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Guinness Special Export Stout (John Martin - Belgium) - Guinness Ltd.

Not Rated.
Guinness Special Export Stout (John Martin - Belgium)Guinness Special Export Stout (John Martin - Belgium)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

160 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 160
Hads: 265
Avg: 4.21
pDev: 12.83%
Wants: 130
Gots: 45 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Guinness Ltd. visit their website

Style | ABV
Foreign / Export Stout |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

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

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (36) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 160 | Hads: 265
Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.01/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A 33cl bottle poured into a standard shaker glass. Out of the fridge and allowed to warn up for at least 15 minutes. Shared with Deuane. The stout appears a dark and opaque brown color with about two fingers of creamy, lingering ecru foam. There is no evidence of this beer clocking in at 8% judging by the aroma and flavor. Notes of bittersweet chocolate, medium roasted coffee beans, caramel, a touch of vanilla, milk chocolate, pipe tobacco are all present. This stout falls somewhere between medium and full bodied with adequate carbonation. It's a shame this one is such a bitch to obtain because it's mighty drinkable.

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Photo of timbro81
4.01/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ordered from an online "Belgium" "Shop" and arrived in 15 days. Pours an inky black that is impervious to light. Large frothy light tan head that laces down to a hefty little ring. Smells lightly of sweet roasted burnt malts and some vague hop bitterness. Mouth feel is light to medium with a minimal amount of silkiness to it. Nice roasted coffe notes on the tongue with a dry finish of chocolate and dark fruit. Aftertaste dwells on the roasted side. Hides the 8% pretty well. Would really like to try this out of a nitro tap or can, I think I just blew my own mind. Better than it's little brother. All in all it is a good beer, I'm glad I tried it, but I don't feel like I was missing out on much.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -5%
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.

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Photo of IPA35
4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a 33cl La Trappe but Duvel style glass.
An almost black but dark brownish beer with an off-white head with good retention.

Strong stout aroma's in this one: roast, liquorice, dark chocolate and dark fruity sweetness.

Tastes of dark fruits followed by roastiness. Quite a good hop bitterness in here as well. I also get liquorice and other typical stout flavours. A bit complex and hard to describe prehaps but nicely drinkable and certainly very full flavoured.

A thick and creamy mouthfeel with medium carbonation.

Overal a good stout and the only stout sold at most supermarket chains in my country so that's a plus.

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Photo of titvs
4/5  rDev -5%

Review based on BJCP2008 guidelines (style 13D). Bottle 33 cl - Batch L4120. AROMA: sweet and vinous alcoholic like aroma with roasted and coffee notes. some dry grapes aromas. low non existent hop aromas. no diacetyl. APPEARANCE: deep brown color and opaque. nice large and moussy tanned head with good retention. TASTE: roasted grains dominate with some coffee and cacao notes. medium-high bitterness that lingers into the aftertaste with very low to none hop flavours. alcohol notes present with very low diacetyl. finishes somewhat dry. PALATE: médium body with a velvety like texture. some warming impression present. moderate carbonation. OVERALL: a nice export stout with very pronounced roasted flavour, velvety texture and a bit on the dry side.

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Photo of jmalex
3.99/5  rDev -5.2%
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"

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Photo of mmmbirra
3.99/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Nice lookin beer. Pitch black with a tan head that sticks around.
Understated aroma. Nice and chocolaty, with considerable sweetness, and maybe some figs, but not too pronounced.
It's full flavored, and full-bodied. Lots of chocolate and sweetness, with a nice roasted touch to it that could be, and for me should be, a larger part of the flavor profile. A little bitterness from the roast, and probably a little more from the hops, though I wasn't able to perceive any hop flavor in this one.
Full, rich mouthfeel. Not too thin for the style, not too big, just right.
A good big stout, though I wish there was some kind of slight hop flavor there, and I'm not one who generally likes super-hopped stouts.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.98/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Part of my #1 beer per style series. Foreign export stout, #1 beer Jonh Martin Guinness SPECIAL EXPORT STOUT. Its cool how the label says special. How excited am I to have a few bottles of this beer? About an 8. Long time want, closing in on the goal.

