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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

229 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 229
Reviews: 154
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 9.76%
Wants: 108
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
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Ratings: 229 | Reviews: 154 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of msubulldog25
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
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.

msubulldog25, Sep 25, 2006
Photo of Metalmonk
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not being quite as big a Guinness fan as many others out there, I was happy to get my hands on this one (thanks to msubulldog25!). I'd heard this was a great one, and it is. I just wonder why the hell it's all but impossible to acquire west of the Atlantic?!

Pours out looking like a regular Guinness stout, with a creamy head and an opaque ruby-hued black.

Aroma is fruity, milky sweet, some chocolate, some cocoa, and something that reminds of a Scottish Ale (musty? peaty?).

A plethora of flavors arrive within the first few sips: smoke, burnt grains, figs, other dark fruits, dark chocolate, pumpernickel, coffee. The mouthfeel is frothy, foamy, tight and bubbly.

A joy to enjoy. It gives you lots to contemplate and grapple with in the flavor, where it counts most. The most impressive and enjoyable that I've had from the Guinness family. Bring it over here!

Metalmonk, Oct 03, 2007
Photo of Boto
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

33cl bottle: I saw this sitting on a shelf in a store in France and new right away there was something out of the ordinary. The bottle said "8%ABV". Closer inspection revealed this to be the Belgian version. You can tell this is different from "normal" Guinness as soon as you open the bottle. There is much more of an aroma than you are used to. The beer pours a dark brown color. There is no hint of ruby color to it if you hold it up to the light as in standard Guinness. The aroma is much stronger. It contains notes of roastiness and chocolate. Possibly a hint of licorice (I was getting something sweet). Similar to normal Guinness in taste, but much more rich, with the flavors much more prevalent. More chocolate notes than the original. Still very creamy and silky.

Boto, Jan 03, 2005
Photo of Ciocanelu
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Ciocanelu, Jan 31, 2013
Photo of bobsy
3.65/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice appearance, with a jet black body and a light tan head, which has good retention an deposits globs of lacing on the glass. Dry roasted grain aroma mixing in with cocoa. The taste is fine, but by no means spectacular. Kinda reminds me of a slightly amped up Irish dry stout. Prominent oak and stale coffee flavours, mixed in with cocoa powder. Some hints of fruit and sugar, but overall very dry. Medium mouthfeel and carbonation. Alcohol isn't even perceptible.

This didn't really impress me that much. While it is a decent beer its not in the same class as other foreign/export stouts, and it didn't have the richness of flavour I look for.

bobsy, Sep 13, 2009
Photo of Floydster
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330 ml bottle purchased from Cracked Kettle in Amsterdam for a few bucks, consumed 12/30/08, reviewed from notes, drank from a Dogfish Head snifter, color is a very dark brown that is almost black, 3/4 inch creamy beige head that had good retention, nice lacing at first, aroma consists of sweetness, hazelnuts, roasted barley, other nutty scents, mild coffee and dark chocolate, and light bread, taste starts off a lot sweeter than I would expect a Guiness to, a little chewy in the middle, lots of underlying chocolate once it warms, more malts and spice continue to come out as it warms, really enjoyed the nuttiness in this brew, chewy, slightly sweet, sticky, and mildly roasted mouthfeel, moderate level of carbonation, taste lingers well, went down easy for an eight percent beer, alcohol was hidden, smooth and not near as dry as its normal version which I am used to, good drinkability, significantly better than the normal Guinness I am used to drinking, wish this stuff was available here, would enjoy drinking again, recommended

Floydster, Feb 12, 2009
Photo of kmpitz2
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a jet black color with a finger of tan head that persists nicely over top of the brew. Very opaque. Nose is big in dark fruits, light chocolate, creamyness. Good residual sweetness. Nice nose. Flavor is chocolate with a light infusion of fig. Very creamy tasting. Light bitterness hangs on the end. Tasty beer. Feel is Thick, smooth, almost silky, with a moderate carbonation. Overall, this is a good drink. Well balanced and proportioned. Very good feel. No hint of 8% anywhere.

kmpitz2, Nov 19, 2005
Photo of Overlord
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown, black core. Large whipped cream looking light tan head. Very long lasting foam.

Smells like roast coffee and vanilla. Taste is roast, and more roast, of malt, bitter chocolate, and some vanilla. There's an acrid twang that adds a sour note to the after-taste, it's pleasant at first, then a bit offputting.

Mouthfeel is thin, but overall, an excellent beer.

Thanks to brdc for the trade.

