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Bell's Harry Magill's Spiced Stout - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Bell's Harry Magill's Spiced StoutBell's Harry Magill's Spiced Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

126 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 126
Reviews: 68
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 12.4%
Wants: 4
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  7.90% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 12-11-2001

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 126 | Reviews: 68
Photo of UrbanCaveman
4.26/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

I don't know about retirement for this beer, as it seems to make appearances here and there. Such as at a small stout festival in Covington, KY, on tap.

Appearance: Your standard stout, a dark brown verging on black, with a decent tan head.

Smell: Here's where things start to get interesting. It's a stout, and so one would expect roasty malt, coffee, perhaps some chocolate - and nope. Pure spice wafts out of the glass, a wave of ginger, cinnamon, and clove, with some faint herbal undertones. Somewhere under that, like supporting arches beneath a bridge, hang subtle odors of roasted malt and lightly roasted coffee.

Taste: This stout drinks in layers, opening with a rush of pure ginger wreathed in smoke, before blackstrap sweetness begins to filter in. The molasses brings cinnamon and ground clove flavors along with it, swirling about before yielding in turn to a light coffee, mixed with brown sugar and nutmeg. Spice is prominent in every phase, including a lingering ginger-cinnamon taste after the swallow.

Mouthfeel: Closer to medium-bodied than full, this is oddly refreshing for a stout.

Overall: A curiosity I would repeat, given the chance. Well done, Bell's.

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

Had this on tap at the Bryant lake Bowl: dark, alcoholic, sweet, lots of dark malts – worth tracking down.

Photo of MDDMD
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-dark brown color with a nice light tan head and decent lacing

S-dark malt, chocolate coffee, molasses, spice

T-dark roasted malt, chocolate, light coffee, cinnamon, molasses

F-medium body with light to moderate carbonation, smooth

O-decent stout with some nice spice

Photo of BEERchitect
3.77/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dragging from the grave, the Bell's Brewing Company revives a classic spiced Stout that hasn't been seen in quite some while. Kudos to Bell's for giving the beer another chance- but in the late spring season- gotta ask?

But like any other stout the roasty ale pours with a deep, dark brown hue that's nearest to black as you get without turning the corner. Mildly hazed a diffused golden highlight is evident when pointed toward the light. A sandy tan-type foam forms on the beer and happily accompanies it all the way to the bottom- all the while lacing concentric and trailing with lace. It's one hansom-ass beer!

Robust and spicy aromas lead with coffee and chocolate, but finish with nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger. It's a masculine scent that offers something more- something that lends itself to winter beers- the spice and dry sweetness underneath all lead to that conclusion. But as its taste kicks up with burnt caramel, or molasses- the woody and toasty overtones take hold at middle palate and lead to a finish of exotic spices, moderate alcohol strength, and cocoa-rich chocolates.

Surprisingly middle-weighted- the beer is creamy and semi-dry to start, but its robust roastiness likes to retain the dextrin-rich body and embedded carbonation. As the beer tramples across the tongue, chocolate turns to cocoa, toast turns to ash, and spice turns to astringent bite as the drying power of the ale exposes the bulk of its weaknesses. Warm to close, the ale seems well suited for cooler weather.

But heading into summer. this ale seems to confuse the palate and the mind with an ill found robustness that struggles with the taste of summer.

Photo of oline73
3.66/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter at Churchkey in DC.

Pours a very dark brown with a small layer of off white head. There is no real roast in the smell. I'm getting a spiced sweetness with some ginger and mild nutmeg. The taste is more of the same. Lots of spice covering up the stout qualities. There is a sweetness to this beer. The finis is spiced. The carbonation is aggressive with a dry finish.

Photo of SportsandJorts
3.96/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Type: on-tap- 16 oz
Glass: pint
From: Ashley's in Ann Arbor
Price: $6.00

Appearance: black and opaque. small bubbly tan head that left behind a lacing on the top and sides

Smell: mostly nutmeg and some other spices. some roasted malts

Taste: again strong on the nutmeg and spice. roasted malts come through pretty creamy.

Mouthfeel: pretty light for a stout.

Overall: A different but nice take on the stout. I don't think i could drink too many of these but it is pretty tasty

Photo of aasher
4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On draft at the Beer Sellar for the Super Bell's, Super Bowl week, party. It poured a medium bodied and very smooth dark chestnut brown in color with a one finger, soapy beige head. The nose gives off aromas of smooth and soft creamed coffee with a nice dose of cinnamon and nutmeg. After the nose, the smoke/light pork is surprising in the flavor. It mellows out and you're left with a nice, dry stout with a slightly sweet cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar finish with light bitterness. It has nice flavor and doesn't show any of the 7.5%. It drinks very smoothly. Overall this is a really nice stout. I'm glad Bell's brought it to this event.

