Guinness Special Export Stout / Antwerpen Stout
Guinness Ltd.

Guinness Special Export Stout / Antwerpen StoutGuinness Special Export Stout / Antwerpen Stout
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Style:
Foreign / Export Stout
Ranked #4
ABV:
8%
Score:
92
Ranked #2,807
Avg:
4.13 | pDev: 10.17%
Reviews:
288
Ratings:
623
From:
Guinness Ltd.
 
Ireland
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  155
Gots
  124
SCORE
92
Outstanding
Guinness Special Export Stout / Antwerpen StoutGuinness Special Export Stout / Antwerpen Stout
Notes: This 8% abv stout has long been a secret pleasure among beer connoisseurs and indeed our Brewers, who value the mouth watering intensity of its roasted malt, smoked wood and dark chocolate notes, not to mention it's excellent and seemingly endless finish. Since 1944 we have been exclusively exporting this same special stout from Ireland into Belgium through the vibrant port of Antwerp. This is the first time we're making it available for general release in America.
Reviews: 288 | Ratings: 623 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Luklaer:
Photo of Luklaer
4.16/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

More User Reviews:
Photo of Jason
4.16/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

11.2 brown bottle, sample from the brewery.

Grandiose head on top of a very dark brew, yeah ... this beer is showing off. Roasted grains, ripe dark fruit, light molasses, and a mild buttery tone on the nose. Soft roasty palate, a little buttery, dark brown sugar, and a suggestion of dark German bread and a very mild coffee on the palate. Modest hopping, warming alcohol, cooked dark fruit, and a toasty note in the middle. Finishes a little sweet, malty, and roasty. My third trip to Belgium in my mini bar was this lush beer, I talked to it and it talked back until I drifted off to sleep. Thanks guys for listing to me, while beer geeks would have loved this beer 10-15 years ago in the US I am happy to see this again ... please make this a yearly visit.

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Photo of kojevergas
4.38/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle served into a badass looking Guinness goblet (which I intend to steal *ahem* borrow in the future) in a bar in Ghent, Belgium. Reviewed from notes. On 15 June, 2011, I did a literal side by side analysis of Foreign Extra with Special export, and served into a Guinness pint glass.

A: 2.5 finger head [into a Guinness goblet; 5 finger head into a Guinness pint glass] of lovely tan colour, brilliant cream, and excellent thickness. Black colour, though probably technically an extremely dark ruby like other Guinness offerings. Nothing short of absolutely brilliant. Amazing retention, especially for the ABV. Side by side, this retains for a bit longer than the Foreign Extra, despite being higher ABV. Very impressive all around.

Sm: Light hops, caramel, and chocolate. Not as complex as the Foreign Extra stout but more subtle, a very respectable tradeoff. The smell of the foreign extra is just a hair better. There's more coffee in the Foreign Extra.

T: Chocolate, caramel. The coffee of Irish Guinness is missing. Some smokey rauchbier baconey notes are also prominent. Very dark roasted barley forms an amazing foundation. Trust me lads; I've had me fair share of Guinness, and this is way different - even from the foreign extra variant. Brilliant complexity and subtlety. Some warm alcohol is present. One of the best built beers I've ever had the delight of tasting. Balanced incredibly well. There are many fringe notes that are subtle but contributory; I wish I possessed the expertise to adequately describe them. Better than the Foreign Extra by as much as it can be at this high a level of quality; the three people I'm side-by-side-ing with agree with me. Less caramel than the foreign extra.

Mf: Very smooth, but perfectly dry. Brilliant. No stout I've ever had, except perhaps Mikkeller, has done a stout mouthfeel this well. How do you make a beer that's simultaneously dry and refreshing? Bravo, lads. Nothing short of incredible. Perfectly complements the flavours of the body.

Dr: I had this the same day I went to the Westvleteren brewery, and let me tell you: it's still fecking brilliant by comparison, lads. The best Guinness I've ever had, and I live in Ireland. Why we don't have this back home is beyond me. If you told me I could have one beer only for the rest o' me life, I assure you, this would be it.

A (4.43)

***
Impressions from the 2016 American release (as "Antwerpen Stout"):

Nails a great balance between dryness and wetness, chocolate and roast. Aptly medium-bodied with a classic export stout build that commits to roasted barley in traditional Guinness fashion.

