Guinness Special Export Stout / Antwerpen Stout | Guinness Ltd.

Guinness Special Export Stout / Antwerpen StoutGuinness Special Export Stout / Antwerpen Stout
BA SCORE
87.2%
Liked This Beer
4.13 w/ 460 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:
#1,952
Reviews:
228
Ratings:
460
Liked:
401
Avg:
4.13/5
pDev:
9.69%
Alströms:
4.16
 
 
Wants:
139
Gots:
84
Trade:
1
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 460 |  Reviews: 228
Photo of Sammy
3.73/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thank you Abusmaster. Jet black with substantial off-white creamy head. Good malty and licorice and roasted barley aroma. Taste is dry and bitter, baker's chocolate, with diesel fuel and smoke at the end of the bottle. Easy creamy mouthfeel while you absord this dry stout, Certainly better than any Guinness I have had, far from the best stout.

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Photo of Texasfan549
3.81/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.67/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.74/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

i think its really cool that these guys have after all this time, decided to brew up (and/or release) a few new beers and get them out there, and i have liked the ones i have had better than expected. this one is a really different sort of stout, with some belgian elements, some funny mouthfeel components, and a lot of cool guinness grainy roast to it. not much of a head on the pour from the bottle, but a nice shiny near black liquid still looks inviting. aroma is a little bit of almost intentional oxidation, not the wet cardboard thing, but a maturity, not staleness, of the grain that always seems to mark some of these imports. lots of roast here, but very little perceived bitterness, slight dried fruit, ash, and an aged earthy hop. there is also a neat yeast to this, maybe sort of belgian, hard to tell though the stouty nature of this overall, but there certainly seems to be some fruitiness and brightness from the yeast, but it also has a more classic guinness yeast factor, maybe multiple pitches or just temperature variances to bring more flavor out of it, but i like it a lot, and its definitely unique in that regard. it doesnt need to be acidic in the finish, which it is a little bit, but in general i think this is pretty darn solid. neat to see some innovation from a brewery like this too!

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Photo of djrn2
3.65/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Knapp85
3.99/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of BEERchitect
4.46/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

After chasing this beer since I became a beer lover, I finally tried this, thanks to Clvand0. Creamy and roasty to the nose with a light hint of lactose sweetness and malt sourness. The head is thick and brown, even with no NO2 added. Creamy to the sight with low carbonation. The first sip reveals a smoother and creamier texture than any Irish Stout that I've sampled. Quite robust with a hearty balance of dark malts, roasted grain, toastiness, and a bitter balance; partly from hop, partly from roasted grain. Toasty and without the chalkiness usually exhibited. Very smooth and creamy texture without becomming thick or heavy. Remarkably drinkable for an 8% beer. Light hints of alcohol warming, but not fusals or phenolice. A joy to drink.

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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 dmorgan310
3.72/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of zeff80
4.07/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of thewolf: Poured a deep black color stout with a huge light brown color head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of liquorice with some light roasted malt and some sweet malt notes. Taste is a mix between some light roasted malt with some notes of liquorice and medium sweet Belgian malt with what appears to be a Belgian type yeast. Medium full body with great carbonation and no apparent alcohol. A very well balance beer overall with a level of complexity greater then the regular version of Guinness available over here.

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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 mothman
3.8/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to dougofthefuture for this one.

Poured into snifter. Pours a finger of creamy chocolate hued head. Great retention leaving some thick lace rings. Color is pretty much black.

Aroma: Chocolate milk and cocoa powder. Creamy and nutty. Kind of sweet.

Taste: It reminds me more of stout than the other guinness beers I have had, but I can still pick out the guinness characteristics in it. It is very chocolately and creamy. Has a cocoa powder flavor. Creamy again with a touch of nuts. A bit of coffee and roast in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and dry. Medium to full bodied with a bit higher amount of carbonation. Ends dry and roasted.

Overall, this was a decent stout. It was very flavorful and pretty easy to drink. Thanks Doug for this one!

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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 olradetbalder
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%

Photo of dbrauneis
4.14/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours an opaque jet black in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation and moderate amounts of cola brown colored highlights. The beer has a three finger tall dense foamy creamy tan head that slowly reduces to a large patch of thick film covering the entire surface of the beer and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of roasted malts with just shy of moderate aromas of dark fruits (plum + fig), chocolate, and molasses sweetness.

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of roasted, chocolate, caramel, and bready malts with a light to moderate amount of dark fruit (plum + fig) + caramel sweetness. That is followed by light to moderate flavors of chocolate + molasses as well as some light to moderate amounts of earthy hop flavors. Light to moderate amounts of roasty bitterness in the finish which slowly fades away.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth and creamy.

O: Glad I finally got the chance to have this beer since I started reviewing on BeerAdvocate - I had it years ago while traveling for business and have wanted the chance to try if again. Very enjoyable and easy to drink. Worth the wait. Alcohol is well hidden.

