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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
94
outstanding

236 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 236
Reviews: 154
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 10%
Wants: 108
Gots: 21 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 236 | Reviews: 154 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dedrinker
3.73/5  rDev -11.2%
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.

dedrinker, Feb 15, 2008
Photo of rye726
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
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?

rye726, Feb 14, 2008
Photo of Wasatch
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

Wasatch, Jan 25, 2008
Photo of kmo1030
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

kmo1030, Dec 13, 2007
Photo of basica
4.58/5  rDev +9%
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.

basica, Nov 16, 2007
Photo of rhoadsrage
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

rhoadsrage, Oct 14, 2007
Photo of Zorro
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

Zorro, Oct 08, 2007
Photo of biegaman
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
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!

biegaman, Oct 06, 2007
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
Guinness Special Export Stout (John Martin - Belgium) from Guinness Ltd.
94 out of 100 based on 236 ratings.