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

218 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 218
Reviews: 153
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 9%
Wants: 102
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: 218 | Reviews: 153 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of FreshHawk
FreshHawk

Illinois

4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Deep black with some ruby hues especially at the edge. Gigantic, thick, foamy, creamy, meringue-like, light beige head. Great retention with a good lacing left. Very nice looking beer.

S - A touch faint, but a good amount of licorice, some fruit, also some mocca/espresso. These go along with the general roasted malt and chocolate. Has a bit of a BSDA smell.

T - It starts off with a bit of a roasted malt taste. This quickly gives to a BSDA-like flavor. There is a good amount of licorice, dark fruits, and some Belgian yeast. Then more stout flavors come out. A bit more roasted malt, along with some chocolate, mocca, burnt sugar/caramel, molasses, licorice, a bit of earthiness, and some lactose sweetness. Somewhat bitter, somewhat sweet, and a little warming alcohol presence all mix throughout the sip.

M - Medium body with average carbonation. Smooth and rich taste. Not quite as full and thick/chewy as I would have liked, but not bad really, the rest of the beer just set the bar pretty high.

D - Easy to drink and makes me coming back for more. A large diversity of flavors that mix well, and are easy on the palate. Well balanced and is smooth. Only probably for drinking multiple ones in a sitting is the ABV, which is pretty well hidden.

Notes: A very nice beer, too bad Guinness doesn't make more beer like this, or at least have this beer distributed to a larger area. Taste like a mix of a BSDA and a stout. A lot of different flavors that intertwine and mesh nicely. Glad to have tried this (and on St. Patrick's Day too).

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2010 21:36:10 | More by FreshHawk
Photo of mmmbeer
mmmbeer

Massachusetts

4.65/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330 mL bottle, purchased in Rome in November '07. Best by 12/13/08, sampled 6/1/09. It pours quite black, with two thick fingers of voluminous head that pits and becomes dense as it recedes, while leaving loads of fine lacing. Very fruity and aromatic, with soft chocolate, mild coffee and an odd, ashy note that is not necessarily off-putting. Chocolate and mild fruitiness on the palate, woody?, with roasty, ashy and coffee notes, earthy malts, green hops and a sturdy bitterness. In the background, it's the same ol' Guinness, but, oddly, it lacks the light sour note one usually finds in the flagship beer. It is dry, with medium body, ample carbonation, and a very smooth, mildly bitter finish. This is a damn fine beer, one which belies its 8%, and one that has held up quite well despite all the traveling and time this bottle has been subject to.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2010 23:39:24 | More by mmmbeer
Photo of dgilks
dgilks

Australia

4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's an interesting aroma. A light hint of roast, some yeast fruitiness and just a wisp of diacetyl. The aroma is unfortunately weak.

Very dark brown-black colour with a massive, creamy tan head. Good head retention.

The flavour is good. The roast bitterness is smooth tempered by a rich, round malt body and a hint of alcohol. Some nice fruity esters come through. Just a hint of acidity that is the trademark of the Guinness brand and a light touch of diacetyl. Solid.

Medium body with moderately low carbonation. Simple, smooth and effective. Greamy and with a nicely dried out finish.

A great beer. The alcohol is well hidden in the flavour and works effectively to temper some of the flavours. The best Guinness product I've tried.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2010 08:46:48 | More by dgilks
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 Bisho
Bisho

Australia

4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Jet black appearance with a tan head that lingers with a lacing that sticks down the glass as you sip.

Smells similar to regular Guinness but with added Belgian esters and chocolate.

Taste is great with less of the regular Guinness smokiness and bordering on Belgian Strong Dark Ale thanks to the added weight (ABV). A hint of bitter dark chocolate at the finish.

Silky smooth mouthfeel and the taste hangs around long after it's gone. Yum!

I have gone back to this stout on many occassions and it tastes damn fine.
If only the regular stuff tasted this good!

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2010 11:16:13 | More by Bisho
Photo of Deuane
Deuane

Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev 0%
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!

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2010 12:08:20 | More by Deuane
Photo of ccrida
ccrida

Oregon

4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle that I brought back from Belgium about 2 months ago, poured into my Delirium snifter, Guinness Special Export is black with a big dark tan head, which is very dense and fluffy, with long last and tons of foamy lace.

Smell is very fruity, classic cured dark fruit Belgian esters. Very strong, prunes.

Taste is quite a bit more Belgian strong dark ale then stout, not much roast to speak of, just dark malts and fruity esters. Most acrid on the finish, more char then roast, but just enough that it can be legitimately called a stout. Really quite tasty, if not what I was expecting. The stout aspect builds on my palate as I work through the beer, but it's still very Belgian.

