1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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
94
outstanding

217 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 217
Reviews: 153
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 9%
Wants: 101
Gots: 15 | 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)
View: Beers (27) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 217 | Reviews: 153 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DarkerTheBetter
DarkerTheBetter

Pennsylvania

3.55/5  rDev -15.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2008 02:45:59 | More by DarkerTheBetter
Photo of Goliath
Goliath

Illinois

4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black and is completely opaque. A large two inch frothy tan head sits on top with excellent retention and some nice lacing.

The aroma is quite nice. Notes of banana, clove, and dark roasted malts are all present.

The taste is also quite nice. Hints of banana, dark roasted malts with chocolate flavors that are fairly bitter. Delicious.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with good carbonation.

Drinkability is moderate due to moderately high alcohol and big flavor. A pleasant evening drink.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2008 18:10:03 | More by Goliath
Photo of scootny
scootny

New York

4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz bottle courtesy of ggaughan. Thanks, I owe you for this rare and special experience. Pour a super dark brown. Light does NOT pierce the glass. Huge light brown head that leaves lacing throughout. It slowly diminishes to a thin soapy blanket to keep the beer cozy. Carbonation is not really evident but it had to be there cause the blanket stays and thickens a bit after each sip.

Smell is coffee, burnt caramel, roasted and sweet malt and a specter of alcohol. Faint hops in the back somewhere.

Taste is top shelf. Sweet malt and light, basically hidden alcohol sugar. Roasted malt, and toasted yeasty black bread. Coffee is strong. Hops are present and in balance but are a minor player in the body of the drink. They are more prominent in the finish where they cut off the sweet malt alcohol serenade sharply. The finish is long and hoppy dry. Delicious!

Moutfeel is creamy velvet and oh so smooth. Carbonation whips the cream and coats your mouth with nectar like drops of stouty goodness.

Drinkability is incredible. The alcohol is craftily hidden and the smooth creamy mouth experience will have you through as many bottles as you head can handle.

A world class stout. In the same neighborhood as the Brooklyn BCS in the stout hall of fame

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2008 02:50:30 | More by scootny
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have been attempting to hunt this one down for quite a while now, and it always seems to be alluding me. I am not a fan of Guinness by any means, so the chance to try one that was so highly rated was a chance I had to take. The pour was very nice, a little bit more of a dark brown then your standard jet black pour, but still essentially opaque with a thick tan head that reached a height of easily over three inches. Really a very impressive looking stout with copious amounts of side glass lace and a very evenly distributed head of lace. Really very nice indeed.

The aroma was rich chocolate and roasted malts that were predominant here. Lots of lactose aromas and a touch of coffee were present as well, this was night and day from the version we get here. The flavor was really very nice. Not nearly as dry and bitter as I was expecting, this was much more of a sweet stout, with dark chocolate hints running throughout. There was a good deal of coffee notes, lots of lactose, deep roasted malts and a touch of sweet vanilla as well. As it warmed there was some nice dark fruit coming though in the finish, more then likely a good bit of yeast. The finish was very sweet, with a smooth creamy long lasting flavor. The body on this one was really full, and nicely carbonated, much different then the dry, bitter version I had been used to.

Overall, I thought this was fantastic. A far cry from the crappy version we get here. This was really a solid beer with a great flavor profile and a full body. I would love to have this again as it is truly deserving of its reputation and worth every penny.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2008 13:18:20 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of Cromster
Cromster

California

4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased from Beer Temple in Brugge

Poured from a Bottle into a pint glass

Appearance - Dark black color with a thick medium brown colored head that lasted a long time.

Smell - Smells of coffee, roasted malt, chocolate and hops.

Taste - Chocolate, roasted malt, some spice and a stronger than normal amount of alcohol kick compaired to a normal Guinness. Has a heavy after taste of dark roasted malts.

Mouthfeel - Creamy mouth coating feel. I like how this one feels in my mouth. Just the right amount of carbonation for a stout. Very nice.

