Guinness Foreign Extra Stout | Guinness Ltd.

852 Reviews
Guinness Foreign Extra StoutGuinness Foreign Extra Stout

Brewed by:
Guinness Ltd.

Style: Foreign / Export Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Foreign Extra Stout is brewed with generous hops and roasted barley for a bittersweet balance and full-flavored, natural bite. Developed for global export from Ireland, the addition of extra hops ensured this Stout would arrive in perfect condition. Today it is enjoyed by millions around the world.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-30-2001

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 852 | Ratings: 2,292
Photo of Zimbo
3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Struggling with this to be honest. Looks fine, has the most complex and forceful house character of this brewery's offerings but lacking that morish cherry-ish core that was once the biggest draw of the Foreign Extra Stout. Still quite interesting and a rewarding challenge to the thoughtful patient taster but where is the joy?

 328 characters

Photo of domtronzero
3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Very dark brown, clear but nearly opaque. Big, long lasting mocha head. Little lacing.

S - Burnt acrid coffee, caramel and sweet dark malts.

F/M - Burnt acrid coffee and very dark roasted flavor. Sweet bready caramel malts. Very bitter and a little smoky. Astringent in the finish. Medium full bodied with moderate carbonation. Lingering burnt coffee flavor.

D - Good but this is one heavy, burnt, acrid, dry beer. Okay but I certainly need a palate cleanser between this and anything else.

 497 characters

Photo of WestValleyIPA
3.69/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into my Zatec fluted glass. Intense 4 fingers of dark tan head. Black as the night body. Great retention and sticky lacing. Smells much more beer-like than the original Guinness Draught. Some earthy hop tones, toasty coffee, and and underlying sour smell. Tart throughout on the palate. Burnt coffee. Nice hop bitterness. A LOT of burnt flavor. Mouthfeel is very dry. Quite bubbly and creamy. Very drinkable. Impressed.

 440 characters

Photo of ChrisKayler
3.69/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Glassware: Samuel Adams Summer Ale Glass

Appearance: Color is black with fringes of brown, opaque. An aggressive pour produced a 1/2 inch finger of head that was creamy and frothy and diminished quickly.

Smell: Smell is of bread, caramel, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, all burnt and roasted.

Taste: Taste is similar, with sweet malts transferring to milk chocolate and then to dark chocolate. Roasty taste is present throughout. A slight cream taste is also present.

Mouthfeel: Body is full with a slicky and creamy texture. Carbonation is average.

Overall: A decent stout, but I would much rather go for the Sam Smith's equivalent.

 640 characters

Photo of BARFLYB
3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

from a bottle into a glass

A- This has a dark black look to it but is actually a very dark dirty brown with a very pretty white foamy cap of condensed bubbles. Good lace on the way down.

S- Nothing to write home about but slight roasted malt and some chocolate backing although it's not to strong. There is a strong presence of aroma hops in here so hopefully that translates to taste.

T- Like flavored chocolate water with roasted malts thrown into the mix. It is on the dry side though with warming. The hops come out and distract me from the regular guinness taste making this a bit more doable.

M- A bit watered down feeling but not as much as regular draft. This has a nice meaty body that is about medium. With all that said it does display some creamy appeal. A nice amount of carb judging by feel and look.

D- Gets better as it warms while the chocolate comes out more. Next time I pick this up I'll just wait till it gets to that point.

 950 characters

Photo of BigDaddyWil
3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This bottle was given to me, from Tom at Cloverleaf. He brought it back from Jamaica, on a recent trip. He was gracious enough to give me a bottle, to sample. Thank you very much Tom.

Poured from a 275ml bottle into a pint glass.
Label states 6.5% alcohol.
Best before March 07.

Looks like your average stout, inky black color. A one finger thick creamy tan head forms. Spotty lacing is left behind. Smell is mostly roasted malts, hints of dark fruits and some sort of sour aroma. Taste mimics the smell lots of roasted malts, sweet, some hints of the alcohol. Finishes slightly dry. Smooth and full bodied mouthfeel. Leaves a twangy feeling on the tongue, maybe slightly sour. Overall a decent beer to drink. I'm glad I was given the opportunity to sample this. Quite different from the Guinness served in the U.S.

