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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

160 Reviews
no score

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

Style | ABV
Foreign / Export Stout |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

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

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (36) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 160 | Hads: 265
Photo of Douberd
4.33/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought in the Netherlands, poured from a bottle of 300 ml. Colour is a very dark brown, almost black if not against light. Pours a thick beige head, which is leaving heavy lacing around the glass as it goes down. Aroma is chocolate and coffee. The taste follows the aroma, bitter chocolate with a sweet finish. Tick in body with average carbonation. The high ABV is there but it goes unnoticeable until you think about it. Overall a great dark beer!

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Photo of jmalex
3.99/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Now this I never expect to get a hold of. But after seeing it in a convenience store in Brussels, I knew I had one of my hardest finds.

APPEARANCE: Pours into an English style pub glass black in color with a 2-finger high light-tan head. The bubbles are both tight and loose and slowly dissipate to a full coating of foam with some spotty lacing dotting the glass.

SMELL: Not very aromatic at all, but the dark chocolate aroma I am getting are extremely rich. It's coupled with a slight smell of dry, acrid, black malt. That's about it though.

TASTE: My initial 2 word reaction to this beer is completely contradictory - flavorless and complex. It's got such a dry stout profile going on that it fails to deliver the rich robustness of a foreign extra stout. But the dry black malt flavor is so nice. It adds such depth and dimension to this beer that is found in no other. It really contributes most of the bitterness to this beer. Other than that, there's some raw cocoa and a hint of sweetness on the end. One thing I will say: I can tell it's a Guinness product.

MOUTHFEEL: Medium bodied with a slightly below average carbonation. No complaints here other than maybe it could've had a bit more body.

DRINKABILITY: I was on the fence here until I noticed it's listed at 8%. Holy crap, I never would've guessed! This does go down really nicely though a second bottle probably wouldn't be in order.

Wow, this is not what I was expecting, but it certainly was a nice surprise. All the different names for the different varieties of Guinness can get confusing, so I'd just call this "Guinness - The Good One"

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Photo of Mar02x
4.14/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - A super dark red beer with a good beige head, that unfortunately retracts to a small layer.

S - Coffee and dark chocolate. There is also some strange scent prickling my nose which I cannot bring home.

T - Again coffee and chocolate - a nice dry bitter beer.

M - Medium carbonation and a medium dry finish and thickness.

O - A good stout totally nothing wrong here.

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of BeerNemesis
4.57/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Guinness Special Export Stout | 330 ml | 8.0% ABV | vintage

Brewer: Guinness Ltd.
Style: Foreign / Export Stout
Glass: Snifter

Orange-yellow label with the words "Guinness Special Export St. James's Gate Dublin". I'm told this is not available in the U.S. Luckily, my friend Justin brought one over after touring Europe.

Pours a beautiful matte black with a fine mocha head of 1". Great lacing.

Deep and rich coffee and dark chocolate flavors mingled with dark fruit and brown sugar. A tinge of oaky, whiskey-like alcohol lurks in the background.

Immediately the dark chocolate and espresso notes in the nose translate onto my palate. Unlike many stouts, the Special Export manages to imbue the standard cacao and coffee with a somber richness and complexity. The middle features a flash of cola and some brown sugar. It is at this stage that I am most reminded of the common Guinness Stout.The finish is oaky and a bit alcoholic with just the slightest hint of dark fruits.

Remarkably creamy and well-carbonated. It carresses the tongue like a sudden brush of silk against supple skin.

Extraordinarily complex and well-crafted. Flavors are vibrant and the aftertaste matures gracefully well after the last sip.

Price = It was a gift from the one and only Justin M.
Served/bottled on: Doesn't say
Best by: May 26, 2011

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Photo of dbalsock
3.38/5  rDev -19.7%
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.

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

A: completely impregnable dark brown, nice creamy brown head

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

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

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

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

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Photo of darklordlager
4.27/5  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....

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Photo of haz77
3.68/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours black with 2 inches of tan head, which leaves some rings of lacing as it falls.

S - Chocolate, coffee, roast malt, alcohol

T - Large amount of roast malts at first, with some chocolate and coffee coming through. Alcohol warmth comes through in the aftertaste.

M - Creamy, full, smooth, surprising amount of carbonation.

D - Much better than the original and worth a try.

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Photo of Cozzatoad
4.06/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle

A- Black (or extremely dark brown) colour. Two finger, dense, very light brown head. Great retention at first, just a little ring after some sips. Loads of lacing on the glass

S- Quite weak, even after head has receded, but nice. Creamy chocolate aroma, with notes of nut and raisin. A light alcoholic note in the back. Maybe a hint of leafy hops as well. Overall this is much sweeter than expected

T- Very sweet as the aroma suggested. Rich, full chocolate taste, but really on the sweet side with a delicate caramel malt foundation to it. Nut, alcohol, maybe liquorice notes all blend very well and bring complexity. Finishes with a refreshing hint of bitterness. Not the slightest hint of roastiness

M- Medium body and just a hint of carbonation. Wonderfully delicate on both tongue and palate, but somehow still a dense, full creamy mouthfeel

O- Delicate and rich. Extremely drinkable but still nicely complex, perfectly balanced. Even quite refreshing, which is great to be found in a strong stout

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Photo of AlexLMS
4.68/5  rDev +11.2%
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.

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Photo of basica
4.56/5  rDev +8.3%
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.

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Photo of tesguino
5/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the best beer in the galaxy; reflects in its price (us$5.00 in mexico); direct from the st jame´s gate brewery, take an scale in belgium via John Martin, and put in mexico by Carrefour; in general this beer had an exceptional touch of ireland; the irish brewers are up on the english brewer´s, english had good beer´s but ireland had guinness in a wide range of variations, this version is the most powerful of it; made originally for export with a chocolate and roasted malt, belgium is the place where fisrt was sold this beer; i recommend alone, but try with american and mexican food

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Photo of endovelico
4.05/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark brown beer with thick pillowy mocha head. Good lacing and head retention. No perceivable effervescence.

