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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

234 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 234
Reviews: 154
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 10%
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: 234 | Reviews: 154 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of UnionMade
4.05/5  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.

UnionMade, Oct 24, 2005
Photo of samEBC
4/5  rDev -4.8%

samEBC, Jan 21, 2012
Photo of paterlodie
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

paterlodie, Jul 27, 2005
Photo of MacStinson
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

MacStinson, Jul 20, 2013
Photo of brdc
4.58/5  rDev +9%
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.

brdc, Jun 04, 2008
Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
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.

CAMRAhardliner, Aug 21, 2004
Photo of safaricook
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

safaricook, Mar 23, 2013
Photo of Damian
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

Damian, Mar 02, 2009
Photo of eduardolinhalis
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
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

eduardolinhalis, May 08, 2010
Photo of TheSarge
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

TheSarge, Jun 04, 2009
Photo of CwrwAmByth
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

CwrwAmByth, Jun 29, 2011
Photo of taez555
4.45/5  rDev +6%
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?

taez555, Nov 02, 2004
Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.68/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle with a slightly different longer neck. The liquid is dark brown as you pour the dark liquid has blood red hue gripping the side of the glass. The head is nice, 2 big full fingers, tan with a rocky surface and leaving very good lace.

The smell is great sweet roasted malt, dark, chocolaty with a note of espresso and dark bread.

The taste is better then any Irish style stout I have ever had. This great brew is far superior to any regularly available. Rich chocolate is the heavy with other flavors like coffie and toasted dark rye bread. Wow is this great.

The mouthfeel is good but could be a little thicker.

The drinkability is very very good. I wish I did not have to go back to reg. Guinness. This brew is great.

Many thanks to AxlLives for letting me try this rare and excellent brew.
Prosit und Zum Wohl, MK

MuenchenerKindl, Mar 18, 2007
Photo of BeerResearcher
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap 10oz glass at Belgian Beer Paradise in Tijuca Rio, of all places.
It pours the familiar coal tar black with a voluminous tan head and lots of sticky rimmed lacing.
First noticeable smell is smoked peat and a just opened can of coffee. This Guinness, though also has a distinct whiff of Kalua.
A nice taste of slightly burnt brown bread with a touch of molasses sweetness is upfront. A taste of rolled oats and a dry cardboard-like flavor is omnipresent, though more subdued.
A taste of Kalua lasts throughout and remains on the breath for a while.
This is a flavorful stout, yet goes down velvety smooth.

BeerResearcher, May 25, 2005
Photo of mmmbeer
4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330 mL bottle, purchased in Rome in November '07. Best by 12/13/08, sampled 6/1/09. It pours quite black, with two thick fingers of voluminous head that pits and becomes dense as it recedes, while leaving loads of fine lacing. Very fruity and aromatic, with soft chocolate, mild coffee and an odd, ashy note that is not necessarily off-putting. Chocolate and mild fruitiness on the palate, woody?, with roasty, ashy and coffee notes, earthy malts, green hops and a sturdy bitterness. In the background, it's the same ol' Guinness, but, oddly, it lacks the light sour note one usually finds in the flagship beer. It is dry, with medium body, ample carbonation, and a very smooth, mildly bitter finish. This is a damn fine beer, one which belies its 8%, and one that has held up quite well despite all the traveling and time this bottle has been subject to.

mmmbeer, Mar 08, 2010
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4/5  rDev -4.8%

DoubleSimcoe, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.55/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to goryshkewych for this one!

This one looks black at a glance, but a nice, nutty red wine comes through when held to the light. The head is an irregular tan film.

Smells of molasses, pungent sour coffee, cherry pie and sour grains.

Tastes of a similar blend of molasses, caramel, red grapes and day old coffee.

Feels a tad viscous with a frothy carbonation that appears out of nowhere and jams things up a bit.

Fun to try, but not one I'll seek out again.

