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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)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

159 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 159
Hads: 264
Avg: 4.21
pDev: 12.83%
Wants: 126
Gots: 41 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Guinness Ltd. visit their website

Style | ABV
Foreign / Export Stout |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: TheLongBeachBum on 06-28-2003

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 159 | Hads: 264
Photo of Overlord
4.32/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

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Photo of mdagnew
4.32/5  rDev +2.6%
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...

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Photo of patre_tim
4.55/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

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Photo of rastaman
3.72/5  rDev -11.6%
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.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.01/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

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Photo of rye726
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
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?

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Photo of WeisGuy
4.15/5  rDev -1.4%
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

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Photo of FreshHawk
4.48/5  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).

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Photo of clvand0
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

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Photo of morebeergood
4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

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Photo of aerozeppl
4.12/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.15/5  rDev -1.4%
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!

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Photo of Absumaster
4.35/5  rDev +3.3%
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!

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.15/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

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Photo of joe1510
4.52/5  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

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Photo of CwrwAmByth
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Pours nicely, with a thick head that lasts a few minutes befoe leaving a centimeter or so sitting on top. A very dark brown/black colour too.

Tastes almost as if it were a toned down Guinness foreign extra - it still has the complexity of taste and quite a strong presence of warming alcohol, though it isn't as thick and overbearing, with the alcohol toned down quite a bit.

A very good drop, which I would love to drink again.

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Photo of Damian
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank from a 33cl bottle
A consommer de preference avant fin: 23/05/08
Served in a snifter

Acquired in a trade with jastack

The beer poured a near opaque brown/black color with a creamy, bubbly, two-finger, saddle brown head that faded to a thick lasting ring. Large blocks of lacing coated the glass.

The aroma was super dry and powdery initially. Roasted grain came through strong. As the beer warmed, the nose became much more rich and complex. A sweet, dark fruit quality appeared out of nowhere. Somewhat Belgian-y. Notes of brown sugar and booze were also present.

The taste was dark and roasty. Rich malts and dark chocolate notes were quite noticeable. Fruity and semi-sweet with hints of raisins, figs and prunes. Pithy, oaky, woody and a touch smoky. Somewhat reminiscent of a Belgian strong dark ale. Burnt coffee and raisins lingered in the dry, roasty, bitter finish. A touch of booze came through as well.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied. Creamy and slick on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.

Drinkability was quite good. The sweet/dry combination in both the aroma and the flavor was rather intriguing. Furthermore, the 8% ABV was well masked by the potent and complex flavor profile.

Hands down, this was the best version of a Guinness I have yet to try. Now, if only this were available in the states.

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Photo of UnionMade
4.06/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle provided by Goodbyeohio. I saved this one for a special occassion, and review #700 sounds good to me. Huge thanks, man. Best before 04/07/06.
Pitch black, with garnet accents. Looks slightly hazy, capped with a frothy mountain of craggy, tan foam. Large bubbled lace all over the glass, looking like dish soap. Smells like what I always thought Guinness, with it's reputation, should smell like. Images of grizzled coal miners with bristling beards, clutching black pints in a smoky pub. Sturdy, frowning and unwelcoming to strangers. Browned chocolate malt, coffee notes, with a distinct wooden floral english hop profile. Fairly clean otherwise, faint treacle and booze, the hops a bit soapy. The flavor opens with brown, semi-sweet chocolate, thinner than I'd expected, with hints of caramel, licorice and molasses. Not terribly sweet, more like a slightly bumped up version of your regular Guinness Extra Stout. A bit of ale fruitiness is chased by a woody, earthy, almost metallic hop bitterness. Malty bittersweetness in the finish, providing a semi-sweet, surprisingly bitter and dry finish. A touch of medicinal, aspirin-like phenols. The sweetness rallies hard with warmth, rich with coffee and chocolate maltiness. Strong coffee flavor in the finish, particularly as it warms. Excellent bitterness, quite dry, leaving my palate stripped down for the next sip. Fairly light bodied. Modest, small bubbled carbonation very much in the UK tradition. A light whiff of alcohol, brown plastic bottle style ethanol, in my sinuses with each sip.
A huge improvement on what I know as Guinness here in the states. I do enjoy the extra stout, but the nitro draught is nearly characterless. Very nice. Strong, unforgiving flavor, what I imagine Guinness should be like. I would have preferred a thicker body, but the dryness is quite nice. Much higher marks, easily a 5, on the mouthfeel if it felt as substantial as it tastes.

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Photo of paterlodie
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

BB 04-10-06. Nice presentation with yellowbrown head and almost black beercolor. Nose is good, coffeebeans bathing in diacethyl that comes good in this brew. Litle sweetness and some yeastspice. Taste is lots of flavours but mostly burnt& coffee and bitter. Litle maltsweetness and full bodied with great bitterburnt aftertaste for good mouthfeel and yes without problem drinkable all night. Lot more taste( bitterness) then the regular and IMO better.

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Photo of MattSweatshirt
3.75/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 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.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.78/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Considering that Guinness foreign extra stout is my favorite beer of all time, when I saw this in Belgium, I had to try it.

It pours an inky opaqe black that doesnt let the tiniest amount of light through. The head is absolutely massive, the color of coffee with milk in it and lasts indefinitely. The amount of lace this beer leaves behind is ridiculous. It coats the glass like shaving cream.

The aroma is of milk chocolate and coffee with hints of hops and alcohol. The taste is very complex with big hits of dark chocolate and coffee bitterness, theres also plenty of hoppyness and an alcohol zing (which is very mild, though definitely more noticeable than the Foreign Extra Stout, which my favorite beer ever). The taste is incredibly luscious and well balanced.

The mouthfeel is very smooth and thick as can be. It coats your mouth and throat. The sheer viscosity fights incessantly with its ample carbonation for your palate's attention.

This is as close to a perfect stout (with the exception of F.E.S.) as I have yet tried. Its a testament to what a cool place Belgium is that Guinness would brew a beer like this especially for its markets.

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Photo of brdc
4.6/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Small capped bottle. Poured into a snifter.

It is almost pitch black, except for some faint reddish-brown highlights on the edges; tan fluffy head occupies a large part of the top of the glass, slowly comes down leaving an enormous amount of lacing on its wake.
Aroma comes right out as you pour it, vibrant but not overpowering, dark fruits that somehow feel fresh, coffee and lots of chocolate, but milk chocolate, not bittersweet.
Medium bodied but easy going, it starts relatively sweet with the same milk chocolate notes, evolving into some fruitiness and then turning quite dry and roasted, which lingers a long time.
Easily the best Guiness out there, and a very nice midway between the extremely flavorful but "poorly drinkable" imperials and the less flavorful but quaffable "regular" stouts. Lots of flavor but still goes down easy.

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Photo of eduardolinhalis
4.28/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle served in a chalice.

A: Pours a beautiful deep black color with a huge beige head that dissipates quite quickly leaving a lot of lacings

S: Great smell of roasted malts is simply fantastic here! Really. The high ABV gives it a special liquorous smell. Notes of coffee, dark chocolate, wood, Guinness hops

T: Follows the nose. Strong on roasted malts. Notes of coffee, dark chocolate, vanilla. Sweet upfront and a good stingy roasted earthy hoppy bitter end :)

M: Full body. Creamy. Molasses. Medium carbonation and delightly bitter aftertaste

O: Absolutely drinkable despite the high ABV. Excelent Stout. No mistake here

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Photo of TheSarge
4.45/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Guinness Special Export pours jet black, and forms massive amounts of toasted almond colored head. Reddish hues are barely detectable on the bottom rim of the glass.

Aroma characteristics of semisweet chocolate and coffee, and the alcohol is slightly detectable with a boozy smell.

This tastes of rich dark semisweet chocolate, very rich in cocoa flavors.

This feels coarse and finishes quite dry. It feels like I'm eating something more so than drinking a beer.

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Photo of taez555
4.45/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased the bottle in Amsterdam Aug ‘04, sampled in Oct ’04

This beer poured a thick pillowy dark tan head with an opaque black body.

The nose was a rich chocolate smell mixed with malt and some soft smoke.

Medium to full bodied. A dark rich chocolate taste. Not a milk or unsweetened type chocolate, but a DARK chocolate taste. Like those little bars you used to get at Halloween that you didn’t like as much as Mr. Goodbar or Krackel. A very Belgian style yeast flavor mixed with that classic Guinness burnt roasted barley flavor. You can really taste the bigger alcohol in this baby. There’s a slight burnt wood taste as well, even a hint of dry bark. It has some bitterness but for the most part it’s the roasted barley bitterness doing the bitter thang.

Ok, imagine Guinness stout mixed with chimay blue. Bam, you’ve got special export. Quite simple a damn good beer that you can’t get in the USA. What is wrong with this world?

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Guinness Special Export Stout (John Martin - Belgium) from Guinness Ltd.
93 out of 100 based on 159 ratings.