Bell's Sparkling Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.
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Ratings: 526 | Reviews: 364 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by PatrickJR:
3.35/5 rDev -12.1%
Poured from a 12 oz bottle into red wine glass.
A - Bright golden yellow, completely clear. Much like a blonde. Small half inch or less of head rises with moderate staying power, settling to a moderate collar. Lots of bubble activity from the bottom.
S - Not bad but a little weak for a tripel. My immediate impression is of banana pudding; lots of upfront bananas, some vanilla, and even a bit of sweet bready/cookie-ness. With closer inspection comes almost rotten bananas with something sharp and citric; somewhere between tart orange and lemon juice. No detectable spice or nutty yeast-like flavors. Passable, but weak and lacking the depth of the best tripels.
T - Full on banana pudding at first, perhaps with more emphasis on "pudding" than "banana." It reminds me a bit of the custard that hold everything together. Mid palate, after about half of the initial sweetness has died down, some weakish, fleeting amalgam of bananas and pears at various stages of ripeness appear. Immediately after follows a dusty, pepper, lemon-ish burst which quickly cuts through the fruity flavors and remaining sweetness. Despite the abrupt absence of sweetness, late palate the brew begins to sweeten slightly again with some phenols, chalk, and grainy flavors. Finish is a little sharp; spicy and earthy with a moderate bitterness and enough alcohol bite to let you know it's there.
M - On the light side of medium. A little stickier as it warms. Carbonation is fairly high. Overall it's just a bit too thin and fizzy.
D - I'm quite the fan of some of the big Belgian tripels, and maybe I'm being a little harsh on Bell's because I was expecting more. An enjoyable beer overall, it just can't hold a candle to it's Belgian brethren. Worth a try but probably not a standout to the tripel aficianado.
01-10-2010 08:07:59 | More by PatrickJR
More User Reviews:
4.1/5 rDev +7.6%
No longer my favorite beer this is still one of the best of style in my book, a very good tripel.Its a bit candy sweet and fruity but it goes down oh so smooth with just enough drying herbal hop profile in the finish.Its big time drinkable and a great beer.
03-08-2002 11:28:41 | More by oberon
4.13/5 rDev +8.4%
Appearance This is a beautiful Abbey Tripel. The body is that hazy, creamy orange and is full of sediment. The head came up fairly nicely as well.
Smell This is my kind of Tripel. The yeast is light and bready, and the spices are big and deep. Coriander is my favorite spice for this style, and this one has it in spades. I can also pick up just the right hint of alcohol.
Taste The alcohol came out a bit on the mediciney side but mixed well with the fine spices. The combination is huge though and overpowers the yeast and fruit notes.
Mouthfeel The alcohol presence was a little more pronounced than I care for, but the carbonation was fluffy and right on for the style. This was a solid medium-bodied and fun to hold in between the cheeks.
Drinkability Ah, a big Abbey Tripel. My preferences for this style seem to run a bit on the exotic side, but I enjoyed this one very much.
Comments Thanks to feloniousmonk for sending this beauty shop out my way.
07-22-2004 00:45:26 | More by RoyalT
4.03/5 rDev +5.8%
A white fluffy head sits upon an apricot tinged sparkly gold body in a white wine glass at Maduro. Head is lasting and carbonation is highly active and very appealing to the eye. Aromas of bready yeasts and toasted malts form a base under a peppery spice and citric finish. Tastes of bread and toast with lemon/lime jam, pepper, and just a hint of light alcohol. Feel is sparkling, mediumbodied, and mildly warming. Drinkability is decent but the alcohol sugars, which become noticeable when the beer warms to room temp, create a sweet coating on my palate that prohibits me from drinking more than two glasses. Overall, I find this to be an impressive trippel, largely because it grasps subtlety and isnt overly sweet, tropical, or banana filled as so many American trippels are.