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Photo of oberon
4.23/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.85/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle thanks to drabmuh. Served in a Bruery tulip.

Pours with a thin tan head and a nearly-black body. There are some light spots of lacing around the sides and bubbles on top. The nose is light roast and a surprising amount of caramel and, especially, toffee character. There's some light candy and brown sugar as well.

The taste brings a good dose of toffee along with some light roasted character and some super mild espresso following through after that. Medium body with moderate carbonation. The finish is fairly smooth and slightly dry. This is nice and easy to drink. The finish seems to dry out even more as I get through the bottle. Pretty good stuff. Thanks again, Matt.

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Photo of ygtbsm94
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%

Photo of Ciocanelu
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of russpowell
4.26/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

BBD of 4-29-11, got this from Bitterbill, cheers Bill!

Pours mahogany/ebony 3+ fingers of rocky mocha head, such a good looking pour! Great lacing & good head retention

S: Figs, woody & leafy hops, raisins & iron. all kind of drop off as this warms

T: Dark fruit in abundance, dryness, a touch of carob & just a hint of coffee up front. Figgyness & leafy hops rule the day with just a hint of molasess & vanilla as this warms. finishes dry, roasty, fruitty & with carob & leafy hops

MF: Full bodied, low but noticable carbonation, well balanced, smooth

Drinks too easy, I know I could come closer to sessioning on this versus the more well known little brother bottled or canned version. If I ever come across this I love to cellar some to see how this ages..

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Photo of Gkruszewski
3.93/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.23/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murky mahogany with blood orange accents. Most of the pint glass is filled with immensely creamy, golden sandstone colored foam after a fairly vigorous pour. Who needs nitrogen? Melted marshmallow-like stickiness leads to a beautiful array of finely etched lace.

The nose (although everything that an export stout nose should be) isn't the best I've ever encountered. It's nice and roasted malty, with all the good things that implies. I'm expecting explosiveness once the glass is tipped up.

Guinness Special Export is damn good beer and a classic example of the style, but I don't understand why some people worship it. There are plenty of big stouts out there that are better. Having said that, the flavor is making a late move and is growing on me with each successive sip.

This beer definitely has a power that the much more widely available 6.0% Extra Stout lacks. It tastes impressively 'black' malty, with a burnt caramel vibe underlying the dark chocolate and roasted coffee beans. It's also raisin and date fruity, with slightly more sweetness and a less intense dryness on the finish than the smaller beer.

The body/mouthfeel is the only (admittedly slight) chink in the armor. The above score is probably too generous, but it really doesn't deserve the lower number. It's a fraction thin and loose for the ABV, possibly because the 'best by' date is a mere four days from today.

I have mixed feelings about Guinness Special Export Stout (brewed in Ireland for export to Belgium, France, Luxembourg and The Netherlands). It's a bona fide classic, but it isn't the be-all and end-all of the foreign/export style. Still, I'm thankful to have finally acquired this relatively rare gem. Thanks to tendermorsel for sending it my way.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.69/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I have had a good several days as a customer at The Friendly Greek Bottle Shop here in Lancaster, PA. They took delivery of a bunch of new & different beers on Thursday & our crew of (usually) Friday evening knuckleheads swooped in to procure them.

From the bottle: "A rich and robust Stout"; "First brewed in 1944 for export from Dublin to Antwerp."; "The Brewers Project"; "A group of enterprising brewers on a quest to explore new recipes, reinterpret old ones and collaborate freely to bring exciting beers to life. This 8% ABV Stout has long been a secret pleasure among beer connoisseurs and indeed our own brewers, who value the mouth watering intensity of its roasted malt, smoked wood and dark chocolate notes, not to mention its 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."

I Pop!ped the cap and began a moderate pour, but as soon as I saw the pseudo-cascade begin, I backed off to allow it to do its thing. That turned out to be the creation of three-plus fingers of dense, foamy, rocky, deep-tan/light-brown head with great retention. Color was Black/Opaque (SRM = 44), allowing ZERO light penetration and showing cola highlights only on the bottom edges of the glass. Nose smelled of dark chocolate, light smoke and treacle, but not terribly different from other Foreign/Export Stouts. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full, not quite creamy, but close. The taste very much mirrored the nose - bittersweet chocolate, smoky charcoal and the tart, off-sweetness of treacle. Finish was semi-dry, very much of bittersweet chocolate & treacle with a light, lingering smokiness. Not bad, but does it merit the hype of bringing it to the U.S. for the first time? Eh. I can find Guinness Foreign Export pretty easily as it is, so the arrival of this one does not really trip my trigger.

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Guinness Special Export Stout / Antwerpen Stout from Guinness Ltd.
Beer rating: 87.2% out of 100 with 460 ratings
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