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Guinness Special Export Stout / Antwerpen Stout | Guinness Ltd.

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Guinness Special Export Stout / Antwerpen StoutGuinness Special Export Stout / Antwerpen Stout
BA SCORE
4.12/5
Exceptional
480 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:
#2,102
Reviews:
240
Ratings:
480
pDev:
9.71%
Bros Score:
4.16
 
 
Wants:
141
Gots:
88
Trade:
1
HISTOGRAM
 
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Ratings: 480 |  Reviews: 240
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 EPICAC
4.41/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of JJKBeerLvr
4.41/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 11.2 oz bottle into pint glass in January 2017. There is a batch code on the label, but I did not see any brewed on or drink by dates on the bottle. Not sure if the 09:28 in the code is the date or time of bottling.

Appearance: Deep black with smooth dark tan head about 2 fingera high. Beer is thick and not hazy. Head leaves a nice thick lacing on the glass, long after it is drunk.

Smell: There is roasted malts, some sweetness like chocolate, and some hops. I like that each of the aromas is balanced, and one is not over powering.

Taste: Nice mix of roasted malts and coffee flavors. There is a little bitterness from the hops and some chocolate flavor as well. I also get just a little hint of caramel. There is a moderate alcohol bite as well. The aftertaste lasts a moderate amount of time.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium to strong alcohol level, which confirms the 8.0% on the bottle. There is some creaminess to the mouthfeel.

This is a very smooth and creamy stout. It is nice mix of flavors and aromas. Interesting version of a stout, I would buy this again.

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Photo of ggaughan
4.4/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of MatthewWalters
4.4/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of MrDell
4.4/5  rDev +6.8%
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 hopdog
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 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

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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 jhtipton
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
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 AgentMunky
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 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.

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Photo of Boto
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 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.

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Photo of BeerTruth
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this one from tprokop7 as an EXTRA! It's been on my 'wants' list forever so I was pretty happy when I unwrapped this bad boy.

33 cl.bottle poured into nonic.

Pours a deep cola black with the slightest bit of a ruby outline and a monstrous three finger light brown head. Crazy webbing left on the sides of the glass as the huge crown descends. Smell consists of light cocoa powder, roasted malts, and some coffee beans. Sweet caramel malts, vanilla, and a bit of lactose as well. A metallic aroma is detected in the nose too. Taste begins with molasses, caramel, and brown sugar. Midway some smokey flavors emerge with espresso and cream. Warm milk chocolate flavors in the aftertaste with a hint of alcohol, but still extremely low for a beer that clocks in at 8%. Medium to hefty body with a rich, smooth feel in the mouth. Like I mentioned before, the 8% abv is tough to find, making this scary drinkable. If this was available in the states, I'd have it in my fridge as much as possible. Good stuff, glad I had the opportunity to try. Thanks again Todd!

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Photo of kkipple
4.37/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big props to Pingwin407 for lugging two of these back from his recent Belgium trip!

A. Looks basically like Guinness Extra Stout, good lacing, and maybe a tad bit thicker.

S. Mmm, this is Guinness Plus. Richer, sweeter, tighter, bolder. Some smoke and maybe maple syrup? Very roasty and pleasing, mocha hints and a touch of milk chocolate. Appealing, bold, approachable. Familiar, yet amped up. I like the way this smells.

T. Exactly as advertised. A sweeter, lusher Guinness that is very easy to drink and has some subtle smoke and creamy coffee flavors going on. The roasted malt is layed and complements the sweetness quite well. If you like Guinness (and who doesn't honestly?) you will dig this. Well put together and belies the 8% abv.

M. Fantastic. Creamy-smooth, a delight to drink. Finishes roasty-sweet and leaves you craving more.

D. Absolutely yes! Why we can't buy this in the States, I'm sure I don't know. A real treat and a beer that shows off the brewing chops of the folks at Guinness. Highly recommended.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.37/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I picked up a few bottles at the Brussels Midi station to bring back to the States, something like 2 euros each. It's always surprising how simple it can be to find my most treasured bottles so easily available in some convenience store (like Andechs beers in Munich, various Kolsch beers in Cologne, or God knows what else in Belgium).

The beer is dark brown to the point of blackness, completely opaque, with a thin mocha-hued head. The aroma is nice, big Belgian character, not too far from a BSDA. Some roasted malts but more sweet than roasty, some dark fruits like plums or figs.

The beer tastes so good, this is what I always wanted Black Albert to taste like, a Belgian stout. Definitely has Belgian character, possibly the yeast used, doesn't seem spiced at all. Sweet up front with long aftertastes of the dark fruits from the aroma. The mouthfeel is much thicker than any Guinness I've tried before, not quite syrupy but heading in that direction. Absolutely the best Guinness I've ever had, I'm so glad to have a few more to savor.

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Photo of SpongeHop
4.37/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L - black, tan head
S & T - caffe latte. Milk coffee. Slight hints of milk chocolate. But it's definitely creamy and milky.
F - nice and creamy and just absolutely smooooth af

O - very nice exemplar of what to me has become the quasi-stout-archetype that I contrast all other stouts to. It has a lovely creaminess, it's so so smooth, it's more of a caffe latte than an espresso, it doesn't have much smokiness. Almost gentler than your stereotypical porter (which I personally prefer more), but very, very nice regardless.

I absolutely recommend this one.

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Photo of wafers
4.37/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of misternebbie
4.37/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of khiasmus
4.36/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of Absumaster
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a deep black color with a creamy, fine bubbled head that clings to the glass and leaves rings with every sip.

Smell is burned, roasted with some smokiness. There is a slight tartness in there which gives the beer that extra kick.

Taste is burned with some roasted malt notes, which remind me of liquorice and give the beer a good malt bitterness. Hop bitterness is also present and makes the beer pretty intense. The tartness in the smell is also coming back in the taste and makes a nice combination with the bitterness and roast flavors. This beer is a classic!

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Photo of Goliath
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black and is completely opaque. A large two inch frothy tan head sits on top with excellent retention and some nice lacing.

The aroma is quite nice. Notes of banana, clove, and dark roasted malts are all present.

The taste is also quite nice. Hints of banana, dark roasted malts with chocolate flavors that are fairly bitter. Delicious.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with good carbonation.

Drinkability is moderate due to moderately high alcohol and big flavor. A pleasant evening drink.

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Photo of rvdoorn
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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Photo of ovaltine
4.34/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pour is a mix of chestnut brown on the edges and rich, black body underneath the luxurious medium tan head. The first aroma I detect is booze - in Guinness? Yep. Because there’s also a rich chocolate aroma, and a buttery thing going on, too. Yes, buttery.

There’s no booze on the taste, but there’s a rich chocolate flavor, and indeed the buttery toffee flavor that is oh so rich, but not cloying. I could drink this until it came out my ears. My favorite beer - by a lot - from this iconic brewery.

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Photo of scootercrabb
4.34/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Douberd
4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

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Photo of ThatWineGuy
4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
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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Guinness Special Export Stout / Antwerpen Stout from Guinness Ltd.
Beer rating: 4.12 out of 5 with 480 ratings
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