Guinness Special Export Stout (John Martin - Belgium) - Guinness Ltd.
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 222 | Reviews: 153 | Display Reviews Only:
4.38/5 rDev +3.8%
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
11-12-2008 20:44:04 | More by hopdog
3.9/5 rDev -7.6%
Got this at the bottle shop down the road from me.
From a bottle into a snifter
APPEARANCE: Pours black with some nice carbonation effect after the initial pour. Afterwards, no carbonation evident at all. A big three finger medium tan head fades relatively slowly into a thin film. Some lacing evident.
SMELL: Dark fruits initially, with some roasted barley malt and some black licorice. Nose is alright and powerful enough.
TASTE: Mirrors nose somewhat. Roasted barley malt with a smoky component as well up front, with some bitter hops and chocolate flavors through the finish. A touch of alcohol at the end, but well controlled. Alcohol and bitterness in a strong and longer lasting aftertaste. Good stuff for sure.
PALATE: Medium-thick body and pretty creamy on the palate. Carbonation is there but balanced well. Goes down smooth but finishes with a bit of a bite. A slight bit of stickiness lingers. Good here.
OVERALL: Obviously this is a very different beer than their pub draft; they are not comparable and are not meant to be compared. I could see how someone who loves the pub draft would not like this. Too bad, because this is a great beer on its own right. It's certainly drinkable, and the nose is sharp and impressive. Looks and feels great too. This is a perfect example of how good Gunniess can be. One I'll re-visit. Recommended.
11-02-2008 11:45:32 | More by Jeffo
4.75/5 rDev +12.6%
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!
11-01-2008 22:39:45 | More by BarryNL
4.15/5 rDev -1.7%
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.
10-30-2008 17:26:52 | More by coldmeat23
4.2/5 rDev -0.5%
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..
10-29-2008 00:32:29 | More by Bitterbill
4.25/5 rDev +0.7%
33cl bottle purchased from Carrefour in Athens, Greece, where I couldn't believe my luck.
Pours dark, dark brown out of the bottle and settles in as black in the glass with a huge rocky tan head that lasted for ages and left great lacing. The aroma is a little better than draught with a slightly more evident chocolate malt backbone but with the bitterness I expected. The taste, however, was much more complex than i expected. It has the roasted malt backbone but with milk chocolate sweetness balanced with some coffee bitterness in the finish. Very, very nice flavor. The mouthfeel was medium bodied with good carbonation with the patented Guinness creaminess. This is a revelation compared to standard Guinness and I'm lucky I got the chance to try this one.
10-05-2008 02:48:55 | More by gford217
4.13/5 rDev -2.1%
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.
09-16-2008 03:13:40 | More by morebeergood
4.33/5 rDev +2.6%
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.
09-06-2008 08:23:41 | More by Overlord
4.08/5 rDev -3.3%
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.
08-12-2008 20:24:58 | More by philipquarles
3.75/5 rDev -11.1%
Bottle courtesy Trappistenbier, a big Thanks to Filip for bringing this from your home country.
A: Pours very deep dark black with a towering brown head. The retenion is great with spotty lace noted. Nice.
S: Nothing like your normal ho hum Guinness. Bold aromas with hints of coffee, chocolate, and dark fruit.
T: Taste of nice sweet malt and brown sugar. Hints of coffee and chocolate as well. Mild in taste but a good blend of flavors.
M: Medium in body, pretty smooth.
D: Nice treat, wish this was on tap in every bar in America instead of our version of Guinness.
08-09-2008 15:54:57 | More by tpd975
4.03/5 rDev -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.
07-25-2008 03:53:46 | More by timbro81
4.13/5 rDev -2.1%
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.
07-15-2008 14:36:49 | More by
3.2/5 rDev -24.2%
Picked up a bottle from Drinks of the World.
I dont know if this beer has been mistreated, but it certainly doesn't live up to my expectations. It poured a nice black body with tn head that left lacing, but it was downhill from there. The flavor and aroma especially are dominated by a thick caramel note with chocolate and coffee roast faint around the palate. Still, this beer was surprisingly drinkable and not bad overall - just nothing special.
07-12-2008 18:25:41 | More by tempest
3.73/5 rDev -11.6%
Take your normal Guinness and put it on steroids. Darker. Thicker. Sweeter. Then make it only availible in Belgium and (where I found it) West Germany to torment beer drinkers everywhere else, and you have Guinness Special Export.
Coloring is almost completely black, with a strong tan head. Scent is pretty much identical to taste in every way, strong but not overpowering, dark fruits, coffee, chocolate. This beer is thick and creamy, to the point that it severely hurts the drinkability. Nice to sit down with one and relax, but this is by no means an every day sipper or a drink to get drunk sort of beer.
06-18-2008 05:18:09 | More by punkindrublic50
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
3.55/5 rDev -15.9%
Thanks to goryshkewych for this one!
This one looks black at a glance, but a nice, nutty red wine comes through when held to the light. The head is an irregular tan film.
Smells of molasses, pungent sour coffee, cherry pie and sour grains.
Tastes of a similar blend of molasses, caramel, red grapes and day old coffee.
Feels a tad viscous with a frothy carbonation that appears out of nowhere and jams things up a bit.
Fun to try, but not one I'll seek out again.
05-10-2008 02:45:59 | More by DarkerTheBetter
4.35/5 rDev +3.1%
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.
04-26-2008 18:10:03 | More by Goliath
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
4.03/5 rDev -4.5%
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.
04-12-2008 13:18:20 | More by mikesgroove
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 rDev -5.2%
Bottle courtesy of thewolf: Poured a deep black color stout with a huge light brown color head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of liquorice with some light roasted malt and some sweet malt notes. Taste is a mix between some light roasted malt with some notes of liquorice and medium sweet Belgian malt with what appears to be a Belgian type yeast. Medium full body with great carbonation and no apparent alcohol. A very well balance beer overall with a level of complexity greater then the regular version of Guinness available over here.
03-26-2008 20:56:46 | More by Phyl21ca
3.73/5 rDev -11.6%
Black porter looking beer with a thin tan head. Roasty nose with some burnt edges. Tastes like regular Guinness with more body, more roast, added baking chocolate, and not as much sour tang - almost none in fact except where the bitterness of the roasted malts come into play. Not unlike an imperial stout, but perhaps on the milder side of that.
02-15-2008 05:30:19 | More by dedrinker
4.28/5 rDev +1.4%
Dark brown, near black, with a creamy tan head. Good lace.
Musky Hops, big malt structure, spicy Blegian yeast and
Chocolate, black ,roasted and wheat malts complimented well by earthy hops. Good peppery yeast presence with dark fruits and candy.
Full with a nice dry finish. Nice light carbonation.
This is what Guinness should be. Why do they even bother making anything else?
02-14-2008 02:57:26 | More by rye726
4.33/5 rDev +2.6%
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.
01-25-2008 16:06:55 | More by Wasatch
4.3/5 rDev +1.9%
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.
12-13-2007 01:34:52 | More by kmo1030
Guinness Special Export Stout (John Martin - Belgium) from Guinness Ltd.
94 out of 100 based on 222 ratings.