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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

1,167 Ratings
THE BROS
64
poor

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,167
Reviews: 618
rAvg: 3.41
pDev: 14.66%
Wants: 21
Gots: 43 | 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: 1,167 | Reviews: 618 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bcgoldtoe
2/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A= Straw yellow with a two finger head but it doesn't last and lacing is sparse

S= Not bad, smells like grassy herbs. No malt.

T= Too much like an IPA. Too bitter and not enough malt. Grapefruit bitter aftertaste

M= Awfully watery for an ale, feels more like a lager in the mouth

D=If you like watery grapefruit, it's ok

Photo of drseamus
3.9/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Sam Adams glass. This was batch 7759 so that makes it about 8 months old.

A: This beer has a slightly hazy straw/amber colored body with a nice white head. I checked the BJCP and it shouldn't have be cloudy unless it's dry hopped which I don't think it is, so that's a negative.

S: Light hop aroma with some grassyness but no citrus. There is a malt background.

T: I've come to expect more from an APA, but this one is more textbook than the other APA's that seem to be experiencing inflation. It has decent hop bitterness but the hop aroma isn't as crisp as I would like. It's a pretty refreshing beer all around.

M: Good light to medium body and pretty refreshing all around.

D: A very textbook APA which is nice to see. Not too extreme on the bitterness or the hop flavor.

Photo of soupyman10
3.75/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this one at Brady's is Southfield, MI. This is one of the Bell's I hadn't really gone out of my way for, basically cause I always go for IPAs over PAs. However, they had it at Brady's so I went nuts. Poured a nice amber color with some lighter highlights, and a good fluffy head on top. Nose was very mild; some light orange and a touch of hops. Taste was better. Lots of orange and lemon, with nice caramel malt background as well. Solid but not-too-long aftertaste. Feel is solid, and carbonation was good. I've had a few really good Pale Ales lately, including Stone PA and the Burning River. I'll add this one to that list. Definitely one I could have a bunch of.

Photo of enfield249
3.98/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Light cloudy gold. No lasting head, no lacing.

S - Fresh smelling, with just a touch of aroma hops.

T - Slight citrus flavor, followed by a little bitterness. So very good.

M - Sharp, but not overly so. Rounded would be a good word.

D - I've had this beer many a time, and it never fails to be a good summer standard fare type beer. The price is right too.

Photo of kajerm
2.73/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours hazy golden-amber with a finger or so of fine, mildly lacing head.

The aroma is herbal, Saazy in the extreme. This medicinal aroma is accompanied by a faint, ugly sulfurous smell, like cooked corn. Maybe it's just my dislike of continental hops getting in the way here, but this beer does not smell even remotely pleasant.

The flavor profile is fairly tame-- light up front, with very mild bitterness in the back. There's some medicinal and phenolic character on the finish. This beer really has more in common with British IPAs than with APAs.

Mouthfeel is light, with fairly weak carbonation-- the malt and CO2 just really aren't strong enough to hold this one together.

Light and drinkable, I suppose, but this one really didn't work for me.

Photo of tastybeer
3.7/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Light golden amber color with clear bits of sediment suspended in the soft haziness. Head is white, not very large, and leaves patchy, spotted lace. Aroma is fragrant of orangy citrus, spice, soft flowers, and a solid amount of light bread malts. There is some graininess mixed with an unexpected refreshing clarity. Flavors match the aroma closely. There is certainly a wheaty quality to this beer in flavor, aroma and the slick mouthfeel. Carbonation is pointy and drinkability is high. I could have a hefty amount of these especially on a hot summer day.

This is not a typical pale ale (though the category is broad), but definitely a beer meant for good summer drinking.

Photo of wedge
3.43/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a light peach color clouded with visible sediment. A modest creamy head adheres to the surface nicely. Subtle aroma of pale malts, spicy, floral hops, and a trace of orange. Slightly raw malty flavor, a little fruit and a pleasant sweetness before the bitterness enters to finish it off. There's a seemingly solid balance between malt and hops, but in a sort of rough way, accented by the spicy hops and a lingering citrus acidity. Some yeastiness persists as well. Easy going mouthfeel, dry and bitter.

A different pale ale for sure. I'm not sure if I could make a session of this or not. Lots of pale maltiness, yeast, and earthy hops...not really what I would call an APA per se, but it seems they were aiming for something a little different here.

Photo of jwc215
2.8/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours hazy blonde yellow with a one-finger white foamy head that hangs on, leaving some trailing lace on the glass.

The smell is floral with some orange peel. Herbal/medicinal.