 823 characters

Photo of BEERME528
3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Coming from a non-Guinness drinker, this was not a bad beer. The flavor was almost too much for me at the beginning, but after drinking a couple, I was alright with it. The sweet malty flavors really come a live in your belly and fill you up. Compared to your basic, everyday Guinness, the carmel flavors are much more apparent in the Foreign Extra. I considered this my after dinner desert and drank it straight from the bottle, as there were no glasses availablet to me. As you can imagine, the color is dark as night. I recommend this, especially for any skeptical drinkers who typically pass on Guinness.

 608 characters

Photo of JizackFH
3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

A - This beer pours pitch black, with a big 3-finger mocha head. The head left a lot of spiderweb lacing on the glass.

S - It smells of light roasted malts and milk chocolate. There is also a slight hop presence and some dark fruitiness.

T - The taste is of bitter roasted malts and milk chocolate right off the bat. There are some definite coffee notes here, and there is a bit of hop presence as well. The finish is roasty, bitter, and has a linger chocolate flavor.

M - It has a light body that seems to actually thicken a little near the finish. It has moderate carbonation here. There is a creamy quality to it, as well as some roasty bitterness. The finish is dry. The body is just too light for me, I really think it would help if this has a fuller body.

D - This had good drinkability. It goes down easy and smooth. I could easily drink a few of these in a sitting. This really is a big step up from guinness draught. I just wish the body was more full. Id drink this one again though.

 998 characters

Photo of EmperorBevis
3.67/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Reminds me how bottled Guinnees used to looked, cola body huge tobacco stained foamy head
Subdued coffee aroma
Flavour is where regular Guinness should be iron & carbon & dark sugars & fruit at the back
but with a lingering booziness
its slightly thin, dangerously close to watery, but not quite & dangerously easy to down
my memory appears to be not entirely correct on this stout but drinkable enough

 412 characters

Photo of projectflam86
3.67/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle.

A- Pours a black color with a thick 2 finger brown head that leaves rings of lace.

S- Some roast in the nose and maybe a bit of butterscotch or diacetyl? A slight tartness that was hard to place.

T- Much more roast and chocolate in the flavor compared to the regular draught. Slightly bitter finish but not due to hops.

M- Medium/full bodied with nice carbonation.

O- This is far and away better than draught.

 430 characters

Photo of puboflyons
3.66/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From 11.2 fl. oz. bottle no. 15124. Sampled on November 18, 2010. It pours out to a dark brown-black opaque tone with about an inch of foamy, brown head that lingers and laces. The aroma has a sort of burnt malt and butterscotch feel to it with a touch of bitter hops behind. Medium body. The taste is clean enough with a good solid bitterness and a malty characteristic that kind of reminds me of a Mallo bar. Compared to the Guinness regular Extra Stout the alcohol is more notable. But compared to other stouts it is not. I am not enamoured by it but found it to be fairly drinkable.

 586 characters

Photo of Scotchboy
3.66/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Re-review, sampled 8/15/11. 11.2oz bottle, poured into a Snake River pint glass.

A: Just as epic as I remember, a towering mocha-colored head with tight, small bubbles cascades over a think black body that shows ruby on the edges. Head retention on the beer is amazing; it reminds me of a nitro beer.

S: Here is where this FES starts to lose me. Roasty, dark malt character hits your nose, as well as some sweetness, but its a 'shallow' smell. Not a whole lot going on.

T: Again the roasted malt is on display, but even with the hints of coffee bitterness, malt sweetness, chocolate, and the slight hopped finish it is not a full flavor; its lacking in depth.

MF: Feels thinner than I want a Stout to be. Finishes with a decent dryness.

O: Overall, good drinkability and it looks great, but not something I'm going to go out of my way to have again. However, with the roasted character, dark malt and hop additions, this beer blows away original Guinness.

 960 characters

Photo of PicoPapa
3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle. Best Before Date of L0244GF0001. Unsure of what that means. Pours an almost black with very minimal head. Aromas of roasted malts and some coffee. Flavors of some more coffee and chocolate but also some molasses. Aftertaste of roasted malts. Pretty smooth stout. Nothing revolutionary but nothing bad either. I liked it and I'd look for it in a bar but probably won't rush out to buy another 4 pack for $10.

