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Bell's Pale Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Bell's Pale AleBell's Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
78
okay

1,176 Ratings
THE BROS
64
poor

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,176
Reviews: 620
rAvg: 3.41
pDev: 14.66%
Wants: 21
Gots: 54 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

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

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,176 | Reviews: 620
Reviews by Gigantis:
Photo of Gigantis
3.43/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A really good-looking beer when poured into a pint glass. The body is a darkish hazy orange and the head is frothy and plentiful. The lacing action is fantastic and it actually made me want it more the more I drank.

The smell of this beer is it's one apparent weakness, I think. It smells sort of musky and hoppy with very little else going on. Not even worth a sniff.

The taste is really good... and I think underrated. This is not a hop-lover's pale ale as it isn't particularly bitter nor does it assault your taste buds. However, the malt and fruit sweetness is really good and understated. It suffers only from the classic metallic taste that Bell's non-specialty beers always seem to have. What is that from anyway?

One of the things I like most about this Pale is how chewy it is in the mouth. The carbonation is just right and it's got a nice aftertaste. The aftertaste lasts and it sort of leaves your mouth feeling oily. I liked it, but it may not be for everyone and it's probably atypical of what you want from a Pale Ale. I don't drink a lot of Pales though and liked the thick feel this one provided.

It's a beautiful beer that I find eminently drinkable... from bottle or from the glass. I'd recommend the glass because of how nice every aspect of this beer looks. If you can get over the lack of good aroma and the slight metallic tinge it has, this would be a very enjoyable pale ale for you.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.99/5  rDev +17%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow I sure do miss Bells back home (Mount Pleasant,Mi).Wow great head,nice subtle hop maybe to little for a Pale ale but good enough.Yeasty smell is wonderful would like a six pack now!Well back when I drank this beer I thought it was the greatest thing ever.

Photo of DaPeculierDane
2.9/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A very mellow APA.

Crisp carbonation and a healthy white head. Plenty of good flakey stuff floating around like one expects from Bell's.

The malts are mild and sweet.

The hops have some spicy flowery notes.

Very dry finish.

This beer was ok and I should note that my mom loved it but I expect more from Bell's and wasn't too enthused over this.

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.15/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 6821. The Bell's Pale Ale pours from the bottle into my glass a golden honey like the warm summer sun. A creamy froth of white appears on top with big airy bubbles. Aromas of sweet pale malts touched with caramel intertwine with herbal, fresh wildflower hops and light citrus spice.

First sip brings a refreshingly sweet pale malty backbone enlivend with bold flowery, herbal hoppiness that takes hold mid palate. Hints of citrus fruits and mellow spice as well. A refreshing pale ale with an interesting hop profile. It's nice to see something other than the normal citurs/grapefruit hops used in most pale ales. Lingering bitterness on the finish with wildflower hop burps!

Mouthfeel is nearly perfect with enough grist to make it feel full in the mouth. Another easy drinking brew from Bell's. I could see a sixer disappearing from my fridge quite quickly. Thanks to kmpitz2 for the single.

Photo of nycjag
3.42/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was a pleasing enough a beer. While I tend to like pale ales this one wasn't quite in my wheelhouse.

The nose had a pleasing floral hop, but the taste fell a little flat to me. I like my pale ales with a slightly sweet maltiness and I was quite getting that. Almost like an off flavor snuck in there.

The appearance was also interesting. It was relatively clear in the glass, but had a significant amount of suspended yeast, which I would normally like, but it just looked strange in a relatively clear beer.

This beer wasn't bad, just not among their best offerings.

Photo of nickadams2
3.82/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A_Hazy straw yellow with a thin white head that quickly dissipates into a film of lace.

S_Grassy hops and toasted grain.

T_Grassy/earthy bitter hops. Pale malt backbone. Dry finish.

M_Thin and crisp. Overall pretty refreshing.

D_Great session beer. Simple flavor and easy to drink.

Photo of andrewsporter
2.42/5  rDev -29%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

I poured this one bottle into a pint glass. Looking at the beer in the glass I was pretty excited to take a huge slurp. A dull yellow color, it looks enticing and a little bit on the thick side, mostly because of the particles floating around. It is mostly opaque.

Sloshing the beer around and first drink, it becomes immediately apparent that the beauty of the beer itself does not make up enough for the undistinguished flavor. Most points on this one come from look and perceived texture, however there is a nice bite and it's definitely drinkable, just not for the price. I'll keep searching...

Photo of NWer
3/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass from a bottle.
Unimpressive pour. Pale yellow not conducive to a Pale Ale at all. No head to speak of.
I've had adjunct lagers that taste no worse than this. Very thin and watery tasting.
Not craft worthy. A big disappointment given Bell's reputation.
update: On closer scrutiny (and a few more beers) I believe I was too harsh in my initial evaluation. The pour is quite nice with a nice tight head. Taste is much better than any adjunct lager and I upgraded this beer accordingly. Still not overwhelmed though.

Photo of Todd
2.7/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz brown bottle. No freshness date.