DarkerTheBetter, May 10, 2008
Photo of goodbyeohio
3.93/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

thanks shaughn256 for the taste

11.2 oz bottle. pour is a bit difficult.. not knowing what to expect, i pour this into an imperial pint. familiar guinness cascade of bubbles stops 1/10th of the way through and sits there with an 8-finger head. definitely a different beer composition here. slightly seethru.. black with brownish foam, dissolving slowly into crusty craters leaving dank lacing on the glass. smells like marzipan and fruity yeast. not at all what i expect from a guinness, but very mouthwatering nonetheless. significantly thinner and fluffier. flavor is deep and complex, only playing partially off what irish/american guinness represents in its trademark roasted bitterness. alcohol strength and slight banana/floral character help to balance a significantly less chalky big bitterness. lactosian creamy sweetness emerges with warmth.

a better version of a beer that i thought was subpar to begin with. good mouthfeel but doesn't stand up to the familiar nitro smoothness when consumed from a not-so-fresh standard bottle. just as drinkable if not moreso than the original. glad i got a chance to try this crazy bastardization of a beer.

goodbyeohio, Aug 30, 2005
Photo of kbrown
3/5  rDev -28.6%

kbrown, Sep 20, 2014
Photo of phishbone23
3/5  rDev -28.6%

phishbone23, Jan 23, 2013
Photo of coldmeat23
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

GLASS: Imperial Pint Glass
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 45 degrees

Dark, dark brown. Verging on blackness. Medium pour produces a massive 5-finger head of thick creamy tan foam. About a full finger of it was standing above the rim of the glass. Excellent retention and amazing lacing.

Butterey caramel and coffee with a touch of chocolate. Dark fruits. English toffee. Vanilla extract.

Nice roasted malts upfront. Sweet vanilla caramel follows. Nice dark fruit hints. Finishes with the bite of burnt coffee grounds. Hides it's alcohol quite well, even though it does provide a slight bit of warmth.
Much more complex than the more readily available version.

Feels good, but is not quite as creamy and velvet-like as it's relative. Still great compared to others in the same style, but could stand to be a bit thicker and richer.

Very drinkable, in general. Would rate higher if not for that nasty bite, at the end. Still, I wish I could bet better access to this.

coldmeat23, Oct 30, 2008
Photo of eric5bellies
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

eric5bellies, Aug 07, 2014
Photo of pwoods
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to tprokop7 for sending this rare extra and finally knocking if off my wants list.

33cl. brown bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours pitch black with a large creamy mocha head with some pretty decent retention. Nice lacing throughout.

S: Lots of roasty aromas backed by some cream notes. There's a definite lactic smell throughout, close to a milk stout. Plenty of sweetness, maybe some vanilla.

T/M: Nicely roasted malts, not too bitter but nicely balanced. More of the somewhat big lactic notes. Pretty sweet with more of the vanilla. Has a pretty dry finish that kind of tastes like necco wafers. Light, milky, chocolately notes in the back that come out further as it warms. Body is medium with nicely smooth carbonation. A bit of alcohol comes out as it warms and adds a nice touch. If not at room temperature, you'd never guess this at 8%.

D: Pretty easily drinkable and 8% isn't much of a factor. Very glad I got to try this. Thanks Todd!

pwoods, Apr 07, 2009
Photo of Naerhu
4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Robbeer for carrying this beer all the way to Japan for me.

This beer is more of a belgian beer in flavor and alcohol than it is Irish. The difference is more than just the difference of 0.5% alcohol. They must be using a belgian yeast.

Espresso crema. Pitch black body.
Extremely vinous black malty aroma.
The flavor is massive and fruity. If only all belgians where as bitter as this, I might understand what the big deal about belgians are.
Very oily mouth feel, but not in a bad way.

Unlike any other guinness product, this is not to be had with food as its intensity and long lasting flavor will overpower any food. This is a stand alone desert beer.

Naerhu, May 23, 2004
Photo of Nunya
2.99/5  rDev -28.8%

Nunya, Sep 20, 2014
Guinness Special Export Stout (John Martin - Belgium) from Guinness Ltd.
93 out of 100 based on 234 ratings.