Guinness Foreign Extra Stout | Guinness Ltd.

853 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

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Reviews: 853 | Ratings: 2,300
Photo of falconmatt
3.87/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Great beer. Poured from bottle. Good 2 inches of head in the glass, low caronation. Dark brown color, with red hues when held to the light. Smells of coffee. Tastes of coffee. Heavier beer, so I feel the drinkability is at 3.5. But it's a great beer to casually sip on.

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Photo of benclimbs
3.91/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours black with a thick white head about 2 fingers and lots of sticky lacing - looks incredible, even better than guinness original (which disappoints in every way other than the look.

smell is cocoa and dried fruit...solid, but nothing extraordinary.

taste is really nice, starts out with a bit of round dark dried fruit, then moves onto bitter mocha notes with a slight nutty character in there as well.

moutheel is great, damn good for a stout like this, just slightly warming, but not so much that it is not refreshing...impressive from a brewery i always wrote off as mediocre.

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Photo of mjgarrett2
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Seriously dark brown, no transparency with a Rich tan head.

S-Slightly sweet with that traditional roasted/woody stout aroma.

T-Caramel and yeast contribute to the bitterness of the stout in a pleasant and not overpowering way.

M-The sweetness upfront gives way to the bitter like a dry stout should. In no way is it too heavy or thick.

D-It is that standard. It kicks up the flavour and complexity of a simpler stout without sacrificing the relaxing qualities or make something overly intense like many Imperial styles do.

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Photo of FreshHawk
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Black with a deep ruby brown. Thick, creamy, and fairly sticky head. Beige-ivory color, decent retention and good amount of lacing.

S - Sweet toasted malts. Good amount of chocolate and some coffee as well as some caramel. Somewhat like the Original or the Draught but a bit sweeter and spiced.

T - First it starts with that roasted bitterness similar amongst Guinness beers. This is a bit stronger than the other "regular" varieties. Then a good amount of sweet and spice comes in. This has a milk chocolate, caramel, and some spiced dark fruit taste. Hint of rum-like taste accompanied by just the slightest taste of alcohol.

M - Medium body and good carbonation. Very smooth and velvety. Slightly chewey.

D - Pretty good. The mouthfeel is wonderful for ease of it going down and desire to drink more. The flavors are also good, but might be a little much after 2 or 3. That's ok though since the ABV makes that number kind of the cut-off point.

Notes: Wonderful example of Guinness. Has some of those flavors that you think of when talking about "regular" Guinness, but so much more to that. Full and velvety body also helps. Good stout that is worth trying if you can, not amazing but a very solid beer. I wish Guinness made more of their stouts along this line.

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Photo of fullsweep
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330 mL dark brown bottle poured into a pint glass/tumbler at home. Though perhaps this was once only available in Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean, it is now readily available in the UK. Different label than pictured here but same ABV.

A: pitch black beer with a charcoal greyish-brown foamy 3-finger head leaving plenty of lacing all the way down. There's even some foam left at the bottom of the glass.

S: roasted malts, cola, hint of coffee, caramel/toffee sweetness.

T: Profoundly sweet upfront with cola, coffee, roasted malts and caramel and swiftly followed by a sharp bitterness.

M: thick and rich, syrupy, like a sugar-infused iced coffee in mouthfeel (not in taste).

D: if this bottle were any larger (500 mL or more), the drinkability would be quite low, but at 330 mL and a 7.5 ABV, it hits the spot.

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Photo of Minotaur
3.96/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

To many the epitome and benchmark of the dry stout style. I've had this numerous times over the years on draft and in the bottle. The draft (particularly nitro in London pubs) is of course superior and I do feel the bottled versions exported to the USA have decreased in depth and complexity over the years.

The most recent draft (Cock and Bull, Lahaska PA) was a good, clean pour with the characteristic thick and lingering head. The flavors were the usual oatsy, nutty dry and slightly pungent.

The mouthfeel was slightly raw and not as creamy as is sometimes found with Guinness on tap. However it remained ultimately drinkable. Perhaps the beer's ongoing finest quality.

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Photo of SargeC
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Midnight black with a dense, tan head. Very solid looking.

Smell: Smoke, hearty malt with a touch of coffee and molasses.

Taste: Good roast flavor throughout. Hop reside in the background. Much more complex and tougher than regular Guinness. Hints of minerals in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-heavy body. Dry finish.