Overlord, Sep 06, 2008
Photo of kwjd
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

kwjd, Feb 10, 2014
Photo of rastaman
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Looks delicious, deep brown to black, really compact head, tight bubbles. Didn't like the aroma so much (oily, buttery mollasses. Fat toffee and roast, thick and rich. Very long roasty finish, quite bitter. Some mollases and raisins aswell, very thick mouthfeel. Beautiful rich, bitter chocolate finish. A beautifully rich stout.

rastaman, Sep 18, 2003
Photo of Jeffo
3.9/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this at the bottle shop down the road from me.

From a bottle into a snifter

APPEARANCE: Pours black with some nice carbonation effect after the initial pour. Afterwards, no carbonation evident at all. A big three finger medium tan head fades relatively slowly into a thin film. Some lacing evident.

SMELL: Dark fruits initially, with some roasted barley malt and some black licorice. Nose is alright and powerful enough.

TASTE: Mirrors nose somewhat. Roasted barley malt with a smoky component as well up front, with some bitter hops and chocolate flavors through the finish. A touch of alcohol at the end, but well controlled. Alcohol and bitterness in a strong and longer lasting aftertaste. Good stuff for sure.

PALATE: Medium-thick body and pretty creamy on the palate. Carbonation is there but balanced well. Goes down smooth but finishes with a bit of a bite. A slight bit of stickiness lingers. Good here.

OVERALL: Obviously this is a very different beer than their pub draft; they are not comparable and are not meant to be compared. I could see how someone who loves the pub draft would not like this. Too bad, because this is a great beer on its own right. It's certainly drinkable, and the nose is sharp and impressive. Looks and feels great too. This is a perfect example of how good Gunniess can be. One I'll re-visit. Recommended.

Jeffo, Nov 02, 2008
Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A 33cl bottle poured into a standard shaker glass. Out of the fridge and allowed to warn up for at least 15 minutes. Shared with Deuane. The stout appears a dark and opaque brown color with about two fingers of creamy, lingering ecru foam. There is no evidence of this beer clocking in at 8% judging by the aroma and flavor. Notes of bittersweet chocolate, medium roasted coffee beans, caramel, a touch of vanilla, milk chocolate, pipe tobacco are all present. This stout falls somewhere between medium and full bodied with adequate carbonation. It's a shame this one is such a bitch to obtain because it's mighty drinkable.

ClockworkOrange, Jun 16, 2009
Photo of rye726
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown, near black, with a creamy tan head. Good lace.

Musky Hops, big malt structure, spicy Blegian yeast and

Chocolate, black ,roasted and wheat malts complimented well by earthy hops. Good peppery yeast presence with dark fruits and candy.

Full with a nice dry finish. Nice light carbonation.

This is what Guinness should be. Why do they even bother making anything else?

rye726, Feb 14, 2008
Photo of clvand0
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one pours a dark color with a medium head that falls fast but leaves some nice lacing on the glass. The aroma is pretty strong with dark malts, some slight fruit and a tiny bit of alcohol. The flavor is much the same - dark malts, an alcohol bite, and some slight fruitiness. Has a certain strength that you don't get from standard Guinness. Mouthfeel is on the light end of thick and the drinkability is good.

clvand0, Nov 22, 2005
Photo of mdagnew
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml Bottle bought from The Vineyard, Belfast

Poured a deep dark red colour with slight hint of brown when held up to light... Head was big and foamy. Colour was creamy tan - lasted quite a long time...

Aroma - Strong roasted malts, coffee, dark chocolate, slight spiciness, nuttiness...

Taste – Nice roasted maltiness, dark fruits (prunes, raisins), peppery, vanilla hints, strong coffee...

Feel - Quite smooth and creamy. Medium carbonation...

Overall - An exceptional stout, highly recommended. If only all Guiness was as good as this...

mdagnew, Oct 31, 2005
Photo of aerozeppl
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to drseamus for this.

A: Looks black with brown around the edges. Minimal brown head.

S: Little bit funky. A little roasty. Belgian yeast. Swetness behind it.

T: Very roasty. Nice sweetness. More of a Belgian beer than a stout. Best Guinness I have ever had.

M: Very dry. Makes sense considering the origin of this beer.

D: Very nice. Not quite top 100 for me but a damn good beer. Again the best Guinness I have ever had.

aerozeppl, Dec 08, 2008
Photo of Absumaster
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a deep black color with a creamy, fine bubbled head that clings to the glass and leaves rings with every sip.

Smell is burned, roasted with some smokiness. There is a slight tartness in there which gives the beer that extra kick.

Taste is burned with some roasted malt notes, which remind me of liquorice and give the beer a good malt bitterness. Hop bitterness is also present and makes the beer pretty intense. The tartness in the smell is also coming back in the taste and makes a nice combination with the bitterness and roast flavors. This beer is a classic!

Absumaster, Feb 24, 2007
Photo of bonbini26
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%

bonbini26, Jun 24, 2013
Photo of orbitalr0x
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

33cl bottle.

