Guinness Special Export Stout / Antwerpen Stout | Guinness Ltd.

BA SCORE
92
outstanding
435 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:
435
Reviews:
217
Avg:
4.16
pDev:
9.62%
 
 
Wants:
138
Gots:
75
For Trade:
1
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 435 |  Reviews: 217
Photo of stcules
3.48/5  rDev -16.3%
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.

 422 characters

Photo of ZAP
4.27/5  rDev +2.6%
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 +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 33cL bottle into a Rochefort goblet.

A: Looks impressive. Dark, dense, and brown with acceptable head that quickly dissipates. Interesting tracing on the surface and nice lacing on the sides.

S: Rich roasted malts and hops hit the nose and hint at coffee and dark chocolates. This is what a stout should smell like. Unfortunately, this greatness does not endure and the smell fades with time.

T: Way better than normal Guinness and the best stout I've ever had. Surprisingly light and alcoholicly sweet at first, this inital flavour burst gives up ground to the dominant character of this beer...Assertive, strong bitter notes -- hops and roast coffee -- march on through the mouth, fading slowly into a balanced, pleasant, and dry aftertaste.

M: The 8% gives this stout the oomph it needs. Lightly carbonated for a pleasant tingle. Balance prevents overpowering bitterness.

D/O: As good as this beer is, it's one I wouldn't drink often. It's too distinctive and...arrogant. The strong hops add a different character to the traditional stout, and I heartily approve.

EDIT (16 June): Changed the Drinkability/Overall from 3.5 to 4.5.

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Photo of Hellpop65
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

The aroma is half fully expected, half unique. The smoky, fruity, roasty notes I expect from a foreign stout are there; this version in particular amplifies some of the lighter fruits (think apple, peach, and even orange) and adds a distinct bread quality. This definitely has Belgian yeast, I can smell it a mile away. The flavor profile (mostly) follows suit. An intense start of yeasty bread, black pepper, and apples turn into dark fruits around the middle. It finishes like a proper Guinness should: with plenty of smoke, roasted malt, and espresso flavors. Its lack of careful balance keeps the flavor from being a 4 (the yeast profile being the culprit), but I'm still impressed by the depth and nuance offered. It feels creamy and soft yet it's dry enough to keep it clean, with a long finish. This also feels a bit bulkier around the middle of the palate compared to the front and back (where it's thinner). Carbonation is fine. I'd personally put this a slight notch below my favorite Guinness - the FES - but it's still a very good stout that many craft brewers would be proud to have in their collection.

3.85/5: A tasty and fun yet archetypal Belgian-style stout

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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 shigg85
4.34/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of WOLFGANG
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of ccrida
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
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 bobv
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Easy pour yields a one inch had with some lacing that lasts all the way down. Nose of chocolate, caramel, and roasted malts. Taste follows with a nice bitterness in the finish, not overpoweringly bitter, just...nice. Real nice, full feel. This makes their famous stout feel like water, but we knew that! Overall, I think the Belgians were lucky to have had this since 1944!

 373 characters

Photo of madelf66
3.71/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of scottfrie
3.64/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

11.2oz bottle into SA perfect pint glass.

A: Pours a deep darker than cola brown with a couple fingers of very dense light brown head. The head took forever to slowly fade into a thick and lasting fuzzy collar that left a thick network of impressive lacing down the glass.
S: Ashy, smoky, nose with notes of tobacco smoke, savory barbeque smoke, chicory, and slight sulfur.
T: More of a roasted and toasted grain quality to the flavor than it is pure smoke like the nose. Still, there is a subtle smoky undertone throughout the flavor. Roasted malt flavors up front followed by sweet and sticky flavors of molasses and slight caramel. Savory, meaty, smoke and slightly acrid flavors round out the finish, and I get a hint of chocolate and chicory lingering in the aftertaste. Mild spice.
M: Dense, softy, and creamy carbonation that really froths up on my palate. Full body, chewy and thick mouthfeel, moderate bitterness.
O: The aftertaste was like a lighter version of the taste that lingers after smoking a cigarette. Thick, chewy, and drinkable, but probably not something I’ll revisit.

