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.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

256 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 256
Reviews: 157
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 10.02%
Wants: 122
Gots: 32 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Guinness Ltd. visit their website
Ireland

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 (35) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 256 | Reviews: 157
Photo of eduardolinhalis
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle served in a chalice.

A: Pours a beautiful deep black color with a huge beige head that dissipates quite quickly leaving a lot of lacings

S: Great smell of roasted malts is simply fantastic here! Really. The high ABV gives it a special liquorous smell. Notes of coffee, dark chocolate, wood, Guinness hops

T: Follows the nose. Strong on roasted malts. Notes of coffee, dark chocolate, vanilla. Sweet upfront and a good stingy roasted earthy hoppy bitter end :)

M: Full body. Creamy. Molasses. Medium carbonation and delightly bitter aftertaste

O: Absolutely drinkable despite the high ABV. Excelent Stout. No mistake here

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

300ml bottle.
Pours black with a small brown head, just as a stout should look.
Smell: Chocolate, caramel, malts, coffee and a little raisin. Quite sweet smelling.
Taste & mouthfeel: Full bodied and creamy with chocolate, malt and caramel goodness, a little sweet but not too sweet. It finishes dry and with a coffee or cocoa bitter and some roasted malts in the flavour. There are some notes of booziness and raisins throughout that tie it all together.

Overall: This is simply a very good stout, it is as a stout should be. It's not shocking or special or strange but it sets the bar for all other stouts.

Photo of darklordlager
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
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 biegaman
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
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!

Photo of russpowell
4.26/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

BBD of 4-29-11, got this from Bitterbill, cheers Bill!

Pours mahogany/ebony 3+ fingers of rocky mocha head, such a good looking pour! Great lacing & good head retention

S: Figs, woody & leafy hops, raisins & iron. all kind of drop off as this warms

T: Dark fruit in abundance, dryness, a touch of carob & just a hint of coffee up front. Figgyness & leafy hops rule the day with just a hint of molasess & vanilla as this warms. finishes dry, roasty, fruitty & with carob & leafy hops

MF: Full bodied, low but noticable carbonation, well balanced, smooth

Drinks too easy, I know I could come closer to sessioning on this versus the more well known little brother bottled or canned version. If I ever come across this I love to cellar some to see how this ages..

Photo of Zorro
4.26/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

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

30 cl. bottle; served in Duvel tulip.
Black color; nice, creamy, tan head with good lastability.
Bitter, heavily roasted aroma. Impressive fullness and bite in a well-balanced bitter, dry taste that's nicely rounded and complex. The alcohol is impressively hidden and is noticeable primarily as a slowly warming sensation halfway into the glass. Assertive, long finish. Very nice, full mouthfeel. Highly drinkable.
A thoroughly impressive stout.

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

Thanks to upsjeff for this 330 mL bottle.

A: The stout is a dark brown, nearly black, color with the occasional ruby red flash. A finger and a half of tan leather head is lacing nicely.

S: The nose has lactic sourness amongst the roasted malts. Peppery flourish and mild hops round out the nose, which is much fuller than the 250th that I just had.

T: Mmmm! The stout has the thick qualities of a Guinness with a touch of Belgian spiciness. Chocolate malts are nicely roasted and augmented with cocoa powder. Lactic sweetness has an edge of sourness but not a significant one. A pronounced hoppiness resides near the end of each sip. Licorice and dark fruits are signs of the Belgian aspect. Luscious chocolate lingers on the palate long after a sip is gone.

M: The mouthfeel is rich, a nice twist on the classic Guinness export. A stout that embraces its Belgian side.

D: Quite the conundrum: it is the best Guinness but it is too rich to enjoy over and over again. The 8% doesn't really rear its ugly head, content to stay in the background.

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

Vertical tasting w/ 2014, 2013, and 2010 expiry dated bottles; ratings are averaged.
2014: Garnet black with webby tendrils of tan.
Metallic and lean nose with slight raisin.
Giant treacle body with some coffee grounds and dried cranberry.
Pure Baker’s chocolate end and drying vinous linger.
Medium to full, dry, and chewy.

Much tinnier and port-like than I’d expect - raisiny yet dry. No sweetness to help you swallow it. Mighty but easy.

2013: Bigger vinous nose, great webbing, and a much fuller and silkier body. Big chocolate thread; reminiscent of Polish rum-raisin bon-bons. So much to dig into; almost not the same beer.

2010: Tobacco nose comes out now, there are more oxidized sherry notes, and it’s starting to get too fizzy. Past its peak, but still has an incredible long, layered sultana finish.

Overall all a very different creature from Foreign Export - goes for tart over sweet, dark fruit over coffee. Should be laid down and then tasted like port. Worthwhile.

Photo of Sigmund
4.23/5  rDev +1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle, bought at Selfridge's, London. Black (= very dark brown) colour. Truly impressive large and thick brown head. Aroma of malts, oak, leather, coffee and dark chocolate. Flavour is overwhelmingly bitter from the roasted barley and hops, but also sweeter than regular Guinness. Elements of very strong coffee, hints of bitter chocolate. Bitterness lasts through the long aftertaste. Not for beginners. The crowd who think nitro draught Guinness is "sooo strong" should try this one!

Photo of gford217
4.23/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

33cl bottle purchased from Carrefour in Athens, Greece, where I couldn't believe my luck.

Pours dark, dark brown out of the bottle and settles in as black in the glass with a huge rocky tan head that lasted for ages and left great lacing. The aroma is a little better than draught with a slightly more evident chocolate malt backbone but with the bitterness I expected. The taste, however, was much more complex than i expected. It has the roasted malt backbone but with milk chocolate sweetness balanced with some coffee bitterness in the finish. Very, very nice flavor. The mouthfeel was medium bodied with good carbonation with the patented Guinness creaminess. This is a revelation compared to standard Guinness and I'm lucky I got the chance to try this one.

