Brew Review

Beer Review – Guinness Foreign Extra Stout

Guinness Foreign Extra 2

Recently, G-LO was working the interwebz and received an offer from a PR firm in New York City that he couldn’t refuse. To be perfectly honest, any offer involving free beer or whisky is one that we will not refuse. We may not find that we like every product, but we will gladly accept it. Anyway, G-LO was offered a sample of Guinness’ Foreign Extra Stout and he then passed along a bottle for me to try. Having just returned from Ireland and sampling all the Guinness that I could, I felt that I was in the proper state of mind to try the Foreign Extra Stout.

Here is what Guinness has to say about the Foreign Extra:

Foreign Extra Stout is brewed with generous hops and roasted barley for a bittersweet balance & full-flavored, natural bite. Developed over 200 years ago for global export from Ireland, the addition of extra hops ensured this Stout would arrive to its destination in perfect condition. Today, Guinness Foreign Extra Stout is enjoyed by millions of people around the world.

And here are my impressions of the Foreign Extra…

  • Appearance: Black with ruby tinged edges, a lot of tan foam, and good lacing.
  • Aroma: The smell of heavily roasted malt and a hint of coffee.
  • Taste: Not as thick as I would have expected, creamy with a little sweet malt and dark chocolate followed by the burnt, roasted flavor of coffee and a slightly lingering, bitter finish.
  • ABV: 7.5%

Truth be told, I am a huge fan of a good pour of Guinness, so I am not really as unbiased here as I would like to be. That said, the Foreign Extra was more like a Founders Breakfast Stout or a Snake River Brewing Zonker Stout than it was the more traditional Guinness. This was Guinness all dressed up and ready to go out, with more depth and complexity than the original. I thought it was very nice. If only I could find it on tap as readily as the standard issue Stout!

But wait! There’s more…

When I told G-LO that I would be working on this review, he said that he would drink his bottle ASAP and then send me his tasting notes to include in the review.

Late Sunday evening, G-LO sent the following photos:

Along with the photos, he sent me the following message:

As you can see, I was doing my usual beertography nonsense (aka “douching it up!”) before settling down to drink a beer. With the photo silliness finally out of the way, I was all ready to drink it, but as I was putting some stuff away in the kitchen, I turned, knocked the glass over, and spilled 85% of it on the counter. Many expletives were muttered under my breath (#2 Son was in the room with me when it happened)! Good thing I had this beer at the last Guinness event and remember it very well.

I am 100% in agreement with your assessment. The Guinness Foreign Extra is the standard issue Stout on steroids! Rich roasted malt. A bit of booziness. Dark chocolate and espresso. To all those Craft Beer lovers out there that keep bashing the standard issue Guinness Stout on the multitude of message boards out there, you should definitely give this beer a try. It may just change your mind about Guinness.

So there you have it. Two positive reviews of a very delicious beer.

Have you had the Guinness Foreign Extra? If so, we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.


Thank you to Alice Hennessy of Taylor Strategy for sending us this very generous sample.

5 replies »

  1. Have you ever heard of the Nigerian version of Guinness foreign export? – it’s apparently even thicker and some weird hybrid of Guinness and local beer. They have it in Bristol here but I keep forgetting to try it .Sounds odd as hell, but it’s meant to be nice


    • When I was over in Dublin in Nov, I took the Guinness tour and they mentioned making higher octane versions of their Guinness for Africa and other markets. I just didn’t find any in my few days there.


      • Hmm, I have the urge to dig it out and give it a try now. I tried the Belgium version when I was in Brugge which was quite the smooth twist on the beer. With all the versions GFES hunting is a beer style in itself 🙂


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