Guinness Special Export Stout / Antwerpen Stout | Guinness Ltd.

BA SCORE
92
outstanding
214 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:
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
Reviews:
214
Ratings:
429
Avg:
4.16
pDev:
9.62%
 
 
Wants:
138
Gots:
75
For Trade:
2
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Reviews: 214 | Ratings: 429
Photo of BrewMaster
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at Delhaize in Vervier, Belgium about a month ago.

Appearance: Poured from the little bottle into my trusty 25 oz crystal sniffer glass. The beer is a dark brown with a creamy tan head. The head is sticky and thick and lasts pretty well. Very pretty in the glass.

Smell: I was quite surprised by the nose on this beer. It is meaty and smoky and actually smells like sliced smoked ham from the deli. I love smoked ham. There is faint toast to the nose as well. My, my, my, this is not what I expected from Guinness, but I am quite pleased with it.

Taste: This is unlike any other Guinness I've had, and that's a good thing. There flavor is complex with smoky and meaty flavors much like a rauchbier. Rich and fruity with plum, raisins, maple and more smoke. The ending produces more of the roasty flavor and is slightly sour and vinous near the end. Very yummy.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth and creamy. Wonderfully soft with light carbonation and a medium to heavy body.

Drinkability: This beer is excellent. I really enjoyed the smoky and meaty flavors along with the rich creamy feel. If only this was available in the USA...

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Photo of numenor1
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had an 10 hour layover in London, and planned to see a few sights, but due to transportation delays after the bombings, I decided to just grab this from The Beer Store (Beerfly) and head out.

Appearance: It's jet black and pours a thick tan head that diminishes after a few minutes and leaves lacing all the way down.

Smell: Somewhat sweet chocolate malts with a slight hint of alcohol. Very rich.

Taste: The taste is fantastic, wonderful deep roasty flavors, with a sweet hint of molasses that counters the bitter chocolate malts. Plenty of espresso at the back of the tongue. Perfect. There's a gentle yet lingering hop, espresso finish and a mild warming sensation in the throat (the only hint that it's 8%).

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is incredible. It's thick and smooth with the perfect amount of carbonation. It definitely improves as it warms up. Simply amazing.

Drinkability: Considering it's 8%, the drinkability is excellent. I feel as if i could drink this all day, though anything more than slow sipping is a waste. It's silky smooth going down. I'd peg this at 5% alcohol if i didn't know better. The gentle warming of the throat is the only clue.


Incredible stout, wish i had access to it.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was served to me at an old Dutch bar off of Rue Sobloinerre in Brussels. This stuff is as dark as it gets! An opaque black colour with an immense head of tan. The aromas are of chocolate, deep-roasted malts, booze, and more! THe taste is boozy, malty, chocolate-y and perfect. The mouthfeel is thick but not cloying and the drinkability is wonderful...

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Photo of Pepeton
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a much better beer than the most common nitro bottle and nitro can of Guinness Draught that I can more easily find.

After five --non consecutive!-- bottles, with no doubt I can state that I prefer this version of Guinness over the regular draught.

It pours a dark, brown and thick brew, but in the glass it's dark as a moonless night. If you lift your glass to a light or a sunlit window you can only see a small redish glow.
It has a dark, small but lasting head; little cobweb-like lacing in the top of my glass.

Roasted malts, some chocolate and, of course, alcohol is present to the nose.

The taste is mokka-ish. You can clearly detect the coffee and chocolate flavor, which for me has a lot to do with an authentic mokka coffee; plus all it's maltiness.

Creamy, silky and hoppy aftertaste.

Where I live, with hot weather during almost 7 months, this is a beer that you'd prefer in the peak of Winter, since you don't want to drink it too cold to truly appreciate all it's character.

It's a great beer, with a steep price, even for México where imported beers always bear a big tag.

¡Salud!

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Photo of matcris
4.49/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Very dark brown-black with a huge tan head that really sticks around and clings to the glass. Lots of roasted malt, chocolate, malted candy like whoppers, and a little smokey. All of these notes in the flavor and so smooth. No hint of the alcohol, whatsoever. Average carbonation, medium body, and a little slick up front. Not overly dry on the finish, either. Just right. Very nice brew, here.

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Photo of FreshHawk
4.48/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Deep black with some ruby hues especially at the edge. Gigantic, thick, foamy, creamy, meringue-like, light beige head. Great retention with a good lacing left. Very nice looking beer.

S - A touch faint, but a good amount of licorice, some fruit, also some mocca/espresso. These go along with the general roasted malt and chocolate. Has a bit of a BSDA smell.

T - It starts off with a bit of a roasted malt taste. This quickly gives to a BSDA-like flavor. There is a good amount of licorice, dark fruits, and some Belgian yeast. Then more stout flavors come out. A bit more roasted malt, along with some chocolate, mocca, burnt sugar/caramel, molasses, licorice, a bit of earthiness, and some lactose sweetness. Somewhat bitter, somewhat sweet, and a little warming alcohol presence all mix throughout the sip.

M - Medium body with average carbonation. Smooth and rich taste. Not quite as full and thick/chewy as I would have liked, but not bad really, the rest of the beer just set the bar pretty high.

D - Easy to drink and makes me coming back for more. A large diversity of flavors that mix well, and are easy on the palate. Well balanced and is smooth. Only probably for drinking multiple ones in a sitting is the ABV, which is pretty well hidden.

