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

very good
317 Reviews
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Bell's Rye StoutBell's Rye Stout

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Michigan, United States | website

Style: American Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.70%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 12-11-2001

User Reviews
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Reviews: 317 | Ratings: 421
Photo of mdwalsh
3.77/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Thin tan head, black body with no head retention.

S: The aroma is mostly of roasted grain, particularly rye.

T: The Taste is the same, very dry.

M: Light body for a stout and good carbonation.

D: Not the most rye beer I've had, making it more approachable and a good learning beer for a person just getting into rye.

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Photo of CharlatanSin
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Love rye beers. Love stouts. Love what I've had from Bell's so far. Yeah, I'm looking forward to it.

A: A dark brown, but closer to brown than black. Pretty fizzy looking. The pour creates a wispy tan head that disappears very quickly and doesn't leave any lacing at all.

S: Roasted malt and lots of chocolate, but, disappointingly, hardly any rye. It smells pretty good for a stout, but not quite what was promised.

T/M: There's the rye. It's subtle but nice. Bready and sharp. Other than that, it's a solid American stout. Chocolate malt, a shade of coffee, and maybe a little hop presence. The mouthfeel's weak. It's light bodied but with low carbonation, which is a combination I don't care for in a stout.

D: Okay, but I had much higher expectations.

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Photo of bruachan
4.24/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

this might have been the tastiest beer i sampled at Bell's (i guess my review will be an empirical test)

the aroma is deliciously roasty, and perhaps featuring coffee? chicory

deeply roasted without kilning astringency. it's a sweet beverage--almost desserty--complex, rich, yet manages not to be cloyingly sweet. i frickin love rye and this one delivers: that prickle, that sour spice...mmm. oh yeah, slight chocolate thing going on. balanced bitterness

i'm not sure if they followed my advice after my last review (bottle) or if it's just that much better out of the tap or if my palate changed...i enjoyed this much more than i have before (and i tasted it from a tap at a bar in chi recently and i think my thoughts then were what my past review in 6/07 reflected)

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Photo of beer2day
3.76/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown pour. Thin sheen of foam and no retention.

Dry nose. Lots of rye in there. Shot of oats as well.

Oats and rye dominate the flavor. Very dry in taste, to match the nose. Always nice when the nose and taste match.

Thin feel for a stout, but somehow appropriate with the overall presentation.

Very easy drinker for ~7%.

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Photo of Chronofied
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cellar temperature, pured in a pint glass.

Appearance - Dark brown, almost opaque; mahogany around the edges where the light gives it a bit of glow. Very little head to speak of, and what head there was dimished quickly, leaving behind no lacing.

Smell - Rich but not very aromatic. A definite scent of mocha, that is to say coffee with a hint of chocolate. Grain smell is also strong, unsurprisingly. Malt came through more clearly than expected.

Taste - Huge coffee taste right away, slightly nutty and slightly sweet. Pleasant dark malt taste, moderate intensity. Most of the grain flavor comes along at the finish, and hangs out for a while afterwards.

Mouthfeel - Only slightly creamy, this stout is much lighter than expected, though still sweetly sticky. Carbonation is moderate, giving the stout its lightness, but not making it overly sharp. Cripness in the finish is nice.

Drinkability - For a rye stout, it's pretty drinkable, thanks in large part to the lightness and the coffee, which blends the alcohol into the background quite effortlessly. The slight sweetness makes it that much easier to open another bottle.

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Photo of semibaked
3.13/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a Pint Glass.

A - Pours damn black and produced about 2 inches of brown foam but didn't produce very much lacing.

S - I get the usual roasted malts from a stout but I really can't smell any rye at all. It does smell slightly oxidized to me.

T - Tastes like a middle of the road stout with roasted malts, coffee and just a bit of hops. I don't taste anything remotely like rye in it.

M - Good mouthfeel, coats a bit like oil but smooth.

D - Ya don't believe I will be having this again, just unremarkable overall, sorry Bell's!

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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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Bell's Rye Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 317 ratings.