decent retention and leaves heavy lacing as it slowly dissipates into a 1/4 cover of foam and small bubbles on surface.

S = Some cocoa powder but though prevalent that is not the primary smell I get, or rather it is closely joined with a whipped cream and light sugared coffee, also present are some good fruity smells of plums and similar dark fruits.

T = Very sweet flavors on the front of the tongue but bitterness builds thought the drink until a nice mixture of bitter-sweet in a long finish. There is both sweetened cocoa powder and bitter, sour dark chocolate, light hints of dark pumpernickel bread. Great mix of sweet and sour. This is what Guinness should taste like.

M = Medium-heavy body, smooth, thick & creamy feel, good mouthcoating, carbonation is present but mostly of a smooth foamy quality, not a stinging biting bubbling type.

D = This is a sipper, but it really is very good. I like taking each drink and I would definitely like another.

Traquairlover, Sep 10, 2009
Photo of kmo1030
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

delicious looking opaque brown with a thick creamy tan head that hangs around and laces.
first sniff reveals a fruity dubbel smelling beer, but that subsides quickly leaving you with a fantastic malt ball, roasted coffee, milk chocolate stout, with some subtle plum and fig type dark fruits. rum develops with warmth, maybe a little to much actually
the taste contains lots of malty chocolate and soft roasted coffee with a slightly lactic component. there's a brown sugary character thats plays off of a musky, slightly smokey flavor. it has a hint of dark fruit (same as aroma, plus maybe some black cherry) to keep things even more interesting. the sweet rum flavor comes out with warmth just like the aroma.
the mouthfeel is fairly full with pretty moderate, but delicate carbonation.
good drinkability overall. the nose is a little boozy, but that's forgivable. i can't believe our guinness is so much different from the belgian variety... the difference is like night and day.

kmo1030, Dec 13, 2007
Photo of johnnnniee
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Received in trade from brdc, thanks for the opportunity.

Pours a solid dark brown with garnet highlights when held to the light. Fluffy mocha head persists for a while. Smells of dark dried fruits, Grainy malt and oats. Faint chocolate and roasted malts. Bit of a sour note on the nose as well. Taste is chocolate, dried dark fruits and a sour twang with a dry finish. Roast/chocolate fill the palate long after the liquid is swallowed. Mouthfeel is creamy very coating. Body is medium to thick. Carbonation is medium to high. Great export stout! This is the one that should be sold in the States, I'd buy it often if it were more available.

johnnnniee, Nov 21, 2008
Photo of eduardolinhalis
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle served in a chalice.

A: Pours a beautiful deep black color with a huge beige head that dissipates quite quickly leaving a lot of lacings

S: Great smell of roasted malts is simply fantastic here! Really. The high ABV gives it a special liquorous smell. Notes of coffee, dark chocolate, wood, Guinness hops

T: Follows the nose. Strong on roasted malts. Notes of coffee, dark chocolate, vanilla. Sweet upfront and a good stingy roasted earthy hoppy bitter end :)

M: Full body. Creamy. Molasses. Medium carbonation and delightly bitter aftertaste

O: Absolutely drinkable despite the high ABV. Excelent Stout. No mistake here

eduardolinhalis, May 08, 2010
Photo of Aethien
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

300ml bottle.
Pours black with a small brown head, just as a stout should look.
Smell: Chocolate, caramel, malts, coffee and a little raisin. Quite sweet smelling.
Taste & mouthfeel: Full bodied and creamy with chocolate, malt and caramel goodness, a little sweet but not too sweet. It finishes dry and with a coffee or cocoa bitter and some roasted malts in the flavour. There are some notes of booziness and raisins throughout that tie it all together.

Overall: This is simply a very good stout, it is as a stout should be. It's not shocking or special or strange but it sets the bar for all other stouts.

Aethien, Apr 18, 2012
Guinness Special Export Stout (John Martin - Belgium) from Guinness Ltd.
93 out of 100 based on 236 ratings.