Guinness is unavoidable in Ireland, and the draught version is inexplicably championed by even the most discriminating of palates. In a place devoid of good beer, a pub that 'does a good Guinness' will do. As if pouring it well will make it any less watery and flavourless.
However, the Diageo giant does make Guinness Foreign Extra which is a fine drink, with this Special Export being top of the range. It's made for the Belgian market as far as I know, and is the strongest variety at 8% ABV.
Like the Foreign Extra, Special Export pours black and tan and produces an equally pungent aroma of rubbery burnt toffee and dark mascerated fruit. Tobacco and brown sugar tie it down. The taste is a delicious blend of dark, sticky, malty sweetness, smoky highlights and that recognisable coffee bitterness.
For me, this is better than the FES, though not by much. In terms of value for money, the FES is definitely the way to go. Still, it's certainly worth a try.