Pours a pretty chill-hazed dirty blonde/straw beer with a thin white wispy lace. Aroma is pretty clean with notes of grain, but that's about it.

Chewy, solid medium body with rough grain edges / husk tannins; a mouthful of raw malted grain is what you get! Carbonation is crisp. Malt character is a bit sweet with mild fruit flavours, touch of honey. Hop character is very herbal and spicy, backed by a quick citric twang and floral flavours. Finish very dry, with an overwhelming amount of tannins on the palate.

If it wasn't for the dominating grainy tannins, this would be a pretty decent beer. However, as it stands, this is a one beer beer. Glad I gave it a try though ...

Photo of Beaver13
3.44/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, batch 7163 (11/28/05). I guess this beer is a little old, but my Dad just bought it in MI 3 weeks ago, bummer. Pours a hazy, glowing golden orange with some suspended yeasties. It has a fluffy white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is bready malts, some citrus, grassy floral hops and a little DMS.

The flavor is very sweet and fruity malts at first, followed by a decent hop bitterness which lingers through the aftertaste. There is a touch of sourness. The sweetness and bitterness are not well balanced. The mouthfeel is medium and slightly watery, yet bubbly.

Overall, a decent pale ale. It has good bitterness, but is not well balanced. I wonder what this tastes like fresher.

Photo of bishopdc0
3.15/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a thick dense white head that remains. The aroma is of pine and citrus no distinct hop nose but plenty of grains. It is a beautiful golden color and clearly unfiltered. The taste starts with a malt sweet taste and finishes quickly with a slight bitterness and a maltyness. The mouth is smooth and never harsh and it is easy to drink a slightly better then average but only slightly pale ale.

Photo of clarkkr
2.87/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle -> tulip glass

The beer had a beautiful golden-amber color and a small (~1 finger) cream-colored head. It had a modest amount of lacing, and even less head-retention.

This wasn't a bold-smelling (or tasting) beer. It had a sweet malty smell with some even lighter tones of floral hops. The smell was pleasant, but not "provocative" (i.e. it didn't make me want the beer more).

The taste was nearly as mild as the smell. I was expecting more of a hop presence, as it was American-style pale. The flavor was well-rounded but mostly dominated by the sweetness of the malts. The hops add a little bit of an edge when the beer hits your mouth and as you swish it in your mouth.

The beer makes up some ground here. It's relatively thin, but the hops do compliment this well and it feels sort of fluffy and velvety on your tongue and palate.

Overall enjoyable, but not outstanding. It's probably my least favorite Bell's beer so far.

Photo of Duster72
3.38/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a hazy wheat color with a slight head. Little to no lacing. Aroma is primarily floral hops with some mild malts, but there isn't much aroma there. Taste is floral hops with some mild malts, just like the aroma. More bitter than I would expect from an APA. Bitters make this less drinkable than other APAs. Not a bad beer, but not my idea of a good APA.

Photo of merlin48
3.77/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, golden yellow color, with a small, offwhite, frothy head that is billowy, and retains well. Some nice sheet lacing is noted. Body has an odd appearance, as if bubbles are in suspended animation. Actually, closer examination reveals these to be "floaties", and they're everywhere. A few bubbles fight through the mess, as they surge to the top. Aroma is lemonrind, with some peppery spice. No floral hops are noted, in spite of the label's claims. Carbonation seems weak for style, but some herbal hops bite the tongue. Floral hops(lavender) show up in the taste, as well, but it's pine cone that runs the flavor profile. This has a fresh green hoppiness that I like, and the finish is dry and bitter.
Very flavorful, overall, with pine cone hop flavor obliterating the pale malt. I enjoyed this quite a bit, but found all the "floaties" a bit disconcerting.

Photo of Billolick
3.85/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ouncer sampled, pours light orangy, apricot. Cloudy with sediments, just a wisp of a white tiny bubble head, no lacing to to get excited about. Nose is sweet, bready and peppery. This is another nicely crafted and enjoyable from Bells. Moderate citrus hop bite, pepper evident. Quite dry in the finish. Fine sessioner

Photo of tigg924
3.53/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: 1 inch head, gold in color, clear, high carbonation

Smell: honey, grass, and sweet malt

Taste: toasted pale malt, sweet meadow, caramel, and grass

Mouthfeel: moderate-high carbonation, light bodied, sweet start that goes bitter fairly quickly

Overall: A solid, clean, and enjoyable pale ale. One at a session is good for me, however if you are looking for a pale, this is certainly worth a shot.

Photo of LyonsHead
2.54/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

A: a rather odd appearance for this style as it pours more like a wheat beer with a thick haze and a yellow color

S: the smell is dominated by a spicy/earthy hop aroma and a background of grainy husks

T: There is a spicy flavor with some hints of citrus and a malty sweetness. there is also a grainy flavor coming through

M: medium light body with a slick feel. there is an astringency from they grainy flavor that sticks with you after the you've swallowed.

D: This is an odd beer for the style... normally I could care less as long as its good but this beer seems to have actual brewing flaws. I am positive the boys at bell's know what they're doing but the grainy astringency kind of overshadows the whole beer and it tastes oversparged. I don't know, you be the judge

Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.05/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Single bottle from Knightly Spirits in Orlando. Bit of an old bottle - dated in September. We'll see what happens.