I remembered it better, but it remains one of the style paragons - from one of the main breweries responsible for the style to begin with. Ludicrously drinkable for its 8% ABV, drinking more like a 4-5% ABV beer. A beer I'll continue to revisit, and easily one of Guinness' triumphs.

B / GOOD

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Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle into snifter, bottled on 9/8/2016. Pours nearly opaque dark brown/black color with a 1-2 finger dense and rocky light khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, toffee, toasted dark bread, molasses, raisin, fig, and date; with lighter notes of licorice, nuttiness, smoke, tobacco, wood, herbal, and roast/toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/roast/bready malt, light-moderate fruity yeast, and light earthy hop notes; with great strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, toffee, toasted dark bread, molasses, raisin, fig, and date; with lighter notes of licorice, nuttiness, smoke, tobacco, wood, herbal, and roast/toasted earthiness. Light-moderate herbal hop and roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, toffee, toasted dark bread, molasses, dark fruit, and roast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt, light-moderate fruity yeast, and light earthy hop flavors; with a great roasted bitter/sweet balance, and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Lightly drying from hop/roast bitterness as well. Medium carbonation and medium-full body; with a very smooth, creamy/bready, and lightly sticky/chalky balanced mouthfeel that is great. Minimal warming alcohol for 8%. Overall this is an outstanding foreign stout! All around awesome complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt, light-moderate fruity yeast, and light earthy hop flavors; very smooth and easy to drink for the ABV. Very rich and complex for the modest ABV as well. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of Zet
4.43/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black with a decent head of beige foam that leaves pretty lacing. Full smell of milk chocolate, roasted coffee and vanilla. The taste is awesome: very complex yet in perfect balance. Dark chocolate, coffee, toffee, raisins, cherries and raspberry. Mildly sweet, mildly bitter with a modest dry aftertaste. Mouth feel is smooth and full. Guinness struck gold with this export stout. I'm very happy I actually live in the part of the world they export this particular version to!

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Photo of Pegasus
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Obsidian in color, with a thick, dense, and fine-beaded cream colored head with superb retention. Thick rings of unbroken lacing adorn the glass walls.

Aroma: Dense aromas of bitter coffee, caramel, dark bread, licorice, brown sugar and sweet alcohol dominate the aroma.

Taste: Opens with bitter cocoa, coffee, toasted black bread, and a hint of dark fruit. Soon after, licorice and brown sugar present. Midway through the taste, the alcohol appears, and is warming and gracious. Late in the taste, some oak notesappear, balancing the sweetness, Finishes with a long and lingering note of caramel and bitter cocoa.

Mouth feel: Rich, creamy and exceptionally full.

Drinkability/notes: Simply excellent, its regrettable that Guinness Antwerpen Stout is only occasionally available in my area. Perfect for a cool and rainy September day, a rarity in Texas, to be celebrated.

Presentation: Packaged in an eleven-point-two ounce Euro-style brown glass longneck bottle with a pry-off crown, served in a New Belgium Brewing chalice.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Guinness & Co. "Antwerpen Stout"
11.2 fl. oz. brown glass bottle, production coded but without freshness dating.
$3.49 @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ

Notes: Another great label in the Brewers Project Series with a bit of an art deco look to its lettering, and gold highlights over its multiple blues. The pour looks grand, very much like any other bottled Guinness (the head is much lighter on the draught). The head retention is quite good, and the lacing even better. On to the aroma... buttery (I don't see that in the description on the label), nutty, and toffee-like with a very soft roastiness, and a bit of smokiness. It reminds me of roasted chestnuts. All of that continues into the flavor with the addition of a soft fruitiness that includes apple and a little bit of dark fruit, as well as some molasses and cocoa. It's medium bodied and crisp with a standard carbonation that helps cut through its richness in conjunction with its solid bitterness. The alcohol is fairly well veiled at the outset except for perhaps a little bit in the finish where a little bit of heat might seem appropriate amidst its lingering smokiness. As it warms though the heat begins to show a little more, but again, it's not particularly unwelcome in the mix. If it's true, as the label states, that this has been exported to Belgium for years I can understand why. It's interesting, intriguing, and ultimately satisfying. I see it as more of a sipper myself (who wants all that richness to go to waste by just swallowing it down quickly), but maybe that's just me. And although many will see the buttery diacetyl as a defect I've always been kind of fond of it, and now that it's less common, perhaps even more so. Certainly worth trying.

