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Bell's Rye Stout - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Bell's Rye StoutBell's Rye Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

316 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 316
Hads: 418
Avg: 3.88
pDev: 9.28%
Wants: 62
Gots: 8 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Stout |  6.70% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 12-11-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 316 | Hads: 418
Photo of nrbw23
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a dark black with a good sized brown head that sticks around for a bit. Head is rich, creamy and leaves some nice lacing.

S- Dry malts, slight coffee and chocolate, bready maybe a bit of vanilla.

T- A very tasty stout and was quite surprised. Starts of light and dry with coffee and a bready rye flavour coming in. Very nice and good.

M- Fuller side of medium and lighter on carbonation.

D- This is my first rye stout. I really enjoyed this one and would come back to it again. Super easy to drink and a great amount of flavour going on here.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.32/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black that doesn't appear to be too viscous. A pretty decent-sized medium brown head. Plenty of rye and roasted malt in the nose. Flavor is similar along with a little bit of coffee. Medium to full body with good carbonation. Drinkability is pretty high. Good take on the rye beer category; one of the more unique ones I've had within the style.

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Photo of wagenvolks
3.72/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Batch 9399; 12oz bottle into a Great Divide tulip. Props to jconrick1 for the killer extra!

Rye is such an underrated grain, but it's gaining fast on the craft brewing scene. And for good reason. Let's see how it does in Bell's Rye Stout: the beer pours with a syrupy chocolate-brown body preserving a sluggish carbonation level. At first, I almost thought the bottle was flat, but surely enough a sizable, light tan head built from the depths below. Average retention, but no lacing. Nice aroma filled with subtle notes of rye and dark malts; unlike some other "in-your-face" American Stouts, this one doesn't try too hard. Toasted rye bread crust balances nicely with a floral hop presence, while molasses-filled coffee beans coated in dark chocolate hold down the background. A little sweetness, a little bitterness, a little sourness...nice balance.

The flavor finds spicy rye grains battling it out with roasted milk chocolate malts. Earthy, soily hops grab hold of the tastebuds and provide a lasting bitterness. The carbonation was really a sleeper, and it fired up after the pour to lash the palate with spritzy, sharp bubbles on into the finish. Rye eventually pushes out the rest of the malt, unfortunately, because I think the base for this beer is probably delicious. Still, Rye Stout is tasty, and I applaud Bell's for the ingenuity. (again) It helps that I love rye. Pick this up and give it a try.

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Photo of manahansf
3.42/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a semi-hazy light brown color with ruby red highlights. There is very little head to speak of, but what is present is very lacy and light tan. The nose is grainy and sweet with a similar taste. Grainy malt sweetness is semi-tart and a little harsh. I blame the rye, needs more patent malt maybe? There is no hop presence causing it to be somewhat out of balance, especially with
the light body and high carbonation levels. The finish loses the harshness but the tartness continues as it fades quickly with some lingering sweetness.

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Photo of aerozeppl
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to a BA for this as an extra.

A: Slightly dark brown color with minimal brown head. Nice amount of visible carbonation.

S: The nose is really nice. A nice mix of a big chocolate with just a touch of rye. The chocolate is massive in the nose.

T: It is a nice mix of rye and chocolate. It really works well together but the chocolate comes in a bit more. Just a bit of spice. Really quite nice.

M: Medium body. Very nice for the style.

D: I really liked this beer. Something quite a bit different. Would drink this again.

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Photo of JoePat
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with a thick tan head.
Smells of chocolate mostly with a some roasted notes and fruitiness not much different than a normal stout.
The flavor has the chocolate and fruitiness as well but you get a little dryness/spiciness from the rye but only a little.
It is a very drinable beer and a great stout but I would like to see a little more flavor from the rye when it comes to something that has rye in the name.

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Photo of pzrhsau
4.04/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The Brickskeller in DC.
Appearance: Off white head hides a nice reddish brown beer.
Smell: You really get a nice aroma of the grains and malt used in this, you can't help but call it bread.
Taste: The rye really makes this a dry stout but the malt really smooths it out to almost have a sweetness to it. It has a real bite to it which I think was the intent of the brewers.
Drinkability and mouthfeel: Very good stout, not too heavy but carries enough of a presence to fill you up. Might need a little more carbonation but overall a very drinkable beer.

