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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

228 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 228
Reviews: 154
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 9.76%
Wants: 107
Gots: 19 | 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: 228 | Reviews: 154 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Metalmonk
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

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

Metalmonk, Oct 03, 2007
Photo of janubio
5/5  rDev +19%
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.

janubio, Sep 18, 2007
Photo of WeisGuy
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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

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

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

m - medium-bodied, moderate carbonation

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

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

WeisGuy, Sep 17, 2007
Photo of AlexLMS
4.68/5  rDev +11.4%
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.

AlexLMS, Sep 02, 2007
Photo of drseamus
4.58/5  rDev +9%
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.

drseamus, Aug 23, 2007
Photo of Sammy
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
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.

Sammy, Jul 27, 2007
Photo of BlindPig
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
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%.

BlindPig, Jul 25, 2007
Photo of cypressbob
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

cypressbob, Jun 02, 2007
Photo of ggaughan
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

ggaughan, Apr 14, 2007
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 Absumaster
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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

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

Absumaster, Feb 24, 2007
Photo of irishtimepiece
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

BYOB brought this back for me from Kulminator on his recent trip to Europe.
Bottled in 1997, best before March 2nd, 2000. Today is January 15th, 2007.

Pours pitch black with a thick, creamy tan head that never goes away. Lacing is spotty.
Smells of molasses, alcohol, and dark chocolate.
Tastes of chocolate, raisins and alcohol upfront with a roast bitterness and coffee finish.
Mouthfeel was as smooth as velvet. Incredibly creamy.
A little too heavy to drink a lot of, but perfect for a hearty meal.
I was impressed with how well it held up over time.

irishtimepiece, Jan 15, 2007
Photo of Bierschenker
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of many, time for a review.

When I poured the Guinness, no scent was noticeable. I used a Stange to serve this beer. The head is as fluffy and thin as a draft Guinness, but this one version has a nice beige colour. I’m impressed by the lacing: small/thin, elegant, perfect circles,…
The scent is bitter, resembles cold coffee with too much sugar.
The liquid has the same brownish colour as it’s famous brother. A slight dark red glow is visible, no carbonation.
Taste is fresh, starts off with chocolate, coffee and nuts evolves with cinnamon, burned grains/coffee beans (slight carbonation is noticeable), marzipan; overall bitter.
The aftertaste is pretty strong and bitter. Resembles dark chocolate, sweet cold coffee and cinnamon.

Quite different in respect to the Guinness on tap, but a job well done!

Bierschenker, Jan 07, 2007
Photo of EPICAC
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a bottle at Delirium Café in Brussels.

Appearance: Pitch black, topped by a very thick brown head that fades leaving heavy lace on the glass.

Smell: Lightly sweet chocolate, and some roasted coffee notes.

Taste: Sweet chocolate upfront, moving into light tartness, with heavy coffee roasted flavors in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied, moderate carbonation, creamy.

Drinkability: Very nice, full-flavored, sweet but well balanced by roasted bitterness.

EPICAC, Dec 01, 2006
Photo of Prufrock
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330mL bottle poured into a pint glass.

pitch brown with a moderate layer of chocolatey dark head. moderate lacing.

tons of sweetened coffee in the aroma. dark fruit aromas as well; raisins and prunes.

heavy, malty feel with strong roasted coffee flavors. slightly metallic flavors, some sweet dark fruits, and a burnt espresso finish. if there's any guinness sour in there, it's hiding behind the roasted malt. balanced, enjoyable, and drinkable.

Prufrock, Oct 10, 2006
Photo of biscodoll
4.58/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a bottle, poured into a pint glass.

While visiting Belgium last year, I quickly got tired of the "Belgian beer" style, where while there's so many different types of beer, there's a similar underlying flavor in most. I discovered the Guinness in a corner store, and instantly fell in love. I brought home two bottles and they've been aging for 18 months. I was starting to get worried that, despite it being an 8%, it might not last much longer, so I treated myself, wondering if I really loved this beer or was just excited to find a new flavor in the land of Belgian greats.

As it's from a 'regular' bottle, the Belgian Guinness looks like a normal beer, no cascade. Pours pitch black with a tinge of reddish, shining a light through the glass, with a 1-inch, dark tan head, which quickly dissipates to a thin lacing in under a minute.

Scent - like a rich red wine, mellow booziness with hints of dark chocolate, coffee and raspberries.

