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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

226 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 226
Reviews: 154
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 9.5%
Wants: 107
Gots: 20 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Guinness Ltd. visit their website
Ireland

Style | ABV
Foreign / Export Stout |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: TheLongBeachBum on 06-28-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 226 | Reviews: 154 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Bitterbill
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%

This one pours close to a pitch black but there's definitely some reddish hues there.

The smell has notes of vanilla, coffee, and some chocolate. Weird nose but nice.

The taste is big on the roasted malt, as it should be, followed by vanilla, chocolate, and a fairly substantial amount of coffee. I also get a lot of warming from the alcohol. lol. I didn't think I'd ever say that about a Guinness but this puppy is strong and lets you know it. But I have to say, the flavours more than make up for it; you just have to take small sips and I *do* mean small sips to appreciate it.

It has a fullish mouthfeel, the carbonation is on the light side of medium, and it finishes with bitter coffee notes. This is defintely a brew where I drink 1 and I'm done but there's nothing wrong with that and I suspect that the breweres didn't intend to offer up this brew as one to session on.

Bottom line: A great taster, looks great in the glass, has a great mouthfeel, good smell, and is not meant to be sessioned on so drinkability won't be the best. Try it if you see it!

Edit, Nov 28, 2010: I'm drinking side by this and the Guinness Foreign Extra...this is less roasty and has notes of pitted fruit that I didn't notice before. (plums and cherries?) I'm glad I did a comparison..

Bitterbill, Oct 29, 2008
Photo of bluejacket74
4.25/5  rDev +1%

330 ml bottle, 24-11-13 00:49 printed on back label. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with a half inch tan head. Head retention is decent, and there's a good amount of lacing. The brew smells like roasted malt, licorice, bittersweet chocolate, coffee, and some caramel. I think the taste is mostly like the aroma, but there's the addition of some burnt/charred malt. It starts off bitter, but gets sweeter as the beer warms up more. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's slick and creamy with moderate carbonation. The 8% ABV is well hidden in this brew. I think it's a good overall brew, I liked it.

bluejacket74, Dec 21, 2012
Photo of OWSLEY069
4.1/5  rDev -2.6%

Pours jet black with a tan head. In the aroma, sweet roasted malt and a small bitterness. In the taste, roasted malts, a sweetness, a note of alcohol and a dry hop in the end. A bitter and medium to bigger bodied mouthfeel , with a dry chocolate roast in the aftertaste. It is like an imperial stout, or Guinness on steroids.

OWSLEY069, Nov 08, 2011
Photo of tavernjef
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%

Darkly pitched in black with periodic flashes of brown tinting. Lofty huge dark tan top of smoothed over foam. Stays at the helm forever and a day and never leaves its seat, fanning out eventually to leave enormous amounts of thick lacing.

Well rounded aroma of dark cocoa and milk chocolate with a light roasted quality and even lighter fruity notions of cherries and figs.

Flavor is quite full of action from front to back. Slender and dark fruity front, sweetly sided undertones at first, then, bold and creamy, big roasted chocolate cake center, dry and bittering finish with burnt crusty edges of roasted malts and grains. Turns to smoke, charcoal, tar, coffee grounds, and dry licorice spice as it cinders off into the finish. Wonderfully complex and layered with fun roasty flavors. A great whirlwind at the finish totally knocks it out of the park.

Feel is rich, thick, and velvety with a unique sweet under carriage that keeps a very nice balance. The roast never really completely takes over but makes great efforts to do so. The body of this stout continues to grow in texture as it warms, becoming creamier and warmer in cocoa returns towards the finish as does the coffee grade.

A fantastic beer. The true Guinness! So truly sad that many here in the states don't realize what they think and drink as the "Original" - isn't actually what it should and could be. Oh well...

I thank the hell out of Shaughn256 for sending this as an extra in our latest trade! Osu!

tavernjef, Sep 20, 2005
Photo of DefenCorps
4.18/5  rDev -0.7%

Bottle that I received as an extra from Masterski. Thank you, Alex, this has been on my wants for about 2 years and I finally get a chance to drink this.