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Photo of tetonka4kzoo
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a murky dark brown. Has a two finger head with decent lacing on the snifter.

A light aroma for a stout. It has a hint of rye; not as overwhelming as I expected.

The taste has standard attributes like coffee and chocolate. It also has a creamy and bready taste.

The mouthfeel has a milky creaminess to this stout.

The smokiness and roasted flavor make it good tasting, however, the strong flavor hinders the drinkability.

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Photo of rawthar
2.51/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle from my Bell's Dark Side case int a Brooklyn tulip.

A- Dark, very dark, and yet not black. After the thickly bubbling one finger of head diminishes, it looks like a flat cola.

S- A slight bit of sweet alcohol notes on top of some yeast, but not the same rye tones that I'd expect based on rye pale ales that I've had.

T- Most of the flavors come through on the back of the tongue and in the throat. A bit bitter, which I guess comes from the rye because it's not the bitterness of hops. There's a hint of sour, almost wheat-like.

M- Not much of an impression, accept again for the back of the mouth and throat.

D- I found this stout better slammed back than savored, in comparison to some of the other beers that came in the case.

Overall, I don't dislike the beer, but it's definitely one of the least remarkable of the Dark Side case. I found it to lack the complexity of the Expedition or the Third Coast, though I understand that they are different styles of stout. I guess they can't all be first place winners, and it's not my least favorite in the case either.

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Photo of uwmgdman
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The stout pours near black with a bit of a garnet hue when held to the light. The moderate fluffy tan head diminished to a skin with just a hint of a lace. The aroma is moderately roasty along with some hints of chocolate. The flavor is moderate-high malt, bittersweet upfront followed by roast and chocolate. The roast character of the malt, hop bitterness and maybe rye give a spicy, slightly dry finish that is pleasant and leaves just a bit of bittersweet malt on the palate. Carbonation is moderate and body medium. Overall well crafted stout, rather drinkable yet a lot of flavor. Maybe a bit less roast than most stouts and more bittersweet malt with a spicy/slightly dry finish.

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Photo of nickd717
3.43/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle via trade as an extra thanks to kramer.

Pours just about pitch black with a small but thick tan head and decent lacing.

Aroma is really roasty with coffee and lots of dark rye bread. A little metal.

Flavor is burnt dark rye toast, coffee, and slight metallicity. Pretty tasty despite the metallic notes, but not quite one of my favorites from Bell's.

Fairly full body and a fairly slick mouthfeel. Somewhat low carbonation.

This beer suffers a bit on drinkability. It does sort of overwhelm you after awhile. Drinking more than one 12oz bottle would be tough. A solid offering overall though.

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Photo of CMW
3.91/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - This beer pours a murky dark brown color with a medium sized caramel head. Retention is very good and there is nice soapy lacing down the side of the glass.

S - The aroma seems somewhat muted but I can pick up on the rye mixed with your common stout qualities (chocolate, coffee, molasses).

T - Slightly grainy up front and then changes as the stout qualities kick in. Good mix of chocolate and molasses with well balanced bitterness.

M - Smooth and creamy.

D - This is a very drinkable beer and I would venture to say that this wouldn't be a stretch for your Guinness drinkers. Overall, no one quality is overpowering.

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Photo of mdcrouser
3.79/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Charred brown, with barely noticeable hints of red-brown making their way into the top and bottom of the glass. A ring of tan head circles the top of the glass, and just enough to let you know that head once resided there - otherwise, it's just a trace.

The nose is undeniably intoxicating - the best of two great worlds - rye and stout. The rye imparts a softness, while the stout adds depth through chocolate, molasses, and toasted breads.

This beer might as well be the beer of hippies - it's just so mellow. Certainly a stout by nature, it exists less on being big and bold, and moreso by being smooth and subtle. Crisp and somewhat acidic, but with definite notes of coffee and dark fruits.