Drinkability - I wish all Guinness tasted like this. I would drink it more often if I could find this version here in the states.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2008 08:20:58 | More by Cromster
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of thewolf: Poured a deep black color stout with a huge light brown color head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of liquorice with some light roasted malt and some sweet malt notes. Taste is a mix between some light roasted malt with some notes of liquorice and medium sweet Belgian malt with what appears to be a Belgian type yeast. Medium full body with great carbonation and no apparent alcohol. A very well balance beer overall with a level of complexity greater then the regular version of Guinness available over here.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2008 20:56:46 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of dedrinker
dedrinker

Kansas

3.73/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Black porter looking beer with a thin tan head. Roasty nose with some burnt edges. Tastes like regular Guinness with more body, more roast, added baking chocolate, and not as much sour tang - almost none in fact except where the bitterness of the roasted malts come into play. Not unlike an imperial stout, but perhaps on the milder side of that.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2008 05:30:19 | More by dedrinker
Photo of rye726
rye726

Colorado

4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
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?

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2008 02:57:26 | More by rye726
Photo of Wasatch
Wasatch

Utah

4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a chalice a nice black color, nice small creamy tannish head, which leaves some nice sticky lacing afterwards. The nose is malty, sweet, slight scents of toffee, chocolate, caramel. The taste is sweet, malty, and some nice dark tones to it. Medium body. Very drinkable, this one is way better than the original. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2008 16:06:55 | More by Wasatch
Photo of kmo1030
kmo1030

Massachusetts

4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

delicious looking opaque brown with a thick creamy tan head that hangs around and laces.
first sniff reveals a fruity dubbel smelling beer, but that subsides quickly leaving you with a fantastic malt ball, roasted coffee, milk chocolate stout, with some subtle plum and fig type dark fruits. rum develops with warmth, maybe a little to much actually
the taste contains lots of malty chocolate and soft roasted coffee with a slightly lactic component. there's a brown sugary character thats plays off of a musky, slightly smokey flavor. it has a hint of dark fruit (same as aroma, plus maybe some black cherry) to keep things even more interesting. the sweet rum flavor comes out with warmth just like the aroma.
the mouthfeel is fairly full with pretty moderate, but delicate carbonation.
good drinkability overall. the nose is a little boozy, but that's forgivable. i can't believe our guinness is so much different from the belgian variety... the difference is like night and day.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2007 01:34:52 | More by kmo1030
Photo of basica
basica

Singapore

4.58/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I am a little excited to try this beer; I bought it from CrackedKettle.com and it is the very much coveted Guinness Special Export Stout. After cracking it open, my first whiff told me that this was like a Belgian dark ale with the fruty nose but on a second sniff I am catching the roasted malts, milk, caramel, a bit of coffee and a bit of chocolate. Predominantly, I am getting milk and roasted malts. I do not think the smell was as strong as the FES but I like it on this one. The pour yielded a creamy rocky head (creamier than the FES) that refuses to settle (this has to be a family trait in Guinness brews). Almost jet black in color; very nice appearance and a nice lacing turned up after drinking it for a bit. I took a sip and man the first thing I notice was the ultra slick mouthfeel on entry and throughout till I swallowed it. Before getting to the taste I am already going to give a 5 to mouthfeel. Let's break my usual rules and do the mouthfeel first. Unlike many beer that goes in with a slight sting, the SES was just smooth, so very smooth creamy, milky entry of the rich and thick stout. A low but apt amount of carbonation for this one and the milky creamy smoothness with the thick richness is the winner for the mouthfeel of this one. The taste starts off with roasted malts and some hints of chocolate and coffee which is constantly flooded with this lactic milkiness backing which I loved. Best of all the bitterness was so well contained it was well acceptable by my standards. Compared to the FES this one's a pleasure to drink and it's drinkability is nothing but a 5. The taste was rich yet mellower than the FES which gets a bit stingy at times. Some very faint dark fruits (I found plums which came on just before the finish and lasted into the after taste) which got onto the nose though I think if this one has a proper sweet fruitiness to it, I am almost certain taste would score a 5 as well. Goodness... But talking about sweetness this one does have a tad bit of sweetness. The dark fruits were in the after taste led by plums wich are blended amidst roasted malts and lactic milkiness which was pretty omni-present but very nicely balanced. The milkiness found its way to the nose as the fruitiness became a little raisin like; almost analagous to the dark belgian ales. Bitterness was there but well under control. A stout brewed close to perfection; a pity it is so hard for me to obtain this one.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2007 19:43:55 | More by basica
Photo of rhoadsrage
rhoadsrage

Illinois

4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a nonic)

A- This beer has an opaque black body with tiny strands of bubbles gliding up the sides of the glass. There is a creamy oatmeal colored head that is thick and last for the full beer. There are register marks of foam on the glass with each sip.

