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Bell's Sparkling Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Bell's Sparkling AleBell's Sparkling Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

518 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 518
Reviews: 364
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 11.81%


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

Style | ABV
Tripel |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-13-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 518 | Reviews: 364 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of barczar
barczar

Kentucky

3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a slightly hazy medium golden with a frothy one inch ivory head that slowly dissipates, leaving spotty lacing.

Belgian yeast, pear, apple, and apricot esters form the initial aroma. There's a bit of a funky barnyard note, along with perfumey, floral hops.

Flavor is somewhat muted, with pear at the base, slightly sweet, becoming dry and peppery at the finish. Honey-like malt balances mid palate, with lemon rind surfacing as it warms.

Body is fairly light, with prickly carbonation that seems lower than expected, possibly due to the flat malt flavor. Alcohol warmth is substantial.

A little flat in flavor, but good esters. Wish they surfaced as much in the flavor as in the aroma. Could use age to tame the alcohol.

Serving type: growler

06-17-2013 04:20:54 | More by barczar
Photo of deadonhisfeet
deadonhisfeet

Kentucky

4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from my growler into a Bell's tulip. It's a beautiful pour. Color is slightly dark orange-yellow with a perfect 2 fingers of head, good retention, and some nice Belgian lacing. Sadly, it's not as sparkling as I would like from this style. The nose has plenty of fruity esters and spicy phenols. Oranges, bananas, cloves, and coriander dominate. There's not much hop character, but that's okay.

Flavor is very traditional. Nice fruity sweet profile with mild malt flavors and just a little peppery note at mid-palate. Fresh bread, oranges, and bananas with a little bit of spice. Finish is warming, but in no way boozy, and has a gentle bitterness. Feel is firm and slightly creamy

Overall, a quality tripel. This is not my favorite style (I prefer dubbels and quads to tripels), but Bell's has made a very enjoyable entry here.

Serving type: growler

02-09-2013 22:54:38 | More by deadonhisfeet
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

3.63/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

32 oz. swing top growler.

The beer is mostly transparent, just slightly hazy. Orange hued with nearly an inch of white head that recedes to a thin layer after a few moments, leaving some decent lacing on the glass. The aroma offers malt, yeast, spice, ripe oranges, hops. The flavor is not up to par with the authentic Belgian tripels. I appreciate that it has a different hop character and is not necessarily trying to replicate something Belgian, however, Bell's Sparkling Ale lacks the delectable quality found in the upper tier examples of the style. Yeast character is lacking. Malt presence is there, but could certainly be more robust and present. Middle class in the style, yet solid and worth a try.

Serving type: growler

12-04-2011 03:26:11 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of jayhawk73
jayhawk73

Maryland

3.6/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Shared by Huhzubendah- Thanks Matt!

Pours a medium gold color w/ a thin off-white head. Very clean and clear looking for the tripels I'm used to seeing. Average lacing on the side of my snifter glass. The nose is apple, pear, anise, pepper, and some spices. I'd really like to smell more yeast and malt in this brew, and it's a little on the weak side for me. Taste is fairly sweet, with fruit, spices and pepper coming forward in the flavor. I don't get any of the 9% alcohol at all. Feel is fairly light and dry, w/ a tiny bit of alcohol burn on the aftertaste. Overall, this is a solid brew from an excellent brewery. I would get this again- Cheers.

Serving type: growler

12-04-2011 03:14:14 | More by jayhawk73
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

3.24/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a Dogfish shaped pint glass.

Like fine champagne... Anyway, this stuff pours a clear sunset golden-brass topped by a finger of off-white foam. The nose comprises biscuit, light banana peel, light green apple skin, and a touch of spicy yeast. The taste brings in more of the same, with the biscuit and a less-spicy version of the yeast taking full control. Every now and again, some chlorophyll-laden flowers peek their heads in to make sure things are going okay. What diligent babysitters (he says sarcastically). The body is a lithe medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a dry finish. Overall, not all that reflective of a tripel, nor all that sparkling. It's not a bad beer, but one I just don't see drinking all that much of in the future.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2013 17:32:37 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of brewandbbq
brewandbbq

New Hampshire

3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle.

Pours clear gold with a meager thin head of white. A few whisps on the surface and errant dots of lacing for the duration.

Aromatics are a blend of honey, apples, bubblegum, cloves, and a hint of tropical hops.

Light bodied with a sticky, syrupy mouthfeel.

Sweet, honey-drizzled malt starts the palate with apples and cut grass. Spicy phenols follow through.

Finishes sweet and cloying with lingering honey.

This beer needs to dry up and get a serious dose of carbonation. The label also promises northwest hops of which there is barely a trace.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2013 00:29:26 | More by brewandbbq
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to GRG1313 for sharing this one at his tasting.

Bottle # 277/1499. Batch # 11471.

Pours a clear orange with a foamy white head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, honey, fruit, and yeast aromas. Taste is much the same with honey and spice flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that smells slightly better than it tastes in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2013 01:02:09 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of SportsandJorts
SportsandJorts

Michigan

4.59/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Type: 750 bottle
Glass: Snifter
From: Bell's General Store
Price: $13

Appearance: deep yellow not quite clear. some sediment floating. slightly off-white head, about a finger that slowly fades to almost nothing.

