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.
very good

126 Ratings
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
Reviews by granger10:
Photo of granger10
4.32/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one original beer. But that is in a good way. Definite strong spices are the predominate flavor. The lead spice is definitely ginger and it's very good. Cinnamon also accompanies the ginger. There might be more spices that I can't detect. The thick body leaves me with the taste of dark chocolate. It finishes tarty and dry. Another great brew from Bell's.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.67/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pitch black with a wispy off white head,strong vanilla aromas with a light nuttiness.Taste is pretty strong vanilla flavors with a dry earthiness in the finish a very robust spicey beer.Not something I could drink alot of for sure but it was nice to try it.

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 ADR
3.86/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Another thick Bell's pour, dark opaque brown that only lets you see the yeasties at the glass's edges. Good 1/4 inch head at first, settles to a nice skim that's quite brown. Medicinal aromas, sense of spearmint -- is there witch hazel in here? Wow, there are spices for sure and not the ones you mix with sugar and put on pastries. Lots of a clove sense, Spanish mole sauce, and some pine resin too. Mouthfeel enhanced by low carbonation, enough hops to combine with the spices and give a grainy texture to the finish. Not really to my taste, but jeez, another wild and crazy Stout from the Bell's boys!

Photo of cokes
4.62/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Oily black body with a skimming of sandy brown lacing.
Lovely aroma, and highly unique. A heated debate occurs between botanical herbs (heavy on the rosemary) and brash roastedness. Graininess mediates.
Taste is beautifully perplexing. Begins with some subtle roastedness and light chocolate flavors akin to any decent stout. Then the spices materialize from the ether. Once again, rosemary is a major player, along with ginger. Clove and cinnamon are present to smaller extents. There is alot of previously uncharted ground. To be honest, my knowledge of spices is not adequate to describe what is going on here. And I like that. A challenge. I'll be in the kitchen all day tomorrow trying to figure out what Harry Magill contructed. And who is this Harry guy anyway?
Post spice intrustion (which actually linger throughout this brew...even past the finish), there is a return to the roasted hues, A heavy dose of grain and a touch of milky Kzoo yeast (subdued compared to most of their offerings).
Medium bodied. Virtually no carbonation. Silken zest.
Delightfully drinkable to boot.
This is one hell of a unique beverage. Other than Expedition, this is likely my favorite of Bells impressive lineup of stouts.

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 Jon
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This spiced offering pours a black color with a nice brown head. The head slowly dissipates as the beer settles, however. Smell is big on coffee and molasses with a hint of ginger, as well. Taste is similar, with the molasses flavor seeming most dominant. Mouthfeel is pretty smooth. For a stout, this is fairly easy to drink, however I don't think I could handle more than a couple at one sitting. Even so, another great Bell's stout.

Photo of CortexBomb
4.54/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another quality stout offering from Bell's...

Pours properly black with a tad of carbonation; you can actually see the spice suspended within it if you look at it carefully in the light. The spices are immediately in evidence in the scent, along with the proper stout hint o' coffee.

The taste is wonderful, rich malt with coffee tones and just enough spice to add flavour but not overwhelm. This beer gets progressively better as it warms with more and more of the spice (ginger, cin) coming to the fore with hardly a hint of alcohol.

Mouthfeel is typical Bell's, thick, but not overly thick, a happy medium. Unlike most 'specially flavoured' stouts I'd consider this to have quite good drinkability as the spice is definitely there, but not to the point of excess.

As far as I know this was only bottled in 2003, a shame, as this is one of my favourite Bells offerings. Hopefully they'll bring it back sometime in the future...

Photo of pbrian
4.47/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Other brewers take note- if you want to make a balanced spiced beer, this is how to do it.

Poured almost black with minimal tan head that lasted. Aroma of heavily roasted grains and many spices- cinamon the most, cloves and nutmeg (?) as well. Flavors are many, but balanced. Again, roasted grains, cinamon, clove, nutmeg and a piney/sprucey characteristic reminscent of Anchor OSA. Beautiful silky mouthfeel. Nice drinkability for a "sipper". Well done.

Photo of Murph
4.4/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an inky black color with a nice brown head that lasts decently as it slowly fades to a nice film. Big malty aroma with some nice subtle chocolate and molasses in there as well. Sweet and tast this brew makes for a nice warming winter beer. Starts off rich and malty with some hints of the maple and molasses that are used as well as a nice dark, bittersweet chocolate flavor. The flavors slowly fade out with a nice roastedness. The ginger that they add is perceptible only for its tangy quality. Creamy and silky smooth, this brew is iminently drinkable and rather tasty. Supposedly these brews are going to be available in my neck of the woods in the next year or so. I can't wait. Yet another excellent beer from Bell's. My thanks to Proc for the sample.

Photo of MJR
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours opaque black with a creamy, tan head that settles down to a sticky 3/8" cap.

