Guinness Special Export Stout (John Martin - Belgium) - Guinness Ltd.

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Guinness Special Export Stout (John Martin - Belgium)Guinness Special Export Stout (John Martin - Belgium)

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

256 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 256
Reviews: 157
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 10.02%
Wants: 121
Gots: 32 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Guinness Ltd. visit their website
Ireland

Style | ABV
Foreign / Export Stout |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: TheLongBeachBum on 06-28-2003

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 256 | Reviews: 157
Photo of BrewMaster
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at Delhaize in Vervier, Belgium about a month ago.

Appearance: Poured from the little bottle into my trusty 25 oz crystal sniffer glass. The beer is a dark brown with a creamy tan head. The head is sticky and thick and lasts pretty well. Very pretty in the glass.

Smell: I was quite surprised by the nose on this beer. It is meaty and smoky and actually smells like sliced smoked ham from the deli. I love smoked ham. There is faint toast to the nose as well. My, my, my, this is not what I expected from Guinness, but I am quite pleased with it.

Taste: This is unlike any other Guinness I've had, and that's a good thing. There flavor is complex with smoky and meaty flavors much like a rauchbier. Rich and fruity with plum, raisins, maple and more smoke. The ending produces more of the roasty flavor and is slightly sour and vinous near the end. Very yummy.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth and creamy. Wonderfully soft with light carbonation and a medium to heavy body.

Drinkability: This beer is excellent. I really enjoyed the smoky and meaty flavors along with the rich creamy feel. If only this was available in the USA...

Photo of numenor1
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was served to me at an old Dutch bar off of Rue Sobloinerre in Brussels. This stuff is as dark as it gets! An opaque black colour with an immense head of tan. The aromas are of chocolate, deep-roasted malts, booze, and more! THe taste is boozy, malty, chocolate-y and perfect. The mouthfeel is thick but not cloying and the drinkability is wonderful...

Photo of Pepeton
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a much better beer than the most common nitro bottle and nitro can of Guinness Draught that I can more easily find.

After five --non consecutive!-- bottles, with no doubt I can state that I prefer this version of Guinness over the regular draught.

It pours a dark, brown and thick brew, but in the glass it's dark as a moonless night. If you lift your glass to a light or a sunlit window you can only see a small redish glow.
It has a dark, small but lasting head; little cobweb-like lacing in the top of my glass.

Roasted malts, some chocolate and, of course, alcohol is present to the nose.

The taste is mokka-ish. You can clearly detect the coffee and chocolate flavor, which for me has a lot to do with an authentic mokka coffee; plus all it's maltiness.

Creamy, silky and hoppy aftertaste.

Where I live, with hot weather during almost 7 months, this is a beer that you'd prefer in the peak of Winter, since you don't want to drink it too cold to truly appreciate all it's character.

It's a great beer, with a steep price, even for México where imported beers always bear a big tag.

¡Salud!

Photo of joe1510
4.52/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

33cl Bottle

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.

Reviewed: 3/17/09

Photo of Bighuge
4.53/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of drseamus
4.53/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of patre_tim
4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of biscodoll
4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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?!

Photo of marburg
4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of basica
4.56/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 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.

Photo of ChrisBowers
4.57/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of BeerNemesis
4.57/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Guinness Special Export Stout | 330 ml | 8.0% ABV | vintage

Brewer: Guinness Ltd.
Style: Foreign / Export Stout
Glass: Snifter

Presentation:
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.

Appearance:
Pours a beautiful matte black with a fine mocha head of 1". Great lacing.

Aroma:
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.

Taste:
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.

Mouthfeel:
Remarkably creamy and well-carbonated. It carresses the tongue like a sudden brush of silk against supple skin.

Harmony:
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

Photo of RuudJH
4.58/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of brdc
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of BlindPig
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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%.

Photo of mmmbeer
4.61/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of msubulldog25
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle with a slightly different longer neck. The liquid is dark brown as you pour the dark liquid has blood red hue gripping the side of the glass. The head is nice, 2 big full fingers, tan with a rocky surface and leaving very good lace.

The smell is great sweet roasted malt, dark, chocolaty with a note of espresso and dark bread.

The taste is better then any Irish style stout I have ever had. This great brew is far superior to any regularly available. Rich chocolate is the heavy with other flavors like coffie and toasted dark rye bread. Wow is this great.

The mouthfeel is good but could be a little thicker.

The drinkability is very very good. I wish I did not have to go back to reg. Guinness. This brew is great.

