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)

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

245 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 245
Reviews: 155
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 10.02%
Wants: 111
Gots: 23 | 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)
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Ratings: 245 | Reviews: 155 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bobsy
3.65/5  rDev -12.9%
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.

Photo of Traquairlover
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

33cl bottle poured into a tulip. Marked 07.12.08 (which I assume means bottled on Pearl Harbor Day, 7 December 2008). Drank 9 Sept 2009. Thanks to coldmeat23 for this bottle.

A = Pours a dark mahogany, not quite opaque, when held to the light it has a clear redwood look, head pours very large and sturdy in a light tan color, composed of mostly small bubbles, decent retention and leaves heavy lacing as it slowly dissipates into a 1/4 cover of foam and small bubbles on surface.

S = Some cocoa powder but though prevalent that is not the primary smell I get, or rather it is closely joined with a whipped cream and light sugared coffee, also present are some good fruity smells of plums and similar dark fruits.

T = Very sweet flavors on the front of the tongue but bitterness builds thought the drink until a nice mixture of bitter-sweet in a long finish. There is both sweetened cocoa powder and bitter, sour dark chocolate, light hints of dark pumpernickel bread. Great mix of sweet and sour. This is what Guinness should taste like.

M = Medium-heavy body, smooth, thick & creamy feel, good mouthcoating, carbonation is present but mostly of a smooth foamy quality, not a stinging biting bubbling type.

D = This is a sipper, but it really is very good. I like taking each drink and I would definitely like another.

Photo of jmalex
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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"

Photo of everetends
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

33 cl bottle I received as a very suprising extra in a trade with HogWildLiquor. Can't thank him enough. Been wanting to get my hands on this beer for quite a while now and here it is in my pint glass.

A: Has a great appearance which is what you expect from a Guinness. Its not a Guinness unless it has an impressive appearance and this beer is no different. Have a seemingly thick pour that builds a really nice black body. Held to the light, I am not getting any light coming through. Maybe at the bottom of the glass a little light makes it a dark brown in color there, but otherwise this beer is pretty damned black. The pour got me a perfect two fingers of creamy tan head. That head falls slowly to a half finger, lasting top cap that throws up some morphing blobs of lace on the glass. No disappointment here.

S: Well it smells . . . like a Guinness with just a bit more. Very dark malts, maybe a bit more heavy on the chocolate and caramel presence than the normal offering. There is a little bit of a lactose presence as well. Dark fruits, maybe some dark cherry hints and some prune. Finally there is very much a brown sugar and molasses heft here. Just smells like a bakers pantry. Not bad at all.

T: Takes the aroma and runs a bit further. The malts are on point. Absolutely some chocolate in here that is mixing with some caramel and coffee goodness. Milky layering in here as well brings the lactose sugars. Absolutely some molasses and brown sugar mixing with some light spice (almost a dark rum maybe?). There is absolutely some dark cherry lingering in the background and maybe a little more fruit but I can't pick it out. Yeasty earthiness rounds all this out. Wow, I am digging this more than I expected.

M: Maybe a heavy medium to a light full body? Its definitely in between there. It has some weight but it doesn't get crazy. Carbonation is medium, just as expected from a Guinness. That carbonation still allows for some refreshing qualities even if this is bigger than its normal offering. Just a touch of ABV coming out with a light heat on the throat, but otherwise it hides very nicely. Aftertaste is some chocolate and cherry. I'll take it.

D: This is what Guinness does. They take a seemingly simpler beer and take it to a higher level. I am a fan of the normal Guinness we Americans have constant access to, but this taking that beer much further. Still it brings that great appearance and refreshing quality in a noticeably bigger flavor and aroma. Wish I could get this constantly to tell you the truth because its that tasty but still easy drinking. Damned good and pleasure to have been able to try.

Photo of dbalsock
3.33/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

Photo of TheSarge
4.4/5  rDev +5%
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.

Photo of BeerTruth
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this one from tprokop7 as an EXTRA! It's been on my 'wants' list forever so I was pretty happy when I unwrapped this bad boy.

33 cl.bottle poured into nonic.