Smell: Honey, citrus, florals, slightly fruit. Smells wonderful

Taste: pretty similar to the nose, honey, citrus, florals with a touch of fruit. followed up by a bitter slight hoppy finish.

Mouthfeel: fairly light and smooth. has a crispness to it and slightly warming sensation. leaves mouth dry and wanting another drink

Overall: I have been searching for this beer for quite some time and was expecting a lot from it. It did not disappoint. I am glad that I found it at Bell's. Very good in every aspect and pretty close to a perfect american tripel.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2013 20:18:36 | More by SportsandJorts
Photo of elNopalero
elNopalero

Texas

4.38/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This pours a cloudy golden straw color with a tight foam cap. The aroma is nicely spiced with yeasty esters. It’s floral with honey notes, along with some orange peel and coriander. The flavor has a light yet pleasing bitterness. I get orange peel coriander, yeasty esters and a light funk which I imagine might emerge as it develops in the bottle or over time. The effervescence keeps the flavors lively. This is by now a common style but under Bell’s craft it just stands shoulders above the majority. Good stuff!

Serving type: on-tap

01-20-2013 09:56:29 | More by elNopalero
Photo of tectactoe
tectactoe

Michigan

3.86/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: on-tap

01-10-2013 13:23:28 | More by tectactoe
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

3.98/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured out as a nice slightly hazy golden color with a thin white head on top. The retention is thin and scattered. The lacing is minimal. The smell of the beer is bready, sweet and has a subtle spice note on the nose. The taste of the beer is sweet upfront and has a dry fruity spice finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a bit of an oily feel to it. The carbonation was pretty high but should be for the style. Overall it was a pretty good brew, I was glad to see it on draft in my area.

Serving type: on-tap

01-07-2013 01:28:45 | More by Knapp85
Photo of clintyeastwood
clintyeastwood

South Carolina

4.28/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a New Belgium glass (yeah, I know... but we had 2 New Belgium's and only one Bell's snifter) Bottle # 1107

Appearance: Pours a tarnished brass color. It's clear yet with obvious sediment thoughout. Had a light beige foamy head with minimal lacing.

The aroma is devine. It prepares you for the taste sensation to come. Notes of honey, lemon, floral, vanilla, apricot and pear.

The taste is exceptional. Honey, caramel, lemon, and ginger. There is also licorice on the tip of the tongue and hops at the finish. This beer is well balanced.

The mouthfeel is exactly what you would hope for in a tripel, light and smooth. Crisp with a warm finish.

Bell's has done it again!! This beer accentuates the qualities of a good tripel. It has a good bright mouthfeel with a warm finish. The taste is imaginative without being overbearing. The notes are subtle and discreet. It was a fine beer to bring in 2013.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2013 03:19:09 | More by clintyeastwood
Photo of deebo
deebo

Minnesota

3.48/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-29-2012 00:19:29 | More by deebo
Photo of jera1350
jera1350

Minnesota

4.23/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at New Bohemia.

Slightly hazed pale gold with a frothy head of clean white foam. Smells very fruity and effervescent with some belgian type yeast. The taste is exceptionally clean and fruity with just a light belgian character to it. Some floral notes as well. So clean and flavorful with about a medium body that dries the palate but leaves no trace of residual flavors. A wonderful take on a tripel. I wish they would bottle this again, as I would love to have this on hand.

Serving type: on-tap

12-16-2012 19:23:45 | More by jera1350
Photo of Duff27
Duff27

Illinois

3.55/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch 9400. Bottled November 12, 2009

Half inch white head on a chunky sediment filled orange body. Collar left with sticky lacing.

Biting and crisp Belgian yeast aroma.

Alcoholic fruits in the taste. Very peachy. Aftertaste gives way to something which I'm calling "getting close to being too old".

Medium mouthfeel, medium-low carbonation.

It was alright. I got through it but at times didnt know if i would. Thanks TATURBO for thr try. Bottom line, drink 'em if you have 'em.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2012 02:38:09 | More by Duff27
Photo of TwelveOunces
TwelveOunces

Kentucky

4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a tulip

This beer is a deep hazy orange with a one finger off white head. The beer is undoubtedly a tripel. There is a slight bitterness up front. The beer sweeps over with a light dark fruit flavor, with figs and raisins. There is some flowery notes, a bit of wheat, a slight lemon grass, a little onion perhaps. This beer is spicy. The Belgium yest is obvious. There is a crispy spiciness, an earthy spiciness. Plenty drinkable for 9%, I do prefer bottle conditioning in my Belgian beers but tap is fine. A solid american take on a Belgian beer. A spicy and hoppier version.

Serving type: on-tap

11-15-2012 01:37:48 | More by TwelveOunces
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4DAloveofSTOUT

Illinois

3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to TATURBO for the bottle! Thanks chris!

poured into tulip glass.

Batch number: 9400.