Many thanks to AxlLives for letting me try this rare and excellent brew.
Prosit und Zum Wohl, MK

Photo of Naerhu
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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!

Photo of Argion
4.67/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had a chance to try this beer again while in Greece. The Foreign Extra Stout has become my favorite Guinness in the US so I wanted to have another taste of this guy to see who would win out. I would say no doubt that this is my favorite Guinness stout and rates high overall on the stouts I like. Even though not classified an Imperial stout, the alcohol content is high. It lacks the bitterness of a regular Guinness; it is almost sweet. Pours a dark black colour with no head. I don't know if it is served on tap anywhere but I would like to try it if it is.

Photo of AlexLMS
4.68/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.69/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: A 33cl Tall thin neck brown bottle. Purchased in Belgium during my 2003 Easter Trip. Standard black, red & light orange label, very similar in style to that of Foreign Export Stout. Labeled as “Selected by John Martin, Alc. 8% Vol.”, the middle of the front label has the Red Letter M with a small JM above it, followed by the number “461009”. Brewed in St.James's Gate, Dublin for John Martin N.V., B-2060 Antwerpen. "Belgium Guinness".

Appearance: Pours a thick black color. A darkish brown thin head forms slowly as the beer is poured into my Belgium McEwan’s Scotch Ale Goblet. The minimal carbonation that existed in the beer expired quickly to reveal a rather flat looking darkish brown fluid. However, when the beer was swirled, it slowly allowed more carbon dioxide to come out of solution. The yeast that remained in the bottle slipped slowly into the Glass with the dregs of the pour.

Nose: Deep strong smooth malts. Slight vinuous hints mixed with some Port. Fino Sherry like whiffs occasionally permeate the air as the beer is swirled.

Taste: Massive and complex multi-layered tastes that reveal themselves at various stages. Strong coffee roasted malts that have been smoothly rounded by time in the bottle, lend Drinkability. Has a body reminiscent of a good Port. The 8% alcohol by volume is barely noticeable, yet there is a warming aspect to the finish of the beer in the stomach. Well-balanced.

Mouthfeel: Strong malts dominate the massive presence in the mouth, coating the tongue, cheeks & teeth. This all helps to create a fantastic lingering mouthfeel even after the beer has been swallowed.

Drinkability: A sipper that at times, simply dazzles you with its strong tastes, massive mouthfeel & gorgeous ‘aged’ finish. A simply huge beer, that has stood the test of time extremely well. A true, bottle-conditioned Strong Stout of the highest order and quality.

Overall: Totally Astounding. Sheer Bloody Brilliance. You can keep the Nitro-Can, the naff plastic bottle and the thin watery draft versions.

Oh, but just if all Guinness was like this….<sigh>

Note: The obverse label is dated, but its smudged, 10/11/9…., the last digit could be an ‘8’ or a ‘0’. The Zero is not as far fetched as it sounds. That’s because I bought this dusty old bottle from a tiny little Bar in Huy, Belgium. The woman who ran the Bar sold me this dusty old bottle, and the last 3 of her McEwan’s 1993 Christmas Ales (plus a free Glass) for just €5 this Easter – the stuff of legends!

Photo of tavernjef
4.71/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Darkly pitched in black with periodic flashes of brown tinting. Lofty huge dark tan top of smoothed over foam. Stays at the helm forever and a day and never leaves its seat, fanning out eventually to leave enormous amounts of thick lacing.

Well rounded aroma of dark cocoa and milk chocolate with a light roasted quality and even lighter fruity notions of cherries and figs.

Flavor is quite full of action from front to back. Slender and dark fruity front, sweetly sided undertones at first, then, bold and creamy, big roasted chocolate cake center, dry and bittering finish with burnt crusty edges of roasted malts and grains. Turns to smoke, charcoal, tar, coffee grounds, and dry licorice spice as it cinders off into the finish. Wonderfully complex and layered with fun roasty flavors. A great whirlwind at the finish totally knocks it out of the park.

Feel is rich, thick, and velvety with a unique sweet under carriage that keeps a very nice balance. The roast never really completely takes over but makes great efforts to do so. The body of this stout continues to grow in texture as it warms, becoming creamier and warmer in cocoa returns towards the finish as does the coffee grade.

A fantastic beer. The true Guinness! So truly sad that many here in the states don't realize what they think and drink as the "Original" - isn't actually what it should and could be. Oh well...

I thank the hell out of Shaughn256 for sending this as an extra in our latest trade! Osu!

Guinness Special Export Stout (John Martin - Belgium) from Guinness Ltd.
93 out of 100 based on 256 ratings.