The taste is of orange peel and an annoying tea-like astringency. Floral and medicinal herbs back it up. Sweet, grainy malt gives it some body and tries to help it out. It has a very dry, astringent finish.

It is medium-bodied with a medicinal, imbalanced bitterness clinging to the tongue, though, again, some malt tries to do something to save it.

One is okay, but that's it. Strangely astringent. I think that something is just "off" here, though it is not terrible at all.

Not crazy about it, but glad I had a chance to have it. Thanks to dekker0 for including it.

Photo of BretSikkink
3.4/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light side of orange beer, a little cloudy with some bubbling action. Not much head, but good retention with what's there. Some lacing definitely present.

Faint aroma is unspectacular: some hoppiness with a citric bent blended with caramel malt. Flavor is similarly unassuming, nothing off but nothing courageous. Sweet, slightly bitter, none too overbearing. Sweet aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is a little thin, although overall it's a crisp and easy drinking brew. Carbonation is good, finish is clean and easy. Good session beer, low complexity.

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

Drank from a bottle as part of a six-pack while visiting family.

Pours a light golden color, with a two-finger head that sticks around for a bit and then leaves a nice lacing throughout.

Smells pleasant, not too strong, with some hops and subtle malts.

Slight bitterness on the tongue upon tasting and the hops come through nicely along with some sweetness. Overall is well-balanced with very slight floral hints that is very easy going down.

No bad aftertaste and could be a great session beer.

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

Acquired via concurrent trades from both biegaman & Frozensoul327, so a big “Thank you” goes out to them. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a cloudy gold color with a short white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of citrus, caramel and a decent amount of hops.

T: The taste is very well-balanced with flavors fruity citrus, sweet caramel and a moderate hops bitterness. The malt character is hearty but still on the lighter side. The after-taste is hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, clean finish.

D: Very tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, good representation of style, I could put away several of these, this is very good beer to stick with for an evening.

Photo of JayQue
3.35/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I don't get this beer. Just had a Two Hearted Ale, Best Brown and an Amber Ale from Bells in the last week. All very flavorful. This beer has no pronounced flavors whatsoever. Pours a hazy dull gold like a wheat beer. The medium sized white head hold up fairly good. Leaves some lacing on the glass. A mild, odd and not totally pleasant aroma and a very underwhelming but crisp taste.

Crisp and rich enough mouthfeel. Just not enough of this beer to base a session on it or seek it out again.

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

A murky orange beer with a thin head.

Smell is fruity and spicy with a light hoppiness. It smells like a Belgian yeast has been used with all the fruitiness and spice.

Taste light malty with a spicy character, some clove and a light bitter. The hops are light and a little resinous. Body is medium to thin. I expected another Pale Ale, and this is probably not the right name for this beer. I seriously lacks character.

Thanks to dogfooddog for this one!

Photo of BMoney575
3.83/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on 5-18-07
Batch 7866
Bottled on 3-15-07

Pours a light golden color, with lits of little floaters. A good-sized head leaves decent lacing.

Smell is grassy, earthy, hops with a subtle malt backing.

Taste is good, well-balanced hops have fruity yet earthy flavors. An appropriate bitterness rounds things out.

Mouthfeel is good, just what you'd expect.

Drinkability is very good, this beer is very well-balanced and perfect as a session beer.

Photo of argock
3.55/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown bottle into a 12oz old-fashioned glass -- it's what the restaurant gave me. Served with fried chicken with a Mediterranean flair.

A: Cloudy straw color with foamy head that leaves above-average lacing.

S: Faint malts with slight grassy hops and mild honey sweetness.

T: On the earthier side of the APA spectrum with pretty grainy flavor with more malt than hops infused flavor. A bit of honey thrown in which can't cut the dry finish. Hops are earthy with light citrus.

M: The dry finish is over the top. A good deal of carbonation and a light-medium body.

D: Pretty smooth other than the dryness at the end.

Photo of Redwood21
3.8/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into a nonic
a golden color with a great rocky thick head. i must say the beautiful head is a huge reason i gave this beer a high appearance score.
s: not much to speak of. hops are not prominent at all niether is anything else.
T: extremely clean. very clean and smooth, light hops. ill admit the flavor is not as layered or complex as other beers, but very good just the same. there is a slight bitter aftertaste
m: smooth, lighter in body then other apa's but very smooth to me. i like other apas more, but this is a very good one as well

Photo of oelergud
4.35/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy golden straw body with lots of carbonation. Huge white head with good retention and great lace. Slightly rocky and multi bubbled.
Mild grain, flower and bread scent. Well balanced.
Nice and pleasant taste. Mild and gentle hops floating on a sea of malts. Great spiked aftertaste with a hit of a resin character.
Good medium mouthfeel. Abit of coating and slightly dry.
Great warm weather session beer. I could put a couple of these away with ease.

