Guinness Special Export Stout / Antwerpen Stout | Guinness Ltd.

BA SCORE
93
outstanding
200 Reviews
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:
No notes at this time.

Added by TheLongBeachBum on 06-28-2003

BEER STATS
Reviews:
200
Ratings:
401
Avg:
4.17
pDev:
9.83%
 
 
Wants:
138
Gots:
73
For Trade:
2
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Reviews: 200 | Ratings: 401
Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.41/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.77/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours dark brown with a very heady 3 inches of pillowy foam. Almost thought it was infected the way it poured, but it's just overcarbonated.

Aroma of roasted malt, faint peat smoke, perhaps a bit bready.

The taste has cocoa, dark roasted malts, coffee and light alcohol. Faint hops round out a light bodied, toasty stout. Medium carbonation which works for a beer like this.

Overall it's another solid stout from Guinness, not a surprise.

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Photo of biegaman
4.27/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle purchased in Bruxelles.

A nice ebony coloured body with some more brown, even auburn, highlights on the bottom. Still opaque, however, with but a trim of ivory white head.

An intense aroma filled with cocoa and chocolate. Notes of anise become very obvious and the aroma strongly starts to resemble sambuca. There is also a light note of espresso that fits the bill well.

The mouthfeel is surprisingly a little sour, the yeast seems to carry with it a bit of 'funk'. The finish is especially sour. Low carbonation. The "special" is easy to find but the "stout" seems to have been lost along the way. A sweet, anise filled aftertaste. Far nicer to drink than the standard Guinness!

The flavour is pleasant - albeit a little light. The taste entertains the palate with notes of chocolate mousse, anise, and an interesting yeast. There is a strong element of roast barley that is distinct from the regular Guinness. Maybe even some hops? Essentially this is dark chocolate, dark malts, coca beans, and anise. Tasty no doubt.

A very neat beer indeed, quite a trip from the standard Guinness. This is no doubt a lovely Belgian style stout - nothing but pleasantry - but I was far from impressed enough to consider this "world class". My impression was that it wasn't quite deserving of the reputation it's earned. That said, I'd be more than happy to have another!

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.32/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled in Belgium. This is a thick dense beer, much thicker than any other Guinness that I have had. It pours with a tan head. It is loaded with flavor, unlike the draft U.S.A. version, which I find bland. It tastes thick and sweet with lots of roast malt character.

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Photo of Zorro
4.26/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black colored beer with a brown head that completely fills the glass. Don't know what they can do to make it look any better.

Sweet smelling with lots of coffee and candied fruit aroma. Fair amount of fig aroma with some chocolate and molasses smell. Slight boozy Kahlua scent with a trace of rum.

The taste starts out sweet and roasty toasty chocolate flavor with a little vanilla and caramel. Lots of flavor here gets a bit more bitter as you drink it and the rum gets a little stronger. Little bit of berry taste after most of the glass is drank.

Good mouthfeel, tiny bubbles make it seem creamy like regular Guinness.

Nice and drinkable, if I had a regular source I could see myself drinking this often. Sampled through the efforts of northyorksammy.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.06/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of puboflyons
3.96/5  rDev -5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

From the 330 ml. bottle (US release) stamped L619OGF003. Sampled on February 25, 2017.

It is a gorgeous looking pour with its brown to black heady and boisterous, tan foamy head.

The aroma is Guinness with a decent dark roasted malt character, sweetness, crackers, the Guinness house yeast, and a low hop profile.

Medium body but a little acidic.

Same roasted dark bread sweetness in the taste with a kind of burnt yet milky quality if that can be separated. Mild bitterness to end.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.95/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

8/22/2010

Thanks! The beer is black with a frothy light brown head. The nose displays a dry roasted malt quality with a light coffee character. Smells like a nice dry stout. Alcohol is noticeable in the flavor with a moderate dry roasted grainy malt character and a touch of nutty character. The beer finishes dry and light with a touch of coffee and a lingering dry roast. The mouthfeel is full, creamy, and dry, with a lower level of high carbonation.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.18/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This one pours close to a pitch black but there's definitely some reddish hues there.

The smell has notes of vanilla, coffee, and some chocolate. Weird nose but nice.

The taste is big on the roasted malt, as it should be, followed by vanilla, chocolate, and a fairly substantial amount of coffee. I also get a lot of warming from the alcohol. lol. I didn't think I'd ever say that about a Guinness but this puppy is strong and lets you know it. But I have to say, the flavours more than make up for it; you just have to take small sips and I *do* mean small sips to appreciate it.

It has a fullish mouthfeel, the carbonation is on the light side of medium, and it finishes with bitter coffee notes. This is defintely a brew where I drink 1 and I'm done but there's nothing wrong with that and I suspect that the breweres didn't intend to offer up this brew as one to session on.

Bottom line: A great taster, looks great in the glass, has a great mouthfeel, good smell, and is not meant to be sessioned on so drinkability won't be the best. Try it if you see it!

