Subtle Complexity
A Review of Harry Magill's Spiced Stout by Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Posted on 2/11/2013 by Chops
My favorite local beer store recently hosted a Bell's Brewery tap takeover. Yeah, let that awesomeness sink in for a few moments. Anyway, I managed to get three beers under my belt before throwing in the towel. It doesn't sound like much, but considering the tap selection, it was more than enough. My first beer was the 6.1% Sweet Potato Stout. I followed that delicious brew up with the 14.9% Bourbon Barrel Aged Batch 9000 American Strong Ale. Needless to say, I had maybe one more beer in me before my taste buds stopped working altogether. That honor went to the 8% Harry Magill's Spiced Stout.

In the glass, this beer has a jet black coloration with no edging. It comes with a creamy tan head that likes to stick around for a while. On the nose, I found a light chocolatey roast with notes of ginger and dark fruits. This aroma is quite the brain teaser because a rich complexity is obviously present, but everything is soft and muted, forcing you to really dig for information. But, I lacked any reasonable patience at that point, so I dove right in for that first sip.

Wow is this beer a silky smooth easy drinker. Lots of great flavor, a crisp hop presence, none of which is aggressive. Much like with the aroma, all notes are soft and cordial. Needless to say, this is one delightfully balanced brew. I should also take a moment to note that this is one seriously dangerous beer. That 8% ABV is extremely well hidden, so definitely proceed with caution because this little bugger will sneak up on you in a hurry. As far as flavors go, I found an interesting mishmash of malt and spices. The malt takes on the form of a light cocoa with a faint coffee vibe. The various spice notes include ginger, nutmeg, and clove. Additional notes include burnt sugar, maple syrup, and tart cherries. The beer finishes smooth and leaves behind a lightly spicy roasted aftertaste.

Overall, Harry Magill's Spiced Stout is a delightful brew with lots of great flavors. It drinks very easy and is very approachable, which is why I can easily recommend this beer to any and all beer fans. Seasoned drinkers will be very pleased by the subtle complexity and might even consider this beer a stronger session option. Novices will especially benefit from this beer because it showcases how accessible stronger beers can be. In the better beer world, hefty doesn't necessarily equate to harsh or aggressive. Bell's knows this very well and have crafted a worthy representative. I couldn't have picked a better brew to cap off my tap takeover experience. So once again, hats off to Bell's Brewery and their amazingly talented brewers.

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