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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
78
okay

1,158 Ratings
THE BROS
63
poor

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,158
Reviews: 618
rAvg: 3.41
pDev: 14.66%
Wants: 19
Gots: 39 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: SheepNutz on 12-11-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 1,158 | Reviews: 618 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by semihobo:
Photo of semihobo
3.38/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Fresh 12 oz. brought back from Kalamazoo on Sunday (batch 8650) [quick aside: you can look up the dates and specs by batch # on www.bellsbeer.com]

Pours a hazy medium gold with reddish flecks. Good head that compacts but stays well until the end, with lacing. Looks good.

Smell is peppery; dry malts with light spicy hops. Smells like grains of paradise, celery root. Grainy and wheaty.

Pretty different taste for an APA. Definitely on the drier side but the big surprise is the hop character -- no west coast action here. Instead of citrus and pine we get spice and a mild bitterness. Hey, truth in advertising -- tastes like pale malt and spicy hops, just as promised by the label. Reminiscent of the Saranac beers. A little too dry for me, though.

Decently full body for the style and ABV, appropriate carbonation, finish is only slightly sticky.

Drinkability takes hits from the dryness of the beer and the price. An interestingly spicy take on the style, though, and props for the brew nailing the stated description on the label.

semihobo, Oct 15, 2008
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.

oberon, Apr 15, 2002
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.

DaPeculierDane, Sep 06, 2005
Photo of tectactoe
2.75/5  rDev -19.4%

tectactoe, Mar 19, 2014
Photo of poibag808
3/5  rDev -12%

poibag808, Dec 17, 2011
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.

orbitalr0x, Jul 30, 2005
Photo of nycjag
3.38/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

nycjag, Nov 02, 2007
Photo of nickadams2
3.8/5  rDev +11.4%
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.

nickadams2, Sep 26, 2010
Photo of danthehopslamman
3.25/5  rDev -4.7%

danthehopslamman, Aug 13, 2012
Photo of andrewsporter
2.4/5  rDev -29.6%
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...

andrewsporter, Oct 23, 2009
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.

NWer, Oct 06, 2011
Photo of Todd
2.68/5  rDev -21.4%
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 ...

Todd, Jul 31, 2003
Photo of Beaver13
3.45/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

Beaver13, Sep 20, 2006
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.

bishopdc0, Oct 29, 2010
Photo of SmellsofMahagony
3.75/5  rDev +10%

SmellsofMahagony, May 17, 2013
Photo of bellce0
3/5  rDev -12%

bellce0, Aug 03, 2012
Photo of clarkkr
2.9/5  rDev -15%
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.

clarkkr, Mar 31, 2011
Photo of TimoP
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

TimoP, Oct 08, 2012
Photo of Twifiter
3/5  rDev -12%

Twifiter, Oct 15, 2012
Photo of Duster72
3.35/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

Duster72, Mar 27, 2007
Photo of merlin48
3.8/5  rDev +11.4%
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.

merlin48, Mar 05, 2004
Photo of Billolick
3.88/5  rDev +13.8%
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

Billolick, Feb 20, 2005
Photo of eric_berge
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

eric_berge, Mar 08, 2012
Photo of henryclay_
3.75/5  rDev +10%

henryclay_, May 10, 2014
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.

tigg924, Sep 06, 2012
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Bell's Pale Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
78 out of 100 based on 1,158 ratings.