Photo of PorterLambic
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark as a moonless night. A smallish medium tan head forms then drops to a thick film, leaving a wee bit of lacing.
Smell is a bit weak but with notes of malt and hops, licorice, freshly cut wood and an herbal/medicinal note.
Taste is similar with a stronger malt note and a lesser hop presence. Licorice, smoke and dark chocolate are in there, too.
Medium bodied with a light effervescence. A smooth smoky, roasted malt aftertaste fades very slowly. A bit weaker than I expected. No real "spiced" notes to be found save the light licorice. A pretty good beer but needs a bit of tweaking for my tastes.

Photo of jera1350
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Bryant Lake Bowl for the Oberon release party.

A cola brown color with a nice foamy cap that is tan in color. A little light lacing. Good retention.

Smells of cola and chai tea. Cinnamon, cardamom and the like.

Has a brown ale/milk stout base with plenty of sweet malt. Chai tea and spices like cinnamon are present with undertones of cola. This actually tastes exactly like my latest homebrew, a oaked chai milk stout. It's actually uncanny at how similar they are. That's why I am assuming there is chai present here.

Nicely smooth, medium bodied.

Overall, a nice beer. I don't see any way this is an imperial stout, but it is very drinkable. It's more of a milk stout with chai. There really isn't anything else out there like it that I've had. Worth a try if you see it.

Photo of Phelps
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at the Hungry Monk, poured into a medium-sized taster.

Dark, syrupy purple-brown, completely opaque. A frothy medium-tan head sits atop, leaving a lingering, sticky ring.

Subdued sweetness in the nose. Maple, cinnamon, nutmeg, perhaps some toast and coffee.

The flavor is similarly packed with Christmas flavors: molasses, maple, lots of ginger and nutmeg, some cinnamon, black licorice. It's a spice bonanza! Roast coffee and chocolate emerge at the finish.

Velvety medium-light body, very lightly carbed, with some fizziness as it moves. Spice lingers between sips, as does some tongue numbness from the alcohol.

I'd like to meet this Harry Magill and compliment him on his ale. Very interesting, very well done. Bell's should make this their regular Christmas ale.

Photo of EricCioe
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at Pints & Quarts, a remnant from the Bell's Takeover the Taps event the night before.

This pours a really nice looking dark, dark brown with an espresso-crema head and good lacing. On the nose there is clove and cinnamon, and it smells spicy. In the mouth the cloves and cinnamon share the space with a caramel malt backbone, and I couldn't get the notion of pumpkin or pumpkin pie out of my head, so I'll mention that. The spiciness was pleasant, not overpowering, but enough to keep you aware of it. It's a medium bodied beer and the cinnamon especially likes to hang out on the back of the tongue for a while. Overall this beer is a bit one dimensional but it's a pretty good dimension, so once in a while, why not? Well, because they don't brew it anymore, I guess, but if they did I'd pick it up for Christmastime when those spiced beers always sound great.

Photo of drabmuh
3.99/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Last stout on tap at the Meridian Pint tonight. Fun! Beer is brown with some haze to it, tan head of small bubbles. Leaves some lacing on the glass. Looks pretty good.

Aroma is spice dominant, the way some winter warmers are spice dominant. Some cloves, cinnamon, anise maybe, a little malt character too...

Beer is medium to light in body and quite spicy throughout. Not in a distracting way, actually for the level of spice it's pretty pleasant. Normally I'm turned off by an aggressive spice palate to a beer, this one has won me over though. There is some nice carbonation in the palate that may be distracting me from the spice, down playing it. Still pretty fun. Not sure I'd have too many of these, but for an oddity, it was pretty cool to try.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Stub & Herb's Bell's Fermented Eclipse event - June 26, 2010. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a dark brown with a slight off white head and a bit of lace. Nose is nice and interesting with quite a bit of spice coming through. I think I can pick out anise and juniper, although it's a bit hard to tell. Taste definitely brings quite a bit of spice, also adding in a bit of roasted malt and some faint chocolate notes. Feel is good, with a medium body somewhat dominated by the spices, which fit well with the carbonation level. Drinkability isn't bad for what it is, but not something I'd go back for multiple pints of.

On a side note, cheers to Stub and Herb's for putting on such a fantastic event.