Beer poured from a bottle into a Russian river goblet. Beer is brown, dark with a mocha head of small and medium bubbles, good sized head at that. Leaves a lot of lacing as the head falls away to a convex shape resting on the top of the glass. Carbonation moderate to low. Looks good.

Aroma is sweet, malty, yeasty, mild esters. Smells like a Belgian ale. Interesting. Mild roast.

Well this is the strongest variation of Guinness and it shows. Beer is light in body and dry on the finish. There are some late bitterness and roast with a midpalate of mild esters and some sweetness. The beer is absent up front and the midpalate is quickly eclipsed by the dryness. Its mildly alcoholic too, but oddly late in the palate. Its good though. I am enjoying it, but its not like any Guinness I've ever had.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.95/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5


Thanks! The beer is black with a frothy light brown head. The nose displays a dry roasted malt quality with a light coffee character. Smells like a nice dry stout. Alcohol is noticeable in the flavor with a moderate dry roasted grainy malt character and a touch of nutty character. The beer finishes dry and light with a touch of coffee and a lingering dry roast. The mouthfeel is full, creamy, and dry, with a lower level of high carbonation.

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Photo of domtronzero
3.95/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Very dark brown, nearly opaque. Big, long lasting tannish head with little lacing.

S - Roasty, chocolatey dark malts. A little bit bready. Big raisiny nose.

F/M - Bready, roasty, caramelly malts with a firm typical Guinness bitterness. Classic Guinness house flavor in the dry finish. Lingering chocolatey roast malt flavors. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

O - Much better than Guinness Draught, roasty and chocolatey and much more bold. Still has the classic Guinness taste, but much more satisfying.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
3.94/5  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.

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Photo of ThaCreep
3.92/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Color black with dark brown. The charred malt feels strongly, it offers scents of caramel brown, bitter coffee and a little toffee. The entry on the palate is alcoholic, slightly burnt and it offers, tasting, sour and bitter tingling that spread in the finish, added a powerful lasting bitterness. Good command of such export stout, well balanced and offers a nice range of flavors, it is the archetype without sublimate kind. Heady, strong and powerfully bitter, it is quickly exhilarating.

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Photo of Jeffo
3.88/5  rDev -7.8%
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.

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Photo of benfons
3.87/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A: completely impregnable dark brown, nice creamy brown head

S: candy syrup, molasses, hints if dark chocolate and prunes

T: dark roasted nuts, hints of hops, chocolate and tobacco, some malts, even a bit candy sugar syrup

M: thinner than expected, really dry, little carbonation, some warmth

O; this isn't my favourite style but it's a pretty good beer

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.85/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle thanks to drabmuh. Served in a Bruery tulip.

Pours with a thin tan head and a nearly-black body. There are some light spots of lacing around the sides and bubbles on top. The nose is light roast and a surprising amount of caramel and, especially, toffee character. There's some light candy and brown sugar as well.

The taste brings a good dose of toffee along with some light roasted character and some super mild espresso following through after that. Medium body with moderate carbonation. The finish is fairly smooth and slightly dry. This is nice and easy to drink. The finish seems to dry out even more as I get through the bottle. Pretty good stuff. Thanks again, Matt.

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Photo of pwoods
3.84/5  rDev -8.8%
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!

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Photo of mothman
3.8/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to dougofthefuture for this one.

Poured into snifter. Pours a finger of creamy chocolate hued head. Great retention leaving some thick lace rings. Color is pretty much black.

Aroma: Chocolate milk and cocoa powder. Creamy and nutty. Kind of sweet.

Taste: It reminds me more of stout than the other guinness beers I have had, but I can still pick out the guinness characteristics in it. It is very chocolately and creamy. Has a cocoa powder flavor. Creamy again with a touch of nuts. A bit of coffee and roast in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and dry. Medium to full bodied with a bit higher amount of carbonation. Ends dry and roasted.

Overall, this was a decent stout. It was very flavorful and pretty easy to drink. Thanks Doug for this one!