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Photo of samEBC
3.81/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of dertyd
3.94/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a nice stout, aroma was of dark fruit with a slight herbal aroma.....flavors follow the nose with dark fruit,wood, herbal spice with a smooth finish....grade B beer

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Photo of DanGeo
4.01/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of OWSLEY069
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours jet black with a tan head. In the aroma, sweet roasted malt and a small bitterness. In the taste, roasted malts, a sweetness, a note of alcohol and a dry hop in the end. A bitter and medium to bigger bodied mouthfeel , with a dry chocolate roast in the aftertaste. It is like an imperial stout, or Guinness on steroids.

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Photo of Lukass
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of EmperorBevis
3.26/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3.25

Bottled and trying to be impartial despite not being impressed by any of the brewers but have most expectations of this
Pours a jet black body with decent enough tan head
Dark fruit aroma
Coffee and fig
Thin tho

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Photo of tavernjef
4.71/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Darkly pitched in black with periodic flashes of brown tinting. Lofty huge dark tan top of smoothed over foam. Stays at the helm forever and a day and never leaves its seat, fanning out eventually to leave enormous amounts of thick lacing.

Well rounded aroma of dark cocoa and milk chocolate with a light roasted quality and even lighter fruity notions of cherries and figs.

Flavor is quite full of action from front to back. Slender and dark fruity front, sweetly sided undertones at first, then, bold and creamy, big roasted chocolate cake center, dry and bittering finish with burnt crusty edges of roasted malts and grains. Turns to smoke, charcoal, tar, coffee grounds, and dry licorice spice as it cinders off into the finish. Wonderfully complex and layered with fun roasty flavors. A great whirlwind at the finish totally knocks it out of the park.

Feel is rich, thick, and velvety with a unique sweet under carriage that keeps a very nice balance. The roast never really completely takes over but makes great efforts to do so. The body of this stout continues to grow in texture as it warms, becoming creamier and warmer in cocoa returns towards the finish as does the coffee grade.

A fantastic beer. The true Guinness! So truly sad that many here in the states don't realize what they think and drink as the "Original" - isn't actually what it should and could be. Oh well...

I thank the hell out of Shaughn256 for sending this as an extra in our latest trade! Osu!

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Photo of gford217
4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

33cl bottle purchased from Carrefour in Athens, Greece, where I couldn't believe my luck.

Pours dark, dark brown out of the bottle and settles in as black in the glass with a huge rocky tan head that lasted for ages and left great lacing. The aroma is a little better than draught with a slightly more evident chocolate malt backbone but with the bitterness I expected. The taste, however, was much more complex than i expected. It has the roasted malt backbone but with milk chocolate sweetness balanced with some coffee bitterness in the finish. Very, very nice flavor. The mouthfeel was medium bodied with good carbonation with the patented Guinness creaminess. This is a revelation compared to standard Guinness and I'm lucky I got the chance to try this one.

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Photo of tykechandler
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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 Jeffo
3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this at the bottle shop down the road from me.

From a bottle into a snifter

APPEARANCE: Pours black with some nice carbonation effect after the initial pour. Afterwards, no carbonation evident at all. A big three finger medium tan head fades relatively slowly into a thin film. Some lacing evident.

SMELL: Dark fruits initially, with some roasted barley malt and some black licorice. Nose is alright and powerful enough.

TASTE: Mirrors nose somewhat. Roasted barley malt with a smoky component as well up front, with some bitter hops and chocolate flavors through the finish. A touch of alcohol at the end, but well controlled. Alcohol and bitterness in a strong and longer lasting aftertaste. Good stuff for sure.

PALATE: Medium-thick body and pretty creamy on the palate. Carbonation is there but balanced well. Goes down smooth but finishes with a bit of a bite. A slight bit of stickiness lingers. Good here.

OVERALL: Obviously this is a very different beer than their pub draft; they are not comparable and are not meant to be compared. I could see how someone who loves the pub draft would not like this. Too bad, because this is a great beer on its own right. It's certainly drinkable, and the nose is sharp and impressive. Looks and feels great too. This is a perfect example of how good Gunniess can be. One I'll re-visit. Recommended.

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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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Guinness Special Export Stout / Antwerpen Stout from Guinness Ltd.
4.16 out of 5 based on 435 ratings.
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