Drinkablity: Very good brew. Slightly better than normal bottled Guinness.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a five finger light tan head that fades very slowly, leaving a good lace. Black color, no high lights. Light carbonation and medium-heavy bodied. Light malty nose. Flavor is sweet bakers chocolate, with a more bitter chocolate finish. Best by May 25, 2010. 330ml bottle - gift brought back from Ireland.

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Photo of reginaldo
4.52/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A friend brought back a bottle from Ireland. Pours pitch black with a thick light tan thick head that sustains well into the pint. Smell is sweet with a hint of burnt caramel and molasses. The taste is exceptional. Starts and finishes with a caramel sweetness but with complimenting flavors all around. In the background a bitterness from hops that sticks around throughout. It is joined by dark chocolate and a subtle coffee flavor. Finish is a lighter caramel taste that is more than expected considering the aroma. Mouthfeel is lighter than expected but still medium bodied. Overall an outstanding stout. Wish this was the Guinness that was readily available in the US.

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Photo of MisterClean
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to BJs Roseville for hosting a Guiness dinner.

A - Pours a dark black with 2 fingers of head. Dissipates moderately, leaves nice lacing.

S/T - Caramel, light chocolate, and smoky. Nice hop bitterness. Very assertive.

M - Full-bodied, well-balanced, dry, and bitter. Nice.

D - Great overall. Really drinkable, would like to have had a full bottle myself.

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Photo of BillyBoysPie
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From a bottle to a glass at Aufsturz in Berlin, Germany. I was given the tiny little Guinness glass - quite literally large enough for the beer and an eight of an inch of foam.

Very, very dark with a dark tan head. As I stated above, there wasn't really room in the glass for much head, nor was there any retention. There was, however, lacing.

Smell was dominated by coffee and chocolate notes with strong banana esters. Surprising as no other Guinness beers I've had have the banana esters, but I liked the surprise.

Taste was rich but not creamy or velvety. The flavors were surprisingly well balanced - considering the very attractive combination of coffee, chocolate, banana, and alcohol.

Not velvety like a Guinness on draft, but still smooth and not hard to drink. Little carbonation, but just enough to offset the heavy alcohol and flavor profile.

I'd drink this again, but perhaps in a different glass.

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Photo of ChrisCage
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I finally got to enjoy the bottle I bought for myself while in Dublin back in April '09, with a friend that I bought one for as well!

A- BB date of Mar '10 so it's definitely fresh still. A more pronounced yellow label than the original and a stated alc percentage of 7.5% so I know I'm in for a treat! Pours thick like tar and if I dare say, a shade darker than the original. The head is very thick and frothy, while the color is tan. It also sticks around for several minutes before settling down somewhat! I can't see the carbonation due to the thickness and there is a lot of very sticky lacing!

S- Very prominent roasted malt right off the bat and the hop bitterness is very much present. There is a deep liking to fresh cocoa, herbs, blackstrap molasses and dried dark fruit to be found in the aroma.

T- This is a very much souped up version of the original! I found the sweetness to be outweighed by the bitterness of the hops. Other flavors include decently strong dark chocolate covered coffee beans, the aforementioned molasses, toffee and an herbal/earthy tone. I'm guessing there was a fair bit of chocolate malt used in the brewing process!

M- This is about as full bodied a beer as one will find! It has a creamy texture, with little carbonation, which really allows the character of the beer to be felt on the palate. The alcohol is very well hidden and I am very much reminded of drinking a cup of unsweetened cocoa with a kick!

D- It's not that I wouldn't enjoy more than one of these beers, but it's such a full bodied, full flavored beer that one is enough at a time! It's a great beer and I recommend it to anyone who is a true advocate of fine brews! If you get a chance to pick this up, go for it!

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Photo of eat
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brought all the way from Dublin by my parents...thanks Mom and Dad!

Pours a creamy pitch black with a moka-coloured, thick and chunky head. Decent retention, some lacing.

The nose is weaker than I expected. Astringent minerals, grain, roasted malt, molasses, hints of coffee and dark chocolate. Smells good enough but there's not enough there.

Incredibly smooth and well balanced. This is like North American Guinness on steroids. Creamy roasted malt up front, subtly smoky, hints of molasses, strong coffee and dark chocolate, bitter hops in the background. The extra alcohol seems to tie everything together with an added bite. Lingering bitter finish. Perfectly balanced; it's almost as if you can taste the history that's gone into this stout.

The feel is pretty nice, although, as with most stouts, I could use a little more body. Fully medium-bodied, it would be nice if it was full-bodied. Light carbonation fits the style.

This is very drinkable. I would love to drink this all the time...too bad that's impossible. This tastes like what you always wished Guinness would taste like. One of the smoothest, most well-balanced stouts I've had the pleasure to sample.