Notes: A very nice beer, too bad Guinness doesn't make more beer like this, or at least have this beer distributed to a larger area. Taste like a mix of a BSDA and a stout. A lot of different flavors that intertwine and mesh nicely. Glad to have tried this (and on St. Patrick's Day too).

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Photo of PapaEugene
4.48/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Hahahahaaa... I just saw that my beerbuddy rvdoorn also reviewed this one. Let's see if we can agree on this one....

A: Poured it into my Rochefort glass. It has a nice dark brown/black color with a solid creamy head. Unfortunately it dissapeared too fast, but it left a nice dense lacing.

S: Roasted/burned malts, dark fruits and also a fruity sweetness.

T: Burned malts in the foreground. Caramel, dark fruits and surprisingly hoppy for a dark beer. Some apple sourness. Notes of cacao and liquorice.

M: Incredible creamy!!! Medium carbonation and great full body.

D: Hell yeah. Too bad that in Holland you mainly find draught on tap. I like it but the special export is in a totally different class.

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Photo of LukeK1231
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pured from a bottle into a O'Hara's (Carlow Brewing Co.) pint glass. No snifters on hand, because I am studying abroad in Dublin.

Color: Wonderful dark (almost black color) with a huge 3 finger nut brown head.

Aroma: This is one of the best smelling beers I have ever had. Wonderful nut and chocolate notes, with some coffee, and a slight alcohol smell in the background

Taste: The taste is wonderful and I would have this all the time over the Foreign Extra if it was more available in Ireland or when I get back to the States. Following the smell, it had a rich chocolate taste with superb caramel and nut notes as well.

Finish: The finish is a light chocolate taste.

I must say I love this beer. I wish it was a little more popular so I could have it more often. The bottle was meant for Belgium as it was written in French, Dutch, then English. (comissioned there in 1912) I cannot get enough of this, hope to find it back home.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.46/5  rDev +7.2%
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 Bighuge
4.46/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I revisited this beer tonight (2-27-17) as part of a three way blind taste test with Guinness Foreign Extra Stout and Bent Brewstillery FES. This one came in second place. Bent Brewstillery came in first.

I agree with my original thoughts and ratings below. This one has a nice bitterness to it without being too harsh, which the other Guinness that I tasted approaches. LongBeachBum got me my first sample of this. ZAP got me my recent sample.

Original Review: July 22, 2004

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 mynie
4.46/5  rDev +7.2%
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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Photo of TheSarge
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Guinness Special Export pours jet black, and forms massive amounts of toasted almond colored head. Reddish hues are barely detectable on the bottom rim of the glass.

Aroma characteristics of semisweet chocolate and coffee, and the alcohol is slightly detectable with a boozy smell.

This tastes of rich dark semisweet chocolate, very rich in cocoa flavors.

This feels coarse and finishes quite dry. It feels like I'm eating something more so than drinking a beer.

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Photo of taez555
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased the bottle in Amsterdam Aug ‘04, sampled in Oct ’04

This beer poured a thick pillowy dark tan head with an opaque black body.

The nose was a rich chocolate smell mixed with malt and some soft smoke.

Medium to full bodied. A dark rich chocolate taste. Not a milk or unsweetened type chocolate, but a DARK chocolate taste. Like those little bars you used to get at Halloween that you didn’t like as much as Mr. Goodbar or Krackel. A very Belgian style yeast flavor mixed with that classic Guinness burnt roasted barley flavor. You can really taste the bigger alcohol in this baby. There’s a slight burnt wood taste as well, even a hint of dry bark. It has some bitterness but for the most part it’s the roasted barley bitterness doing the bitter thang.

Ok, imagine Guinness stout mixed with chimay blue. Bam, you’ve got special export. Quite simple a damn good beer that you can’t get in the USA. What is wrong with this world?

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Photo of Brad007
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I've never seen this before. Pours a dark hue with a brown head into my glass. Roasted coffee and rich cocoa notes in the nose. Rich roasted coffee with bittersweet chocolate and dark fruit upfront. Chewy finish with some alcohol warmth. Well worth a shot if you're a fan of Guinness Export/Foreign Export stouts.

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Photo of Zet
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black with a decent head of beige foam that leaves pretty lacing. Full smell of milk chocolate, roasted coffee and vanilla. The taste is awesome: very complex yet in perfect balance. Dark chocolate, coffee, toffee, raisins, cherries and raspberry. Mildly sweet, mildly bitter with a modest dry aftertaste. Mouth feel is smooth and full. Guinness struck gold with this export stout. I'm very happy I actually live in the part of the world they export this particular version to!

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
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 davidfoley
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Nutty brown, caramel, ruby colour. Poor head retention. light carbonation

Smell - Citrus fruit, vanilla, moderate hops, coffee, chocolate, mint, caramel

Taste - Good balance, robust carbonation. Coffee, mild chocolate, banana, moderate hops, blackberry, & blackcurrant flavor. Aftertaste is bitter with lingering coffee flavors & carbonation still tickling the tongue.

Mouthfeel - Smooth like velvet with robust carbonation.

Drinkability - Great beer if a little heavy. Close to an imperial stout. Great taste! High alcohol and heaviness on the stomach would make this a sipper and you couldn't have too many.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.41/5  rDev +6%
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 +6%
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 +6%
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 +5.8%
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 MrDell
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
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 +5.3%
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 +5.3%
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 +5.3%
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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Guinness Special Export Stout / Antwerpen Stout from Guinness Ltd.
4.16 out of 5 based on 429 ratings.
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