Edit, Nov 28, 2010: I'm drinking side by this and the Guinness Foreign Extra...this is less roasty and has notes of pitted fruit that I didn't notice before. (plums and cherries?) I'm glad I did a comparison..

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.42/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a nonic)

A- This beer has an opaque black body with tiny strands of bubbles gliding up the sides of the glass. There is a creamy oatmeal colored head that is thick and last for the full beer. There are register marks of foam on the glass with each sip.

S- The smell of fruity prunes turns into a smooth dark black malt smell with a light earthiness.

T- The dark black malt has an earthy note and a cream taste. There are some caramel malt notes that support the black malt. There is a faint roasted licorice note and a finish of black bitterness and a chalk note. The black roasted note lingers nicely after the finish.

M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with a slight slippery texture. There is a soft spice of alcohol heat at the finish.

D- This beer has a great roasted black malt flavor with smooth quality and a nice bitterness. This is not a full bodied Guinness often enhanced with NO2 but a much lighter bodied but still full flavored Guinness. Very drinkable even at 8% ABV.

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Photo of akorsak
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to upsjeff for this 330 mL bottle.

A: The stout is a dark brown, nearly black, color with the occasional ruby red flash. A finger and a half of tan leather head is lacing nicely.

S: The nose has lactic sourness amongst the roasted malts. Peppery flourish and mild hops round out the nose, which is much fuller than the 250th that I just had.

T: Mmmm! The stout has the thick qualities of a Guinness with a touch of Belgian spiciness. Chocolate malts are nicely roasted and augmented with cocoa powder. Lactic sweetness has an edge of sourness but not a significant one. A pronounced hoppiness resides near the end of each sip. Licorice and dark fruits are signs of the Belgian aspect. Luscious chocolate lingers on the palate long after a sip is gone.

M: The mouthfeel is rich, a nice twist on the classic Guinness export. A stout that embraces its Belgian side.

D: Quite the conundrum: it is the best Guinness but it is too rich to enjoy over and over again. The 8% doesn't really rear its ugly head, content to stay in the background.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.04/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a Wicked Weed snifter. No readable freshness date.

A- Pours a fully opaque black color with a 1/2 inch tan head that retains well before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and some random splotches of bubbly surface foam. Resilient lacing leaves large clots behind.

S- Biscuity sweet malt character exhibits notes of brown sugar, molasses and caramel. Also a hint of coffee.

T- Roasty upfront with a slight metallic flavor mid-palate that's soon washed away by sweetness. Very drinkable for the ABV and there's some hop bitterness plus some bitterness from the roast to complement the sweetness.

M- Soft and slightly creamy with medium carbonation and a full body.

O- Quite good though I doubt I'd revisit it.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle, 24-11-13 00:49 printed on back label. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with a half inch tan head. Head retention is decent, and there's a good amount of lacing. The brew smells like roasted malt, licorice, bittersweet chocolate, coffee, and some caramel. I think the taste is mostly like the aroma, but there's the addition of some burnt/charred malt. It starts off bitter, but gets sweeter as the beer warms up more. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's slick and creamy with moderate carbonation. The 8% ABV is well hidden in this brew. I think it's a good overall brew, I liked it.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle that I received as an extra from Masterski. Thank you, Alex, this has been on my wants for about 2 years and I finally get a chance to drink this.

This is another first for me - this bottle actually has nutritional information on it! 0 grams of fat, 4 grams of carbs and 0.8 grams of protein per 100ml for a grand total of 64 calories per serving, best by 27 August 2010.

Pouring a very dark brown, this sits black with reddish dark brown highlights. A mocha colored head is present, dense, creamy and beautiful lacework. The nose is excellent. Licorice and molasses, there's also some spice character. The spice is a blend of yeast and licorice. Unsweetened dark chocolate syrup and a little coffee are present, but what strikes me the most is the complex yeast profile - spicy with a little clove? Some vanilla and brown sugar are also present.

The palate opens with a blend of licorice, cocoa and some spice character. Moderately yeasty, particularly on the mid-palate. The malt backbone is quite complex, with a blend of moderate roast, a little acidic burnt malt bitterness, some burnt sugar and some molasses. Drying on the finish with some yeast, this beer is medium in body with moderate carbonation. Spicy and yeasty on the finish, this is enjoyable, and I'm glad to have got the chance to drink this. Excellent

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Photo of Bighuge
4.53/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Inky black appearance. One finger airy light brown head. Retention is outstanding and the lacing comes in full sheets. Sharp nose of espresso, dark chocolate, vanilla bean and roasted malts. Mouthfeel is velvety. Body is a little better than medium. The taste is full of bitter goodness. Roasted bitterness dominates to a point, but doesn't overpower. There's also some nutty character and smoke and tobacco and char and baker's chocolate and...Wow. Nice mix of flavors. This is hands down the best Guiness offering.

Gotta thank the Bum for such a rare treat.