Mouthfeel is very dry, viscous but medium bodied.

Drinkability is pretty good, a nice Belgian stout. Much better then the regular Guinness, it actually has flavor, and it's good.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2009 02:23:53 | More by ccrida
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 ultrasupergenius
ultrasupergenius

United Kingdom (England)

3.78/5  rDev -10.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2009 20:36:16 | More by ultrasupergenius
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 PapaEugene
PapaEugene

Netherlands

4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Hahahahaaa... I just saw that my beerbuddy rvdoorn also reviewed this one. Let's see if we can agree on this one....

A: Poured it into my Rochefort glass. It has a nice dark brown/black color with a solid creamy head. Unfortunately it dissapeared too fast, but it left a nice dense lacing.

S: Roasted/burned malts, dark fruits and also a fruity sweetness.

T: Burned malts in the foreground. Caramel, dark fruits and surprisingly hoppy for a dark beer. Some apple sourness. Notes of cacao and liquorice.

M: Incredible creamy!!! Medium carbonation and great full body.

D: Hell yeah. Too bad that in Holland you mainly find draught on tap. I like it but the special export is in a totally different class.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2009 15:32:24 | More by PapaEugene
Photo of rvdoorn
rvdoorn

Netherlands

4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Special version of bottled Guinness for Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. Poured into a Westvleteren glass. The beer pours a dark-brown-black color, with a nice beige-head.

Smell: coffee, dark chocolate, caramel and roasted malts all over the place, but also a bit alcoholic, sweet and fruity.

Taste: Roasted malts up front, then roasted coffee, caramel, hops, vague hints of liquorice, dark fruit (plum). Nicely balanced beer. Earthy hop and roasted malts with some dry coffee in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: very high carbonation for a Guinness beer (medium-high carbonation in general). Medium-bodied. Nice and drinkable.

Overall: By miles the best Guinness worldwide. Full of taste. Not a typical sport-pub beer like other Guinness beers, but a beer that one should drink at home with friends, while eating some nice trappist cheese! One word; YES

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2009 13:58:19 | More by rvdoorn
Photo of ritzkiss
ritzkiss

Ontario (Canada)

3.73/5  rDev -11.6%
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!

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2009 15:40:14 | More by ritzkiss
Photo of bobsy
bobsy

Ontario (Canada)

3.65/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice appearance, with a jet black body and a light tan head, which has good retention an deposits globs of lacing on the glass. Dry roasted grain aroma mixing in with cocoa. The taste is fine, but by no means spectacular. Kinda reminds me of a slightly amped up Irish dry stout. Prominent oak and stale coffee flavours, mixed in with cocoa powder. Some hints of fruit and sugar, but overall very dry. Medium mouthfeel and carbonation. Alcohol isn't even perceptible.

This didn't really impress me that much. While it is a decent beer its not in the same class as other foreign/export stouts, and it didn't have the richness of flavour I look for.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2009 14:02:08 | More by bobsy
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
Photo of jmalex
jmalex

Pennsylvania

4/5  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"

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2009 22:26:30 | More by jmalex
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 dbalsock
dbalsock

Vermont

3.33/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured dark brown with a tan/brown pillowy head. Looked quite appetizing and the head stayed thick and present for as long as I was drinking the beer. The best part of the beer by far was its gorgeous appearance... a little more lacing would have made it a 5.

Smell: Caramel, roasted coffee, and dark chocolate combine to create a pleasant aroma. There is a noticeable hop aroma as well, but it doesn't carry over into the taste.

Taste: Dark chocolate dominates with a hint of careml in the background. It tastes noticeably like a guinness stout, and only marginally better than their other products. I had high expectations that were let down by how one-dimensional this turned out to be. The alcohol was well hidden, but the taste seemed almost entirely made up of roasted barley. There was, however, a slight taste of fruits during one of my sips, but that passed quickly and I did not taste it again.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy at first with a delayed roasted bitterness that becomes quite intense. The alcohol presence is subtle but adds to the complexity giving an almost balanced mouthfeel.

Drinkability: the intense roasted bitterness and alcohol would make it better if ther was more complexity in the taste. It's almost an RIS, but too simple and not interesting enough.

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2009 15:54:29 | More by dbalsock
Photo of ClockworkOrange
ClockworkOrange

Pennsylvania

4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2009 20:14:42 | More by ClockworkOrange
Photo of TheSarge
TheSarge

Virginia

4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Guinness Special Export pours jet black, and forms massive amounts of toasted almond colored head. Reddish hues are barely detectable on the bottom rim of the glass.

Aroma characteristics of semisweet chocolate and coffee, and the alcohol is slightly detectable with a boozy smell.

This tastes of rich dark semisweet chocolate, very rich in cocoa flavors.