 422 characters

Photo of VaTechHopHead
3.64/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Looks like traditional Guinness but has a bigger, espresso-like head on it that is thick and creamy. Very nice lacing on the glass as well.

S - Smell is a little faint but it does have a very nice roasted aroma. Aroma is dry like the smell of coffee with a hint of bitterness from the extra ingredients.

T - Not as big a flavor as I would have expected but again, with the smell, there is a lot of roasted flavors going on. It is a bit more bitter from the addition of more hops and the dark roasted malts compliment them very well. Aftertaste is dry and semi-sweet but doesn't last long on the palate.

M/D - Body is a little thin for me but the carbonation is just right. Finishes dry on the tongue. Texture is also a little weak for my liking. It is easy to drink because it is simple and doesn't kill the palate with a sip.

A lot better than regular Guinness? Yes. An "A" beer in my book? No.

 903 characters

Photo of Mora2000
3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I have heard a lot about this beer, lets see if it lives up to my expectations.

The beer pours a dark brown to black color with a tan head. The aroma is roasted malt with a lot of sweet, sugary notes. The flavor is roasted malt, chocolate, some dark fruit and a little bit of bitterness. There is also a sweet, fruity medicinal taste that I don't really like.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Better than some of the the other Guinness beers I have had, but nothing special. It is certainly not as good as I was expecting it to be. Just a slightly above average stout here.

 587 characters

Photo of secondtooth
3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Nicely black, with a huge head of tan bubbles. Thin web of spider-web lace. Impressive.

Nose seems creamy lactic sweet, even mildly astringent somehow. Not great.

Taste is strong, even a little bitter, with flavors of burnt barley and crisp hops present, too. Not your usual Guinness, though it does retain some of the creamy body of the usual Guinness. This is a sturdy, strong, and bitter ale that's unique and well-done. I'll be revisiting in the future.

 459 characters

Photo of akorsak
3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I am drinking a 12 oz. Foreign Extra Stout bottle in honor of the Americanized St. Patrick's Day.

Appearance: The ale pours a deep black color, almost like oil. The ale's head is a mocha color that leaves a surprising amount of lace around the glass.

Smell: The ale has a light chocolate aroma and an underlying hoppiness that is foreign to Guinness Draught. The hop presence is a pleasing sweetness that mixes with the chocolate.

Taste: The ale has a lightly roasted flavor, almost like a Guinness light. Behind that light flavor is a cornucopia of unusual flavors: hops, pepper and spice and even some sourness.

Mouthfeel: This version of Guinness is night-and-day different from Guinness Draught and its widget. The mouthfeel resembles Lion Stout, with the spices and hops that are not found in most other stouts.

Drinkability: The ABV is a little high, but not terrible. The ale is smooth and flavorful, aiding its drinkability.

 947 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.62/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a nice dark brown foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of roasted malt with light sweet notes is pretty good. Taste is a nice mix between some solid roasted malt with dry notes and some light sweet undertones. Body has somewhat of a creamy texture with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. This is definitely a step-up from the regular Guinness.

 418 characters

Photo of homebrew311
3.61/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: black, opaque, tan colored head, heavy lacing, nice head retention

S: sweet,heavy caramel, mocha

T: chocolate up front, intense caramel and toffee character, a little heavy on the sweetness, lots of flavor, aftertaste features a bit of bitter chocolate alone with caramel sweetness

Mf: thick body, low carb

O: flavorful brew, a little too heavy on the sweetness

 368 characters

Photo of djmichaelk
3.61/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

11.2oz bottle into a perfect pint. Time to see if this lives up to the hype.

A - Pours a very deep, dark brown, with a huge four fingers of mocha-colored head. Good retention and lots of lacing on the glass all the way down. Great looking beer, and a great way to start.

S - Roast, dark chocolate, and a nutty earthiness that seems common to all Guinness beers.

T - The coffee and roasted malt are dominant in the flavor. That earthiness is all in the finish, with a little alcohol present, more than I'd expect from them, although it's not unwelcome. Very dry finish.

