Guinness Special Export Stout / Antwerpen Stout | Guinness Ltd.

BA SCORE
92
outstanding
439 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
Ratings:
439
Reviews:
220
Avg:
4.16
pDev:
9.86%
 
 
Wants:
138
Gots:
78
For Trade:
1
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 439 |  Reviews: 220
Photo of BarryNL
4.71/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Yet another brew from the Guinness family and again, a shame they all seem to bear the same name because this is a completely different brew from the rather bland liquid that most people know as Guinness.

A: Super black with a very stable tan head - sure the nitro kegged draught has a white 'n' tight head but this has a proper beer head with great stability and lacing and just looks like a proper beer rather than something designed by a marketing department.

S: Big smell of roasted malts and sour tang.

T: Roasty malts and sour tang. This is probably something very close to the true original taste of porters/stouts (the so-called "entire butt" beers) which were a blend of young and older, soured (almost lambic like) beers. An extremely complex combination of sweet malt, bitter hop and soured beer. One of the most complex tastes you will find. It's a shame that Guinness seem to have stopped using the soured essence in most of their beers, but at least it's still to be found here.

M: Gorgeous, big chewy mouthfeel.

D: Gimme more. I could keep drinking this one till I fall over. The taste is so well balanced between sweetness, bitterness and sourness that it never becomes tiring.

This is really an excellent beer. As outstanding as their pub draught is bland. It's so sad that this amazing beer is almost a footnote for the Guinness brand while the bland standard version is so lauded. Stock up before they stop making it!

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.69/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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!

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Photo of YvesB
4.69/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of AlexLMS
4.68/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: almost black and nearly opaque due to its dark colour. The head is brown, large, rich, full and creamy. Excellent retention followed by beautiful lacing.
Aroma: very nice roasted malt aroma. Chocolate and coffee notes.
Taste: well balanced between the roasted malts and the bitter hops. A noble port presence.
Mouthfeel: unctuous and velvety, perfect carbonation and a full body. The beer is so balanced that you do not feel the 8% ABV.
Finish: lingering bitter aftertaste.

Overall: Great beer with a wonderful mix of flavours. One of my favourites in the world. Better than the average Guinness. Could not wait to get my hands in another one.

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Photo of Argion
4.67/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had a chance to try this beer again while in Greece. The Foreign Extra Stout has become my favorite Guinness in the US so I wanted to have another taste of this guy to see who would win out. I would say no doubt that this is my favorite Guinness stout and rates high overall on the stouts I like. Even though not classified an Imperial stout, the alcohol content is high. It lacks the bitterness of a regular Guinness; it is almost sweet. Pours a dark black colour with no head. I don't know if it is served on tap anywhere but I would like to try it if it is.

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Photo of BloodSoakedAleMug
4.67/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a pitch black shade of brown with a one finger, café colored head.

The smell is intoxicating. Imagine being in a bakery surrounded by sugary pastries, chocolate dipped fruit and cakes and pies. Notes of black licorice, cappuccino, tiramisu and salted creme brulee amongst rich decadent notes of lightly smoked toasted malt and bitter chocolate.

Smooth and well balanced, although sharp and pungent. Moderate roasted grain and sweet chocolate malt flavor upfront. Notes of espresso, black licorice, and restrained, fruity esters akin to plums, raisins and gourmet red apples gradually develop over the course of the finish. Vaguely hoppy with notes of earthy, floral pine resin throughout. A clean, albeit spicy alcohol profile is detectable at times.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and lightly carbonated. Highly drinkable (it's tasty and goes down smooth), though boozy and noticeably alcoholic.

Overall I really enjoyed this. This is a moderately hoppier, boozier alternative to their foreign extra stout, with sharper notes of lactose, smokey malt, milk chocolate and black licorice. If it came in six packs, I could see paying a premium price, but for now I think their standard export stout (foreign extra stout) is a better deal at half the price.

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Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.65/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle with a slightly different longer neck. The liquid is dark brown as you pour the dark liquid has blood red hue gripping the side of the glass. The head is nice, 2 big full fingers, tan with a rocky surface and leaving very good lace.

The smell is great sweet roasted malt, dark, chocolaty with a note of espresso and dark bread.

The taste is better then any Irish style stout I have ever had. This great brew is far superior to any regularly available. Rich chocolate is the heavy with other flavors like coffie and toasted dark rye bread. Wow is this great.

The mouthfeel is good but could be a little thicker.

The drinkability is very very good. I wish I did not have to go back to reg. Guinness. This brew is great.

Many thanks to AxlLives for letting me try this rare and excellent brew.
Prosit und Zum Wohl, MK

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Photo of Naerhu
4.65/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Robbeer for carrying this beer all the way to Japan for me.

This beer is more of a belgian beer in flavor and alcohol than it is Irish. The difference is more than just the difference of 0.5% alcohol. They must be using a belgian yeast.