Taste is as it smells, a little boozier and maltier than the American version, less on the dry hop finish, additional hints of flavor are anise and figs. Very sparse carbonation. Mouthfeel is thinner than expected, leaving a light coating on the tongue and a faint chocolate milk memory.

It's the perfect dessert beer, conjuring up ideas of pouring it over vanilla ice cream, baking it into brownies, and yet would also compliment the best juicy steak or burger (with onions, caramelized in the beer of course), or Jasper Hill's Bayley Hazen Blue cheese or Cabot's Clothbound Aged Cheddar (the ACS best in show!). It may very well be *the* cheese pairing beer, and I believe it could win over any red wine fan.

Yea, this is definitely still in my top 10, and held up perfectly over time. Now, how to replenish my stock?!

biscodoll, Oct 01, 2006
Photo of msubulldog25
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

We bought a 4-pack of this beer (33 cl's) at a GB Supermarket near Brussels, Belgium (cost: about €5...). Returned with it to US, poured to a pint glass & enjoyed at my kitchen table. Best before: 25.01.08.

A: Pitch black, with a rich, creamy 2-finger ivory head. Bits of clinging lace. No nitro added, so the creamy fullness of the head was a real surprise.

S: Wow! Decadent dark chocolate/cocoa maltiness. Notable candy sugar sweetness, hints of ripe fruit (plum, cherry) and a mild spiciness. Toasted malt and a potent & warm alcohol nose.

T: A cascade of chocolate bittersweetness upfront with a healthy dose of espresso bean bitterness to follow. Coupled with the sweetness is a slightly acerbic tang. The alcohol found in the smell is detectable also in the taste; it comes across similar to the spicy sweetness of rum.

M: Quite full in the mouth. A strong beer that loses some of the creaminess and approaches being a more carbonated Dark Ale. There is a lingering and likable bittersweetness.

D: Very enjoyable and extremely drinkable - only it's high gravity would prevent one from having several of these in a session. Or maybe it wouldn't? I'd put this near the top of the list for stouts, especially ones I've tried myself. Highly recommended.

msubulldog25, Sep 25, 2006
Photo of haz77
3.65/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours black with 2 inches of tan head, which leaves some rings of lacing as it falls.

S - Chocolate, coffee, roast malt, alcohol

T - Large amount of roast malts at first, with some chocolate and coffee coming through. Alcohol warmth comes through in the aftertaste.

M - Creamy, full, smooth, surprising amount of carbonation.

D - Much better than the original and worth a try.

haz77, Jun 22, 2006
Photo of BEERchitect
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

After chasing this beer since I became a beer lover, I finally tried this, thanks to Clvand0. Creamy and roasty to the nose with a light hint of lactose sweetness and malt sourness. The head is thick and brown, even with no NO2 added. Creamy to the sight with low carbonation. The first sip reveals a smoother and creamier texture than any Irish Stout that I've sampled. Quite robust with a hearty balance of dark malts, roasted grain, toastiness, and a bitter balance; partly from hop, partly from roasted grain. Toasty and without the chalkiness usually exhibited. Very smooth and creamy texture without becomming thick or heavy. Remarkably drinkable for an 8% beer. Light hints of alcohol warming, but not fusals or phenolice. A joy to drink.

BEERchitect, Dec 27, 2005
Photo of brewandbbq
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 1999

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

brewandbbq, Dec 16, 2005
Photo of clvand0
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

clvand0, Nov 22, 2005
Photo of kmpitz2
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

kmpitz2, Nov 19, 2005
Photo of texashammer
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

totally black, no colors show through at all. head is dark brown and smallish out of this bottle (way too cold) but builds upon swirling and warming. I smell rich coffee, dark fruit like plums, prunes, raisins. espresso. medium in body with an incredibly creamy and rich mouthfeel. tastes of roasty, rich dark chocolate, more roastiness. very, very drinkable. I wish I could make this one bottle go further. felt some warmth from the alcohol but otherwise it did not rear its head.

texashammer, Nov 02, 2005
Photo of mdagnew
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml Bottle bought from The Vineyard, Belfast

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

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

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

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

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

mdagnew, Oct 31, 2005
Photo of 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
Guinness Special Export Stout (John Martin - Belgium) from Guinness Ltd.
93 out of 100 based on 228 ratings.