Guinness Special Export Stout (John Martin - Belgium) - Guinness Ltd.
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 222 | Reviews: 153 | Display Reviews Only:
4.53/5 rDev +7.3%
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.
07-22-2004 04:15:36 | More by Bighuge
3.95/5 rDev -6.4%
Thanks! The beer is black with a frothy light brown head. The nose displays a dry roasted malt quality with a light coffee character. Smells like a nice dry stout. Alcohol is noticeable in the flavor with a moderate dry roasted grainy malt character and a touch of nutty character. The beer finishes dry and light with a touch of coffee and a lingering dry roast. The mouthfeel is full, creamy, and dry, with a lower level of high carbonation.
09-09-2010 20:49:37 | More by HopHead84
4.3/5 rDev +1.9%
Received in trade from brdc, thanks for the opportunity.
Pours a solid dark brown with garnet highlights when held to the light. Fluffy mocha head persists for a while. Smells of dark dried fruits, Grainy malt and oats. Faint chocolate and roasted malts. Bit of a sour note on the nose as well. Taste is chocolate, dried dark fruits and a sour twang with a dry finish. Roast/chocolate fill the palate long after the liquid is swallowed. Mouthfeel is creamy very coating. Body is medium to thick. Carbonation is medium to high. Great export stout! This is the one that should be sold in the States, I'd buy it often if it were more available.
11-21-2008 00:24:56 | More by johnnnniee
4.38/5 rDev +3.8%
I picked up a few bottles at the Brussels Midi station to bring back to the States, something like 2 euros each. It's always surprising how simple it can be to find my most treasured bottles so easily available in some convenience store (like Andechs beers in Munich, various Kolsch beers in Cologne, or God knows what else in Belgium).
The beer is dark brown to the point of blackness, completely opaque, with a thin mocha-hued head. The aroma is nice, big Belgian character, not too far from a BSDA. Some roasted malts but more sweet than roasty, some dark fruits like plums or figs.
The beer tastes so good, this is what I always wanted Black Albert to taste like, a Belgian stout. Definitely has Belgian character, possibly the yeast used, doesn't seem spiced at all. Sweet up front with long aftertastes of the dark fruits from the aroma. The mouthfeel is much thicker than any Guinness I've tried before, not quite syrupy but heading in that direction. Absolutely the best Guinness I've ever had, I'm so glad to have a few more to savor.
04-27-2010 02:28:16 | More by TurdFurgison
4.35/5 rDev +3.1%
Bottle that I brought back from Belgium about 2 months ago, poured into my Delirium snifter, Guinness Special Export is black with a big dark tan head, which is very dense and fluffy, with long last and tons of foamy lace.
Smell is very fruity, classic cured dark fruit Belgian esters. Very strong, prunes.
Taste is quite a bit more Belgian strong dark ale then stout, not much roast to speak of, just dark malts and fruity esters. Most acrid on the finish, more char then roast, but just enough that it can be legitimately called a stout. Really quite tasty, if not what I was expecting. The stout aspect builds on my palate as I work through the beer, but it's still very Belgian.
Mouthfeel is very dry, viscous but medium bodied.
Drinkability is pretty good, a nice Belgian stout. Much better then the regular Guinness, it actually has flavor, and it's good.
12-29-2009 02:23:53 | More by ccrida
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%
330 ml bottle, 24-11-13 00:49 printed on back label. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with a half inch tan head. Head retention is decent, and there's a good amount of lacing. The brew smells like roasted malt, licorice, bittersweet chocolate, coffee, and some caramel. I think the taste is mostly like the aroma, but there's the addition of some burnt/charred malt. It starts off bitter, but gets sweeter as the beer warms up more. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's slick and creamy with moderate carbonation. The 8% ABV is well hidden in this brew. I think it's a good overall brew, I liked it.
12-21-2012 00:03:58 | More by bluejacket74
4.1/5 rDev -2.8%
Pours jet black with a tan head. In the aroma, sweet roasted malt and a small bitterness. In the taste, roasted malts, a sweetness, a note of alcohol and a dry hop in the end. A bitter and medium to bigger bodied mouthfeel , with a dry chocolate roast in the aftertaste. It is like an imperial stout, or Guinness on steroids.
11-08-2011 12:44:21 | More by OWSLEY069
4.75/5 rDev +12.6%
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!
09-20-2005 01:54:45 | More by tavernjef
4.18/5 rDev -0.9%
Bottle that I received as an extra from Masterski. Thank you, Alex, this has been on my wants for about 2 years and I finally get a chance to drink this.
This is another first for me - this bottle actually has nutritional information on it! 0 grams of fat, 4 grams of carbs and 0.8 grams of protein per 100ml for a grand total of 64 calories per serving, best by 27 August 2010.
Pouring a very dark brown, this sits black with reddish dark brown highlights. A mocha colored head is present, dense, creamy and beautiful lacework. The nose is excellent. Licorice and molasses, there's also some spice character. The spice is a blend of yeast and licorice. Unsweetened dark chocolate syrup and a little coffee are present, but what strikes me the most is the complex yeast profile - spicy with a little clove? Some vanilla and brown sugar are also present.
