Guinness Special Export Stout (John Martin - Belgium) - Guinness Ltd.
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Ratings: 221 | Reviews: 153 | Display Reviews Only:
4.38/5 rDev +3.8%
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.
02-13-2009 03:16:03 | More by khiasmus
District of Columbia
4.25/5 rDev +0.7%
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.
12-08-2009 19:53:27 | More by Nickls
4.58/5 rDev +8.5%
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.
04-24-2009 13:04:41 | More by RuudJH
3.93/5 rDev -6.9%
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.
06-07-2010 17:23:42 | More by ThaCreep
4.5/5 rDev +6.6%
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...
07-27-2005 21:33:41 | More by BrewMaster
4.35/5 rDev +3.1%
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.
04-22-2009 01:18:35 | More by ThatWineGuy
4.8/5 rDev +13.7%
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.
06-16-2005 12:03:42 | More by GeoffFromSJ
4.35/5 rDev +3.1%
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!
02-08-2012 21:24:42 | More by Douberd
4/5 rDev -5.2%
Now this I never expect to get a hold of. But after seeing it in a convenience store in Brussels, I knew I had one of my hardest finds.
APPEARANCE: Pours into an English style pub glass black in color with a 2-finger high light-tan head. The bubbles are both tight and loose and slowly dissipate to a full coating of foam with some spotty lacing dotting the glass.
SMELL: Not very aromatic at all, but the dark chocolate aroma I am getting are extremely rich. It's coupled with a slight smell of dry, acrid, black malt. That's about it though.
TASTE: My initial 2 word reaction to this beer is completely contradictory - flavorless and complex. It's got such a dry stout profile going on that it fails to deliver the rich robustness of a foreign extra stout. But the dry black malt flavor is so nice. It adds such depth and dimension to this beer that is found in no other. It really contributes most of the bitterness to this beer. Other than that, there's some raw cocoa and a hint of sweetness on the end. One thing I will say: I can tell it's a Guinness product.
MOUTHFEEL: Medium bodied with a slightly below average carbonation. No complaints here other than maybe it could've had a bit more body.
DRINKABILITY: I was on the fence here until I noticed it's listed at 8%. Holy crap, I never would've guessed! This does go down really nicely though a second bottle probably wouldn't be in order.
Wow, this is not what I was expecting, but it certainly was a nice surprise. All the different names for the different varieties of Guinness can get confusing, so I'd just call this "Guinness - The Good One"
08-29-2009 22:26:30 | More by jmalex
3.95/5 rDev -6.4%
A - Very dark brown, nearly opaque. Big, long lasting tannish head with little lacing.
S - Roasty, chocolatey dark malts. A little bit bready. Big raisiny nose.
F/M - Bready, roasty, caramelly malts with a firm typical Guinness bitterness. Classic Guinness house flavor in the dry finish. Lingering chocolatey roast malt flavors. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.
O - Much better than Guinness Draught, roasty and chocolatey and much more bold. Still has the classic Guinness taste, but much more satisfying.
06-10-2011 05:16:20 | More by domtronzero
4.2/5 rDev -0.5%
A - A super dark red beer with a good beige head, that unfortunately retracts to a small layer.
S - Coffee and dark chocolate. There is also some strange scent prickling my nose which I cannot bring home.
T - Again coffee and chocolate - a nice dry bitter beer.
M - Medium carbonation and a medium dry finish and thickness.
O - A good stout totally nothing wrong here.
12-19-2011 18:04:26 | More by Mar02x
5/5 rDev +18.5%
Poured in a half pint Guinness glass. Black colour and the usual big brownish Guinness head that last until the last sip. Complex aroma of coffee, licorice, cream, butter, prunes, raisins, rum, rosted notes, spicy, nutmeg... the lot. Taste is coffee, licorice, rum, figs, rosted, nutmeg, raisins... the lot again. Alcoholic coffee flavor. Great.
09-18-2007 19:32:32 | More by janubio
4.6/5 rDev +9%
Guinness Special Export Stout | 330 ml | 8.0% ABV | vintage
Brewer: Guinness Ltd.
Style: Foreign / Export Stout
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.
Pours a beautiful matte black with a fine mocha head of 1". Great lacing.
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.
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.
Remarkably creamy and well-carbonated. It carresses the tongue like a sudden brush of silk against supple skin.
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
06-25-2010 01:21:09 | More by BeerNemesis
3.33/5 rDev -21.1%
Poured dark brown with a tan/brown pillowy head. Looked quite appetizing and the head stayed thick and present for as long as I was drinking the beer. The best part of the beer by far was its gorgeous appearance... a little more lacing would have made it a 5.
Smell: Caramel, roasted coffee, and dark chocolate combine to create a pleasant aroma. There is a noticeable hop aroma as well, but it doesn't carry over into the taste.
Taste: Dark chocolate dominates with a hint of careml in the background. It tastes noticeably like a guinness stout, and only marginally better than their other products. I had high expectations that were let down by how one-dimensional this turned out to be. The alcohol was well hidden, but the taste seemed almost entirely made up of roasted barley. There was, however, a slight taste of fruits during one of my sips, but that passed quickly and I did not taste it again.
Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy at first with a delayed roasted bitterness that becomes quite intense. The alcohol presence is subtle but adds to the complexity giving an almost balanced mouthfeel.
Drinkability: the intense roasted bitterness and alcohol would make it better if ther was more complexity in the taste. It's almost an RIS, but too simple and not interesting enough.
07-05-2009 15:54:29 | More by dbalsock
4.28/5 rDev +1.4%
Pours a very dark brown/black colour, with light brown edges when held up to the light....
About a 2" head forms after an aggressive pour, which recedes to a solid 1/2" tan layer.
Smell is of dark malts....smokey, chocolate, vanilla, some coffee....
Feels like a Thanksgiving gravy on the tongue.
Taste is chocolate, lots of dark malt, an bitter coffee bite at the end.
Great. I wish all the Guinness Draught drinkers could give this a try....
11-26-2008 21:58:06 | More by darklordlager
3.65/5 rDev -13.5%
A - Pours black with 2 inches of tan head, which leaves some rings of lacing as it falls.
S - Chocolate, coffee, roast malt, alcohol
T - Large amount of roast malts at first, with some chocolate and coffee coming through. Alcohol warmth comes through in the aftertaste.
M - Creamy, full, smooth, surprising amount of carbonation.
D - Much better than the original and worth a try.
06-22-2006 15:16:10 | More by haz77
Guinness Special Export Stout (John Martin - Belgium) from Guinness Ltd.
94 out of 100 based on 221 ratings.