This feels coarse and finishes quite dry. It feels like I'm eating something more so than drinking a beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2009 05:10:50 | More by TheSarge
Photo of BeerTruth
BeerTruth

Connecticut

4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this one from tprokop7 as an EXTRA! It's been on my 'wants' list forever so I was pretty happy when I unwrapped this bad boy.

33 cl.bottle poured into nonic.

Pours a deep cola black with the slightest bit of a ruby outline and a monstrous three finger light brown head. Crazy webbing left on the sides of the glass as the huge crown descends. Smell consists of light cocoa powder, roasted malts, and some coffee beans. Sweet caramel malts, vanilla, and a bit of lactose as well. A metallic aroma is detected in the nose too. Taste begins with molasses, caramel, and brown sugar. Midway some smokey flavors emerge with espresso and cream. Warm milk chocolate flavors in the aftertaste with a hint of alcohol, but still extremely low for a beer that clocks in at 8%. Medium to hefty body with a rich, smooth feel in the mouth. Like I mentioned before, the 8% abv is tough to find, making this scary drinkable. If this was available in the states, I'd have it in my fridge as much as possible. Good stuff, glad I had the opportunity to try. Thanks again Todd!

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2009 00:46:21 | More by BeerTruth
Photo of RuudJH
RuudJH

Netherlands

4.58/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This particular Guinness is one of the best stouts on the European market I've had.

Very dark brown, a thick beige head.

The smell is tough and rough: roasted grains, lactose, coffee, caramel, chocolate, vanille, even some tobacco. But also, after trying carefully, the scent of green apples and dark fruits, which gives it nice depth.

Equal is the taste with massive smoky roasted grains, burned sugar, coffee and some chocolate.
The slight hints of fruity sweetness (dried fruits (raisin, apples, plums)) are no match for all the bitter violence.

The taste stays in your mouth long, this beer is chewy.

This 8% Guinness is very robust, an acquired taste, and once you're into it, it's hard to resist.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2009 13:04:41 | More by RuudJH
Photo of ThatWineGuy
ThatWineGuy

Ontario (Canada)

4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to my wife and son for picking this up in Belgium about 18 months ago. My son pointed out today that the BB date is 11/07/08, I hadn't noticed that due to the very faded yellow print on the bottle. Poured darker than the Jamaican-purchased Guinness Foreign Extra (FE) I enjoyed side-by-side, opaque, darker than midnight. Despite its advanced age, the tan head was a generous four fingers with excellent retention and viscous sheet lacing. Smell of chocolate biscotti but more than that, stewed prunes with apple slices and sugar, similar to what my Polish mother made us for dessert way back when I was a kid.

Taste is more complex than the FE with rich, deep, dark bitter chocolate and a prune tort-cake fruitiness. Mouthfeel smoother than the FE as well, more viscose. With warming, there was a smell of minty chocolate and raisin bread. The taste was balanced with a nice bitter/malt equilibrium. Dry aftertaste of chocolate wafer.

Overall, more complex than the FE, smoother, tastier and better retention: with an inch of brew in my glass, there is yet a head covering the surface while the FE went relatively flat at that stage. While I tend to favour the American stouts, this is a good example of the UK style modified for the Belgian market and I can certainly admire that as well. Delightful gift from two loved ones who went to Belgium when I couldn't, everyone should be so lucky to get such a nice souvenir, I feel fortunate to have sampled a rare brew like this.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2009 01:18:35 | More by ThatWineGuy
Photo of orbitalr0x
orbitalr0x

Illinois

4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

33cl bottle.

Deep dark pour that borders on black with garnet highlights when held to the light. A half inch of tan foam leaves some spotty lacing as it falls. Aromas start out with clean roasted malts along with chocolate accents. There's a slight sour / lactic edge along with dark fruits and big molasses. Caramel and licorice hints work in as well with just a touch of coffee.

First sip brings dark roasted malts upfront leading into a mix of bold molasses and licorice flavors with toffee undertones. Dark fruits meander in and out as it flows down along with a coffee/cream flavor that's just a touch sour. Finishes off with a nice lingering malty roasted flavor.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth...there's quite a bit more malt body here than in the standard Guinness we see in stores in the U.S. that is for sure. Good steady carbonation makes this one a treat. Overall, if this was the Guinness I could buy in the store here I'd be buying it quite a bit more often! Thanks to clvand0 for sending this one my way.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2009 21:36:38 | More by orbitalr0x
Photo of pwoods
pwoods

Ohio

3.88/5  rDev -8.1%
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!

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2009 02:58:56 | More by pwoods
Guinness Special Export Stout (John Martin - Belgium) from Guinness Ltd.
94 out of 100 based on 218 ratings.