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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

1,135 Ratings
THE BROS
63
poor

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,135
Reviews: 618
rAvg: 3.41
pDev: 14.96%
Wants: 18
Gots: 35 | 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
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Ratings: 1,135 | Reviews: 618 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of beernbbq
beernbbq

Connecticut

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

I know that most folks here don't have much regard for this style, but I always searching for a good version of this style for "daytime" imbibing, as I find most lagers, domestic or import, other than Great Lakes Dortmunder, boring.

That said, this beer definitely fits the style profile to a tee, which I consider to be a modern-American version of a bitters. Biscuity malt with the citrus hop and moderate alcohol profile that enables you to enjoy a few in numerous settings, beaching, BBQing, sitting at a pub, etc. My batch had May 14, 2003 on the box and I am pleased to say that the QC issues they were having were not present in this batch.

Overall, a good drinking brew. Welcome back, Bell's.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2003 04:06:38 | More by beernbbq
Photo of aaronh
aaronh

Pennsylvania

3.28/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Another questionable bottle of Bell's beer. Pours a cloudy gold/orange color, topped by a loose, off white head, and highly sedimented. The aroma is nice, with strong malts and a nice floral aroma. Notes of orange in the nose as well. Actually very nice and fruity. The taste is more lager-like than ale like, with a sharp malt taste finished by a crisp hoppiness. Lingering bitterness on the finish. No souring or wet cardboard flavors to hint at an old or spoiled bottle. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, with agressive carbonation. Drinkability is average. Best part of this beer is the nose.

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2003 20:48:23 | More by aaronh
Photo of TheDM
TheDM

Indiana

3.23/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This brew has a very mild aroma almost non-existent. It has a light yellow orange body with no head and great lacing. It also has a bit of an after bite. I found it impossible to describe the taste. It was an OK brew, but not one of my favorites from Bells.

Serving type: on-tap

07-03-2003 09:12:37 | More by TheDM
Photo of jcalabre
jcalabre

California

3.95/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Unfiltered hazy, dark yellow with a long lasting, small bubbled white head
Aroma: A little flowery & a little spicy
Taste: mouthfeel is light/medium with some hoppiness that doesn't dominate, but you know it's there. All in all, a great session beer. Hopefully, with all of these great beers, Bell's will distribute out my way one of these days

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2003 19:55:28 | More by jcalabre
Photo of BierReise
BierReise

Florida

2.95/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Looks just like a wheat beer, cloudy deep golden color with small white head of foam. Smells kind of yeasty with a slight floral aroma. Very crisp and effervescent. Flavor is a little stale with a slight bitterness. Not one of the best pales I've had. Would prefer a little more hop presence. Reminds sme of one of my homebrews I used to make. Not as good as some of their other brews. This brewery seems to be inconsistant in my opinion. They have some stellar brews and some like this one. Just doesn't impress me.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2003 14:16:51 | More by BierReise
Photo of dwarbi
dwarbi

New York

4.75/5  rDev +39.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a spectacular looking beer! Pours a creamy head. Looks like a mogul-covered ski slope. Except it's not downhill. It looks like there is a storm in the cloudy peach-colored beer. The head refuses to settle. It's there as I drain the glass. Smells wheaty and slightly of apricot. Tastes fantastic. This may be best traditional pale ale I have had. Very complex. Somewhat bitter aftertaste. I think I need to head to Kalamazoo. I'll bring my kazoo.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2003 18:04:54 | More by dwarbi
Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
OldFrothingSlosh

Pennsylvania

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.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2003 16:21:28 | More by OldFrothingSlosh
Photo of BeerBuilder
BeerBuilder

Minnesota

3.95/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours to a orangish-copper color with an off-white head. Has a huge blast of fruity, citrus hop aroma. Has a different flavor, almost nutty, with fruitiness. It flows to a very dry and bitter finish. It is medium in bodied and highly drinkable. Another tasty brew from Bell’s.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2003 04:59:23 | More by BeerBuilder
Photo of Dogbrick
Dogbrick

Ohio

3.28/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I have to say I was a little disappointed in this beer, especially after being so impressed by most of the other Bell's brews I have tried. Pours an almost sickly looking light orange color with a thin and foamy white head. Very floral hops aroma, with light citrus notes as well. Flavor is mild, with perfumy hops and light malt. Finish is crisp and light, with a nice hops presense lingering. Okay, but gimme an Expedition next time.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2003 11:27:47 | More by Dogbrick
Photo of tavernjef
tavernjef