08-22-2006 20:06:49 | More by DaPeculierDane
3.86/5 rDev +1.3%
On tap at the Oak cafe. Pours a vibrant, golden-yellow color; hazy, opaque, seemingly volatile with a large, fluffy, beige colored head, leaving plenty of large lace chunks on the way down. Bell's pulls off the typical Beligan tripel aroma quite nicely - the Belgian yeast is very noticeable and apparent; spices, cloves, white pepper, fruity esters, pears and apple skins. It hits the palate thin and highly carbonated, the beer almost disappears from your mouth. The high carbonation isn't stingy, and it really makes the flavors pop. Undertones of earthiness and bread are the playing field for more intricate tripel flavors, like the signature clove-banana-bubble gum combo, all of which are certainly present here. Alongside this tasty trio are some pears, white grapes, apricots, light white pepper, and another spice which I can't quite put my finger on, maybe coriander. The alcohol warms things up and rounds out the rough edges. Though it's definitely noticeable, it's pretty damn drinkable for 9% ABV. Aftertaste is full of fading, estery sweetness in the form of green apple skins and bananas, along with some clove for good measure.
Another tasty beer by Bells, proving that they aren't afraid of the Belgian yeast culture. High drinkability for a relatively high ABV brew - be careful or this one could sneak up on you quickly.
01-10-2013 13:23:28 | More by tectactoe
3.8/5 rDev -0.3%
Pale golden with a thin white head that's fading fast. Completely filtered?
Aromas of under ripe banana, sweet pale malt, sauvignon blanc.
Applesauce and banana up front, with a lot of white wine characteristics thoughout the experience. Finishes off-dry and slightly hot with the forced carbonation being noticable.
This shows potential, but if they did bump up the quality we wouldn't see it being affordable anymore.
11-26-2009 03:24:27 | More by brownbeer
3.78/5 rDev -0.8%
My good friend Brian gave me this after his trip to Binnys in the South Loop. There was no freshness date on this bottle.
The beer had a soft white finger head. No lasting lacing. The color is yellowy and clear with plenty of carb bubbles showing.
The nose is a slight hop, slight banana.
The start is nice and clean.. It then jumps right into fruit. I get banana but there is a sweeter peach type profile there too. It finished surprisingly dry and hoppy.
It's a clean and refreshing drink. There's plenty of carb but it is not too aggressive on the palate - soft like champagne bubbles. It's definitely a very light and subtle body.
I like this beer as a thirst quencher, I find it hard as a seasonal. I guess it's only claim for seasonal is the champagne like bubbliness and dryness and it certainly delivers in that department. An interesting drink and I'd be happy to have more in future but won't be going out of my way looking for it.
11-22-2009 06:54:17 | More by sgoodship
3.53/5 rDev -7.3%
Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a chalice style glass.
Pours crystal clear pale orange with very minimal white head. Foam disappears quickly and goes to a thin ring around the edges of the glass. Very light lacing.
Aromas of sweet malts & esters come through a base of something like green apple and fruit.
Flavors are somewhat typical in that the Belgian yeasty flavors and that interesting spicy note that mingles with a light fruitiness. Also missing is the subtle sweetness - instead, the sweetness is foremost on the tongue with no subtly in site. The finish is also sweet with a slight linger of something like a clove spice.
Mouthfeel is rather course due to the fairly high carbonation. The higher gravity is masked well, probably due to the sweetness.
The brew is enjoyable and is probably what I have come to expect from an "American Tripel". There are better Trips out there but this one isn't too bad.
12-23-2009 01:30:05 | More by SIRIUS2
3.53/5 rDev -7.3%
Pours from the bottle a bright golden yellow orange with a light active bubbly head on top. Bubbles rush up to the top of the glass from all sides. Aromas start with some fruity notes of apples, pears and some tropical scents. A mellow spiciness along with sweet grains and some yeast. Not bad.
First sip brings a sweet, light malt body that is highlighted by mixed fruits and a dash of peppery spiciness. Yeast tones come through on the way down along with some hops. Refreshing overall..but seems a little understated for a tripel to me. A bit of alcohol peeks its way through on the finish as well.
Mouthfeel is smooth, light and slightly creamy. Good carbonation allows this one to go down super smooth. Overall, this is a refreshing tripel with a more laid back flavor profile than most. Worth a try..but if I want a tripel I will probably look elsewhere.
05-15-2005 03:32:30 | More by orbitalr0x
3.15/5 rDev -17.3%
12 oz bottle, batch 7134 (11/9/2005). Pours a cloudy tea color with lots of floaties. The head is white and creamy and quickly recedes to a thin film that laces the glass.
The aroma is sweet and sugary malts with some banana and melon and pepper and a little alcohol.
The flavor is sweet melon and banana followed by some spices and butterscotch and a little alcohol in the finish. It pretty smooth and mellow. The mouthfeel is medium to full and very creamy.
