Sweet Potato Stout
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store

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American Stout
Ranked #750
Ranked #31,318
3.75 | pDev: 13.87%
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Michigan, United States
Very Good
Reviews: 24 | Ratings: 134 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of ovaltine
3.96/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is like a piece sweet potato pie and some herbal spices mixed with a very nice stout. Char notes on the nose, along with the sweet potato and the herbal notes moves this into the “I’m confused” category.

The taste is a little more balanced, with the sweet potato flavor especially nice. I’d like to try this in the fall around a campfire.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

For times when you simply want to make a pumpkin ale but you're in that three month window that the style is "out-of-season", then just do what brewers do when the style is in season- add sweet potato or butternut squash instead. Bell's Sweet Potato Stout is a taste of fall here in the middle of summer.

The shade off of black beer carries a rich mocha-whipped froth and a host of robust aromatics ranging from coffee and chocolate to starchy sweetness and caramel. Its taste is lavishly roasty with cocoa, burnt toast, robust coffee, walnut, and the savory rootish earth flavor of yam.

As the middle palate unfolds, the beer's creamy sweetness is starchy, bready and continuing with sweetness. Toasted caramel, toffee and a hint of butterscotch evolves with the balancing char, bitterness and broad earthy bitterness from hops pulling from the root vegetable and finishing the taste with the bite of charred wood, smoldering ember and a coffee-like bitterness.

Full but carrying a sensible rate of drinkability, the stout finishes semi-dry with the Americanized character having an elevated attenuation rate, higher carbonation rate, and a bolder hop presence in bitter finish only. An aftertaste of graham cracker and smoky chocolate lingers long on the after-palate and with a mild marshmallowy weight.

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Photo of VeganUndead
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smells like sweet potatoes, tastes like sweet potatoes, but in a way that works. Would be a great fall alternative to the over saturation of pumpkin whatevers

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Photo of Phigg1102
4.31/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is better than a lot of the hyped up pumpkin beers in my opinion. Loved the balance of bitter flavors and sweetness. Rich mouthfell rounds the beer out quite well.

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Photo of wedge
3.29/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

@ Bottle Revolution

Appears dark, nearly black, with a thin head on top. Smell has a certain sweet potato quality to it with some cinnamon and nutmeg-like spice and cola. Flavor is similarly lightly spiced, malty, and nutty. Muddled sweet potato and cola, without a whole lot of depth. Dry, medium bodied and well-carbonated. Not quite what I expected (though, I’m not sure exactly what I was expecting). Some more richness would help kick this up a notch. A little too dry and one-dimensional to make much of an impression on me.

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Photo of BeerDawgs
4.14/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Bell's and Taco's event at the Brick Store Pub Feb. 13, 2011

A - Black, no clarity. 1 finger of head and some lacing

S - Sweet potato aroma. Cinnamon.

T - Taste's like a pumpkin ale. Licorice. Sweet. Chocolate and dark fruits.

M - Medium body. High carbonation. Dry.

O - An excellent experimental beer. Never had a sweet potato stout thats for sure. Try it if you can find it.

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Photo of chinchill
4.11/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From tap to small nonic. Pours a very dark brown, nearly black, hazy, with a tan head. The head has decent retention and leaves some durable, sticky lacing.

Smell: lightly roasted sweet malts with sweet potato - not dramatic but a well-tempered, natural addition not enhanced by spices.

Taste: similar to the smell. Moderately sweet up front but not overly so, and more balanced by the finish. Light chocolate and dark fruit notes appear towards the finish.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, medium-plus body with rather lively carbonation. Some dryness in the finish.

Overall: You may already be inclined to try this sweet stout out of curiosity, but this is a pleasing and interesting beer that is worth seeking out as a high quality stout.

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Photo of jeonseh
3.71/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On-tap at Bell's

A - Dark brown with slight orange hints. Small head sites at the edges

S - Smells like cinnamon sweet potato pie

T - Cinnamon spice hits me initially up front. Then there is a slight sweet potato and cardamom in the middle that makes it taste like someone put carrot cake into my beer. This flavor carries on until the beer's clean finish

MF - Light body with light carbonation. There is a slight astringency in the finish

O - Interesting beer. You definitely get the spice and sweet potato which makes the beer remind me of carrot cake or a pumpkin ale. I was happy I enjoyed this one as much as I do.

