Guinness Special Export Stout (John Martin - Belgium) - Guinness Ltd.
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Ratings: 223 | Reviews: 153 | Display Reviews Only:
3.73/5 rDev -11.6%
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.
02-15-2008 05:30:19 | More by dedrinker
4.35/5 rDev +3.1%
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
09-19-2009 13:58:19 | More by rvdoorn
4.25/5 rDev +0.7%
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.
07-21-2009 05:57:24 | More by everetends
4.6/5 rDev +9%
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%.
07-25-2007 05:48:36 | More by BlindPig
4.43/5 rDev +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.
12-01-2006 05:18:29 | More by EPICAC
4.4/5 rDev +4.3%
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.
04-14-2007 03:25:30 | More by ggaughan
4.08/5 rDev -3.3%
Pours a dark brown/black with a tan head that lasts for quite some time. Very nice lacing.
Smells of dark roasted malt, blueberry and grape esters, and caramelized sugar. Tastes similar, with the roasted malt prevalent. Hints of coffee and chocolate, along with very slight hints of both hops and alcohol. Mouthfeel is fantastic. Very thick with an incredibly creamy head.
Really drinkable stout; it's a shame the normal Guinness is such a far cry from this.
08-12-2008 20:24:58 | More by philipquarles
4.38/5 rDev +3.8%
Pours jet black with faint ruby/brown highlights. An immense amount of light tan head that laces, a solid wall.
Aroma is dominated by roast, with a distinctly sweet cream note, almost like an imperial milk stout. A milky-sweet aroma with a background hint of smokiness, almost rauchbier-esque, along with the dark roasted grain, and an excellent strong maple note.
Flavour follows the aroma. This is simply an imperial, roastier, darker, heavier version of original Guinness. That same creamy, lightly sweet note with an excellent rounded roast flavour. exceptional.
The mouthfeel is good. creamy, smooth, much like a nitro Guinness, but this is simply with carbonation. Smooth, creamy, and slides down the throat far too easily.
This beer is excellent. This would be a beer of choice were it available here. I wish it was possible to get this, other than by going to Belgium.
Many thanks to Pingwin407.
02-13-2009 03:16:03 | More by khiasmus
District of Columbia
4.25/5 rDev +0.7%
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.
12-08-2009 19:53:27 | More by Nickls
4.58/5 rDev +8.5%
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.
04-24-2009 13:04:41 | More by RuudJH
3.93/5 rDev -6.9%
Color black with dark brown. The charred malt feels strongly, it offers scents of caramel brown, bitter coffee and a little toffee. The entry on the palate is alcoholic, slightly burnt and it offers, tasting, sour and bitter tingling that spread in the finish, added a powerful lasting bitterness. Good command of such export stout, well balanced and offers a nice range of flavors, it is the archetype without sublimate kind. Heady, strong and powerfully bitter, it is quickly exhilarating.
06-07-2010 17:23:42 | More by ThaCreep
4.5/5 rDev +6.6%
Purchased at Delhaize in Vervier, Belgium about a month ago.
Appearance: Poured from the little bottle into my trusty 25 oz crystal sniffer glass. The beer is a dark brown with a creamy tan head. The head is sticky and thick and lasts pretty well. Very pretty in the glass.
Smell: I was quite surprised by the nose on this beer. It is meaty and smoky and actually smells like sliced smoked ham from the deli. I love smoked ham. There is faint toast to the nose as well. My, my, my, this is not what I expected from Guinness, but I am quite pleased with it.
Taste: This is unlike any other Guinness I've had, and that's a good thing. There flavor is complex with smoky and meaty flavors much like a rauchbier. Rich and fruity with plum, raisins, maple and more smoke. The ending produces more of the roasty flavor and is slightly sour and vinous near the end. Very yummy.
Mouthfeel: Very smooth and creamy. Wonderfully soft with light carbonation and a medium to heavy body.
Drinkability: This beer is excellent. I really enjoyed the smoky and meaty flavors along with the rich creamy feel. If only this was available in the USA...
07-27-2005 21:33:41 | More by BrewMaster
4.35/5 rDev +3.1%
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.
04-22-2009 01:18:35 | More by ThatWineGuy
4.8/5 rDev +13.7%
Believe the hype. This is a tremendous stout.
Appearance: Black as night with just a little bit of ruby coming through at the bottom of the glass. Volumnous head. Big lacing til the end.
Smell: chocolate malt. It smells like someone opened up a bag of dark malt, except less intense.
Taste: Strong dark chocolate malt tastes with some vinous Russian Imperial Stout tastes poking through. Esp. when you are at the end of a sip.
Mouthfeel is perfect, esp. as it warms up a tad.
Drinkability: extremely good esp. given the alcohol percentage of 8%.
Now, I don't want to be stereotypical. "This is sooo good and you can't get any." This is great. But if you have good imperial stouts near you, you should content yourself. That speaks to how good this beer is, when I can easily compare it to the imperial stout style.
06-16-2005 12:03:42 | More by GeoffFromSJ
4.35/5 rDev +3.1%
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!
02-08-2012 21:24:42 | More by Douberd
4/5 rDev -5.2%
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"
08-29-2009 22:26:30 | More by jmalex
3.95/5 rDev -6.4%
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.
06-10-2011 05:16:20 | More by domtronzero
Guinness Special Export Stout (John Martin - Belgium) from Guinness Ltd.
94 out of 100 based on 223 ratings.