Minnesota

4.13/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color of this is quite nice, its pale, slightly cloudy yellow, getting close to orangeish, almost looks like weak orange juice. Upon closer inspection, I see very small, dark particles floating around in there. Hmmm, I wonder. Head was small and white with very light lace patches.
Smell is wonderful, fruity and clean, lightly crisp and spicy of a lemon-like zesty yeast and has a grassy note in there.
Taste is much like you'd think from the smell with a great zest of citrusy lemon hop and yeast thats balanced in with a good, lightly caramel malt. It doesn't have that usual piney type of bittering thats associated with many of this type of ale, if you've had the Two-hearted Ale, this is somewhat lighter as far as the hop bite and bitterness.
Feel is zesty bright but mild and tamed down for a nice lemon-like coating in the mouth. I really notice it on the roof of my mouth, almost the same sensation of when it gets slightly burned. It gets in there and really opens up to a souring tone that's very easy to handle, more so then those sour patch gummi bears.
One really nice pale and quite unique.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2003 17:44:27 | More by tavernjef
Photo of francisweizen
francisweizen

Alaska

4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very tasty and interesting 'pale ale' from Bell's! This beer poured out a very hazy orange-ish colour with a beautiful head. There was a lot of sediment in the glass and the head left wonderful lacing down the whole glass of beer! This beer had the aromas of YEAST, citrus, fruits, malts, and slightly spicy hops. The taste is more of the same. YEAST is the main flavor with some nice citrus-y and fruity background flavors. The hops are very light in this brew but it doesnt seem to hurt this brews tastyness. This beer had a very creamy mouthfeel and a top notch drinkability....A wonderfully different pale ale!
Cheers!
-F

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2003 12:32:23 | More by francisweizen
Photo of AudioGilz
AudioGilz

Pennsylvania

4.3/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It's pretty cloudy and straw/orange in color. The head is huge, has a good retention and awesome lacing. What a kick ass aroma this has! It's citrusy and yeasty, I really enjoy it. There's a wonderful smoothness to this beer, medium carbonation and mouthfeel. I really enjoy the spicy hop character, also fruity in a way. This character follows pleasant malt character. It's kind of odd for the style to me, but I really enjoy it regardless. It's an awesome beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2003 18:47:43 | More by AudioGilz
Photo of ADR
ADR

Pennsylvania

3.63/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Chunky, murky pale orange appearance with a lighter 1/2 inch head of medium bubbles. Laces in rings. Grassy hop aroma, quite evidently mixed with an oiled pizza dough yeastiness. Semi-coating and smooth mouthfeel and a mid caramel malt bill supplemented by a nectarine fruitiness. Hops tend toward an slightly astringent citrus and are evident mid mouth onward. Good balance. What's really evident here is the yeasty breadiness, welcome in many of the Kalamazoo Stouts, but somewhat strange here (as in the Sparkling Ale as well). So I'm a fence sitter, balanced but somewhat odd flavor.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2003 08:38:19 | More by ADR
Photo of Brent
Brent

Kentucky

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

A somewhat reserved pale ale, but very well crafted and quite drinkable. Citrusy/floral hops were judiciously administered and well balanced by a lightly toasted malt. Tended to lean a little toward the English interpretation. Very clean and refreshing - a good session ale. Strikes me as a good transition beer to build a non-hop-head's tolerance (and appreciation) for Two Hearted Ale.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2003 07:47:17 | More by Brent
Photo of Wildman
Wildman

Ohio

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

@The Press Grille: This beer poured a hazy/cloudy yellow color(chilled glass did not help-note to bartender after I get to know him better)and had a small bubbly white head that left trace lace. It had an aroma of hops, citrus and slightly of malt. A flavor of hops, citrus and bread. The finish was light an a touch astrigent. As far as pale ale's go, this is not a good example and a rare miss for Bell's.

Serving type: on-tap

03-19-2003 16:56:36 | More by Wildman
Photo of PhantomVodoo
PhantomVodoo

Ohio

3.3/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Golden color with a good amount of floating particulate matter. White head that leaves lace.
Aroma is malty for a pale ale. Sweet pale malt and hops meld to create a musty, lemony sort of smell.

Taste seems a bit odd for a pale ale. Sweet pale malts and hops are fairly well balanced. Odd biting flavor exists that creates mild astringency. Doesn't taste fresh.

Mouthfeel is pretty good.
Drinkability: An odd pale ale I don't find refreshing.
Overall, it's a decent beer, but it just doesn't seem polished. Plenty of better pale ales out there IMO.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2003 21:20:19 | More by PhantomVodoo
Photo of zerk
zerk

California

4.43/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy gold, with a persistent fluffy white head that leaves a fair amount of lace. Aroama is full of toasted malt, cut grass, and spices. Flavor begins as bread dough, then becomes herbal and bitter. The flavors balance quite well. Mouthfeel is just slightly rough and somewhat oily, with a medium body. This is a most excellent pale ale, that I could drink all night long. Kalamazoo does it again!