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Photo of Dinglehacker
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into pub glass. Perisistent cream head and lace throughout the experience. Mostly opaque black in color.

Nose of roast and berries

Taste Is very creamy. This some kind of cream stout? Very subtle hop undertones, roasty, oaty.

Medium carb and full.

Like Pabst with Old Tankard, Guinness is a mega-import brand with some delicious secrets in the closet. For fans of all stout varieties and Dunkelale.

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Photo of waterski
4.24/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Friends that share new beers with you are the best. Poured from an11.2 oz bottle into a wide mouthed glass. Intensely deep brown, but not quite black. Little to no head, could be the glass. Light brown lacing around the side of the glass. Aromas of smoke, sweet/dark chocolate, fig, raisin and a bit of molasses. Taste follows up the aroma with the addition of some coffee bitterness. The flavors hold through the tasting. Even lingering. Original tasting was near 45 degrees, I'd suggest letting it warm a bit more. Fantastic change for Guinness. Hope another friend shares.

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Photo of steveh
4.89/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Last of my 4 pack that I've been enjoying over a few weeks. Poured into my Imperial Pint.

L -- Opaque black only showing red highlights via a flashlight through the glass. Dense, finely bubbled tan head that holds up substantially.

S -- Milk chocolate and cream notes with light roasted malt character back. Some clay-like notes with warmth.

T -- Roasted barley character very prominent up front. Coffee flavors follow with a spicy hotness from alcohol. Peppery alcohol blending with roasted grains through the finish and into the aftertaste with a light malt sweetness balancing the roasted character. Mild earthy hops in the aftertaste as well.

F -- Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with a robust body and dry finish.

O -- I'm not sure how this compares to the every day Guinness Extra or Foreign Extra Stouts, but I can say that this beer hits all of the right targets for the style. My only inner debate is whether there are any faults to knock this from a perfect score. My only hedge is in aroma, but that is growing on my senses with warming. There is no real fruit or vinous character, but the milk chocolate aroma is very inviting.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.78/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Considering that Guinness foreign extra stout is my favorite beer of all time, when I saw this in Belgium, I had to try it.

It pours an inky opaqe black that doesnt let the tiniest amount of light through. The head is absolutely massive, the color of coffee with milk in it and lasts indefinitely. The amount of lace this beer leaves behind is ridiculous. It coats the glass like shaving cream.

The aroma is of milk chocolate and coffee with hints of hops and alcohol. The taste is very complex with big hits of dark chocolate and coffee bitterness, theres also plenty of hoppyness and an alcohol zing (which is very mild, though definitely more noticeable than the Foreign Extra Stout, which my favorite beer ever). The taste is incredibly luscious and well balanced.

The mouthfeel is very smooth and thick as can be. It coats your mouth and throat. The sheer viscosity fights incessantly with its ample carbonation for your palate's attention.

This is as close to a perfect stout (with the exception of F.E.S.) as I have yet tried. Its a testament to what a cool place Belgium is that Guinness would brew a beer like this especially for its markets.

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Photo of GreatHammerhead
4.6/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 11.2 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Look: Intense black coloration with a thick, tan 2.5 finger head. Excellent head retention.

Smell: Malts, dark fruit, and ends on a sourish wood smoke note.

Taste: Malts, licorice, and the classic Guinness roasted malts.Delicious,complex and very well balanced. 8% ABV is very well hidden, very faint alcohol heat on the swallow.

Feel: Creamy and smooth with a medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: I love this stuff. I bought a four pack and drank one , then bought another four pack. After just finishing my second one (total) I will probably go buy a case.

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Photo of Fear4Beer
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow, this is an interesting Guinness brew. It has quite the history according to the bottle, it has been made since 1944 and has primarily been a beer for the Belgian market. This is its first release in the United States. If I were to have drank this beer without this history I would have sworn this was a new recipe made with Americans in mind. The reason for this is because this beer has a stout like presence but there is a hoppiness to the beer like a modern day American beer. The hop presence is not over the top, it is blended quite well.

