Guinness Special Export Stout / Antwerpen Stout | Guinness Ltd.

Guinness Special Export Stout / Antwerpen StoutGuinness Special Export Stout / Antwerpen Stout
BA SCORE
4.12/5
465 Ratings
Guinness Special Export Stout / Antwerpen StoutGuinness Special Export Stout / Antwerpen Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Guinness Ltd.
Ireland
guinness.com

Style: Foreign / Export Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by TheLongBeachBum on 06-28-2003

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#2,085
Reviews:
231
Ratings:
465
pDev:
9.71%
Bros Score:
4.16
 
 
Wants:
139
Gots:
86
Trade:
1
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 465 |  Reviews: 231
Reviews by ultrasupergenius:
Photo of ultrasupergenius
3.77/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

0.33l bottle, purchased and consumed in Brussels Belgium out of a chalice.

Deep dark/black with reddish mahogany visible at the very top edge. Not at all translucent. Thin tan head of small bubbles, quickly dissapates.

Smells of molasses, and barley.

Flavor has a residual molasses, slight bit of dark chocolate, and a bit of coffee. Hard to pin the overall flavor. Hops in a long lingering finish. More bitter than a Guinness.

Good full mouth feel, that hits the palette in waves. Seems a bit thin, especially considering the color, but not lacking.

Not a beer I would consider drinking more than one of. I suppose it would be good to fit a niche - like if I was dying for a beer but also really wanted a coffee, and it had to be at exactly the same time. Since I can't imagine when that would happen, I don't know that I would reach for it again, given the wealth of other options available.

Overall a good beer, but likely only to be purchased for visitors who can't find it in the US.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Jason
4.16/5  rDev +1%
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 +6.3%
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 Fear4Beer
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
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 NeroFiddled
4.17/5  rDev +1.2%
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 GreesyFizeek
4.41/5  rDev +7%
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 Dinglehacker
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
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 superspak
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
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 steveh
4.89/5  rDev +18.7%
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.

 1,152 characters

Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.78/5  rDev +16%
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.

 1,164 characters

Photo of Zet
4.43/5  rDev +7.5%
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 GreatHammerhead
4.6/5  rDev +11.7%
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.

 630 characters

Photo of waterski
4.24/5  rDev +2.9%
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 Foyle
4.57/5  rDev +10.9%
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 -1.7%
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.

 731 characters

Photo of oberon
4.23/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark fudge color with a thick creamy beige colored head that settles very slowly into a frothy mass,just a great creamy looking head.A mix of mocha coffee aromas mixed with some underlying fruits.Love the creamy feel of the beer,no harsh edges with an almost airy quality to it.Coffee and chocolate upfront on the palate with slight char and licorice in the finish,not an in your face flavored export stout like way to many are.This on a nitro pour would be very dangerous for me,as is I wish I would have bought more.

 526 characters

Photo of DanGeo
4.01/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of punkindrublic50
3.73/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Take your normal Guinness and put it on steroids. Darker. Thicker. Sweeter. Then make it only availible in Belgium and (where I found it) West Germany to torment beer drinkers everywhere else, and you have Guinness Special Export.

Coloring is almost completely black, with a strong tan head. Scent is pretty much identical to taste in every way, strong but not overpowering, dark fruits, coffee, chocolate. This beer is thick and creamy, to the point that it severely hurts the drinkability. Nice to sit down with one and relax, but this is by no means an every day sipper or a drink to get drunk sort of beer.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

33cl bottle.

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

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

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

 1,029 characters

Photo of AlarmClock314
3.96/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle, no date. Pours transparent brownish black with a large sized tan head; lots of small carbonation bubbles. Smells of roasted malt, licorice, molasses, dark fruit, floral/earthy hops, and some cocoa. The taste follows exactly with roasted malt, licorice, molasses, dark fruit, hops, and some cocoa. Moderate sweetness and bitterness. Somewhat below average smell/taste intensity. Medium carbonation and lighter body; pretty drinkable. Overall, it's an interesting Export Stout with lots of licorice and molasses, but could use more intensity and body.

 571 characters

Photo of camreiff
4/5  rDev -2.9%

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

My wonderful wife returned from Belgium with one little bottle of this fine product, bless her heart! "best before end of" dating (18/02/06) Pours the expected jet black with a long lasting dark tan head, leaves respectable lacing. Nose is loaded with cocoa and vanilla. Very smooth and tasty stout, that does a masterful job of hidding its 8%. Notes of pleanty of toasted/slightly burnt malts, vanilla, cocoa, cafe au lait. Mild and quite pleasant, I wish I had a few bombers of this instead of one 11.2 oz bottle...oh well, it was a pleasure to try this one.

 560 characters

Photo of olradetbalder
3.75/5  rDev -9%

Photo of louisbr
4.31/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Franziskaner
3.7/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Black in color and impenetrable to light. There's an inch of dense creamy brown head. Heavy lacing. I'm smelling dark malt and plum. The taste is dark malt and plum. The mouth is dry and light chewy.

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Guinness Special Export Stout / Antwerpen Stout from Guinness Ltd.
Beer rating: 4.12 out of 5 with 465 ratings
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