1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

Not Rated.
Guinness Special Export Stout (John Martin - Belgium)Guinness Special Export Stout (John Martin - Belgium)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

226 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 226
Reviews: 154
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 9.5%
Wants: 106
Gots: 20 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Guinness Ltd. visit their website
Ireland

Style | ABV
Foreign / Export Stout |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: TheLongBeachBum on 06-28-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 226 | Reviews: 154 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ritzkiss
3.73/5  rDev -11.4%

Bottle split thanks to Bobsy. Thanks for sharing this hard to get brew!

Pours a dark dark brown with mahogany around the edges, a light cappuccino head. Not a ton of bubbles.

First thing I get off the nose is honey bread (odd I know), followed by smooth choco nibs and a hint of caramel. Some light roasting, sweet smelling.

Taste is light cocoa, choco nibs, hints of dark fruits, coffee grinds, a touch of baking chocolate, honey, vanilla. Luxurious body, smooth and yet light feeling in the mouth - not heavy at all. Dry finish.

As Bobsy said, kind of an amped up Dry Irish though, to be honest, I was also disappointed. This lacked the bold roast flavor that I would be looking for, focused too much on the sweet chocolate, and, while certainly complex and rich in flavor, lacked in body. A nice beer and miles better than your average Guiness but still not something that I would get excited about. Thanks again Rob!

ritzkiss, Sep 13, 2009
Photo of MattSweatshirt
3.73/5  rDev -11.4%

Bottle dated 30-09-13

Poured into a big wine glass. Fairly dark but the black body gives way to brown highlights. The head is thick and fluffy with bigger bubbles interspersed on top. Settles down fairly quickly but sticks around well.

Dark fruit and roast dominate the smell on this at first but there is some dark chocolate fudginess as well that comes out making this really inviting.

The taste is of dark fruit, a little roast and chocolate.

Smooth although fairly fizzy with a medium body.

Not super flavorful but very nice.

MattSweatshirt, Jan 09, 2013
Photo of dasenebler
4.18/5  rDev -0.7%

30cl, Netherlands.

Pours a dark brown hue, settling to a rich ebony in the glass. Thick tan head, okay lacing.

Aroma is full of roast, with notes of maple syrup and molasses complemented by mellow alcohol. Excellent.

The flavor is also richly roasty, with a dry, bitter finish reminiscent of the Irish stout style. But this version has a lot more going for it. Nice and dry malty flavors. I get notes of molasses, coffee and buttery diacetyl mid-palate. Mouthfeel was surprisingly light, however, and just couldn't support the rich flavors of this beer.

This is an excellent stout with a lot going for it, but the mouthfeel needs to be improved in order to fit the flavor.

dasenebler, Oct 14, 2010
Photo of Sigmund
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%

330 ml bottle, bought at Selfridge's, London. Black (= very dark brown) colour. Truly impressive large and thick brown head. Aroma of malts, oak, leather, coffee and dark chocolate. Flavour is overwhelmingly bitter from the roasted barley and hops, but also sweeter than regular Guinness. Elements of very strong coffee, hints of bitter chocolate. Bitterness lasts through the long aftertaste. Not for beginners. The crowd who think nitro draught Guinness is "sooo strong" should try this one!

Sigmund, Feb 28, 2005
Photo of Goliath
4.35/5  rDev +3.3%

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 scootny
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

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

scootny, Apr 25, 2008
Photo of marburg
4.55/5  rDev +8.1%

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.

marburg, Sep 22, 2003
Photo of kkipple
4.38/5  rDev +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 drseamus
4.58/5  rDev +8.8%

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.

drseamus, Aug 23, 2007
Photo of danieelol
4.11/5  rDev -2.4%

Pours an austere black with an unconventional white head like the flesh of a coconut.

Nose is yeasty and fruity. Think lamb fat and soy. Like some raw meat aromas with a really fruity accompaniment.

Taste is a sexually secure roast- able to evoke all the fruits without becoming one. Lamb fat, roast and more fruits.

Mouthfeel is a slightly water-y, macro-y roast. And more fruits.

Imagine hints of the Cooper's Sparkling yeast made more subtle and fruity and crossed with a one-part macro four-parts craft roast. Interesting (and good) combination. Guinness reinvented.

danieelol, Oct 04, 2013
Photo of kmo1030
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%

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 funkyaudio
2.5/5  rDev -40.6%

funkyaudio, Sep 05, 2014
Photo of Wobbly
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%

Wobbly, Dec 18, 2013
Photo of cypressbob
4.18/5  rDev -0.7%

330ml bottle poured into a silver rimmed Westmalle challice

Pours with a deep dark brown body, almost black with little light penetrating. A large puffy tan head head forms about an inch and a half thick, lots of patchy lacing

Smell, estery alcohol, smokey roasted malt. Some nice roasted fresh coffee along with a hint of vanilla. Fresh coffee beans and some slightly sweet dried fruit.