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Photo of jsanford
3.11/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On-tap at Brewvival 2012

Dark brown with a soapy mocha-colored head. Definitely smells like sweet potatoes, along with some dark malt. Very earthy. Taste is similar, lots of slightly funky sweet potato, a touch of chocolate, and a hint of smoke. Medium bodied with decent carbonation. Not my favorite of the day, but it delivers what it promises I suppose.

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Photo of jale
2.74/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

On tap for All Stouts day.

A: Pours dark brown with little head.

S: Spice and some roasted malt.

T: Upfront peppery spice and roasted malt. A hint of nutmeg. Finish is more pepper spice. I also get some faint plastic.

M: Lighter side of medium with thin carbonation.

O: One and done.

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Photo of tsauce2
4.08/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

P: on-tap at the Eccentric Cafe (reviewed from notes)

A: SRM is dark brown/black with a slight purple tinge. Light head. Medium lacing:

S: Roasted malts and sweet potato are predominant flavors. Hints of carmel and fruit.

T: Rich roasted malts and carmel undertones combined with slightly sweet notes from the potato.

M: Medium bodied stout. Slightly thicker mf from the potato component.

O: Very interesting and tasty. One of the highlights of my beer tour. Fantastic to get to have some of the things you only hear about but never get to try. Excellent balance between the stout and sweet potato component.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from tap into a shaker in the company of caSSino. Poured a massively dark brown with a one finger light tan head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. There was no lacing evident throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, sugar, caramel, and sweet potato. The flavor was of sweet malt, sweet potato, brown sugar, and very slight bitter hop. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty nice brew. It was surprisingly well balanced and enjoyable. I was honestly expecting this one to be a train-wreck, but Bell's managed to pull this one off. It had a excellent flavor and decent aroma. The aroma was just a little weak for my liking. Definitely worth trying if you have the chance if you are a Pumpkin beer fan.

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Photo of vande
4.35/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - as black as the rest of their stouts

S - thanksgiving anyone? Definitely get the yams coming through mixed in with some roasted malt.

T - I thought it was good blend of malt & meal here. Of course, you have to like your sweet potatoes...

M - silky creamy

O - Pretty good. Made me wonder if Shorts had made a "marshmellow stout" what it'd be like to put them together, kind of like what Mom used to make on Turkey day...

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Photo of brentk56
3.26/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Arrives with a fairly dark color that is capped by an inch of tan head

Smell: Rather non-descript, with a bit of roast and chocolate but nothing that would indicate the presence of sweet potatoes or spice

Taste: Slightly roasty, up front, with a bit of chocolate and pumpkin character;I did not pick up much pie spice in the profile; the finish was on the dry side, with little bitterness

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation; a little thin for the style

Overall: I was excited to see this on the Duckworth menu but was rather disappointed, overall; I was expecting something memorably different but didn't get it

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Photo of mgbickel
3.16/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Cafe in Kzoo.

Brought to my barstool with a single finger of tan head. The body is dark brown/black. The foam receded quickly, leaving behind minimal lace.

The nose is odd...a combo of dark chocolate, pumpkin spices and cloves. Something else in the background...roasted malts play a small role here.

The taste is as the nose indicates...nutmeg, cinnamon, dark malts up front sit on a coffee/pumpkin backbone.

The mouth feel is on the thin side of medium...moderate carbonation with a drying finish.

A strange beer...but couldn't resist trying it. Probably would not seek this out again though...

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Photo of beerwolf77
3.12/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at the Eccentric cafe. Served rather cold in a strange footed cone shaped pint glass.

A: Full to the top pour. Pitch black. No head no lace. Looks like a glass of flat cola.

S: Sweet potato (pumpkin) spices. Nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, all spice. Roast malt and black coffee. Hint of chocolate. Not super powerful even with some serious hand warming.

T: Dry cocoa powder, black coffee, roast malt and a hint of sweet potato (pumpkin). Maybe a touch of cinnamon and clove. Rather weak.

M: Medium to light body. Slightly thin. Very low if any carbonation.

D: Rather disappointing considering the source. I know Bell's can do better than this.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.18/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at the Eccentric Cafe on February 24, 2011. I do not think this is retired and have reported an update.

Pours near black with a good off white head that holds steady for a few minutes before falling and leaving behind some good lacing. The nose indicates that this is definitely a Fall-seasonal-type beer: there is quite a bit of spice along with a bit of sweet potato. The latter isn't really detectable, but knowing it's there I can say I get a faint whiff. Mostly I got some roasted malt and too many spices. The taste is a an even worse offender and this is simply too spiced. There is roast in the background but there is not enough roast or sugar to balance the spicing. Mouthfeel is medium with a spicy finish. Not my favorite Bell's creation.

