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

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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

217 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 217
Reviews: 153
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 9%
Wants: 101
Gots: 15 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Guinness Ltd. visit their website
Ireland

Style | ABV
Foreign / Export Stout |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: TheLongBeachBum on 06-28-2003)
View: Beers (27) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 217 | Reviews: 153 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of safaricook
safaricook

Netherlands

4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

03-23-2013 21:17:56 | More by safaricook
Photo of NeMe
NeMe

Italy

4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

09-11-2013 18:37:04 | More by NeMe
Photo of jmtpi
jmtpi

France

4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

09-20-2012 20:26:51 | More by jmtpi
Photo of MacStinson
MacStinson

Michigan

4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

07-20-2013 02:00:31 | More by MacStinson
Photo of WhoWeCallMeat
WhoWeCallMeat

Nevada

4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

06-22-2014 23:14:16 | More by WhoWeCallMeat
Photo of Slatetank
Slatetank

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

05-26-2013 21:46:09 | More by Slatetank
Photo of gford217
gford217

Georgia

4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2008 02:48:55 | More by gford217
Photo of kwjd
kwjd

Ontario (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

02-10-2014 23:44:32 | More by kwjd
Photo of biegaman
biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

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

330ml bottle purchased in Bruxelles.

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

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

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

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

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

Serving type: bottle

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

District of Columbia

4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2009 19:53:27 | More by Nickls
Photo of beerutiful1
beerutiful1

Colorado

4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

09-02-2013 03:49:34 | More by beerutiful1
Photo of JavierGC
JavierGC

Spain

4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

03-21-2014 12:41:30 | More by JavierGC
Photo of everetends
everetends

Alabama

4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2009 05:57:24 | More by everetends
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2009 15:10:41 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of NjalThorgeirsson
NjalThorgeirsson

Colorado

4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

05-07-2014 05:41:58 | More by NjalThorgeirsson
Photo of ToolHead
ToolHead

Denmark

4.28/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2004 10:45:50 | More by ToolHead
Photo of akorsak
akorsak

Pennsylvania

4.28/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2009 12:35:03 | More by akorsak
Photo of Zorro
Zorro

California

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

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

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

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

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

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

Serving type: bottle

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

Wisconsin

4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
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....

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2008 21:58:06 | More by darklordlager
Photo of rye726
rye726

Colorado

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

Dark brown, near black, with a creamy tan head. Good lace.

Musky Hops, big malt structure, spicy Blegian yeast and

Chocolate, black ,roasted and wheat malts complimented well by earthy hops. Good peppery yeast presence with dark fruits and candy.

Full with a nice dry finish. Nice light carbonation.

This is what Guinness should be. Why do they even bother making anything else?

Serving type: bottle

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

Massachusetts

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

On tap 10oz glass at Belgian Beer Paradise in Tijuca Rio, of all places.
It pours the familiar coal tar black with a voluminous tan head and lots of sticky rimmed lacing.
First noticeable smell is smoked peat and a just opened can of coffee. This Guinness, though also has a distinct whiff of Kalua.
A nice taste of slightly burnt brown bread with a touch of molasses sweetness is upfront. A taste of rolled oats and a dry cardboard-like flavor is omnipresent, though more subdued.
A taste of Kalua lasts throughout and remains on the breath for a while.
This is a flavorful stout, yet goes down velvety smooth.

Serving type: on-tap

05-25-2005 14:21:17 | More by BeerResearcher
Photo of CwrwAmByth
CwrwAmByth

United Kingdom (Wales)

4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2011 15:50:16 | More by CwrwAmByth
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

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

Picked this up in Belgium this summer. This stuff is available at every corner store in Brugge. Best before August 27th, 2010. Served in a Surly pint glass.

A - Pours with a big billowing two fingers of mocha foam that takes a long time to dissipate, and leaves clumps of chunky lacing and a thick cap. The body is dark, dark, brown with a glint of ruby highlights and transparency.

S - Molasses, dark chocolate, roastiness, dark fruits, a touch of smoke & tobacco. Even though candi sugar isn't listed as an ingredient there's something "Belgian" about the smell - perhaps the yeast used, even though this is brewed at St. James' Gate.

T - Dark roast coffee/espresso, dark chocolate, not quite as sweet as the nose, and with lots of bitterness in the finish. The aftertaste is actually surprisingly clean, as the bitter flavors dissipate quite quickly. Alcohol is quite well hidden.

M - Smooth medium body, with light carbonation tingle. There's a little bit of warmth after a few sips. It's perhaps a little thinner than I like for an 8% stout, but otherwise I have no real complaints.

D - Why the heck isn't all Guinness like this? It's a sipper with the intense flavor, bitterness, and 8% ABV, but otherwise it's easy drinking. Worth seeking out if you're ever across the pond.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2010 01:39:03 | More by MasterSki
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
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..

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2011 05:11:52 | More by russpowell
Photo of Traquairlover
Traquairlover

Virginia

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

33cl bottle poured into a tulip. Marked 07.12.08 (which I assume means bottled on Pearl Harbor Day, 7 December 2008). Drank 9 Sept 2009. Thanks to coldmeat23 for this bottle.

A = Pours a dark mahogany, not quite opaque, when held to the light it has a clear redwood look, head pours very large and sturdy in a light tan color, composed of mostly small bubbles, decent retention and leaves heavy lacing as it slowly dissipates into a 1/4 cover of foam and small bubbles on surface.

S = Some cocoa powder but though prevalent that is not the primary smell I get, or rather it is closely joined with a whipped cream and light sugared coffee, also present are some good fruity smells of plums and similar dark fruits.

T = Very sweet flavors on the front of the tongue but bitterness builds thought the drink until a nice mixture of bitter-sweet in a long finish. There is both sweetened cocoa powder and bitter, sour dark chocolate, light hints of dark pumpernickel bread. Great mix of sweet and sour. This is what Guinness should taste like.

M = Medium-heavy body, smooth, thick & creamy feel, good mouthcoating, carbonation is present but mostly of a smooth foamy quality, not a stinging biting bubbling type.

D = This is a sipper, but it really is very good. I like taking each drink and I would definitely like another.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2009 01:54:50 | More by Traquairlover
Guinness Special Export Stout (John Martin - Belgium) from Guinness Ltd.
94 out of 100 based on 217 ratings.