Photo of Nickls
4.23/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice enough looking brew, and it is not as 'black' as some of versions of Guinness that I've sampled; very deep, dark mahogany that verges on black, just not black; really great retention on the head that started as a nice creamy and a little bubbly tan head with some sticky lacing down the side of the glass.

Lightly sweet maltiness starts out first; then the roastiness comes in; a little hint of smoke and sweet tobacco; pretty nice aroma.

Punch of roasted malts; bit of a booze burn on the tongue coupled with the roasted malts; not really alcoholic in the taste; just a very nice warming on the palate and the back of the throat; really dark chocolate hints come in at the finish; some burlap as well.

Creamier, and very soft carbonation. A really warming 8% and I think that has to do with how roasty the malts come through in this. Really delicious, and it's a shame that this is not readily available in the US. Like some of the other export variants, this is what Guinness should be. Really good stuff.

Photo of CwrwAmByth
4.23/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Pours nicely, with a thick head that lasts a few minutes befoe leaving a centimeter or so sitting on top. A very dark brown/black colour too.

Tastes almost as if it were a toned down Guinness foreign extra - it still has the complexity of taste and quite a strong presence of warming alcohol, though it isn't as thick and overbearing, with the alcohol toned down quite a bit.

A very good drop, which I would love to drink again.

Photo of everetends
4.23/5  rDev +1%
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 BuckeyeNation
4.23/5  rDev +1%
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 bluejacket74
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle, 24-11-13 00:49 printed on back label. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with a half inch tan head. Head retention is decent, and there's a good amount of lacing. The brew smells like roasted malt, licorice, bittersweet chocolate, coffee, and some caramel. I think the taste is mostly like the aroma, but there's the addition of some burnt/charred malt. It starts off bitter, but gets sweeter as the beer warms up more. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's slick and creamy with moderate carbonation. The 8% ABV is well hidden in this brew. I think it's a good overall brew, I liked it.

Photo of Prufrock
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

Photo of DefenCorps
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle that I received as an extra from Masterski. Thank you, Alex, this has been on my wants for about 2 years and I finally get a chance to drink this.

This is another first for me - this bottle actually has nutritional information on it! 0 grams of fat, 4 grams of carbs and 0.8 grams of protein per 100ml for a grand total of 64 calories per serving, best by 27 August 2010.

Pouring a very dark brown, this sits black with reddish dark brown highlights. A mocha colored head is present, dense, creamy and beautiful lacework. The nose is excellent. Licorice and molasses, there's also some spice character. The spice is a blend of yeast and licorice. Unsweetened dark chocolate syrup and a little coffee are present, but what strikes me the most is the complex yeast profile - spicy with a little clove? Some vanilla and brown sugar are also present.

The palate opens with a blend of licorice, cocoa and some spice character. Moderately yeasty, particularly on the mid-palate. The malt backbone is quite complex, with a blend of moderate roast, a little acidic burnt malt bitterness, some burnt sugar and some molasses. Drying on the finish with some yeast, this beer is medium in body with moderate carbonation. Spicy and yeasty on the finish, this is enjoyable, and I'm glad to have got the chance to drink this. Excellent

Photo of paterlodie
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

BB 04-10-06. Nice presentation with yellowbrown head and almost black beercolor. Nose is good, coffeebeans bathing in diacethyl that comes good in this brew. Litle sweetness and some yeastspice. Taste is lots of flavours but mostly burnt& coffee and bitter. Litle maltsweetness and full bodied with great bitterburnt aftertaste for good mouthfeel and yes without problem drinkable all night. Lot more taste( bitterness) then the regular and IMO better.

Photo of clvand0
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

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

Thanks to clockworkorange for sharing a bottle of this with me.

A-Deep black with just a hint of subtle chestnut highlights. A medium light tan head hangs on strong and leaves clingy lace.

S-Light chocolate and cereal grains. Not overly aromatic but certainly better than "regular" Guinness!

T-Rich and robust with bitter dark chocolate and espresso. A light touch of burnt roasted malt in the dry finish.

M-Medium body rich and satisfying with nice lingering roasted malt and earthy hop bitterness.

D-NIce. A BIG improvement over the standard stuff. Rich and roasty with a pleasant bitter bite. I wish this was more readily available...if it was I would drink Guinness more often!

Photo of cypressbob
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

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

This one pours close to a pitch black but there's definitely some reddish hues there.

The smell has notes of vanilla, coffee, and some chocolate. Weird nose but nice.

The taste is big on the roasted malt, as it should be, followed by vanilla, chocolate, and a fairly substantial amount of coffee. I also get a lot of warming from the alcohol. lol. I didn't think I'd ever say that about a Guinness but this puppy is strong and lets you know it. But I have to say, the flavours more than make up for it; you just have to take small sips and I *do* mean small sips to appreciate it.

It has a fullish mouthfeel, the carbonation is on the light side of medium, and it finishes with bitter coffee notes. This is defintely a brew where I drink 1 and I'm done but there's nothing wrong with that and I suspect that the breweres didn't intend to offer up this brew as one to session on.

Bottom line: A great taster, looks great in the glass, has a great mouthfeel, good smell, and is not meant to be sessioned on so drinkability won't be the best. Try it if you see it!

Edit, Nov 28, 2010: I'm drinking side by this and the Guinness Foreign Extra...this is less roasty and has notes of pitted fruit that I didn't notice before. (plums and cherries?) I'm glad I did a comparison..

Photo of coldmeat23
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

Guinness Special Export Stout (John Martin - Belgium) from Guinness Ltd.
93 out of 100 based on 256 ratings.