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Photo of homebrew311
3/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served at the Eccentric Cafe.

A: Oily black with brown highlights, some light passes through, no head and no lacing

S: lots of allspice and nutmeg come first, much like a pumpkin ale character. Some notes of sweet potato come through, but if I hadn't know, I would probably say it was pumpkin.

T: all fall spice at the start with a follow up of sweet molasses. Some competing flavors are going on here and I'm just not digging it the way I thought I would. The bitterness and roastiness are clashing with the sweet potato.

MF: thin body, low carbonation

D: interesting brew, but not my favorite.

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Photo of glid02
3.92/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours one shade from black with a half-finger tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of lightly roasted malts with large amounts of sweet potato aromas - not unlike the aromas in a pumpkin beer. Also present are hints of light chocolate.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Somewhat sweet roasted malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by loads of sweet potato flavors - again, similar to pumpkin flavors but without the spices that usually join in. Slight semi-sweet chocolate flavors join in near the end of the sip, fading out into a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I didn't have any problems finishing my glass and could have another.

Overall I found this beer to be very interesting and akin to TREAT made by Midnight Sun. A tasty beer that won't suit everyone but is worth a shot, if for nothing more than curiousity.

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Photo of brew3crew
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Cafe

A-Pours a dark brown, almost black. Moca head, almost purple. Very unique
S-Faint hints of sweet potato? Go figure with this beers name and all...
T-Nice malty stout. Pick up a slight bit of sweet potatoes. unique is a good way to describe it and I am happy to have gotten to try it.
M-Medium Bodied and smooth
D-Very drinkable. Enjoyed throughly

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Photo of jrallen34
2.93/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

On-tap at the Cafe...Pours dark brown, but trying ever so hard to show off as black. The head is medium tan with good retention and lacing...The aroma is really sweet, to the point of being too sweet to drink. The sweet potatoes distinctly come though, impressive that they nailed it, but its not something I would want to smell a lot of. The potatoes are accented with lots of spices, star anise, and nutmeg, reminds me of Thanksgiving... The sweet potatoes get lost in the taste, shows off unnatural and chemical. Light chocolate and roast...The feel is too light, very watery.

Not a fan of this, have to skip it.

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Photo of alleykatking
4.35/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Bell's for All Stouts Day.

A- Pours a dark brown almost black in color. 1 1/2 finger tannish head dies down a little after a short period. Lacing is light and clinging to the sides of the glass then slides down back into the beer.

S- This is a very mild smelling stout. Sweet potato is in the nose but in the background until it warms up where it comes around a little more. Nice light roasted malts in the forefront of this beer. Almost a light chocolate note to it.

T- Roasted malts come through in the front of this beer. Sweet potato comes in faintly at first but like the aroma whn it warms up there is a little more presence in the beer. I get a mellow semi-sweetness to this beer in the background of this as well.

M- This is a medium-heavy mouthfeel. The carbonation is good for the stout style. A light sweet toasted malt taste in the palate. Nice light malt aftertaste. Clean tasting.

D- This is a very drinkable stout. Easy on the palate and on the stomach as well. I had a couple of these while there today. This is a fantastic stout that I think most people would enjoy. If you like sweet potatoes then you will like the notes of it in this stout.

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Photo of ShareANevada
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Eccentric Cafe (notes from several months ago)

Pours your standard black, slightly oily look, with very minimal head. Looks solid, but obviously not the body of some of the 'big boy' stouts we're used to.

Gentle on the mouth, with low carbonation making this quite smooth. The sweet potato is definitely there, but is fairly subtle. It is a pleasant, mild stout, which, were I killing some time on a fall afternoon, would be quite well suited.

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Photo of shivtim
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

New on tap in Kzoo. Always good to see new stuff from Bells!
Served in a pint glass. It's a nice dark brown/black stout, with a light ring of tan head. Looks pretty similar to the Kalamazoo Stout. Nose is heavy malts with some of the sweet potatoes coming through, with spices like a sweet casserole. Taste is a solid Bells stout with just a hint of earthiness. Mouthfeel is a tad thinner than expected but still good. Good drinkability. Decent unique offering.

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Sweet Potato Stout from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 134 ratings