This is another first for me - this bottle actually has nutritional information on it! 0 grams of fat, 4 grams of carbs and 0.8 grams of protein per 100ml for a grand total of 64 calories per serving, best by 27 August 2010.

Pouring a very dark brown, this sits black with reddish dark brown highlights. A mocha colored head is present, dense, creamy and beautiful lacework. The nose is excellent. Licorice and molasses, there's also some spice character. The spice is a blend of yeast and licorice. Unsweetened dark chocolate syrup and a little coffee are present, but what strikes me the most is the complex yeast profile - spicy with a little clove? Some vanilla and brown sugar are also present.

The palate opens with a blend of licorice, cocoa and some spice character. Moderately yeasty, particularly on the mid-palate. The malt backbone is quite complex, with a blend of moderate roast, a little acidic burnt malt bitterness, some burnt sugar and some molasses. Drying on the finish with some yeast, this beer is medium in body with moderate carbonation. Spicy and yeasty on the finish, this is enjoyable, and I'm glad to have got the chance to drink this. Excellent

DefenCorps, Jan 16, 2011
Photo of WOLFGANG
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%

WOLFGANG, Jul 04, 2013
Photo of dgilks
4.15/5  rDev -1.4%

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.

dgilks, Mar 08, 2010
Photo of stcules
3.48/5  rDev -17.3%

The color is black. It has two fingers of a beautiful cream colored foam, creamy. Good appearance.
Stout smell, intense, strong, with malty notes, liquorice, dark malts. Dark and intense notes.
The taste is strong and intense too, with a lot of liquorice, cocoa, hazelnut, and a rhubarb touch. Even some bitter roots.
It is for sure less smooth than a regular Guinness Draught, but more interesting.
Intense, strong, full.

stcules, Mar 10, 2009
Photo of gford217
4.25/5  rDev +1%

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.

gford217, Oct 05, 2008
Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

This was served to me at an old Dutch bar off of Rue Sobloinerre in Brussels. This stuff is as dark as it gets! An opaque black colour with an immense head of tan. The aromas are of chocolate, deep-roasted malts, booze, and more! THe taste is boozy, malty, chocolate-y and perfect. The mouthfeel is thick but not cloying and the drinkability is wonderful...

francisweizen, Nov 04, 2003
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.72/5  rDev +12.1%

Presentation: A 33cl Tall thin neck brown bottle. Purchased in Belgium during my 2003 Easter Trip. Standard black, red & light orange label, very similar in style to that of Foreign Export Stout. Labeled as “Selected by John Martin, Alc. 8% Vol.”, the middle of the front label has the Red Letter M with a small JM above it, followed by the number “461009”. Brewed in St.James's Gate, Dublin for John Martin N.V., B-2060 Antwerpen. "Belgium Guinness".

Appearance: Pours a thick black color. A darkish brown thin head forms slowly as the beer is poured into my Belgium McEwan’s Scotch Ale Goblet. The minimal carbonation that existed in the beer expired quickly to reveal a rather flat looking darkish brown fluid. However, when the beer was swirled, it slowly allowed more carbon dioxide to come out of solution. The yeast that remained in the bottle slipped slowly into the Glass with the dregs of the pour.

Nose: Deep strong smooth malts. Slight vinuous hints mixed with some Port. Fino Sherry like whiffs occasionally permeate the air as the beer is swirled.

Taste: Massive and complex multi-layered tastes that reveal themselves at various stages. Strong coffee roasted malts that have been smoothly rounded by time in the bottle, lend Drinkability. Has a body reminiscent of a good Port. The 8% alcohol by volume is barely noticeable, yet there is a warming aspect to the finish of the beer in the stomach. Well-balanced.

Mouthfeel: Strong malts dominate the massive presence in the mouth, coating the tongue, cheeks & teeth. This all helps to create a fantastic lingering mouthfeel even after the beer has been swallowed.

Drinkability: A sipper that at times, simply dazzles you with its strong tastes, massive mouthfeel & gorgeous ‘aged’ finish. A simply huge beer, that has stood the test of time extremely well. A true, bottle-conditioned Strong Stout of the highest order and quality.

Overall: Totally Astounding. Sheer Bloody Brilliance. You can keep the Nitro-Can, the naff plastic bottle and the thin watery draft versions.