Photo of mothman
3.01/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Had on tap at Stubs for Bells Fermented Eclipse

Served in a Bells Tulip

Served with 1 finger of light creamy tan head. Decent retention with some light lace left. Color is pretty black.

Aroma: Tons of spices! Pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and then some more. The spice flavors cover up so much of the stout flavors.

Taste: Spices and then some. Cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, pumpkin. It has some roasted malts showing. If I didn't know it, I wouldn't have been able to tell this was a stout. Just so much spice flavors.

Mouthfeel: Spiced and roasted. A medium body with a decent amount of carbonation. Ends way too spiced. A bit dry as well.

Overall, this beer is just a spiced mess. It reminds me more of a pumpkin ale than a stout. So weird. Not very drinkable.

Photo of rfgetz
3.6/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown color letting a little light through, cap of khaki head leaving decent lacing. Scent is of muted smoke, char, burnt peppercorns and burnt spices - ever burn anything in the over and a faint smell lingers for a few days? Taste brings the same smoke and charred grain and spice notes, more camp fire than kitchen fire this time, with a semi sweet, almost cholate milk and nut like flavor. Medium bodied, dry. Interesting, but not for me.

Photo of corby112
2.72/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Draft at City Tap House.

Pours pitch black and completely opaque with slight mahogany edges when held to a light source and a 1.5 frothy mocha head that has food retention, only slowly fading into a lasting ring. Sporadic spots of lacing left behind.

Spicy aroma with hints of pepper and coriander alng with hints of licorice, roasted chocolate mt, toffee, oatmeal and coffee bean. Not as spicy in the nose as it is described and overall the aroma is not very impressive.

Slightly thin Jody for the style with lots of peppery spice up front that lingersthroufhout over the malty backbone NFL a very dry finish. Hints of pepper and coriander along with subtle chocolate malts, burnt toast, caramel and toffe. Not as viscous as I would prefer and a bit too spicy for my liking. I wish this beer was a little more viscous and balanced but it's kind of thin with an overly spicy palate. I'm glad I got to try it but it was a bit disappointing.

Photo of csmiley
3.55/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Pours almost black with just a sliver of light that gets through at the edges of the glass, revealing some dark brown highlights. Head is minimal and only forms a thin cap on the brew. It's gone pretty quick and ends up a very thin ring around the edge. Lacing is present but spotty at best.

S - Very smokey up front. Borders on burnt. Some spice is present and gives an odd aspect to the brew. Starts out with ginger. Definitely ginger. Then a heavy licorice comes in as well. Some of the darker malt characteristics are pushed toward the back. With considerable work, I'm getting chocolate and light charcoal.

T - Again with the smoke. It's a little better rounded in the flavor than aroma. Licorice really stands out in the flavor. Some dark fruit pops in midway. Cherry mostly with another taste that I can't put my finger on. It's fruit but near impossible to pick out. Alcohol is practically absent in the flavor. Cocoa and roasted grain finish it up.

M - Lighter bodied with nowhere near enough carbonation. Finish is sweet overall.

D - Drinkability is not bad for Harry's. The spice kind of catches you by surprise but after the first few sips, it becomes part of the brew and not something to focus on. The alcohol has all but disappeared form this beer which makes it pretty easy to one back. Let this one warm a bit before trying it. The flavors start working together much better as it approaches room temp. Would I have it again? Probably not. Was I stoked to try a new (to me) brew from the folks up at Bell's? Without a doubt.

Photo of bamadog
3.31/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this on tap at the 30 tap record in Indy.

Appearance: Dark coffee brown with minimal head that is off white/light tan that becomes a pretty thin skim on the surface; no lacing whatsoever.

Smell: Smokey, and a bit of dark malts and something spicey, but not spicey like I typically think of -- this is like meaty spice.

Taste: Smokey, soy sauce -- a bitter hop presence is in teh back; the spice aspect is really reminiscent of something that I would spice meat with -- like soy sauce (as already mentioned) or meat tenderizer.

Mouthfeel: A little watery, body doesn't carry much weight; carbonation is actually moderate even though I couldn't really see any in the body itself; the mouth is left a little sticky.

Drinkability: Lower -- not really into the flavor of this at all, and while the mouthfeel wasn't bad, for a double stout I would definitely expect something a little more substantive.

Photo of kels
3.54/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Didn't know when I sampled this at the Indy Beer Sellar's 30-tap Bell's tasting that it was retired. Now I'm even happier to have chosen it from the excessively long list of options.