Lightly carbonated - this might be the best aspect of the beer - really allows the decent flavors to stand out and take the fore.

Enjoyable, and a unique twist on a stout, but not the best option - rye has been done better.

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Photo of zdk9
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Michigan Trip Beer #3 (see my GI BCS review)

A- Black, no highlights. Not much head and not much lace.

S- Not a strong smell. Notes of roast. Sweet moist raisins. A coffee character.

T- Coffee, maple syrup, roasted straw. I'm not noticing any rye character but more of an oatmeal coffee stout.

M- Pretty silky. A perfect amount of bitterness for this style and this taste. Sits on the tongue for a bit and then slinks off and lets you drink some more.

O- A good stout- not a lot of rye but worth getting a sixer of.

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Photo of zeff80
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, jet black color with a small, tan. head of thick foam. It left thin rings of lace.

S - It smelled of rye, chocolate, toffee and sweet caramel. There was a slightly floral nose, too.

T - This is a sweet and bitter stout. It tasted like a blend of a milk stout and an oatmeal stout. Bitter oat flavor with sweet caramel, toffee and molasses.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium-bodied stout with a dry finish.

D - This is a very good stout. The rye added a sweetness to a bitter stout.

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Photo of Beejay
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: A black stout with a little tan head that is running away.. FAST!! RUN!! RUN FROM THE RYE!!! It looks nice.

S: Dark chocolate malts, and roasty, rye-ee goodness.

T: Now thems some yummy beer. Smokey, bready, roasted with bitter chocolate tones. Nice.

M: Fairly thin bodied for the style, and a little over carbed, but still tasty.

D: Nice, big roasty flavors dominate. Bready, smokey and tasty as all hell, though a bit of a sipper. Still damn fine brew.

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Photo of jsh420
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

batch 9399

pours dark brown almost black with a 2 finger head that left no lacing

smell is roasty malts cocoa and some sweet milk

taste - i dont pickup on any rye - reminds me more of a milk stout - a very creamy roasty chocolate

mouthfeel is light and very smooth

drinkability is good - any lower abv stout with this much flavor is a winner in my book

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Photo of weatherdog
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into a Duvel tulip glass

Batch 9370

It pours a almost pitch black with a head that dies as quickly as it came.

The aroma is just jumping up and down with rye malt. Its like opening up a loaf of rye bread. I'm also picking up some roasted and coffee character as well.

The taste is like biting into some dark rye bread. I've had more than a few rye beers and this one has the most rye flavor I've ever tasted. It's pretty roasty as well. I'm picking up a hair of astringency at the end.

A little too carbonated off the bat but once I got to the end of the glass it felt just perfect. the roasted malts are a little too sharp for an excellent drinkability

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.62/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a deep pitch-black color stout with a small dark brown foamy head with average retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of roasted malt with light peat notes. Taste is very particular with some good peat notes and deep roasted malt. Body is quite full with a very nice creamy texture and good carbonation. Very singular since I am not used to rye being used in a stout but still very interesting.

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Photo of bort11
4.49/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a Dogfish Head tulip. Not a lot of head, it's a dark tan flash then settles to a moderate ring around the edge. Despite the lack of head, large amounts of carbonation sticks to the inside walls of the glass. Color is a murky chocolate brown. Dense hues do not let light through.

Smell has a wonderful dark rye bread aroma. Toasty notes that fill the senses. Hints of chocolate malt and a little lactose. Taste is a creamy sweetness countered with a rye bite.

Mouthfeel is coating as each swallow glides down my throat. There must be some oatmeal in there to make it so creamy. Carbonation is a little too crisp while cold. Let it warm up a little and it expands in it's chewiness. This is not like any stout I've ever had and it's fantastic.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-Tap at Union Jack's in Glenside twice, I missed this when it was last brewed and glad that I can try it.

A- Dirty brown mud covered ground with some small amounts of debris floating around. I've seen this poured at a few establishments and it always looks the same, as if the keg was shaken up before tapping. I guess this is how it's supposed to look with a floating yeast look. A nice light brown/tan head that faded into a small cap leaving small patches of foam.