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Photo of charlatan
3.43/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Small 330ml bottle pours with a thick brownish head, a decent proportion of which hangs around for a while. The nose is roasted malt with a hint of molasses, thankfully without coffee.

This is well carbonated and briefly rather too sweet (unfortunately reminding me of artificial sweeteners) before a much needed bitterness takes over lifting the brew to a higher plane.

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Photo of DIM
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

note: I tried a contract brewed version while in Dominica, two different batches purchased at two different locations. Both were sour shells of the original. This disappointment made me all the more grateful for the chance to try this as it was meant to be.

a: This was black bodied and poured with a massive, rocky and sticky light tan colored head.

s: Big roasty malt aromas with strong bitterness. Lightly sweet milk chocolate with just a hint of toffee. Mild warmth emerged towards the bottom of the glass.

t: Starts off slightly sweet, tasting of toffee and cocoa. The cocoa becomes stronger towards the finish, eventually turning into a strongly bitter, dry roastiness.

m: Medium bodied with long lived, light and spritzy carbonation.

d: Thanks to a couple of friends for bringing this back from Ireland for me. Never had a stout quite like this. Excellent, very glad I had the chance to try this.

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Photo of AmberMan22
4.58/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into ~15cl glass. I filled it up just under 3 times.

Foreign Extra pours an amazingly black color, just the tiniest hints of deep ruby when held to light, with a dark tan head, bordering on brown. The head is well over 2 fingers thick, and it sticks to the glass like white on rice.

The smell is of an unexpectedly bitterness (at least the strength of said bitterness), chocolately malt, and a hint of rum.

The Taste really is impressive. The best guinness, no doubt -- hits initially with the coffee/chocolate malt flavor which is incredibly more intense than in the rest of the guinness family. It is met equally with a surprising hoppy bite, dark yet delicious. I don't expect this sort of feel in a stout, which is the only reason I give it a 4.5 out of 5. The hoppiness overrides some of the more traditional flavors, but I am FAR from disappointed.

Like any other guinness, this is a very full bodied, syrupy stout. The large bubbles provide for a wonderful feel, and there are absolutely no complaints here.

I would love to drink this all night. Could I? No. The 7.5% ABV sneaks up on you, because you just want to keep drinking this delicious beverage. This beer is an absolute must-try.

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Photo of Patrick999
3.84/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into my Stone imperial pint glass, it looks like...well, Guinness - it has that standard Guinness appearance. Really dark, big-ass crown of cascading foam. A great-looking stout.

Smells mostly of malted milk balls, a little caffe latte.

Pretty unique taste. I don't know that I've ever tasted a stout quite like it. It isn't, as I suspected it might be, simply a pumped-up version of the US Extra Stout. It's complicated....definitely more hops than any other Guinness I've tasted....bittersweet and roasty, the bitter roastiness lasts and lasts on the palate. Almost seems a little sour at times, too. A dark plum-y fruit taste manifests a bit as it warms. Not quite as creamy as I thought it might be.

I'm not quite sure what to make of it...some sips, I think it's really, really good, others, it comes off as a bit of a discontinuous mess. Ratings-wise, I'll have to split the difference. Regardless, there is a lot of flavor here.

Feel is not as creamy and soft as I probably expected.

While it's pretty unique and worth trying, I don't know that I'd go to great lengths to track down a bottle. That said, it would be nice if this was an option for us in the United States. It does hold your interest, and retains much of the standard Guinness drinkability - I drained the pint glass pretty quickly.

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Photo of WCBCFrank
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Guinness Foreign Extra is a real treat, especially for fans of porters. It pours a super dark brown and black, lots of dark chocolate, toasted malt and some hoppy notes make this a delight sip after sip. A Porter's porter - but too heavy in the mouthfeel.

For the novice: Expect a Stout, with a capital S...for fans of the US nitro version, this might be a shock to the taste buds.

Personally: After reading so much about this, when I was in Jamaica I could not wait to get my hands on this stuff. It did not wish they had it here in the states, but alas I'll just have to keep drinking Storm King instead....

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Photo of GodOfBeer
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich black with a nice tan head, that settles to a thin soapy layer, not much lacing.

Smells very sweet, caramel, sort of milky and some coffee.

Wow this is a tasty beer, the beset Guinness by far. Coffee, sweet syrupy caramel,chocolate upfront with a very bitter hoppy finish.

Nice smooth creamy mouthfeel, very drinkable, if only you could get this in Canada, instead we get their other secondary bullshit.