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Photo of StJamesGate
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Vertical tasting w/ 2014, 2013, and 2010 expiry dated bottles; ratings are averaged.
2014: Garnet black with webby tendrils of tan.
Metallic and lean nose with slight raisin.
Giant treacle body with some coffee grounds and dried cranberry.
Pure Baker’s chocolate end and drying vinous linger.
Medium to full, dry, and chewy.

Much tinnier and port-like than I’d expect - raisiny yet dry. No sweetness to help you swallow it. Mighty but easy.

2013: Bigger vinous nose, great webbing, and a much fuller and silkier body. Big chocolate thread; reminiscent of Polish rum-raisin bon-bons. So much to dig into; almost not the same beer.

2010: Tobacco nose comes out now, there are more oxidized sherry notes, and it’s starting to get too fizzy. Past its peak, but still has an incredible long, layered sultana finish.

Overall all a very different creature from Foreign Export - goes for tart over sweet, dark fruit over coffee. Should be laid down and then tasted like port. Worthwhile.

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Photo of barnzy78
4.05/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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Photo of dgilks
4.11/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's an interesting aroma. A light hint of roast, some yeast fruitiness and just a wisp of diacetyl. The aroma is unfortunately weak.

Very dark brown-black colour with a massive, creamy tan head. Good head retention.

The flavour is good. The roast bitterness is smooth tempered by a rich, round malt body and a hint of alcohol. Some nice fruity esters come through. Just a hint of acidity that is the trademark of the Guinness brand and a light touch of diacetyl. Solid.

Medium body with moderately low carbonation. Simple, smooth and effective. Greamy and with a nicely dried out finish.

A great beer. The alcohol is well hidden in the flavour and works effectively to temper some of the flavours. The best Guinness product I've tried.

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Photo of Suds
4.14/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My wife picked this beer up at a local supermarket in northern Italy. It pours as a deep blackish-brown liquid with a monstrously fizzy head. The head settles down quickly, but leaves some pretty lace. The aroma is fantastic...chocolate, coffee beans, very roasted grain, charcoal, and a lot of caramel. As the beer warms, a slight alcohol smell comes forth as well. The taste is solidly good. It's moderately dry, despite some notable malt flavors (quite a bit drier than the Foreign Extra Stout). There's a lot of bitterness, both from hops and also from highly roasted grains. The mouthfeel is full, thick, and satisfying. This is quite good, and easily one of the best Guinness products that I've had.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.37/5  rDev +4.8%
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 ZAP
4.27/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L-Black...minimal head

S-Roasted malt...sweet..some brown sugar and molasses...coffee...dark chocolate.

T-Rich roasted malts with dark chocolate and coffee. A hint of smoke is there and a lingering sweet/sour type of thing on the finish.

F-Full bodied but not immense. Velvety texture. Very drinkable despite the body and abv.

O-Excellent Export Stout that could sneak up on you quick as this drinks pretty easy.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.38/5  rDev +5%
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 stcules
3.48/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The color is black. It has two fingers of a beautiful cream colored foam, creamy. Good appearance.
Stout smell, intense, strong, with malty notes, liquorice, dark malts. Dark and intense notes.
The taste is strong and intense too, with a lot of liquorice, cocoa, hazelnut, and a rhubarb touch. Even some bitter roots.
It is for sure less smooth than a regular Guinness Draught, but more interesting.
Intense, strong, full.

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Photo of ccrida
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle that I brought back from Belgium about 2 months ago, poured into my Delirium snifter, Guinness Special Export is black with a big dark tan head, which is very dense and fluffy, with long last and tons of foamy lace.

Smell is very fruity, classic cured dark fruit Belgian esters. Very strong, prunes.

Taste is quite a bit more Belgian strong dark ale then stout, not much roast to speak of, just dark malts and fruity esters. Most acrid on the finish, more char then roast, but just enough that it can be legitimately called a stout. Really quite tasty, if not what I was expecting. The stout aspect builds on my palate as I work through the beer, but it's still very Belgian.

Mouthfeel is very dry, viscous but medium bodied.

Drinkability is pretty good, a nice Belgian stout. Much better then the regular Guinness, it actually has flavor, and it's good.

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Photo of mynie
4.46/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A rich, high-ABV Belgian-style stout that's supposedly been brewed since the end of WW2 and is available just now for the first time in the US.

Pours a viscous, very dark black with a wonderfully large and retentive brown head.

Smells very sweet and malty with big nodes of chocolate and ripe fruit. Very smooth with nothing betraying the relatively high ABV.

Tastes really good. Not as assertive as you might assume, but very well done. The hops are toned way down from regular Guinness or the Foreign Extra Stout, and a lack of any booze burn allows the rich malt nodes to really shine. Chocolate, ripe fruit, and light butterscotch dominate throughout, starting dry and getting gradually sweeter as the sip progresses, with a lingering finish that's the distillation of what you want out of a stout grain bill.

The Guinness name and relatively accessible price point might turn away some snobs, but this is actually a wonderful beer.

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Guinness Special Export Stout / Antwerpen Stout from Guinness Ltd.
4.17 out of 5 based on 401 ratings.
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