S- It's a rye stout and the scents indicate that with the rye coming in underneath the other stout like smells, but I also detect some porter qualities with alot of roasted malt and some chocolate. The rye is at a level where it's almost like lightly smelling some rye bread. Trace amounts of coffee plus some toffee and some spicy yeast like scents. Not very bold but pleasant.

T- They should of called this Bell's Rye Porterish Stout as I get some qualities from both of those styles. The porter from the roasted malt and minimasl coffee, the stout from the chocolate and the small amount of dark fruit in the finish. Along with that fruit the rye component comes in making for a nice mix. No flavor is really over done and are all light within the mix. I liked this a lot better than the double cream that was also on tap.

M- A bold medium body that is not all that heavy in the mouth and going down. The liquid does not coat the mouth like a stout, moreso it glides across leaving it's mark while leaving a very light spicy finish at the end. A nice little prick from the minimal carbonation, not a very crisp beer, more like a smooth sail.

D- I need to find a six pack of this because it opened my eyes being that there are not a lot of rye stout's out there, this moved me. I also want to see if there is any difference in appearence vs. the kegged version. This is easy drinking and probably my favorite of Bell's lower ABV 'dark beer' offerings. Will have again.

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Photo of sleazo
4.19/5  rDev +8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A_Pours a dark brown converging on black with a small wispish head that disintegrates into nothingness rather quickly.

S_Dark roasted malts greet the nose upon first whiff. This is followed by notes of chocolate and a spiciness from the rye.

T_The rye hits in the front here and the roasted malt, chocolate and chicory flavours come through right afterward. The aftertaste is like good bittersweet chocolate with a definite Bell's character that I have had in some of their other stouts.

M_Starts out thin and bubbly but quickly transforms itself into a thick slick of flavour throughout the mouth. rather unique in this regard.

D_A well done beer by Bell's and an interesting way to do a stout. I could go with a little more rye but I would imagine that is hard to pull off with the bold roasted malt presence.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler purchased from Liquor Barn, Louisville, KY (Springhurst). Served in a pint glass, the beer pours dark brown/black with about an inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both good. Aroma is roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, and rye. Taste is pretty much the same as the aroma, but with the addition of some dark fruit and a little bit of licorice. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's creamy and has good carbonation. Drinkability is good, it's smooth and goes down easy. I think this is a good overall brew, and a great beer for a cold winter day. I'd definitely buy this again.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.06/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into an Imperial Pint. Batch #9370 (Sept. 29th '09).

Thanks to Sweemzander for yet another good MI brew.

A - Clear dark brown that's near black in the glass with dark brown amber highlights. A quiet pour gives off a small off-white head with little retention and a thin right left over.

S - I can't say I have much experience in the rye area but I pick up a grainy, wheat-like dry aroma I can only imagine is rye. It blends really well with a coffee and roasted malt nose. The more I smell it the more it smells like a coffee stout.

T - Lots of black coffee flavor and dark roasted malts with a touch of molasses and a bitter finish. The grainy wheat-like thing I assume is rye comes out on the finish and lingers through the aftertaste.

M - A higher level of carbonation gives the rye stout a lighter feel with a crisp finish. Medium-full bodied and dry and bitter at the end.

D - I like it. I could have another I think but again, my lack of experience in the rye area doesn't allow me much insight into the exact uniqueness of this over, say, Bell's Java Stout.

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Photo of danielharper
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark black color, slight reddish hue at the bottom, moderately-sized brown head that sticks around. Head is rich and creamy. Nice presentation.

Smell: Smells almost like a nitro stout. Dry malty aromatics, slight notes of chocolate.

Taste: Nice rye flavor up front with a significant chocolate malt presence on the backend. Slightly astringent finish, dry aftertaste. A bit cloying.

Mouthfeel: Moderate thickness, slightly chewy.

Drinkability: A rye stout is an interesting concept, and this is good, but it's not quite up to the standards of most Bell's beer. Definitely worth a try for fans of Bell's or those who love rye, but a bit lacking for my palate.

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Bell's Rye Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 316 ratings.