This beer has a caramel, cocoa, toffee, vanilla, and definitely a flavor that I would describe as buttery. When the beer first hits your tongue it is creamy and the mouthfeel is thick. But at the same time the mouthfeel is slightly water as you swallow it. It's quite interesting. The flavor stays in your mouth for a long time after every sip. It just lingers on your tongue. There's this smokey toffee/caramel flavor that just stays around for a visit. The finish is quite dry and on the backend I can pickup a sort of lactose component (I've drank quite a few Lancaster Milk Stouts so I know what that tastes like). The alcohol is well hidden. I think the dryness of the beer hides the alcohol well. I'm not a big fan of dry beers so that aspect drops a few points for me, but I respect that they hid the alcohol taste. You can feel the warmth though.

I have to admit when I first took a sip I was in a bit of shock because it doesn't remind me of something Guinness would make. I was confused as to how much I liked it. I needed to drink more to fully take it in. I'm not a big stout drinker but I've had beers like Ten Fidy which gets rave reviews here . I would actually consider this beer similar to a Ten Fidy (an imperial stout) but the difference to me is that Ten Fidy violates your taste buds (wayyyy to much hop bitters, it makes my face turn inside out) while this beer accomplishes what Ten Fidy does without turning your face inside out. haha.

I'm glad I tried this beer. It's not something that I would drink all of the time, but I have to hand it to Guinness for bringing this to the US market. I know a ton of you will love this beer. This is a beer Guinness should be proud of for sure.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.41/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased at Nathaniel Square Corner Store in Rochester, NY.

This one pours a nice dark brown-ish red, with some black tinges, with a 1.5 inch foamy head, and a good level of lacing.

Smells like roasted malt, smoky tobacco, toffee, caramel, butterscotch, dark chocolate, and dark coffee.

This is another example showing that Guinness can actually make good beer. I've never liked Guinness Draught, or Guinness Extra, but Foreign Extra, and this reimagining of the John Martin Special Export is awesome too. There's a lot going on, with a super creamy taste, dark fruit, maybe some cherry, with toffee, black coffee, a wonderful nuttiness, light smoke, and sweet chocolate. Wow- there's really a ton going on here.

This is medium bodied, could maybe be a little thicker, but it's far from thin. It's super creamy (it is Guinness, after all), with a good level of carbonation.

This is absolutely stellar. Now to figure out how to get a bottle of the original John Martin Special Export stout for comparison.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.06/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Right, this is a live review: I am in my hotel room on the Belgian coast. The wife is dead on her feet, so we stopped at a 'Night Store' for me to have a night-cap beer. The only beer they sold that I hadn't reviewed was this one. Can't believe I'm reviewing an Irish beer in Belgium!

33cl Brown bottle, best before 29 Jan 2012, reviewed in Middelkerke on 26 May 2011.

Poured into a glass tumbler, because that is what was available in the hotel room.

It's a Guinness, so it's dark with a huge tanned head: the smell is of a regular Guinness with alcohol added. Even the head (which refuses to shrink) tastes like an alcoholic infused normal Guinness.

Dry and malty taste, the alcohol detected in the aroma is hidden better within the mouth flavours, but appears somewhat in the aftertaste as the mouth drys; and as already mentioned, in the foaming head.

Not as well balanced as I expected and not a beer I'd search for, certainly not in Belgium: where there are so many great beers to try.

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Photo of Foyle
4.57/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from bottle into pint glass.
Pours a 3" foamy tan head that drops very slowly with abundant lacing. Color is opaque black. Aroma of deeply roasted malt, coffee, and herbal hops. Mouthfeel is heavy and slightly astringent with a lingering finish. Flavors of dark roasted malt, smoked malt, peat, coffee, chocolate, with a lingering bitterness after the swallow. Another excellent offering from Guinness.

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Photo of barnzy78
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle, thanks to my friend, Ken, for giving me a bottle to try
A - towering tan colored head holds incredible retention atop a black colored ale; heavy lacing sticks all the way down the glass
S - roasted barley, fresh french roast coffee, cream, earthy hops
T - roasted barley, dark chocolate, coffee, toffee, raisin, earthy hops, faint smoke and anise
M - fuller side of medium for body, creamy and smooth, finishing modestly bitter with a twang of familiar Guinness sourness; roast & char linger on the palate
O - very similar to Guinness Foreign Extra Stout - this one seems to be more roasty while FES seems to be more dark fruit. I'd love to have them side by side because both are very good. I'd drink this anytime.

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Photo of jhtipton
4.38/5  rDev +6.1%
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 WholeLottaTricks
3.84/5  rDev -7%

Photo of ThatWineGuy
4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

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Photo of FreshHawk
4.48/5  rDev +8.5%
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).