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2003 17:31:17 | More by zerk
Photo of HopheadEd
HopheadEd

Pennsylvania

3.13/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy yellow, very little head that fades to zero, and virtually no lace. Faint smell of sweet hops, slightly bready. The taste reveals very little carbonation, light malty, slightly spicey. Not too much going on in the mouthfeel, and a short, slightly hoppy finish. Strange, I have the Expedition stout in the wings that I am looking foward to, but this one falls short.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2003 16:58:56 | More by HopheadEd
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

4.78/5  rDev +40.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The color's that of ripe apricot, the head a solid, stocky white. Aromas are explosive, spinning off citrus, primarily grapefruit, orange, lemon, and a whiff of spice. A downright friendly finish, that meets you, and greets you and treats you right. Awash in bitter, but fruity flavor, with a sensational, and long lasting drizzle of hops. Fresh, sea-foamy nose. Light body, excellent texture and mouthfeel, full of that unexplainable effervescence that permeats all of Bell's ales. It's got to be that yummy, yummy yeast. One hell of a great pale ale!

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2003 14:56:11 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of jtw5877
jtw5877

Ohio

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

Pours a reddish orange with a white head. Nice hopiness with enough maltiness to back it up. A really solid version of the style. Another solid brick in the foundation of a rock solid brewing company.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2003 18:53:38 | More by jtw5877
Photo of rotsaruch
rotsaruch

Pennsylvania

3.15/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Enjoyed on tap 12/9/02. Pured an amber color with a medium head that quickly dissipated. The strong hops aroma was clearly noticable on the nose and accompanied by an overwhelming citric, grapefruit taste. The presence of malts providing any balance to this brew was undiscernible. One pint was enough for me.

Serving type: on-tap

12-09-2002 18:07:06 | More by rotsaruch
Photo of Viking
Viking

Indiana

3.9/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy gold body with a thick, almost creamy head. Head fades surprisingly fast, but never disappears altogether. Smell is a bit grassy, with bready caramel malt and citrus hops. Good smell, but a little weak. Well balanced flavor. Neither the caramel malt nor the hops really takes full control in the taste. Caramel malt is a bit biscuity, and the hops are bitter and citrusy. Finishes oily and bitter. Rough, oily mouthfeel for this excellent session brew.

Serving type: on-tap

11-10-2002 06:37:21 | More by Viking
Photo of aracauna
aracauna

Georgia

3.88/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's a little paler than I was expecting from Bell's. A lot of PAs are darker than this beer. It does have that nice wet, clingy head that I love pale ales to have, though. The aroma is mostly the hops, a bit thin and astringent, but not unpleasant. I was a little worried at the taste. Had the brewery I had come to expect for big malty beer let me down? Turns out the light color had less to do with lack of malt than with the color of the malt used. The malt flavors dominate early on. As the beer warms, the thin, bitter hops dominate the beginning finishing with the crisp malt. Not my favorite APA, but far from a mediocre example of the style. One thing, though. If you're expecting the huge hoppiness of a lot of the really popular APAs, this is a bit mild.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2002 23:00:45 | More by aracauna
Photo of cokes
cokes

Wisconsin

3.2/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Strange little APA here.
Murky golden body, with plenty of floating sediment. Medium creamed off-white head. Good durability.
Fruity nose of lemon and peach. Neither is particularly fresh-smelling. Mustiness lurks towards the back, with some hay and grassiness. Hops are evident and of the citric persuasion.
Taste is similar. Lots of fruity undercurrents. But none are especially pleasing. Loads of lemon-drop artificiality, mixed with candy pineapple and peach. Cloying sweetness, but stops just short of being offensive. Bready body under the fruit, along with plenty of yeast sourness and musty hues. Turns mildly citric hoppy at the finish.
Seems unfinished and unmelded.
Short of medium bodied. Creamy but somewhat flat Not bad, but could use a little more snap.
For a good "fruity" APA, check out Hair of the Dog Ruth. This "pales" in comparision.

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2002 22:00:48 | More by cokes
Photo of putnam
putnam

Michigan

4.05/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled with bottles of Fuller's London Pride, Bass, Sierra Nevada and Big Hole.
Palest of all. Gold. At first there's an impression of brown sugar on the nose with candied lemon in the background. Then the kaleidescope shifts and there is a custard-like egginess predominant. Then, once more, it reconfigures as a freshly opened can of creamed corn, corn and milk. The attack is of overripe citrus. Bright, clear flavors of cane, pancakes and lemon marmelade with sunny, hayfield notes weaving in to linger. This beer was easy to pick out in the lineup for that trademark Bell's signature flavor.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2002 10:49:11 | More by putnam
Bell's Pale Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
78 out of 100 based on 1,135 ratings.