Taste, crisp and crunchy roasted malt, lots of thick bitterness from the malts and a little bit of caramel and mollasses. Slightly chalky on the finish with some lingering spicy malt and a crisp dark chocolate flavour. Strong vanilla coming through once again, a touch of acidity on the fnish too. A tiny alcoholic character is present but generally its very well hidden

This bottle is about a year old or so from bottling, holding up very well. Full of rich flavours this is probably the most full flavoured guinness product available, surpasses the standard FES.

cypressbob, Jun 02, 2007
Photo of Traquairlover
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%

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 rekel
5/5  rDev +18.8%

rekel, Nov 28, 2011
Photo of DavidHume
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

DavidHume, Jul 30, 2014
Photo of dedrinker
3.73/5  rDev -11.4%

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.

dedrinker, Feb 15, 2008
Photo of rvdoorn
4.35/5  rDev +3.3%

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 everetends
4.25/5  rDev +1%

33 cl bottle I received as a very suprising extra in a trade with HogWildLiquor. Can't thank him enough. Been wanting to get my hands on this beer for quite a while now and here it is in my pint glass.

A: Has a great appearance which is what you expect from a Guinness. Its not a Guinness unless it has an impressive appearance and this beer is no different. Have a seemingly thick pour that builds a really nice black body. Held to the light, I am not getting any light coming through. Maybe at the bottom of the glass a little light makes it a dark brown in color there, but otherwise this beer is pretty damned black. The pour got me a perfect two fingers of creamy tan head. That head falls slowly to a half finger, lasting top cap that throws up some morphing blobs of lace on the glass. No disappointment here.

S: Well it smells . . . like a Guinness with just a bit more. Very dark malts, maybe a bit more heavy on the chocolate and caramel presence than the normal offering. There is a little bit of a lactose presence as well. Dark fruits, maybe some dark cherry hints and some prune. Finally there is very much a brown sugar and molasses heft here. Just smells like a bakers pantry. Not bad at all.

T: Takes the aroma and runs a bit further. The malts are on point. Absolutely some chocolate in here that is mixing with some caramel and coffee goodness. Milky layering in here as well brings the lactose sugars. Absolutely some molasses and brown sugar mixing with some light spice (almost a dark rum maybe?). There is absolutely some dark cherry lingering in the background and maybe a little more fruit but I can't pick it out. Yeasty earthiness rounds all this out. Wow, I am digging this more than I expected.

M: Maybe a heavy medium to a light full body? Its definitely in between there. It has some weight but it doesn't get crazy. Carbonation is medium, just as expected from a Guinness. That carbonation still allows for some refreshing qualities even if this is bigger than its normal offering. Just a touch of ABV coming out with a light heat on the throat, but otherwise it hides very nicely. Aftertaste is some chocolate and cherry. I'll take it.

D: This is what Guinness does. They take a seemingly simpler beer and take it to a higher level. I am a fan of the normal Guinness we Americans have constant access to, but this taking that beer much further. Still it brings that great appearance and refreshing quality in a noticeably bigger flavor and aroma. Wish I could get this constantly to tell you the truth because its that tasty but still easy drinking. Damned good and pleasure to have been able to try.

everetends, Jul 21, 2009
Photo of BlindPig
4.6/5  rDev +9.3%

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%.

BlindPig, Jul 25, 2007
Photo of hansavijaticar
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%

hansavijaticar, Jul 11, 2014
Photo of EPICAC
4.43/5  rDev +5.2%

Served in a bottle at Delirium Café in Brussels.

Appearance: Pitch black, topped by a very thick brown head that fades leaving heavy lace on the glass.

Smell: Lightly sweet chocolate, and some roasted coffee notes.

Taste: Sweet chocolate upfront, moving into light tartness, with heavy coffee roasted flavors in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied, moderate carbonation, creamy.

Drinkability: Very nice, full-flavored, sweet but well balanced by roasted bitterness.

EPICAC, Dec 01, 2006
Photo of unclekeith
4/5  rDev -5%

unclekeith, Jan 30, 2013
Photo of ggaughan
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%

Obtained this bottle from Belgium a year or so back and sampled on St. Patrick's Day as it seemed appropriate. The beer poured a nice black body with a thick tan fluffy head that receeds but still held up well. Poured into one of my favorite Guiness glasses purchased at the Guinness brewery 7 years ago. The nose was a very nice toasted malt quality, more than in the typical pint of Guiness that we usually drink. The taste was a pure malty sweet with chocolately notes as well. The beer was very smooth and had a nice thick body that was filling. Although I enjoy the typical Guinness, this very blows the regular away.

ggaughan, Apr 14, 2007
Guinness Special Export Stout (John Martin - Belgium) from Guinness Ltd.
93 out of 100 based on 226 ratings.