Pours a deep cola black with the slightest bit of a ruby outline and a monstrous three finger light brown head. Crazy webbing left on the sides of the glass as the huge crown descends. Smell consists of light cocoa powder, roasted malts, and some coffee beans. Sweet caramel malts, vanilla, and a bit of lactose as well. A metallic aroma is detected in the nose too. Taste begins with molasses, caramel, and brown sugar. Midway some smokey flavors emerge with espresso and cream. Warm milk chocolate flavors in the aftertaste with a hint of alcohol, but still extremely low for a beer that clocks in at 8%. Medium to hefty body with a rich, smooth feel in the mouth. Like I mentioned before, the 8% abv is tough to find, making this scary drinkable. If this was available in the states, I'd have it in my fridge as much as possible. Good stuff, glad I had the opportunity to try. Thanks again Todd!

Photo of RuudJH
4.58/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of ThatWineGuy
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.15/5  rDev -1%
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.

Photo of pwoods
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
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!

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murky mahogany with blood orange accents. Most of the pint glass is filled with immensely creamy, golden sandstone colored foam after a fairly vigorous pour. Who needs nitrogen? Melted marshmallow-like stickiness leads to a beautiful array of finely etched lace.

The nose (although everything that an export stout nose should be) isn't the best I've ever encountered. It's nice and roasted malty, with all the good things that implies. I'm expecting explosiveness once the glass is tipped up.

Guinness Special Export is damn good beer and a classic example of the style, but I don't understand why some people worship it. There are plenty of big stouts out there that are better. Having said that, the flavor is making a late move and is growing on me with each successive sip.

This beer definitely has a power that the much more widely available 6.0% Extra Stout lacks. It tastes impressively 'black' malty, with a burnt caramel vibe underlying the dark chocolate and roasted coffee beans. It's also raisin and date fruity, with slightly more sweetness and a less intense dryness on the finish than the smaller beer.

The body/mouthfeel is the only (admittedly slight) chink in the armor. The above score is probably too generous, but it really doesn't deserve the lower number. It's a fraction thin and loose for the ABV, possibly because the 'best by' date is a mere four days from today.

I have mixed feelings about Guinness Special Export Stout (brewed in Ireland for export to Belgium, France, Luxembourg and The Netherlands). It's a bona fide classic, but it isn't the be-all and end-all of the foreign/export style. Still, I'm thankful to have finally acquired this relatively rare gem. Thanks to tendermorsel for sending it my way.

Photo of stcules
3.48/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of Damian
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

Photo of kkipple
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big props to Pingwin407 for lugging two of these back from his recent Belgium trip!

A. Looks basically like Guinness Extra Stout, good lacing, and maybe a tad bit thicker.

S. Mmm, this is Guinness Plus. Richer, sweeter, tighter, bolder. Some smoke and maybe maple syrup? Very roasty and pleasing, mocha hints and a touch of milk chocolate. Appealing, bold, approachable. Familiar, yet amped up. I like the way this smells.

T. Exactly as advertised. A sweeter, lusher Guinness that is very easy to drink and has some subtle smoke and creamy coffee flavors going on. The roasted malt is layed and complements the sweetness quite well. If you like Guinness (and who doesn't honestly?) you will dig this. Well put together and belies the 8% abv.

M. Fantastic. Creamy-smooth, a delight to drink. Finishes roasty-sweet and leaves you craving more.

D. Absolutely yes! Why we can't buy this in the States, I'm sure I don't know. A real treat and a beer that shows off the brewing chops of the folks at Guinness. Highly recommended.

Photo of khiasmus
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of Floydster
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
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

Photo of DoubleJ
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Guinness Draught was my first true love of beer. I have come a long way since then to try what is proclaimed to be the best of the Guinness line. They had this at Asterix in São Paulo, of all places, when it wasn't as ridiculously expensive (R$32) compared to other places in the city. I checked the back label, and yep, this is the Martin's edition (although mine said Anthony Martin). On to the beer:

At first, the head is thick and semi-tan on top before falling to a thin sheet and leaving thin coats of lacing. Blacker than midnight. The aroma is ripe fruit with chocolate, a tad fruity. The taste is where the fun begins. Starting off is licorice and chocolate liqueur. Some fruit, courtesy of the booze, makes appearances. More chocolate liqueur and melted chocolate bars. The aftertaste lingers of chocolate liqueur. Yet despite all this, it doesn't kick your ass.

This is a big and heavy stout. I could see why this is so widely acclaimed, it's very mellow and a pleasure to sip on.

Photo of aerozeppl
4.1/5  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.

Photo of darklordlager
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

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....

Photo of johnnnniee
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Suds
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of hopdog
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Photo of Jeffo
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

Guinness Special Export Stout (John Martin - Belgium) from Guinness Ltd.
93 out of 100 based on 245 ratings.