Espresso crema. Pitch black body.
Extremely vinous black malty aroma.
The flavor is massive and fruity. If only all belgians where as bitter as this, I might understand what the big deal about belgians are.
Very oily mouth feel, but not in a bad way.

Unlike any other guinness product, this is not to be had with food as its intensity and long lasting flavor will overpower any food. This is a stand alone desert beer.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.65/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

solid ebon hue, saves ruby tinges around the bottom, enormous, volcanic, creamy tan head, with honeycombed appearance, leaving lace, a delight to watch dwindle down, gracefully...
the nose is a blast of dark, yet bright fruit, mingled well with molasses and mocha, delicious, a shiny sensation, bold and beautiful, trickling hints of anise and pepper, with sweetness heavier than the spice...notes of vanilla, a bit of butterscotch...staggeringly complex, and right up my alley, aroma-wise...
Thick and sweet in the mouth, with forceful, yet pleasing presence on the palate, slying slinks on the tongue, dripping flavor throughout...same complexity of flavor found in the aroma occurs again in the taste, a rich mix of cocoa and coffee, sweet caramelly tones, dark molasses, tar, licorice, pepper, and a fresh feeling, though I have no idea how long it's been since this beer was bottled. Full bodied, long, strong, sweet finish, excellent balance...tons of dark malt, not much hops, but still, a wonderful interplay and a unique flavor combination.
This is an astonishing stout...the alcohol is well hidden, and sneaks up on you, and delivers one into a comfortable lull. A relaxing brew, luxurious, and immensely rewarding. It goes without saying that I wish this were as easily available as the Extra Stout found here, let along the "Draught" version.
If I found a genie in a bottle, that's where one wish would go!

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Photo of Arthuros
4.64/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow, what an upgrade on the classic Guinness (and boy do I live the original).

Smells of liquorice and dried fruit, tastes similar with burnt ash and a hint of coffee and chocolate. Sweet and bitter balance is great.

A really really decent stout, with great color, surprisingly clean white foam.

A winner.

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Photo of Commandophile
4.63/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of tongbliss
4.63/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Sappyjoker
4.62/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of msubulldog25
4.62/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of mmmbeer
4.61/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330 mL bottle, purchased in Rome in November '07. Best by 12/13/08, sampled 6/1/09. It pours quite black, with two thick fingers of voluminous head that pits and becomes dense as it recedes, while leaving loads of fine lacing. Very fruity and aromatic, with soft chocolate, mild coffee and an odd, ashy note that is not necessarily off-putting. Chocolate and mild fruitiness on the palate, woody?, with roasty, ashy and coffee notes, earthy malts, green hops and a sturdy bitterness. In the background, it's the same ol' Guinness, but, oddly, it lacks the light sour note one usually finds in the flagship beer. It is dry, with medium body, ample carbonation, and a very smooth, mildly bitter finish. This is a damn fine beer, one which belies its 8%, and one that has held up quite well despite all the traveling and time this bottle has been subject to.

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Photo of brdc
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Small capped bottle. Poured into a snifter.

It is almost pitch black, except for some faint reddish-brown highlights on the edges; tan fluffy head occupies a large part of the top of the glass, slowly comes down leaving an enormous amount of lacing on its wake.
Aroma comes right out as you pour it, vibrant but not overpowering, dark fruits that somehow feel fresh, coffee and lots of chocolate, but milk chocolate, not bittersweet.
Medium bodied but easy going, it starts relatively sweet with the same milk chocolate notes, evolving into some fruitiness and then turning quite dry and roasted, which lingers a long time.
Easily the best Guiness out there, and a very nice midway between the extremely flavorful but "poorly drinkable" imperials and the less flavorful but quaffable "regular" stouts. Lots of flavor but still goes down easy.

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Photo of BlindPig
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Really thick dark tan head on a black body.
S- Light roasted malts with dry grass hops. Dry in the nose too.
T- Dry roasted malts that dry out the mouth quite a lot. Grass hops come in a leave a light bitterness in mouth.
M- Full body with medium/low carbonation.
D- I think it is a very tasty stout. Maybe lacks complexity a little bit but it is very tasty and easy to drink for a 8.00%.

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Photo of Sgtbuck854
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of GreatHammerhead
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
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 RuudJH
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This particular Guinness is one of the best stouts on the European market I've had.

Very dark brown, a thick beige head.

The smell is tough and rough: roasted grains, lactose, coffee, caramel, chocolate, vanille, even some tobacco. But also, after trying carefully, the scent of green apples and dark fruits, which gives it nice depth.

Equal is the taste with massive smoky roasted grains, burned sugar, coffee and some chocolate.
The slight hints of fruity sweetness (dried fruits (raisin, apples, plums)) are no match for all the bitter violence.