S- The smell of fruity prunes turns into a smooth dark black malt smell with a light earthiness.

T- The dark black malt has an earthy note and a cream taste. There are some caramel malt notes that support the black malt. There is a faint roasted licorice note and a finish of black bitterness and a chalk note. The black roasted note lingers nicely after the finish.

M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with a slight slippery texture. There is a soft spice of alcohol heat at the finish.

D- This beer has a great roasted black malt flavor with smooth quality and a nice bitterness. This is not a full bodied Guinness often enhanced with NO2 but a much lighter bodied but still full flavored Guinness. Very drinkable even at 8% ABV.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2007 14:37:36 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of Zorro
Zorro

California

4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black colored beer with a brown head that completely fills the glass. Don't know what they can do to make it look any better.

Sweet smelling with lots of coffee and candied fruit aroma. Fair amount of fig aroma with some chocolate and molasses smell. Slight boozy Kahlua scent with a trace of rum.

The taste starts out sweet and roasty toasty chocolate flavor with a little vanilla and caramel. Lots of flavor here gets a bit more bitter as you drink it and the rum gets a little stronger. Little bit of berry taste after most of the glass is drank.

Good mouthfeel, tiny bubbles make it seem creamy like regular Guinness.

Nice and drinkable, if I had a regular source I could see myself drinking this often. Sampled through the efforts of northyorksammy.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2007 23:44:15 | More by Zorro
Photo of biegaman
biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle purchased in Bruxelles.

A nice ebony coloured body with some more brown, even auburn, highlights on the bottom. Still opaque, however, with but a trim of ivory white head.

An intense aroma filled with cocoa and chocolate. Notes of anise become very obvious and the aroma strongly starts to resemble sambuca. There is also a light note of espresso that fits the bill well.

The mouthfeel is surprisingly a little sour, the yeast seems to carry with it a bit of 'funk'. The finish is especially sour. Low carbonation. The "special" is easy to find but the "stout" seems to have been lost along the way. A sweet, anise filled aftertaste. Far nicer to drink than the standard Guinness!

The flavour is pleasant - albeit a little light. The taste entertains the palate with notes of chocolate mousse, anise, and an interesting yeast. There is a strong element of roast barley that is distinct from the regular Guinness. Maybe even some hops? Essentially this is dark chocolate, dark malts, coca beans, and anise. Tasty no doubt.

A very neat beer indeed, quite a trip from the standard Guinness. This is no doubt a lovely Belgian style stout - nothing but pleasantry - but I was far from impressed enough to consider this "world class". My impression was that it wasn't quite deserving of the reputation it's earned. That said, I'd be more than happy to have another!

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2007 15:15:51 | More by biegaman
Photo of Metalmonk
Metalmonk

North Carolina

4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
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!

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2007 02:19:19 | More by Metalmonk
Photo of janubio
janubio

Spain

5/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured in a half pint Guinness glass. Black colour and the usual big brownish Guinness head that last until the last sip. Complex aroma of coffee, licorice, cream, butter, prunes, raisins, rum, rosted notes, spicy, nutmeg... the lot. Taste is coffee, licorice, rum, figs, rosted, nutmeg, raisins... the lot again. Alcoholic coffee flavor. Great.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2007 19:32:32 | More by janubio
Photo of WeisGuy
WeisGuy

New York

4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
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

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2007 03:11:17 | More by WeisGuy
Photo of AlexLMS
AlexLMS

Portugal

4.68/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: almost black and nearly opaque due to its dark colour. The head is brown, large, rich, full and creamy. Excellent retention followed by beautiful lacing.
Aroma: very nice roasted malt aroma. Chocolate and coffee notes.
Taste: well balanced between the roasted malts and the bitter hops. A noble port presence.
Mouthfeel: unctuous and velvety, perfect carbonation and a full body. The beer is so balanced that you do not feel the 8% ABV.
Finish: lingering bitter aftertaste.