Smell: Medium high intensity. Grainy notes, Chocolate, Coffee and some higher alcohols up front. Toffee and a bit of smokiness on the back.

Taste: High intensity. Black patent Roastiness, grainy, coffee, buttery, fusely and kind of a lactic twang aswell. Expected more depth to be honest.

Mouthfeel: Medium full bodied. Medium low to low carbonation. Medium bitterness. Long lasting smoky flavour. Well achieved.

Drinkability: Complex enough although it could use a bit of dark fruit complexity and more balanced roastiness. The alcohol is well hidden and makes this beer surprisingly easy to drink considering th ABV and harshness on the palate. Decent price quality ratio. Would have again although its not even the best Export Stout in Guinnesses catalog.

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Photo of Prufrock
4.22/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

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Photo of ChrisBowers
4.57/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Simply the finest offering from the Guinness Brewery, and only available in Belgium. Goes to show you what a great beer place that country is! Not that you needed that to know. Pours a dark dark brown. Slightly fizzy, aroma is rich, roasty. First taste is rich, roasted malts, bitter chocolate, maybe even a little licorice or rum. Great roasty yet slightly hoppy finish. All this and incredibly silky and creamy. What a great beer. Unfortunately its not available here.

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Photo of kmcnair
4.78/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I poured this one from a 33cl bottle into a Chimay goblet. It is a deep dark brown cola-like color and makes a superb off white/tan head. Laces nicely down the goblet as it empties.

Smell is rich, roasted malt and coffee beans with a subtle hints of chocolate and caramel.

Flavor is full of roasted coffee bean and bittersweet chocolate malt. Its spicy and hoppy. Much of the same that was found in the nose is present in the flavor, roasty caramel and chocolate with a huge coffee flavor. There are hints of prunes and raisins on the pallate. Alcohol is hardly present. This is perfection in an export style stout.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and viscous and long lasting coating on the throat.

This is a moderately drinkable brew, it is strong and full flavored and all around great!

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Photo of jhtipton
4.38/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, nice stout. Pours a very dark brown almost like tar or rich corinthian leather. Initial quaff makes me thinks I bought a sherry from Jerez. It gave me some head and I appreciated it. Probably about one inch of light brown foam and it laced nicely. I feel like it is a touch of brown sugar, coffee and cocoa in both smell and taste. Mouth feel is medium bodied-kind of like a sandwich on light whole wheat bread. Drinkability is good-I could do two and WILL try to pick this up again. I like this better than its cousin that seems to be brewed in Canada now.

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Photo of MrDell
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


Guinness Special Export Stout (John Martin - Belgium)
Foreign / Export Stout – 8% - 330ml Bottle – Best Before 30.01.2017

Appearance: Completely black. 1 finger tan head. Beautiful lace work.

Aroma: Milky coffee, alcohol and roasted malts on the nose.

Taste: Coffee and dark chocolate followed by hops and a little warming alcohol in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and velvety. Heavy in body. Leaves the palate a little oily.

Overall: Very enjoyable big stout with lots of flavour. Far superior to any other Guinness I've ever tried before and very reasonably priced considering the quality (2.80 a bottle in Switzerland). 8.5 / 10

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

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

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

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

A thick and creamy mouthfeel with medium carbonation.

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

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Photo of Pepeton
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a much better beer than the most common nitro bottle and nitro can of Guinness Draught that I can more easily find.

After five --non consecutive!-- bottles, with no doubt I can state that I prefer this version of Guinness over the regular draught.

It pours a dark, brown and thick brew, but in the glass it's dark as a moonless night. If you lift your glass to a light or a sunlit window you can only see a small redish glow.
It has a dark, small but lasting head; little cobweb-like lacing in the top of my glass.

Roasted malts, some chocolate and, of course, alcohol is present to the nose.

The taste is mokka-ish. You can clearly detect the coffee and chocolate flavor, which for me has a lot to do with an authentic mokka coffee; plus all it's maltiness.

Creamy, silky and hoppy aftertaste.

Where I live, with hot weather during almost 7 months, this is a beer that you'd prefer in the peak of Winter, since you don't want to drink it too cold to truly appreciate all it's character.

It's a great beer, with a steep price, even for México where imported beers always bear a big tag.


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Photo of Bierschenker
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
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!

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

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

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Photo of numenor1
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had an 10 hour layover in London, and planned to see a few sights, but due to transportation delays after the bombings, I decided to just grab this from The Beer Store (Beerfly) and head out.

Appearance: It's jet black and pours a thick tan head that diminishes after a few minutes and leaves lacing all the way down.

Smell: Somewhat sweet chocolate malts with a slight hint of alcohol. Very rich.

Taste: The taste is fantastic, wonderful deep roasty flavors, with a sweet hint of molasses that counters the bitter chocolate malts. Plenty of espresso at the back of the tongue. Perfect. There's a gentle yet lingering hop, espresso finish and a mild warming sensation in the throat (the only hint that it's 8%).

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is incredible. It's thick and smooth with the perfect amount of carbonation. It definitely improves as it warms up. Simply amazing.

Drinkability: Considering it's 8%, the drinkability is excellent. I feel as if i could drink this all day, though anything more than slow sipping is a waste. It's silky smooth going down. I'd peg this at 5% alcohol if i didn't know better. The gentle warming of the throat is the only clue.

Incredible stout, wish i had access to it.

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Photo of titvs
4/5  rDev -5%

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

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