A life just as ordinary

Just like you, but different

Beer – #491 – Guinness – Special Export (Belgian version)

It’s Good for you, good for your ears, good maths and good mates.

Special version of bottled Guinness for Belgium, France, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. Brewed in Ireland for Anthony Martin.

I can’t believe that I haven’t written my thoughts on Guinness, so when the Guinness Special Export (Belgian version) became available I had to get one.

Brewed by St. James’s Gate (Diageo) in the classical style of a  Foreign Stout , Guinness of course are in  Dublin, Ireland.

330ml bottle, and 8% ABV this is 240 calories worth and 2.08 standard drinks

In 1944, John Martin, having boldly crossed the Channel, requested that a unique vintage of Guinness be brewed specially for Belgium : Guinness Special Export. This elixir, 8%

It's good for you !

It’s good for you !

alcohol by volume is greeted by the drinker with the smile of an explorer who has discovered black gold. Just as dark but just as creamy too, this stout reveals a fierceness that lives up to the well-known saying, ‘Of all the peoples of Gaul, the Belgians are the bravest’. Unique !

Guinness is inseparably connected to Ireland by 250 years of history. The one exception is this version, also called GXS, which was originally brewed exclusively for John Martin while he developed his business on the European continent. Of course, the taste characteristics are similar to those of the traditional Irish one, but raised to a higher level : that goes especially for the alcohol content by volume of 8%, giving this beer an explosive taste of roasted malt and smoked wood and liquorice, ending in a very long aftertaste. 

It’s been a while between ‘new’ beers for for me, and it’s nice to sit down and jot some thoughts.

An interesting aroma on opening, as it did with a hiss, dark chocolate, malt.

Guinness Special Export (John Martin - Belgium)Fantastic dark pour with a lovely thick and luxurious head that I underestimated but got away with. Aroma moves to a more damp biscuit thing.

Taste is really intense. There is lovely mouthfeel and there is a lovely lingering of the taste too.

Despite the heavy flavour profile this is a surprisingly light beer on the tongue, by which I mean that there doesn’t appear to be anything on the palate that immediately is picked out, and the finish although decent isn’t to dry, or sweet, it just seems to wash over.

But yes there is a lovely lingering coating that makes it very nice indeed to drink.

It is then pretty much as described on the label, a somewhat luxurious stout that keeps you entertained and engaged.

The pdubyah-o-meter rates this as 8 a of its things from the thing. I like the mouthfeel and I like the layers and intensity of the flavours, but this isn’t quaffing beer, it’s not like it lights up the taste buds and just draws you back in. It is like a good book with great characters that you can engage with.  Oh and the 8% ABV will catch you out if you don’t keep an eye on it.

I remember from my youthful days the great pub finisher of Guinness and Barley Wine, I wonder if I research what that Barley wine was that I could recreate this. Doubtful, but this could finish you off on its own given a chance.

The double dip review

  1. Am I enjoying it? I am, it is an easy drinking beer that has a lot of things right about it.
  2. Would I have another? I would easily go another.
  3. Would I share with a friend on a porch and set the world to rights? I think so, in some weird way this seems like a decent session beer, but fails at that because I don’t think there is enough of the “sippability’ about this, it’s ‘supping’ beer.

Completely non-irish the music that I have on is from “Dexy’s Midnight runners” – this track is “This is what she’s like” from the under-rated and under-played – “Don’t Stand Me Down” which is the third studio album by Dexys Midnight Runners.

I was also listening to a new musics, from the group  “Afternoons” and the  album ‘Say Yes’ They’re an indie band from LA in the USofA. It’s light pop but has a striking album art cover.



Foreign Stout began with the beer that would become Guinness Foreign Extra Stout. This was a stronger, extra-hopped version of the basic Guinness Extra Stout, brewed to survive long journeys overseas. The classic FES still exists in a few different forms, but many of the original destination countries (Jamaica, Sri Lanka, etc.) now have their own, locally-produced versions. Foreign stout occupies a position between basic stout and imperial stout. It is sweeter than a basic stout, but not as robust as an imperial. It is less fruity and less hoppy as well. Foreign stouts are sometimes made with local grains and adjuncts sugar is not uncommon. Alcohol ranges from 6-8%


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This is just me being me

I did all this!

Vanity Corner

wordpress visitor

I tweet like a boss

%d bloggers like this: