Bell's Sparkling Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.
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Ratings: 526 | Reviews: 364 | Display Reviews Only:
1.98/5 rDev -48%
Pours moderately cloudy gold; I imagine this would be heady but I can't say for sure.
Now, let me get this out of the way early. I don't like slamming beers. Or at least, I don't like slamming beers from good breweries. I want people to buy everything Bell's makes, even if it's absolute shit, so that they'll make more Hopslam and sell it everywhere (except for Illinois, alas.)
But this beer is awful.
The aroma and the taste are both nauseatingly estery, like a heavy-handed four year-old's imitation of Duvel. I never thought that a beer could have too many bananas in it, but this is that beer. Malty sweetness is present as well, but it tastes like an afterthought.
Mouthfeel is decent if unremarkable-- medium-bodied, very slightly chewy-- typical for a Belgian-style beer.
Every sip is an eternity of torment.
Sorry, Larry, but this one didn't do it for me.
06-23-2007 16:28:13 | More by kajerm
2.28/5 rDev -40.2%
I poured this beer into my tumbler at 50 degrees. The beer was pilsner looking and I was excited to try something along that line from this great company. Head was good and white. Smell was hoppy. The taste was NOT good. Very fruity and a tad sour. It tasted like a Belgian ale to me which I'm not all that fod of. Alcohol was over the top also. If you like Belgian sour beers (Abbey) then try this. However I will not try it again.
12-13-2007 17:28:07 | More by Minkybut
2.5/5 rDev -34.4%
12 oz. bottle into a Duvel tulip.
Appearance: I poured it hard on purpose to try and get the head built up, but alas, it died down fairly quickly. Yeast and floaties amidst the body, the color a golden yellow.
Smell: All banana and candi sugar, but as if it's been sitting out for a long time. It may be fresh but it doesn't smell like it. Slight bubblegum. All sugar and hardcore sweetness with not a lot of nuance and complexity. Not to mention a not-too-pleasant surge of alcohol as it warms.
Taste: All too sugary and banana with bubblegum, candi sugar, and overdone fruit. Again, no nuance here, just hardcore watered-down attempted Belgian flavors with malt and yeast. Entirely overdone and unbalanced.
Mouthfeel: Way too thick and cloying without a lot of carbonation. Everything seems to be unbalanced.
Drinkability: Yikes. A decent experiment I suppose, or one that should've been, but I'd stick to the other failsafe Bell's brews. I was curious about this from the beginning, because I wasn't sure, with what their brewing staples are, why and how and if they could pull this off. And I wouldn't want to try this again. Thankfully I just got the one bottle. Go for a 4-pack of an import or a nice corked and caged Belgian. Cheers to branching out, but not if it's going to be a seemingly mediocre attempt.
02-10-2008 02:06:44 | More by asabreed
2.55/5 rDev -33.1%
Reviewed 10/17/2006 (12oz bottle):
Pours an extremely cloudy, somewhat fizzy orangish color. Small head, white, somewhat lasting. Small bubbles. Strong sweet Belgian ale aroma. Floral, alcohol, very strong overall. Warm mouthfeel, flowery, pollen aftertaste. Somewhat sweet, slightly bitter. Strong alcohol. One flavor dominant - flowers.
01-29-2009 05:32:14 | More by jujubeast6000
2.68/5 rDev -29.7%
A- Super clear and pale. Almost no color at all but the color thats there is bright yellow. No head left at all. Some tiny bubbles floating to the top.
S- Faint smell here. Green banana peels, musty yeast and some fruitiness.
T- Banana again. Some more sweetness. A chemically aftertaste thats not very pleasant.
M- Light and crisp and bubbly. Finishes dry.
D- This one has a strange taste on the end that Im not too fond of. Ive definitely had better tripels...*cough*La Fin Du Monde*cough*
12-01-2009 05:10:37 | More by MbpBugeye
2.73/5 rDev -28.3%
Poured from bottle into flute. Golden hue with high carbonation and sediment. Almost no head...first sign of trouble. Smell is lemon/citrus. Taste adds spice and maybe coriander, but is much weaker than anticipated. For a self-styled tripel--this is one of the weaker versions. On the positive side, it is light and drinkable (especially considering the ABV), but I expect more from Bell's.
02-12-2008 00:11:21 | More by mwilbur
2.83/5 rDev -25.7%
Cloudy orange pour, with a quickly dissipating head.