Smell: Roasted grains and spices.

Taste: Starts out spicy, goes a bit sweet, and finishes spicy with a roasted flavor. Molasses, ginger, and maple seem to be the dominant spice flavors. Very interesting flavor profile...

Mouthfeel: Fairly full body, with a dry, soft mouthfeel. The spicy flavors leave a little twinge on my lips, though the hops surely have something to do with that.

Drinkability: Great...if this kind of beer works for you. I like off-kilter beers and this one puts a big smile on my face.

One of the last of Bell's November stouts that I have yet to try, this may be my favorite so far.

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 Gusler
4.48/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours as dark as a “Raven”, the head monstrous in size, semi-creamy in texture and the color a chocolate brown, as it dissipates the lace left behind forms a thick and clinging sheet to meld with the glass. “Ah that nose”, chocolate, coffee, ginger and sweet maple syrup, or malt if you prefer, fresh, crisp and quite appealing to all the senses, both olfactory and ocular, start is rich in malt, lightly sweet with the top full and milk chocolate rich. Finish is modestly acidic, the hops spicy and pleasant to the palate, bitter-sweet chocolate dry, and a fine stout in my book, and one I get to see but rarely.

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 johnrobe
3.47/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Acquired via trade. This is quite an eccentric brew. It pours a deep umber that just barely lets light in around the edges. The light tan head has almost zero retention from the get go. Ginger (reminds me of the pickled ginger you get with a platter of sushi), chocolate malt, and just a bit of molasses dominate the aroma...nothing is too bold, the smell is nicely balanced. Chocolate malts are primary in the taste with a nice dash of roast barley bitterness (especially in the finish). The ginger takes on a somewhat medicinal tone in combination with the other flavors that I found a bit disagreeable. Nice thick, though not syrupy, mouthfeel.

Photo of Lupe
3.47/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours black with a nice tan head that leaves sporadic lace. Aroma of roasted malt, dark chocolate, coffee, and spice (ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon). Very nice aroma. Starts off sweet and creamy. Roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, and vanilla combine for a pleasant taste. The the spice comes in, some cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. The ginger is the problem here. After a few sips it simply get to be too much, masking all the flavors until you taste sweet roasted malt and ginger. Total turn-around from a wonderful start. Full in body; starts off smooth and creamy, but gets a little harsh towards the end. Interesting brew.

Photo of jcalabre
3.69/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

originally sampled 23 November 2002. This beer has cardamon & cinnamon in the is dark brown w/ a nice tan head. Nice spicy upfront taste w/ a smooth finish. It is a very enjoyable beer. I think it would be great w/ spicy food. Another interesting beer from bells.

Photo of marc77
4.22/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Black, nearly opaque, w/ trace ruddy haze when held to light. Thick, dark russet creamy head leaves spotty lace. Initial waft of caramelized ginger and perhaps tamarind is ensued by smooth, lightly buttery chocolate and mellow roasted barley. Subtle tart citrus and nutty esters from Bell's yeast serve to complement the spicing. Intriguing, appetizing aroma. Rounded, dextrinous, lactose like mild sweetness upfront in flavor quickly slides down the palate and diminishes. This allows a capricious melange of sharp roasted barley bitterness, light tamarind and limey spice and mild hop bitterness to emerge in initially equal proportions. Hop bitterness manages to persist after spicing subsides, lending eventual overall balance. Moderate in body, with well calculated attenuation and residual dextrins. Finishes with a brief surge of fresh coffee and carob. Harry Magill is unique to say the least. Spicing is complex and well integrated. With a more pronounced roasted grain character this would be superlative. Thanks to Feloniousmonk for sending this very tasty brew!

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

Very strong roasted, very much like espresso. The spicing isn't too much, noticable but not overwhelming. Appearance is good except the head is a tiny bit fizzy. Not up to par with the Expedition or the Kalamazoo stout, but not bad.

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 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 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 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 Realale
3.97/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Barely opaque black, with red highlights. Initial big rocky Bell's stout head, settles slowly to an extremely fine, but complete cap.

Nose is primarily roasted barley and chocolate, with some fruitiness. The spicing is definitely subtle on the nose - its there, adding complexity, but no single spices are jumping out at me. With time (and warming) a bit of ginger and citrus peel (lemon?) but its surprisingly restrained.

Its a bit thick in the mouth, in typical Bell's fashion, and quite complex. There's plenty of rich maltiness to support all of the spice notes (clove or allspice, perhaps some cinnamon). The spices are definitely more of a presence on the palate. Its got a decent backbone of acidity to keep it from being overpowering.

Could use a bit more carbonation for my taste - just a bit too thick. Add the spices, and its nice for a nightcap, but I would not want to drink it all night.

This example purchased at the brewery in Nov. 2002.

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