Oh, but just if all Guinness was like this….<sigh>

Note: The obverse label is dated, but its smudged, 10/11/9…., the last digit could be an ‘8’ or a ‘0’. The Zero is not as far fetched as it sounds. That’s because I bought this dusty old bottle from a tiny little Bar in Huy, Belgium. The woman who ran the Bar sold me this dusty old bottle, and the last 3 of her McEwan’s 1993 Christmas Ales (plus a free Glass) for just €5 this Easter – the stuff of legends!

TheLongBeachBum, Jun 28, 2003
Photo of DmanGTR
4/5  rDev -5%

DmanGTR, Feb 06, 2013
Photo of tpd975
3.75/5  rDev -10.9%

Bottle courtesy Trappistenbier, a big Thanks to Filip for bringing this from your home country.

A: Pours very deep dark black with a towering brown head. The retenion is great with spotty lace noted. Nice.

S: Nothing like your normal ho hum Guinness. Bold aromas with hints of coffee, chocolate, and dark fruit.

T: Taste of nice sweet malt and brown sugar. Hints of coffee and chocolate as well. Mild in taste but a good blend of flavors.

M: Medium in body, pretty smooth.

D: Nice treat, wish this was on tap in every bar in America instead of our version of Guinness.

tpd975, Aug 09, 2008
Photo of hopdog
4.38/5  rDev +4%

33cl bottle dated best before 03/08/06.

Poured a dark, dark brown with red edges and a large sized light brown head. Aromas of mocha chocolate, licorice, roasted malts and a light toffee almost butterscotch. Tastes of roasted malts, dark chocolate, and dark fruits. Bitter coffee finish. Creamy and smooth body. Some lacing left on the glass. Alcohol well hidden. I wish the Guinness we get here in the states was the same as this!

Notes from 11/18/05

hopdog, Nov 12, 2008
Photo of Reagan1984
4/5  rDev -5%

Reagan1984, Mar 25, 2012
Photo of Holland
4/5  rDev -5%

Holland, Dec 26, 2013
Photo of Suds
4.13/5  rDev -1.9%

My wife picked this beer up at a local supermarket in northern Italy. It pours as a deep blackish-brown liquid with a monstrously fizzy head. The head settles down quickly, but leaves some pretty lace. The aroma is fantastic...chocolate, coffee beans, very roasted grain, charcoal, and a lot of caramel. As the beer warms, a slight alcohol smell comes forth as well. The taste is solidly good. It's moderately dry, despite some notable malt flavors (quite a bit drier than the Foreign Extra Stout). There's a lot of bitterness, both from hops and also from highly roasted grains. The mouthfeel is full, thick, and satisfying. This is quite good, and easily one of the best Guinness products that I've had.

Suds, Nov 14, 2008
Photo of AgentMunky
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%

Poured from a 33cL bottle into a Rochefort goblet.

A: Looks impressive. Dark, dense, and brown with acceptable head that quickly dissipates. Interesting tracing on the surface and nice lacing on the sides.

S: Rich roasted malts and hops hit the nose and hint at coffee and dark chocolates. This is what a stout should smell like. Unfortunately, this greatness does not endure and the smell fades with time.

T: Way better than normal Guinness and the best stout I've ever had. Surprisingly light and alcoholicly sweet at first, this inital flavour burst gives up ground to the dominant character of this beer...Assertive, strong bitter notes -- hops and roast coffee -- march on through the mouth, fading slowly into a balanced, pleasant, and dry aftertaste.

M: The 8% gives this stout the oomph it needs. Lightly carbonated for a pleasant tingle. Balance prevents overpowering bitterness.

D/O: As good as this beer is, it's one I wouldn't drink often. It's too distinctive and...arrogant. The strong hops add a different character to the traditional stout, and I heartily approve.

EDIT (16 June): Changed the Drinkability/Overall from 3.5 to 4.5.

AgentMunky, Jun 19, 2010
Photo of Deuane
4.22/5  rDev +0.2%

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!