The nicest part of this brew is the banana ester smell. Notes of supportive rich yeastiness.
Wet dog hair flavor up front. Ends with an unpleasant bitterness. Alcohol is overrepresented. This beer leaves a burning rampage in the esophagous. Lingering aftertaste is the equivalent of dead sidewalk worms in the sunny minutes after a rainstorm.
Nice "overattenuated" Belgian reminiscent carbonation.
The unbalanced alcohol makes this beer not real drinkable.
02-01-2006 21:22:18 | More by nortmand
2.83/5 rDev -25.7%
I bought a six pack of this ale and drank the bottles over a two to three year period.
Pour: pours a dark orange with amber at the sides and some scribbles of brown, gave a one finger head initially that thinned to a cover, this ale is can be seen through but there are lots of large particles that took away from enjoy the presentation of this ale.
Aroma: aroma of malt and candy sweetness, soft fruit esters of peach, orange sweetness and citrus fragrances.
Flavor: flavor is candy sugar sweetness with orange fruit, faint bread and yeast, pepper and spices on the tongue that presents itself more at the finish, alcohol warmth is felt on the palate.
MF: mouth feel is medium, has a touch of syrupiness to it, it may be that the carbonation has died off some and it has gone a little flat, it appears not to be as bubbly as I would have liked, has a bit of stickiness to it, I found the mouth feel to be plain and boring.
Notes: this ale is not as clear and pretty as some of the other Triples, also, the taste is sort heavy on the sweet side for a Tripel, there are other examples of this style I enjoy more.
12-09-2008 04:06:24 | More by Fuzzywort
2.85/5 rDev -25.2%
I honestly do not see what the hype is about here. Is it a unique, high potency brew. But not one I would drink on a regular basis.
It pours a great frothy head with some nice aromas of yeastiness and bread.
The belgian profile is minimal. However, it is somewhat similar to the style in the bready malt character. There is a bittering hop presences not typical of other brew of this sort. So far, so good.
What was really unsettling was the alcohol taste. Very vodka-like. And I, for one, detest vodka. So it was this flavor that really made this beer less-than-enjoyable.
I don't recommend it unless you like the hard stuff (vodka). Even beyond this taste, there is little to speak highly of. There are plenty of other beers out there that I find much more palatable. Especially for the price ($10 for a sixpack)
Bell's does much better than this.
03-09-2002 04:30:57 | More by cokes
2.85/5 rDev -25.2%
Poured from a bottle into a standard pint.
A: Crystal clear gold, tiny wisp of head no lace, looks like a glass of apple juice at this point
S: sugary sweet, lots of candied fruit and spices sort of like a tripel
T: what happened to the sweetness in the nose? very dry and malty a solid amount of clove and pepper not very good
M: light dry body decent amount of carbonation
D: Overall a bit of a misstep from a world class brewery. Fuck it. They can't all be Black note
08-20-2010 02:49:15 | More by beerwolf77
2.88/5 rDev -24.4%
12oz. bottle poured into a tulip. There should be a batch # printed on the back of this like all Bell's beers, but this one does not have one.
(A)- Pours a clear golden orange to yellow color that produced lackluster head formation, in fact, there was none, just some white bubbles even after a rather vigorous pour. Sparkling ale? Doesnt look like there is much carbonation in this.
(S)- Bits of banana, pear, mango, & a flower-like clay & yeast presence.
(T)- Very similar to the smell, but with a musky & weird metallic finish. Yeasty.
(M)- Ok, so yes there is carbonation in this, but definitely not on par for the style, let alone a "sparkling" level.
(D)- Kind of a bland beer actually. It has some flavors & smells that fits into the style, but overall a disappointing representation of what makes a great Tripel. Not one of Bell's best efforts.
01-17-2010 00:42:14 | More by sweemzander
3/5 rDev -21.3%
Poured this into a pint glass, pours an awesome yellow with some serious suspension in the glass, hold it up to sunlight to see what I mean, this is about the best thing I enjoyed about this beer. Smell has that belgium smell with nice fragrance coming from the nose very sweet with hints of lemon and outdoor freshness. Taste to me was pretty difficult, the alcohol was very present and hard for me to drink this, taste was a bit of a mess like a nice hefe with a strong weird alcohol grape taste in there, boy was this a mess. Well to put it midly Bell's brews some of the best beers imo in the world, this is not up there.
05-16-2008 01:57:11 | More by gunnerman
Bell's Sparkling Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 526 ratings.