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This is a full-bodied stout with plenty of roast flavor as well as hints of molasses and chocolate. Ridiculous amounts of black and caramel malts make this stout smooth, creamy, and utterly opaque.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Duffbeer (192) - Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 12, 2003
I had this on tap in their brew pub in Kalamazoo. This is a wonderful sweet stout. Very smooth and creamy. A quality stout from a great brewing company.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
BBB63 (6042) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - AUG 10, 2003
UPDATED: APR 10, 2009 Opaque with small tan head and good lacing. Smoky burnt malt aroma with hints of berry/plum fruits, wood, espresso, bittersweet chocolate, and interesting spice. Opens up with a large smoky and bitter taste, some malty chocolate sweetness appears midway through the swallow, and the finish is twangy and dry. Sweet stout my arse! Maybe we have a new substyle: smoked stout? I know one thing for sure, this would be a nice brew to have with smoked salmon. The palate is interesting as well, Creamy yet dry, fizzy yet soft, seemed to change each and every time I took a gulp. Overall, I found this to be a very good stout (does Bells really make a bad one?) but not quite to same level as some siblings.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
3fourths (8032) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - AUG 9, 2003
UPDATED: SEP 26, 2012 Big smoked and roasted nose of cream, espresso, and chocolate. Large harsh smoked flavor, somewhat abrasive hops, and a mellow creamy finish. Burps taste like ash.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Frank (2874) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - AUG 6, 2003
UPDATED: NOV 2, 2010 2010: This is a stout that drinks much bigger than it is. If that is a good or bad thing, depends on your mood I guess. The color is black, the head is medium tan and the lacing clings to the side in patches. It’s a nice looking beer. The nose is roast, chocolate and some toasty malts. This is a heavy beer for the gravity, quite sweet but matched a strong hop bitterness and a slight tartness. It is thick and rich to the point where it sacrifices some drinkabilty. I like it fine but if I’m buying a dark, roasty beer made in Michigan, these days I am much more likely to pull out something a bit more on the dry side like Founder’s Porter but this is still a decent cold weather brew for sure. 2003: Very dark, "utterly opaque" as per the commercial description. Big, thick, brown long lasting head. Roasty, lightly vinous, with notes of coffee, caramel, and raisins. This is a big beer. If you handed me this and told me it was an imperial stout, I wouldn’t argue. 3.9

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Jedsbrew (465) - Rhineland, Missouri, USA - JUL 27, 2003
Black with creamy head, molasses aroma, some spiciness and faint alcohol notes. Big and toasty, plenty of sweet malt and coffee bitterness,and lemon/vinegar flavors in the background. Fairly long finish, smooth and dryish. Delicious! Drank at around 60 degrees.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
brownalegirl (199) - Fountain, Michigan, USA - JUL 25, 2003
Grotesquely rich - the malt keeps going and going. I like the ricnhess and I'm annoyed by the astringent rise of hops and burnt sugar edges that keep me from enjoying it fully. But it's a great beer!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
grant (842) - Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA - JUL 23, 2003
One of my favorite stouts. Very black and insanely roasty, yet balanced with sweetness and a meek creaminess that grows on you. One of the darkest-tan heads I've seen on a non-imperial stout. Plenty of bitterness to balance the sweet. Dark chocolate, bitter espresso; yep, it's all there. Some hazelnut also and figs.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
landont3 (8) - USA - JUL 22, 2003 does not count
Very dark pour with tan head. Nice sweet aroma. This is probably one of my favorite beers, definately one of my top stouts. This stuff makes me wish I lived in Michigan.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
jgb9348 (4737) - Arlington (Pentagon City), Virginia, USA - JUL 18, 2003
Completely black in colour...no light shines through at all. Lustrous brown head which settles nicely and stays atop for a long time. Chocolate and molasses in the smell, just as the label says. Only malt is evident in the smell...almost no sign of hops. Light to medium bodied with the definate roasty flavours coating the mouth. The bitterness stays for quite a while in the mouth and subsides only after a few minutes. While this may sound a lot like the rating before me (by JonR888710), his bottle came from my six-pack, and perhaps we got some that were old or have gone through some hell. I'll definately try this again the next time i'm out in Michigan...but until then i've got a few left from the rest of the 6 pack. I really was expecting more from the look and smell of the beer...but it wasn't as bad as some other stouts i've had! This was a 12 ounce bottle from Merchant's in Dearborn, Michigan.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
JonR888710 (999) - Cochabamba, BOLIVIA - JUL 14, 2003
Black, viscous body (99% opaque) with a toasted cream head that gingerly subsides. Smells like an open bag of chocolate cookies. Beer gently washes over the tongue; not as thick as I’d expected. Taste is roasted-chocolate, with sweet malt characteristics, overabundant carbonation and a little watery. Aftertaste is chocolate, transforming to coffee flavored hops. The hops leave a lingering bitterness that smashes against the roof of the mouth, leaving a dent of bad taste that won’t go away. Sad really, for this is a gorgeous beer. The body is the darkest I’ve ever seen, it laces the glass nicely, and millions of little bubbles pop their heads at the surface like a plethora of prairie dogs. But the taste fell far short of what I was expecting and landed smack dab in the middle of average. Sampled from a 12oz bottle purchased in Dearborn, MI, given to me by a good friend.

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