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Photo of Pantalones
4.12/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Finally getting around to reviewing my last bottle of Antwerpen Stout, the hardest-to-find Guinness of them all. I bought these in May so this probably isn't at the peak of freshness, but it's also a higher-ABV non-hoppy dark beer so I'm sure the age won't have really hurt it any.

Appearance is pretty much exactly what you'd expect of a stout in the Guinness family -- pitch black in color (my little LED flashlight can't even put a dent in the blackness; for comparison, I can at least see red dots through the regular Extra Stout) with a nice layer of tan foam on top. Interestingly the foam is lighter in color than what I remember of Extra Stout, or maybe I'm misremembering a little -- hard to say which off the top of my head. I notice it's leaving a little bit of lacing behind as the foam recedes to a thinner coating.

Smell is classic Guinness roastiness right away, blending into something deeper and sweeter, reminiscent of chocolate. It's a very pleasant smell, far and away better than either of the more readily available Guinness varieties (I haven't had the Foreign Extra yet however) -- if you like the smell or taste of stouts/porters/other very dark beers, you will like how this beer smells.

The taste picks up where the smell left off, with roasty Guinness flavor mingling with something chocolatey. And then it goes even further, adding in a nice dark bread and faint hint of almost-sourness in the background, both of which remind me of the Extra Stout. Not too much flavor lingers after a drink, there's a bit of the chocolatey thing and then a bit of the almost-sour and bread, but the breadiness is the only thing that hangs around more than a second or so. Occasionally the lingering flavor is more of a slightly burnt bread crust mixed with something sweeter instead, which is interestng. Overall this basically comes across as a bigger, richer, slightly sweeter version of the Extra Stout, adding that nice chocolatey element into what was already a pretty nice beer and making it into something even better. I do find myself enjoying the smell just a bit more than the taste this time around, but maybe that's just due to it being such a nice change from all the BAD smells I've had to deal with today. The taste and smell are both great, though.

Mouthfeel is not bad, but probably the weakest element of this beer. It's a bit fizzier than I was expecting, but on the upside it's as drinkable as you'd expect from Guinness despite the bumped-up ABV and flavor. I'm finding myself drinking through a glass of this beer just as quickly as I would a glass of Extra Stout -- even though it's 8% ABV rather than only 5%! Light-feeling for an 8% ABV beer, but not so much as to seem thin or unpleasant; while I feel like it's the weakest feature of the beer it's still nicer than the common Guinness varieties in the mouthfeel department for sure.

Overall, I think I would agree with this beer's reputation as the best Guinness stout currently in production -- if you like dark roasty beers, and especially if you enjoy the standard Extra Stout, I would definitely recommend seeking this one out and grabbing a four-pack or two. Unfortunately the availability of this one, just like the Foreign Extra Stout, is spotty in some states; in my case I stumbled across it in a beer store when I was in the DC area (Norm's Beer and Wine, I believe was the name -- MASSIVE selection in that place, I would definitely recommend it to anyone in northern VA/DC or nearby.)

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Photo of ryan1788a5
4.19/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

11.2oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Black pour with a billowing light brown head. Awesome retention. Lacing clings everywhere.

S: Thick molasses and brown bread. Caramel. Burnt grain, acrid. Burnt coffee. Buttery. Stewed plums. Earthy and tobacco-like hop flavor.

T: Molasses and toffee lead. Brown bread and crust. Burnt flavors pull through soon after. Burnt coffee and burnt grain. Jerky. Stewed fruits. Brothy and slightly buttery yeast character. Earthy. Hops ride up a bit on the back end with some tobacco. Sweet throughout, though the finish dries. Mild acidic twang. Smoke and coffee finish.

M: Big and thick. Full, chewy body. One could cut it with a knife. Fine carbonation pricks at the tongue with a bit of aggression.

O: A Guinness drinker's delight. All that lovely 'house' Guinness essence is on full display as it maintains great balance while bringing challenge and complexity. I don't know there's much of a market for it outside of the fanboys, but I'm glad they sent some Stateside. This and the Foreign Export Stout are the pinnacle of the Guinness line as far as I'm concerned.

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Photo of MrDell
4.4/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

19.11.15

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 Bisho
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
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!

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Guinness Special Export Stout / Antwerpen Stout from Guinness Ltd.
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 623 ratings