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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

238 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 238
Reviews: 154
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 10.02%
Wants: 110
Gots: 22 | 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: 238 | Reviews: 154 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DavidHume
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

DavidHume, Jul 30, 2014
Photo of kmo1030
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
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 cypressbob
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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 +2.6%
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 rekel
5/5  rDev +19.3%

rekel, Nov 28, 2011
Photo of hansavijaticar
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%

hansavijaticar, Jul 11, 2014
Photo of unclekeith
4/5  rDev -4.5%

unclekeith, Jan 30, 2013
Photo of dedrinker
3.73/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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 +3.8%
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 everetends
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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 BJSmit
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%

BJSmit, Feb 22, 2014
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%.

BlindPig, Jul 25, 2007
Photo of EPICAC
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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 ggaughan
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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
Photo of philipquarles
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

philipquarles, Aug 12, 2008
Photo of khiasmus
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
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 Nickls
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice enough looking brew, and it is not as 'black' as some of versions of Guinness that I've sampled; very deep, dark mahogany that verges on black, just not black; really great retention on the head that started as a nice creamy and a little bubbly tan head with some sticky lacing down the side of the glass.

Lightly sweet maltiness starts out first; then the roastiness comes in; a little hint of smoke and sweet tobacco; pretty nice aroma.

Punch of roasted malts; bit of a booze burn on the tongue coupled with the roasted malts; not really alcoholic in the taste; just a very nice warming on the palate and the back of the throat; really dark chocolate hints come in at the finish; some burlap as well.

Creamier, and very soft carbonation. A really warming 8% and I think that has to do with how roasty the malts come through in this. Really delicious, and it's a shame that this is not readily available in the US. Like some of the other export variants, this is what Guinness should be. Really good stuff.

Nickls, Dec 08, 2009
Photo of gonzo000
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

gonzo000, Aug 06, 2014
Photo of mmmbeerNY
4/5  rDev -4.5%

mmmbeerNY, Jun 03, 2014
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.

RuudJH, Apr 24, 2009
Photo of ThaCreep
3.93/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Color black with dark brown. The charred malt feels strongly, it offers scents of caramel brown, bitter coffee and a little toffee. The entry on the palate is alcoholic, slightly burnt and it offers, tasting, sour and bitter tingling that spread in the finish, added a powerful lasting bitterness. Good command of such export stout, well balanced and offers a nice range of flavors, it is the archetype without sublimate kind. Heady, strong and powerfully bitter, it is quickly exhilarating.

ThaCreep, Jun 07, 2010
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...

BrewMaster, Jul 27, 2005
Photo of ThatWineGuy
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
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 GeoffFromSJ
4.8/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Believe the hype. This is a tremendous stout.

Appearance: Black as night with just a little bit of ruby coming through at the bottom of the glass. Volumnous head. Big lacing til the end.

Smell: chocolate malt. It smells like someone opened up a bag of dark malt, except less intense.

Taste: Strong dark chocolate malt tastes with some vinous Russian Imperial Stout tastes poking through. Esp. when you are at the end of a sip.

Mouthfeel is perfect, esp. as it warms up a tad.

Drinkability: extremely good esp. given the alcohol percentage of 8%.

Now, I don't want to be stereotypical. "This is sooo good and you can't get any." This is great. But if you have good imperial stouts near you, you should content yourself. That speaks to how good this beer is, when I can easily compare it to the imperial stout style.

GeoffFromSJ, Jun 16, 2005
Guinness Special Export Stout (John Martin - Belgium) from Guinness Ltd.
93 out of 100 based on 238 ratings.