The palate opens with a blend of licorice, cocoa and some spice character. Moderately yeasty, particularly on the mid-palate. The malt backbone is quite complex, with a blend of moderate roast, a little acidic burnt malt bitterness, some burnt sugar and some molasses. Drying on the finish with some yeast, this beer is medium in body with moderate carbonation. Spicy and yeasty on the finish, this is enjoyable, and I'm glad to have got the chance to drink this. Excellent
01-16-2011 01:59:44 | More by DefenCorps
3.48/5 rDev -17.5%
The color is black. It has two fingers of a beautiful cream colored foam, creamy. Good appearance.
Stout smell, intense, strong, with malty notes, liquorice, dark malts. Dark and intense notes.
The taste is strong and intense too, with a lot of liquorice, cocoa, hazelnut, and a rhubarb touch. Even some bitter roots.
It is for sure less smooth than a regular Guinness Draught, but more interesting.
Intense, strong, full.
03-10-2009 21:21:37 | More by stcules
4.15/5 rDev -1.7%
It's an interesting aroma. A light hint of roast, some yeast fruitiness and just a wisp of diacetyl. The aroma is unfortunately weak.
Very dark brown-black colour with a massive, creamy tan head. Good head retention.
The flavour is good. The roast bitterness is smooth tempered by a rich, round malt body and a hint of alcohol. Some nice fruity esters come through. Just a hint of acidity that is the trademark of the Guinness brand and a light touch of diacetyl. Solid.
Medium body with moderately low carbonation. Simple, smooth and effective. Greamy and with a nicely dried out finish.
A great beer. The alcohol is well hidden in the flavour and works effectively to temper some of the flavours. The best Guinness product I've tried.
03-08-2010 08:46:48 | More by dgilks
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
4.5/5 rDev +6.6%
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...
11-04-2003 06:06:09 | More by francisweizen
4.72/5 rDev +11.8%
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 McEwans 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. Thats 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 McEwans 1993 Christmas Ales (plus a free Glass) for just 5 this Easter the stuff of legends!
06-28-2003 16:23:21 | More by TheLongBeachBum
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
4.38/5 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
4.13/5 rDev -2.1%
My wife picked this beer up at a local supermarket in northern Italy. It pours as a deep blackish-brown liquid with a monstrously fizzy head. The head settles down quickly, but leaves some pretty lace. The aroma is fantastic...chocolate, coffee beans, very roasted grain, charcoal, and a lot of caramel. As the beer warms, a slight alcohol smell comes forth as well. The taste is solidly good. It's moderately dry, despite some notable malt flavors (quite a bit drier than the Foreign Extra Stout). There's a lot of bitterness, both from hops and also from highly roasted grains. The mouthfeel is full, thick, and satisfying. This is quite good, and easily one of the best Guinness products that I've had.
11-14-2008 20:33:35 | More by Suds
4.4/5 rDev +4.3%
Poured from a 33cL bottle into a Rochefort goblet.
A: Looks impressive. Dark, dense, and brown with acceptable head that quickly dissipates. Interesting tracing on the surface and nice lacing on the sides.
S: Rich roasted malts and hops hit the nose and hint at coffee and dark chocolates. This is what a stout should smell like. Unfortunately, this greatness does not endure and the smell fades with time.
T: Way better than normal Guinness and the best stout I've ever had. Surprisingly light and alcoholicly sweet at first, this inital flavour burst gives up ground to the dominant character of this beer...Assertive, strong bitter notes -- hops and roast coffee -- march on through the mouth, fading slowly into a balanced, pleasant, and dry aftertaste.
M: The 8% gives this stout the oomph it needs. Lightly carbonated for a pleasant tingle. Balance prevents overpowering bitterness.
D/O: As good as this beer is, it's one I wouldn't drink often. It's too distinctive and...arrogant. The strong hops add a different character to the traditional stout, and I heartily approve.
EDIT (16 June): Changed the Drinkability/Overall from 3.5 to 4.5.
06-19-2010 17:30:10 | More by AgentMunky
4.22/5 rDev 0%
Thanks to clockworkorange for sharing a bottle of this with me.
A-Deep black with just a hint of subtle chestnut highlights. A medium light tan head hangs on strong and leaves clingy lace.
S-Light chocolate and cereal grains. Not overly aromatic but certainly better than "regular" Guinness!
T-Rich and robust with bitter dark chocolate and espresso. A light touch of burnt roasted malt in the dry finish.
M-Medium body rich and satisfying with nice lingering roasted malt and earthy hop bitterness.
D-NIce. A BIG improvement over the standard stuff. Rich and roasty with a pleasant bitter bite. I wish this was more readily available...if it was I would drink Guinness more often!
01-04-2010 12:08:20 | More by Deuane
Guinness Special Export Stout (John Martin - Belgium) from Guinness Ltd.
94 out of 100 based on 222 ratings.