Overall, an OK trippel. It's a little sweeter than usual. The flavors just rub me a little wrong.
06-28-2007 00:56:18 | More by Beaver13
3.7/5 rDev -2.9%
Bright yellow color with a white head that dissipates to a bubbly ring around the glass and spotty lacing. Aroma is yeasty, with bits of bubblegum, hay, chamomile, and a touch of creamed corn. Taste has chamomile, bread dough, banana, and some sort of spice, perhaps clove. Pretty high carbonation with medium body. I didn't really know what to expect when I tried this, but what I found was a nice little Tripel. I could probably see myself getting this from time to time.
12-28-2008 00:04:02 | More by badbeer
3.48/5 rDev -8.7%
On tap at bulldog-uptown
Served in a pint glass this beer had a thin skimming of white foam leaving no lacing on the glass. Completely clear and golden. Aromas of phenolic clove and yeasty banana esters. Not unlike a hefe. Some spiciness here that would suggest a triple. Tastes like it smells. A spicy aftertaste with just a hint of bitterness. Medium bodied and carbonated. Alcohol is very well hidden. Overall a solid but not outstanding brew. A welcome brew from bells. Better than their dubbel.
12-29-2012 00:19:29 | More by deebo
3.3/5 rDev -13.4%
Hazy bright peach color with lots of chunks and a 1/4 inch head that laces in rings. Some yeastiness and definite bread in the aroma, with a little sour apple. Viscous mouthfeel, prickly sense of coriander and thistle flowers, candied lemon, and a musty sense of canvas. Finishes with impressive hops and a big and bitter alcohol bite. Something about this was unsettling in my mouth and stomach, some sense of a bitter anisey medicine and thick flavor warbling that's not my style. The yeasty smells are distinctly Bell's and seem more appropriate in their Stouts. Oh well, you can't love 'em all...
12-10-2002 09:22:04 | More by ADR
4.43/5 rDev +16.3%
Appearance: Mesmorizing glowing golden orange amber hue with a fluffy growing massive white head leaves thick patches of lacing so good evenly dispersed. Aroma: Herbal clove combo with the funky yeast characteristic that every Bell's brew has, a warming sweetness but no acohol ridden nose. Taste: Excellent ties everything together so well, seems farmhouse funkyness of peppery spices and then the bread yeast characteristics, with an herbal clove and underlying fruit sensation this is good stuff. Mouthfeel: Fluffy very right on the mark for carbonation spritzy but still holds together some great texture awesome. Drinkability: Dangerous I could chill with these all day but a bigger beer means beware, so good clean well made triple awesome one of the better American brewed versions.
01-31-2004 19:03:01 | More by WVbeergeek
4.13/5 rDev +8.4%
Purchased at Plaza in Tucson AZ... When poured there is quite a good amount of carbonation.. Poured a very clear golden left a 1 1/2 finger head, that cleared quickly.. I will say I am not fond of the style but here we go..
The flavors of fruit were noticed and the tinge of high alcohol was present, but overall quite enjoyable.. I will definitely purchase again..
01-22-2010 04:59:52 | More by harlanhu28
3.68/5 rDev -3.4%
(Served in an American pint glass)
A-This beer has a thin creamy light tan head that last and last on top of a light golden body. The crystal clear body shows the dense carbonation of tiny bubbles.
S- There is a soft note of pale malt and bubblegum hint that may just be a slight sweetness to the malt. Otherwise a very clean smell.
T- This beer has a pale malt taste with a hint of bubblegum and some smooth wheat notes that make it really light in flavor. There is a faint perfume note with a slight nugget note. The finish is a smooth soft hop bitterness.
M-This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a little bit of a creamy texture.
D- For a sparkling ale this has the smooth light qualities but there were just a few off notes that didn't really blend with the flavor and aromas. Very drinkable especially for none BA friends.
03-04-2006 20:48:43 | More by rhoadsrage
3.9/5 rDev +2.4%
Poured a light brown color with quite a bit of sediment floating in the beer. Smells malty with a little fruity sweetness. The taste was initially very malty. As the beer warmed I got a little bit of a citrus aftertaste. It leaves a very yeasty sweet taste in the mouth after the drink. Goes down very well and is a very good tripel.
08-21-2009 00:14:47 | More by hughesm4
Bell's Sparkling Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 526 ratings.