Poured into a nonic. Pale straw in colour, hazy and with some visible sediment - a lot of it.

Nose is bread, citrus, some funkiness I can't identify that places this beer in a witbier category or something markedly in pale ale.

The pale ale finally arrives in the taste, which is okay but nothing special. Citrus, bread, crispness, hop bitterness to the finish. Grainy.

Assertive carbonation, moderate body.

It may be the age of the brew, but judging from other reviews I'm not alone in this regard. A miss for me.

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.1/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12oz. amber bottle with no apparent freshness dating.

Appearance: Poured a very fizzy dull golden color with a "soapy" head that dies quickly yet manages to plaster the glass with sticky white lace.

Smell: Very nice...sweet honeysuckle with citrusy notes, with a dash of grassy thrown in for good measure. Very different and very pleasing.

Taste: I wasn't sure how the smell would translate into the taste, but it certainly was good! Very "yeasty" and "bread-like", with all sorts of floaties in the beer broken loose from the bottle of the bottle. Nice input from the hops in the form of a slightly earthy/grassy and citrusy flavor. Throw in a smattering of bitterness and you've got a good beer in your glass.

Mouthfeel: Given how active the beer was after the pour, I'd expected a much fizzier mouthfeel. I was rewarded with a very creamy and smooth coating of the palate.

Drinkability: Very easy to finish this one. Not much in the way of a bitter aftertaste and certainly easy on the tastebuds as a result of the relative lack of hoppy bitterness. I'd gladly try this again.

Notes: Judging from several of the other reviews, it appears that some question this being a pale ale/bitter. I also found it very mild in the bitterness category, but I also really enjoyed the taste of this beer.

Photo of bsp77
4.03/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Hazy blonde with somewhat thin stark white head and slight lacing. Wow, a pale ale that is actually pale, almost blonde.

Smell: Citrus, dry grains and some spiciness.

Taste: Well balanced APA. Just barely sweet grainy malts, slightly bitter citrus hops, and nice spicy accents. Definitely more spicy than expected.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium body that is almost creamy. Quite dry finish.

Drinkability: Very nice APA overall that is a little unique due to the color and spiciness. I was pleasantly surprised by this, as I do not seem to be a big fan of lower abv beers (6% or less) from Bell's.

Photo of Osiris9588
3.38/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, no freshness date. Pours a light honey color with blonde and gold undertones. The the white is fluffy, but not very stiff, dissipating quickly, leaving some strands of random lace.

The aroma conists of hops, malt, and some yeast, maybe a faint ester of citrus. The flavor is pretty flat--theres a little bit of sweet malt, some mild yeast, a hint of grain, a flicker of lemon, then burst of hops.

The mouth is light and not very complex, a little creaminess in the center before the dry hop finish. It seems somewhat out of balance and lacking a bit of character. Seems to perform better on draft based on my own experience. Not one of Bell's better selections.

Photo of dogfishandi
3.38/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle at fridge temp poured into a pint glass. bottle code- 10293, translates to about 4 months old.

pours out a pale golden color, pretty cloudy with some pretty big chunks of sediment even when leaving the last bit in the bottle. about a one finger of creamy white head that faded to a thin retentive layer, very light lacing.

not much of an aroma, slight herbal and floral and a little lemon citrus. also some buttery biscuity malts.

a little more hops noticable in the taste, possibly of the noble varieties. floral with a little lemon citrus balanced by a buttery biscuit malt. finishes with a nice lingering bitterness, just the slightest bit resinous.

adequate carbonation, medium to light in body. very refreshing on a hot summer day while still getting your hop fix on. but i would pass on this for some cheaper, easier to obtain pale ales...

Photo of MattyG85
3.75/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams pint glass.

Appearance: A pale, slightly cloudy golden yellow with lots of rising bubbles. Big white foam head with good retention and lots of lacing.

Smell: Floral hops and citrus with orange peel and bready malts. Also some spice.

Taste: Bready malts and citrus up front followed by floral hop bitterness and spice. A hint of wheat in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and carbonation. Very smooth and crisp.

Overall: A good version of an American Pale Ale. Not the best but good.

Photo of VipertheIV
3.27/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is the first Bell's beer I tasted and enjoyed it very much. It has a golden cloudy appearance and a nice head. The aromas smelled while drinking it are citrus and the tast is citrus with a subtle hoppiness. Drank it out of a standard pint glass.

Photo of yankeeheel
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky light blonde with a small whit ehead. I tried to keep the yeasties at bay but I was overrun.

Smells quite tart with a fair amount of lemony hop citrus.

Tastes very hoppy. Just a hint of malt and bam, you're up to your oropharynx in hops. This to me is bordering on IPA territory. Finishes with a bit of mouth puckering twang.

Mouthfeel is moderate and carbonation is acceptable.

Pretty drinkable, but it's not really my thing.

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Bell's Pale Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
78 out of 100 based on 1,176 ratings.