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Photo of tpd975
3.78/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy Trappistenbier, a big Thanks to Filip for bringing this from your home country.

A: Pours very deep dark black with a towering brown head. The retenion is great with spotty lace noted. Nice.

S: Nothing like your normal ho hum Guinness. Bold aromas with hints of coffee, chocolate, and dark fruit.

T: Taste of nice sweet malt and brown sugar. Hints of coffee and chocolate as well. Mild in taste but a good blend of flavors.

M: Medium in body, pretty smooth.

D: Nice treat, wish this was on tap in every bar in America instead of our version of Guinness.

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Photo of ultrasupergenius
3.77/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

0.33l bottle, purchased and consumed in Brussels Belgium out of a chalice.

Deep dark/black with reddish mahogany visible at the very top edge. Not at all translucent. Thin tan head of small bubbles, quickly dissapates.

Smells of molasses, and barley.

Flavor has a residual molasses, slight bit of dark chocolate, and a bit of coffee. Hard to pin the overall flavor. Hops in a long lingering finish. More bitter than a Guinness.

Good full mouth feel, that hits the palette in waves. Seems a bit thin, especially considering the color, but not lacking.

Not a beer I would consider drinking more than one of. I suppose it would be good to fit a niche - like if I was dying for a beer but also really wanted a coffee, and it had to be at exactly the same time. Since I can't imagine when that would happen, I don't know that I would reach for it again, given the wealth of other options available.

Overall a good beer, but likely only to be purchased for visitors who can't find it in the US.

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

Bottle split thanks to Bobsy. Thanks for sharing this hard to get brew!

Pours a dark dark brown with mahogany around the edges, a light cappuccino head. Not a ton of bubbles.

First thing I get off the nose is honey bread (odd I know), followed by smooth choco nibs and a hint of caramel. Some light roasting, sweet smelling.

Taste is light cocoa, choco nibs, hints of dark fruits, coffee grinds, a touch of baking chocolate, honey, vanilla. Luxurious body, smooth and yet light feeling in the mouth - not heavy at all. Dry finish.

As Bobsy said, kind of an amped up Dry Irish though, to be honest, I was also disappointed. This lacked the bold roast flavor that I would be looking for, focused too much on the sweet chocolate, and, while certainly complex and rich in flavor, lacked in body. A nice beer and miles better than your average Guiness but still not something that I would get excited about. Thanks again Rob!

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

Bottle dated 30-09-13

Poured into a big wine glass. Fairly dark but the black body gives way to brown highlights. The head is thick and fluffy with bigger bubbles interspersed on top. Settles down fairly quickly but sticks around well.

Dark fruit and roast dominate the smell on this at first but there is some dark chocolate fudginess as well that comes out making this really inviting.

The taste is of dark fruit, a little roast and chocolate.

Smooth although fairly fizzy with a medium body.

Not super flavorful but very nice.

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Photo of punkindrublic50
3.73/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Take your normal Guinness and put it on steroids. Darker. Thicker. Sweeter. Then make it only availible in Belgium and (where I found it) West Germany to torment beer drinkers everywhere else, and you have Guinness Special Export.

Coloring is almost completely black, with a strong tan head. Scent is pretty much identical to taste in every way, strong but not overpowering, dark fruits, coffee, chocolate. This beer is thick and creamy, to the point that it severely hurts the drinkability. Nice to sit down with one and relax, but this is by no means an every day sipper or a drink to get drunk sort of beer.

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Photo of Sammy
3.73/5  rDev -11.4%
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.

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Photo of rastaman
3.72/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Looks delicious, deep brown to black, really compact head, tight bubbles. Didn't like the aroma so much (oily, buttery mollasses. Fat toffee and roast, thick and rich. Very long roasty finish, quite bitter. Some mollases and raisins aswell, very thick mouthfeel. Beautiful rich, bitter chocolate finish. A beautifully rich stout.

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Photo of dedrinker
3.7/5  rDev -12.1%
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.

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Guinness Special Export Stout (John Martin - Belgium) from Guinness Ltd.
93 out of 100 based on 160 ratings.