-Oelergud

Photo of Atlas1
3.88/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

After almost running the gammut of the Bell's line, I finally get around to reviewing the Pale Ale. I do the Bell's beers.

Poured into a standard pint glass, this beer appears a very clear, yellow-gold color. Nice, fat head with good retention and noteworthy lace. The aroma here is very faint, despite the good sized head, with notes of wheat and open fields. Floral, but no distintive scent really jumps out. Some muted malty scents as well. The taste, however, is much more complex. Nice malty spices up front, with some faint citrus notes mixed in the middle. Finishes with a spicy bitter kick and an old leather taste. Not bad. Not bad at all. Smooth mouthfeel, but very clean. And at 5% ABV, this beer is entirely drinkable as a session beer. I would have no problem putting a keg of this in my kegerator. It's a very nice beer.

Photo of Applesauce1
4.1/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I picked up a sixer of this at the Lucky Dog in Athens, OH.

Appearance: gold, with a little bit of haziness and a 3/4" white head on the pour
Smell: hops and citrus dominate
Taste: once again, mostly hops and citrus; great flavor; balanced
Mouthfeel: light bodied
Drinkability: great session beer; the balance of the beer doesn't wear out the taste buds; could do 3 or 4 in a night

Recommended for someone who is starting with craft beers or for the experienced craft beer drinker!

Photo of phisig137
3.4/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Undated bottle vigarously poured into my pint glass yields a one finger head on top of a slightly hazy golden straw color. Decent amount of floaters in the glass, and only a little lacing left behind.

Aroma is grainy, slightly sweet, and fairly clean. No real hop presence. Smells more like a good lager than a pale ale.

Flavor is smooth, and well balanced, but nothing great. Moderate malt sugars up front, followed by the faintest hint of hops, with a honey sweet finish. Very mild flavor, and again, much more like a lager than a pale ale. Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth. Drinkability is great.

This makes for a good session beer, but as far as pale ales are concerned, it's pretty weak. Quite a disappointment from such a fantastic brewery. It's a well made beer, but I don't consider it a pale ale. I can't imagine that many others do either. I still love Bell's, but perhaps they should stick to the stouts...

One other thing I'm curious about.... why do the newer Bell's labels remind me of the artwork from New Belgium? Odd...

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

Pale, hazed yellow amber with a nice head of loose white froth.

Aroma is soft and subtle, with undertones of wheat malt, floral and citrus hops, and peppery biscuits.

Flavor starts with crackery and wheaty malt, a light caramel note, and leads to mildly bitter hop flavors of fresh wildflowers and green meadows. Reminds me of Oberon in a wierd way. I like my APA's with a little more hop kick, but this is an easy drinker and quite fresh tasting.

Body is below medium, soft and creamy with a wheaty slickness. Could drink a bunch of these on a hot day.

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.

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

Point # 1: Don't try to appreciate this beer too much if trying it after Bell's Hopslam. But, as time passes and I get further into this beer, I appreciate it more and more. Picking up more nuances that I missed before. Poured with an offwhite decent textured head with some lace that last. Very slightly hazy amber color. Basic american pale ale hop flavor slightly leaning to grapefruit.

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

i liked this bottle a lot more than when i'd had this on tap previously. (perhaps attributable to smoky bar syndrome; perhaps attributable to, what i'm getting the impression is, a somewhat inconsistent beer.)

dense golden color with a thick surging head. grains and candy sweetness in the nose. gobs of grain and yeast flavors infused with blueberry, hops, merengue. unconventional, to say the least. thick in the mouth -- it's creaminess is a strange match with the flavors, but it's a good strange.

Photo of MmmIPA
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This has to be the most un pale ale I have ever tasted.

Murky golden body with TONS of yeastys floating in it with a nice 1 finger white head.

Smell isnt hoppy at all and sorda smells like a dunkel lager.

The taste is almost a funky taste and leaves your mouth fast.I can taste malty and some small amount of bittering hops.

The mouthful is very easy and smooth and sorda refreshing.

Ya know I like this beer but its not a APA in my book.It taste nothing like any of the APA's Ive tasted.It taste more like a british beer.Good but shame on them for labeling a beer that isnt what it is.

Bell's Pale Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
78 out of 100 based on 1,167 ratings.