M - The only letdown. The carbonation is maybe a bit too fine, making it seem like a draught bottle rather than a straightforward export stout.

D - I bought a 4-pack, and it'll probably last past the end of the weekend. I could drink another, but between the higher abv and the dominance of the roast I'll probably reach for something else.

O - For the price, it's a solid value. When I first got into craft maybe 20 years ago, there was Sam Adams Cream Stout and Guinness. You could find the Extra Stout in bottles, but everyone wanted the draught. Once they started releasing that in cans, then all I heard was that I needed the FES. This is one of the beers that got me into craft beer. It's nice to finally experience in what's supposed to be its best form.

 1,340 characters

Photo of tectactoe
3.6/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep and thick, black, used motor-oil kind of color with spots of dark ruby shining through the edges of the glass. Head is a creamy shade of tan, lasts for a while, though not as long as the head on the draught nitro cans (of course). The aroma hits with toasted malts and barley, light toffee-like sweetness, and is slightly reminiscent of red wine, via the alcohol. The initial taste has a nice carbonation bite with an onslaught of roasted malts and dark fruits, like prunes and raisins. Bitterness is present with a light but noticeable bite from the hops. The caramel/toffee notes come through at the end, and even more so when the beer starts to warm up. Not much "cocoa" flavor here, mostly just dark fruit sweetness, roasted malt, toffee, and slight floral bitterness. Alcohol shines through in the flavor much like in the aroma - nearly in the form of "wine". Medium body with a dry finish.

Say what you want about them, but Guinness really does make a nice product - both tasty and accessible. This is probably the best brew in their line-up, and at 7.5% ABV, it's definitely their strongest. Be careful, or this one will sneak up on you.

 1,158 characters

Photo of csiewert
3.6/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a thick black with a finger of thick tan head with little to no lacing as you drink. The aroma is strong with sour notes as well as some roasted barley. The taste starts sour and then moves to coffee and chocolate and finishes with some hoppy bitterness. The mouthfeel is a bit harsh for my liking and the taste lingers with you for some time. I would say worth a try if you are a fan of sour stouts.

 416 characters

Photo of gyllstromk
3.6/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love how Guinness is so consumed with Irish identity that they'd name their Russian Imperial Stout "Foreign Extra" rather than risk the cross-national branding.

I poured this into a small glass, with a large, velvety, caramel head. The body is totally black and opaque.

Smell is characteristic Guinness yeast, with chocolate malt and some licorice.

Taste is a sour variant of Guinness, with dark fruits and tannins. Alcohol is well masked.

Guinness is wet for a strong stout.

 481 characters

Photo of BeerDrinkersWorldTour
3.6/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - A deep black body here that has ruby hints against the light. The top is crowned with a massive beige head of mixed foam. Excellent retention to the head and evidence of light streaming CO2 activity.

Smell - Coffee Liqueur, raisin, prune and sweet caramel are the main elements I can detect but there is a strong roasty toasty malt current in here.

Taste - Sweet sour and bitter. Roasted burnt malt at the front which is very heavy indeed. This one starts rather sour at the front of the mouth and retains a sour undercurrent the whole way through. In some ways this has some milk stout elements. There is also the coffee and caramel ending that was found in the nose.

Mouth feel - A rather cloying end finishs what is otherwise a creamy feeling body. There is some boozy numbing like feeling in here. It is sound in this respect but not as good as I had hoped for.

Overall - Not bad but not really great either. I found this beer looked great but did not deliver anything amazing in any other element.

 1,020 characters

Photo of ummswimmin
3.6/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This looks like a Guinness. It smells kind of like a Guinness with some venous qualities.

The head is tan with a very dark body. The body is a little heavier than your typical Guinness.

The taste is quite a bit different than your normal Guinness. The coffee isn't nearly as present, and the beer underneath comes out more (not the best description, I know).
The alcohol presence is much stronger, which makes this harder for the novice drinker. However, this adds complexity that the normal Guinness won't provide.

I like this beer. Will it replace my imperial or American stouts? Nope. But I probably will pick up another bottle the next time I'm at the store.

 667 characters

Guinness Foreign Extra Stout from Guinness Ltd.
4.06 out of 5 based on 2,292 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.