Appearance: Super dark reddish brown, totally opaque liquid with just a hint of whitish tan lacing that fades and holds at a skim. Ring of lace floats along lightly and carbonation bubbles break the surface now and again.

Smell: Smell is smoky, charred wood, charcoal, soy sauce and spiciness of ginger and cinnamon with a strange distinct meaty smell - like meat tenderizer. Very bizarre smell that makes me a little intimidated to drink it.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Taste is slightly spicy with cinnamon, ginger and dry roasted grain. Hot, yet smooth alcohol, bit of licorice, bit of smoke, bit of soy. Finish is dry and spicy and bright from the carbonation despite the moderate feel.

Drinkability: Moderate. The taste is surprisingly good despite the smell, which definitely slows it all down.

Photo of hopdog
3.87/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle acquired in trade with CaptainCougar (thanks!).

Poured a dark, dark brown with an averaged sized brown head. Aromas of molassess, spices, light maple, roasted malts, and chocolate. Tastes starts of wih maple leading into other softer spice tastes and roasted malts with a coffee finish. Body a tad on the thin side. Shows its age a little bit but still a good beer.

Notes from 12/07/05

Photo of Atron67
4.23/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

im pretty sure it was just broken out for the GTOM, and is still retired. this is a 12 oz bottle i picked up from asmokingoat, thanks!

A- looks pretty black all around the edges as well, a fluffy white head rose up on top, and rested pretty long, especially for such an old bottle.

S- slightly tart cherry and dark fruit flavors. very smooth and roasted character. strong chocolate notes. the spices are solid but not huge, as i think i was expecting.

T- very smooth roasted character. very surprised its 8 %, drinks very smooth, like lou said almost like a 5,6 %. the spice is pretty subdued, a little clove, some other spices, but not as huge as i would have expected for a 'spiced' stout.

M- pretty light for an 8%, medium body, lingering spice on the tongue.

D- pretty damn good. good for a regular stout, light for an imperial stout, makes it real easy to go right through this.

Photo of dirtylou
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

no-longer retired i presume. had this on tap at Maduro, pre-great taste of the midwest

appearance: served in a bells tulip glass - dark mahogany body, creamy tan head

smell: roasted malt, touches of spice - clove primarily, cinnamon, licorice. an interesting stout

taste: this beer was good but not great - i probably have too high of expectations with Bell's. I'm surprised to read this is 8% abv, because it drinks closer to 6% - it was more of a standard american stout to me with some cinnamon, clove, and other spice. notes of black licorice were present as well

mouthfeel: medium-light

drinkability: pretty good

Photo of montageman
3.52/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass. Appearance is very dark, almost black with no head. There is some slight remnants of carbonation, but nothing very visually apparent. Smell is very interesting - spicy (cinnamon, clove, maybe some pumpkin), coffee, and a little bit of chocolate. Actually, the smell might be too much since these flavors can't possibly meld together. And they don't. The taste isn't bad by any means, but the taste is quite spicy and not very well balanced by the coffee character - there is a sour aftertaste as well, which is expected from coffee, I guess. Mouthfeel is passable for a stout - decent carbonation and moderate creaminess. This would be a good late fall/early winter beer to drink next to the fire. Nothing wrong with this as an experiment. Recommended (if you can find it).

Photo of Bierguy5
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

As it was opened, I noticed that there is still some carbonation. Pours black with absolutely no highlights. Chunks of yeast and whatnot have come to rest at the botom of the glass. Thick frothy tan head holds for a minute, then reduces to a thin collar. Roasty sweet aroma, similar to the Kalamazoo Stout, however there is an addition of fall spices, like you would expect in a pumpkin beer. Spices seemed to be cinnamon and nutmeg. Slight creamy mouthfeel. Some black licorice notes combine with the spices in the flavor. Finishes dry, and with a hint of fruit. Medium body. This is holding up pretty well. Big thanks to BA macallister for this one.

Photo of mcallister
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Deep dark brown in color with a nice mocha head that dissipates very quickly leaving lace around the rim of the glass.

Smells much like a pumpkin beer. Hints of pumpkin, all spice, nutmeg, minty chocolate, rhubarb, and some sweet malt.

Still drinking very good. A chocolate roasty finish is lead with a minty entrance, that fades into the pumpkin spiced mid palate. Big flavors of nutmeg and all spice. Very good beer but does lack with a thin somwhat over carbonated mouthfeel for a stout.

Well this one reminds me of a beer that would be brewed in the fall and makes me eager for that time of year too arrive. This would be a great brew to drink after the raking of leaves.

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Bell's Harry Magill's Spiced Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 126 ratings.