Deep dark pour that borders on black with garnet highlights when held to the light. A half inch of tan foam leaves some spotty lacing as it falls. Aromas start out with clean roasted malts along with chocolate accents. There's a slight sour / lactic edge along with dark fruits and big molasses. Caramel and licorice hints work in as well with just a touch of coffee.

First sip brings dark roasted malts upfront leading into a mix of bold molasses and licorice flavors with toffee undertones. Dark fruits meander in and out as it flows down along with a coffee/cream flavor that's just a touch sour. Finishes off with a nice lingering malty roasted flavor.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth...there's quite a bit more malt body here than in the standard Guinness we see in stores in the U.S. that is for sure. Good steady carbonation makes this one a treat. Overall, if this was the Guinness I could buy in the store here I'd be buying it quite a bit more often! Thanks to clvand0 for sending this one my way.

orbitalr0x, Apr 11, 2009
Photo of brewandbbq
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 1999

Poured thick and black, with a dense tan head.
Chewy nose filled with roasted coffee beans and dark chocolate, laced with smoke and old leather.
Cocoa dusted bacon bits in an aged wingtip.
Thick, viscous mouthfeel. Wraps around your tongue and doesn't let go. Creamy and smooth.
Rich, full, pallet- loaded with the essense of Guinness, but concentrated.
Chocolate cake batter, espresso, and a rauche-like complexity.
Finishes slow with plenty of grip, minimal bitterness and no distinguishable alcohol.
Best before 2000? Ha!

brewandbbq, Dec 16, 2005
Photo of WeisGuy
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a - pours a dark brown, not quite black with a sizable tan head with decent retention and lacing

s - dark roasted malts with some dark chocolate, lots of caramel sweetness with some dark fruits

t - dark malts dominate, but there are notes of dark fruits and caramel, surprisingly sweet in the body with mild bitterness in the finish, not much alcohol detectable

m - medium-bodied, moderate carbonation

d - pretty drinkable, fairly easy on the palate and the alcohol is not overwhelming

This is many steps up from the Guinness everyone is used to; nothing transcendental, but very good nontheless; very solid stout that I would love drink regularly

WeisGuy, Sep 17, 2007
Photo of FreshHawk
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Deep black with some ruby hues especially at the edge. Gigantic, thick, foamy, creamy, meringue-like, light beige head. Great retention with a good lacing left. Very nice looking beer.

S - A touch faint, but a good amount of licorice, some fruit, also some mocca/espresso. These go along with the general roasted malt and chocolate. Has a bit of a BSDA smell.

T - It starts off with a bit of a roasted malt taste. This quickly gives to a BSDA-like flavor. There is a good amount of licorice, dark fruits, and some Belgian yeast. Then more stout flavors come out. A bit more roasted malt, along with some chocolate, mocca, burnt sugar/caramel, molasses, licorice, a bit of earthiness, and some lactose sweetness. Somewhat bitter, somewhat sweet, and a little warming alcohol presence all mix throughout the sip.

M - Medium body with average carbonation. Smooth and rich taste. Not quite as full and thick/chewy as I would have liked, but not bad really, the rest of the beer just set the bar pretty high.

D - Easy to drink and makes me coming back for more. A large diversity of flavors that mix well, and are easy on the palate. Well balanced and is smooth. Only probably for drinking multiple ones in a sitting is the ABV, which is pretty well hidden.

Notes: A very nice beer, too bad Guinness doesn't make more beer like this, or at least have this beer distributed to a larger area. Taste like a mix of a BSDA and a stout. A lot of different flavors that intertwine and mesh nicely. Glad to have tried this (and on St. Patrick's Day too).

FreshHawk, Mar 17, 2010
Photo of patre_tim
4.56/5  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.

patre_tim, Jun 20, 2014
Photo of morebeergood
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried this beer for the first time last year in Belgium. It was being sold in a convenience store for 1 Euro each. More recently, I was surprised to be sitting in a bar in Milan last month and saw this offered. It was 7 Euros for the bottle, but I was on vacation, and a second chance to have this beer sounded good.
Best glass I could get from the bartender was a mug. Oh well. When poured into a glass, it looks like normal Guinness. The smell, also, has that really roasted, bitter scent. But the flavor is way different, in a much better way. It's so much flavorful than normal Guinness. Flavors of chocolate and coffee are everywhere. It has a creaminess and, at the same time, a smoothness that is remarkable. At no point do you think that you are drinking an 8% beer. It's a shame this beer is not available in the States. I guess that makes it more of a treat when you find it overseas.

morebeergood, Sep 16, 2008
Photo of joe1510
4.51/5  rDev +7.4%
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

joe1510, Aug 19, 2013
Guinness Special Export Stout (John Martin - Belgium) from Guinness Ltd.
93 out of 100 based on 229 ratings.