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Photo of drperm
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased in St. John's, Antigua; label states it's (contract) brewed and bottled by the Antigua Brewery -- so neither the Bahamas nor Jamaica version.
This is absolutely excellent and delicious, and I'd be over the moon if it were available in the US.

Appearance: Dark and lovely in my wine glass. Nice brown head.

Aroma: Chocolate-malty, hoppy, nice bitter nose, inviting me to dive in.

Taste: Oh, so lovely. That dark-chocolate malt is balanced by excellent bitterness. Doesn't drink too heavily or darkly, and in a blind tasting I'm sure that I'd swear it were dark red in colour.

Mouthfeel: flirts with caramel sweetness but the bitter-balance is excellently nuanced. Surprisingly smooth for a 7.5 ABV.

Drinkability: This is the best product from Guinness I've had, and I'm a Guinness fan. Truly excellent, and even considering its strength, perfect for a breezy Caribbean night. Excellent with steak, or grilled seafood, wonderful by itself as well.
A winner!

*NB. 13 July 2010: This beer is an excellent cellar contender. Brought a second one back from Antigua with me last year and finally broke it out the other day. Superb and even smoother than it was last year.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.38/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Jet black pour with a large brown cream head showing reasonable persistence and lacing.
Aroma is a mix of roasted malt, port, rolled oats, sweet alcohol, liquorice and sultanas.
Flavours are roasted malt with some burnt notes, sweet caramel, more rolled oats and some alcohol. Powerful roasted bitterness. Quite a mouthful.
Creamy body and carbonation.

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Photo of Jeffo
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this at Bert's Bierhuis in Utrecht.

From a bottle into a snifter.

Note: Tasted directly after the Belgian version.

APPEARANCE: Pours a medium-thick looking 2 finger tan head with great retention. Colour is a pitch black, opaque, with very little carbonation evident. A thin film remains until the end and leaves some decent lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Mild nose of roasted barley malt, some smokiness, and hints of cream. Touches of milk chocolate in the background as well. A nice nose for the style.

TASTE: Roasted barley malt and some smokiness up front, like the nose advertised. Some sweet cream through the middle and lots of bitter chocolate and coffee notes at the end. Finishes with a long lasting bitter hop aftertaste with next to no alcohol presence at the end. Very enjoyable stout profile.

PALATE: Medium body with medium levels of carbonation. Mildly creamy smooth on the palate, goes down smooth with no bite at all and finishes with a touch of dryness on the palate. A decent feel, though could be thicker and creamier.

OVERALL: A great example of how good Guinness can really be; basically their extra stout on steroids. This is probably my favorite of their line-up, just beating out the Belgian version. Compared to its continental sister this one has less of an alcohol presence, which, in my view, makes it a little more enjoyable and drinkable as well. Though the ABV is still pretty high, this is one I could enjoy until "forced" to move on. Recommended.

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Photo of porterwoobie
3.81/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured from a 22oz bottle into a standard pint glass.

A: black. 3 finger tannish colored head that lingers for a long time.

S: very faint coffee and roasted grains.

T: nothing really stands out. little bit of bitterness and sweetness, some coffee and chocolate notes, roasted taste. finishes dry, and a slight metallic taste.

MF: medium bodied, smooth feel

Drinkability: decent beer. drinks easily. can't pinpoint one thing that stands out.

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Photo of alovesupreme
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at a liquor store in the Bahamas.
A dark liquid with a brown head and fair retention.
Spicy qualities, pepper, Spiced rum, charcoal.
Different types of bitterness both hops and roasted character. Pepper, clove and a strong dark fruit presence mostly Prune.
Full mouthfeel with good carbonation.
A great beer that I would take over the guinness offered in the states. Much more complex.

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Photo of JFazekas
3.94/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Presentation: 330mL bottle.

Appearance: Chocolaty body with plenty of head and lots of lacing.

Smell: Very sweet. Almost a bit like a milk chocolate bar, not something I desire from my beer.

Taste: exceptionally smooth for a 7.5% beer. Very reminiscent of an extra stout but with an added bonus. Taste is also a bit sweet but it doesn't take too much away from the beer; the alcohol and slight hop bittering take the edge off nicely.

Overall: After having this hyped up a bit I was slightly disappointed. It is the best beer I've had on my visit to the UK thus far. Added points for excellent mouthfeel and drinkability.

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Guinness Foreign Extra Stout from Guinness Ltd.
4.06 out of 5 based on 2,300 ratings.
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