Deuane, Jan 04, 2010
Photo of msubulldog25
4.6/5  rDev +9.3%

We bought a 4-pack of this beer (33 cl's) at a GB Supermarket near Brussels, Belgium (cost: about €5...). Returned with it to US, poured to a pint glass & enjoyed at my kitchen table. Best before: 25.01.08.

A: Pitch black, with a rich, creamy 2-finger ivory head. Bits of clinging lace. No nitro added, so the creamy fullness of the head was a real surprise.

S: Wow! Decadent dark chocolate/cocoa maltiness. Notable candy sugar sweetness, hints of ripe fruit (plum, cherry) and a mild spiciness. Toasted malt and a potent & warm alcohol nose.

T: A cascade of chocolate bittersweetness upfront with a healthy dose of espresso bean bitterness to follow. Coupled with the sweetness is a slightly acerbic tang. The alcohol found in the smell is detectable also in the taste; it comes across similar to the spicy sweetness of rum.

M: Quite full in the mouth. A strong beer that loses some of the creaminess and approaches being a more carbonated Dark Ale. There is a lingering and likable bittersweetness.

D: Very enjoyable and extremely drinkable - only it's high gravity would prevent one from having several of these in a session. Or maybe it wouldn't? I'd put this near the top of the list for stouts, especially ones I've tried myself. Highly recommended.

msubulldog25, Sep 25, 2006
Photo of Metalmonk
4.33/5  rDev +2.9%

Not being quite as big a Guinness fan as many others out there, I was happy to get my hands on this one (thanks to msubulldog25!). I'd heard this was a great one, and it is. I just wonder why the hell it's all but impossible to acquire west of the Atlantic?!

Pours out looking like a regular Guinness stout, with a creamy head and an opaque ruby-hued black.

Aroma is fruity, milky sweet, some chocolate, some cocoa, and something that reminds of a Scottish Ale (musty? peaty?).

A plethora of flavors arrive within the first few sips: smoke, burnt grains, figs, other dark fruits, dark chocolate, pumpernickel, coffee. The mouthfeel is frothy, foamy, tight and bubbly.

A joy to enjoy. It gives you lots to contemplate and grapple with in the flavor, where it counts most. The most impressive and enjoyable that I've had from the Guinness family. Bring it over here!

Metalmonk, Oct 03, 2007
Photo of Boto
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%

33cl bottle: I saw this sitting on a shelf in a store in France and new right away there was something out of the ordinary. The bottle said "8%ABV". Closer inspection revealed this to be the Belgian version. You can tell this is different from "normal" Guinness as soon as you open the bottle. There is much more of an aroma than you are used to. The beer pours a dark brown color. There is no hint of ruby color to it if you hold it up to the light as in standard Guinness. The aroma is much stronger. It contains notes of roastiness and chocolate. Possibly a hint of licorice (I was getting something sweet). Similar to normal Guinness in taste, but much more rich, with the flavors much more prevalent. More chocolate notes than the original. Still very creamy and silky.

Boto, Jan 03, 2005
Photo of bobsy
3.65/5  rDev -13.3%

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.

bobsy, Sep 13, 2009
Photo of Floydster
4.18/5  rDev -0.7%

330 ml bottle purchased from Cracked Kettle in Amsterdam for a few bucks, consumed 12/30/08, reviewed from notes, drank from a Dogfish Head snifter, color is a very dark brown that is almost black, 3/4 inch creamy beige head that had good retention, nice lacing at first, aroma consists of sweetness, hazelnuts, roasted barley, other nutty scents, mild coffee and dark chocolate, and light bread, taste starts off a lot sweeter than I would expect a Guiness to, a little chewy in the middle, lots of underlying chocolate once it warms, more malts and spice continue to come out as it warms, really enjoyed the nuttiness in this brew, chewy, slightly sweet, sticky, and mildly roasted mouthfeel, moderate level of carbonation, taste lingers well, went down easy for an eight percent beer, alcohol was hidden, smooth and not near as dry as its normal version which I am used to, good drinkability, significantly better than the normal Guinness I am used to drinking, wish this stuff was available here, would enjoy drinking again, recommended

Floydster, Feb 12, 2009
Guinness Special Export Stout (John Martin - Belgium) from Guinness Ltd.
93 out of 100 based on 226 ratings.