Overall: Great beer with a wonderful mix of flavours. One of my favourites in the world. Better than the average Guinness. Could not wait to get my hands in another one.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2007 21:04:59 | More by AlexLMS
Photo of drseamus
drseamus

New York

4.58/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It looks just like a Guinness, but it's a wolf in sheep's clothing. It has the same jet black body with the almost cliched thick off-white head. That is where the similarities end. The aroma is much more Belgian than Irish. There is some funk upfront along with sweetness and caramel in the aroma. The aroma is good, but the flavor is awesome. The first thing that passed through my mind when I tasted it was DAMN!! This isn't the Guinness I'm used to. It's a different ballgame; a different sport all together. It is very sweet and malty with tasty caramel, chocolate, and yeasty flavors. It makes me think more of a quad than an export stout. It ends with a bitter finish. An amazing beer all together.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2007 01:55:00 | More by drseamus
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.7/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thank you Abusmaster. Jet black with substantial off-white creamy head. Good malty and licorice and roasted barley aroma. Taste is dry and bitter, baker's chocolate, with diesel fuel and smoke at the end of the bottle. Easy creamy mouthfeel while you absord this dry stout, Certainly better than any Guinness I have had, far from the best stout.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2007 00:13:26 | More by Sammy
Photo of BlindPig
BlindPig

Pennsylvania

4.6/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Really thick dark tan head on a black body.
S- Light roasted malts with dry grass hops. Dry in the nose too.
T- Dry roasted malts that dry out the mouth quite a lot. Grass hops come in a leave a light bitterness in mouth.
M- Full body with medium/low carbonation.
D- I think it is a very tasty stout. Maybe lacks complexity a little bit but it is very tasty and easy to drink for a 8.00%.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2007 05:48:36 | More by BlindPig
Photo of cypressbob
cypressbob

United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)

4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle poured into a silver rimmed Westmalle challice

Pours with a deep dark brown body, almost black with little light penetrating. A large puffy tan head head forms about an inch and a half thick, lots of patchy lacing

Smell, estery alcohol, smokey roasted malt. Some nice roasted fresh coffee along with a hint of vanilla. Fresh coffee beans and some slightly sweet dried fruit.

Taste, crisp and crunchy roasted malt, lots of thick bitterness from the malts and a little bit of caramel and mollasses. Slightly chalky on the finish with some lingering spicy malt and a crisp dark chocolate flavour. Strong vanilla coming through once again, a touch of acidity on the fnish too. A tiny alcoholic character is present but generally its very well hidden

This bottle is about a year old or so from bottling, holding up very well. Full of rich flavours this is probably the most full flavoured guinness product available, surpasses the standard FES.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2007 21:54:27 | More by cypressbob
Photo of ggaughan
ggaughan

Pennsylvania

4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Obtained this bottle from Belgium a year or so back and sampled on St. Patrick's Day as it seemed appropriate. The beer poured a nice black body with a thick tan fluffy head that receeds but still held up well. Poured into one of my favorite Guiness glasses purchased at the Guinness brewery 7 years ago. The nose was a very nice toasted malt quality, more than in the typical pint of Guiness that we usually drink. The taste was a pure malty sweet with chocolately notes as well. The beer was very smooth and had a nice thick body that was filling. Although I enjoy the typical Guinness, this very blows the regular away.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2007 03:25:30 | More by ggaughan
Photo of MuenchenerKindl
MuenchenerKindl

Germany

4.68/5  rDev +10.9%
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

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2007 06:46:50 | More by MuenchenerKindl
Photo of Absumaster
Absumaster

Netherlands

4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
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!

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2007 14:36:51 | More by Absumaster
Guinness Special Export Stout (John Martin - Belgium) from Guinness Ltd.
94 out of 100 based on 217 ratings.