The taste stays in your mouth long, this beer is chewy.

This 8% Guinness is very robust, an acquired taste, and once you're into it, it's hard to resist.

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Photo of ChrisBowers
4.57/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Simply the finest offering from the Guinness Brewery, and only available in Belgium. Goes to show you what a great beer place that country is! Not that you needed that to know. Pours a dark dark brown. Slightly fizzy, aroma is rich, roasty. First taste is rich, roasted malts, bitter chocolate, maybe even a little licorice or rum. Great roasty yet slightly hoppy finish. All this and incredibly silky and creamy. What a great beer. Unfortunately its not available here.

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Photo of BeerNemesis
4.57/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Guinness Special Export Stout | 330 ml | 8.0% ABV | vintage

Brewer: Guinness Ltd.
Style: Foreign / Export Stout
Glass: Snifter

Presentation:
Orange-yellow label with the words "Guinness Special Export St. James's Gate Dublin". I'm told this is not available in the U.S. Luckily, my friend Justin brought one over after touring Europe.

Appearance:
Pours a beautiful matte black with a fine mocha head of 1". Great lacing.

Aroma:
Deep and rich coffee and dark chocolate flavors mingled with dark fruit and brown sugar. A tinge of oaky, whiskey-like alcohol lurks in the background.

Taste:
Immediately the dark chocolate and espresso notes in the nose translate onto my palate. Unlike many stouts, the Special Export manages to imbue the standard cacao and coffee with a somber richness and complexity. The middle features a flash of cola and some brown sugar. It is at this stage that I am most reminded of the common Guinness Stout.The finish is oaky and a bit alcoholic with just the slightest hint of dark fruits.

Mouthfeel:
Remarkably creamy and well-carbonated. It carresses the tongue like a sudden brush of silk against supple skin.

Harmony:
Extraordinarily complex and well-crafted. Flavors are vibrant and the aftertaste matures gracefully well after the last sip.

Price = It was a gift from the one and only Justin M.
Served/bottled on: Doesn't say
Best by: May 26, 2011

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Photo of Foyle
4.57/5  rDev +9.9%
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 basica
4.56/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I am a little excited to try this beer; I bought it from CrackedKettle.com and it is the very much coveted Guinness Special Export Stout. After cracking it open, my first whiff told me that this was like a Belgian dark ale with the fruty nose but on a second sniff I am catching the roasted malts, milk, caramel, a bit of coffee and a bit of chocolate. Predominantly, I am getting milk and roasted malts. I do not think the smell was as strong as the FES but I like it on this one. The pour yielded a creamy rocky head (creamier than the FES) that refuses to settle (this has to be a family trait in Guinness brews). Almost jet black in color; very nice appearance and a nice lacing turned up after drinking it for a bit. I took a sip and man the first thing I notice was the ultra slick mouthfeel on entry and throughout till I swallowed it. Before getting to the taste I am already going to give a 5 to mouthfeel. Let's break my usual rules and do the mouthfeel first. Unlike many beer that goes in with a slight sting, the SES was just smooth, so very smooth creamy, milky entry of the rich and thick stout. A low but apt amount of carbonation for this one and the milky creamy smoothness with the thick richness is the winner for the mouthfeel of this one. The taste starts off with roasted malts and some hints of chocolate and coffee which is constantly flooded with this lactic milkiness backing which I loved. Best of all the bitterness was so well contained it was well acceptable by my standards. Compared to the FES this one's a pleasure to drink and it's drinkability is nothing but a 5. The taste was rich yet mellower than the FES which gets a bit stingy at times. Some very faint dark fruits (I found plums which came on just before the finish and lasted into the after taste) which got onto the nose though I think if this one has a proper sweet fruitiness to it, I am almost certain taste would score a 5 as well. Goodness... But talking about sweetness this one does have a tad bit of sweetness. The dark fruits were in the after taste led by plums wich are blended amidst roasted malts and lactic milkiness which was pretty omni-present but very nicely balanced. The milkiness found its way to the nose as the fruitiness became a little raisin like; almost analagous to the dark belgian ales. Bitterness was there but well under control. A stout brewed close to perfection; a pity it is so hard for me to obtain this one.

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Photo of patre_tim
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark Brown almost black, opaque with amber tinge at the edge when held to the light, lots of carbonation, a finger of tan head with a slight cherry tinge.

S: Cherries, licorice, toasted malts and molasses in addition to the typical Guinness smells.

T: Toasted malts, molasses with hints of cherries and licorice, light sweetness, coffee.

M: Medium thick body with a light syrupy weight, medium carbonation.

O: Taste like a cross between a Guinness and a Belgian dubble or dark ale. More complex and sweeter than your average Guinness.

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Guinness Special Export Stout / Antwerpen Stout from Guinness Ltd.
4.16 out of 5 based on 439 ratings.
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