Appearance: Yellow bodied beer with a mild haze to it. Thin white head. Spotty lace.

Smell: Fruity malty sweet notes. Wheat and hay notes. Some spicy booze. Bananas and clove.

Taste: Sweet white grapes and red apples. Honey, bananas, and spicy cloves. Sugary sweetness. Finishes like a very sweet white wine.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with low end of moderate carbonation. Little bit of a syrupy mouthfeel.

Overall: Not a bad beer. I have not had many tripels before so I dont have much to judge this beer off of. It was an enjoyable beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2012 04:39:56 | More by 4DAloveofSTOUT
Photo of HuskyinPDX
HuskyinPDX

Washington

3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle opened on 10.6.12.
Bottle # 793/857
Batch 10689

A - Pours a clear medium orange with a fizzy two and a half inch cream-colored head that fades down steadily.

S - Subtle citrus and hoppy.

T - Sweet orange and honey and some sweet malt, floral.

D - Lower carbonation with a light body and a sweet finish.

O - Light and sweet floral and citrus, refreshing.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2012 06:12:39 | More by HuskyinPDX
Photo of Jamesthebrit
Jamesthebrit

Michigan

4.08/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Came out looking bold! Looks like a well aged white wine. Head is non-existant but it really worked with the look.
S: Smells like grape tires and wheat.
T: Grape flavor really comes through. Also wheat notes are very present.
M: Sits a little too carbonated but smooth. Medium body with a subtle fruit linger. Alcohol is well hidden.

Overall I was reluctant to try this beer because usually belgian styles are not my favorite. This beer really didn't bring the traditional flavors I had come to expect and it really came through like a nice sparkling wine.

Serving type: on-tap

03-27-2012 15:11:03 | More by Jamesthebrit
Photo of DrDemento456
DrDemento456

Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Paid a bit too much for this but did get a 16oz pour for $5.50.

A - Color as expected is nice for a tripel light clear yellow with a nice 1/2 inch of sticky white head.

S - Smells nice a mix of hoppy bitterness, fruity yeasts, apple/pear, and a bit of sweet malts.

T - Well damn it's actually pretty good. Taste is fruity pear, then some sweet citrus hops, followed by fruity yeast which doesn't get too chalky, then the finish is quite sweet. Good take on the style.

M - Medium bodied and ABV is well hidden. Just like I like it.

Overall I would like to try it in a bottle again but sadly can't find any around my state. It's as good as many others I have tried and worth a second visit.

Serving type: on-tap

03-17-2012 00:38:33 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of iadler
iadler

Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Sheffield's.

A- Pours a light gold with a one finger head that dissipates into a thin cap leaving a few lines of lacing.

S- Light citrus zest, banana, clove, pear and peppery spice. The aroma is nice, but too subtle.

T- Similar to the aroma with citrus zest, grape, pear, peppery spice, banana, herbs and clove.

M- Medium carbonation and a light body with a crisp mouthfeel. The 9% is completely hidden.

O- This was very drinkable especially at being 9%, but the flavor and aroma seemed a little restrained for being a triple. Quite refreshing though.

Serving type: on-tap

02-13-2012 05:37:39 | More by iadler
Photo of Tone
Tone

Missouri

3.33/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, gold color. 1/5 inch head of a white color. Slight retention and slight lacing. Smells of a hint of cinnamon, sweet malt, slight alcohol, hint of citrus, and a hint of hops. Fits the style of a Tripel. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of a hint of spice, hint of hop, sweet malt, and slight pale malt. Overall, lacking in appearance and body; good aroma and blend.

Serving type: on-tap

02-05-2012 15:05:00 | More by Tone
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Churchkey, beer is served in a snifter. Beer is yellow, clear with nearly no head. Some lacing, low retention.

Aroma is a little yeasty and sweet.

Beer is medium to light in body, a little yeasty, grainy, I'm shocked that this beer is 9%. Amazing. Hides it well, good finish, not too dry. I'd have this again.

Serving type: on-tap

02-02-2012 19:39:16 | More by drabmuh
Photo of smakawhat
smakawhat

Maryland

3.43/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured on tap into a tulip glass at Churchkey DC.

A creamy one finger head is produced, with a very bronze colored crystal clear body. While drinking there is some creamy lacing, but the most noticeable thing is how insanely carbonated this beer looks for a tripel. Lots of carbonation.

Nose has some mild malt, a little yeast and spice, kind of a dry sense, but not much really going on.

Palate upon tasting is sharply carbonated with sweet Belgian candy sense, but very crisp. This is slightly gaseous, even perhaps some hop bite strangely.

Overall for a tripel this is not what I look for. It's an enjoyable beer but I probably wont be wanting to try this again anytime soon. I prefer some creamyness.

Serving type: on-tap

02-02-2012 00:52:09 | More by smakawhat
Photo of cosmicevan
cosmicevan

New York

3.48/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

humongous thank you to Thorpe429 for seeing this on my wants and making it happen. poured into a la fin du monde tulip.

a - pried the homemade wax top off, poured a transparent honey with lots of bubbly carbonation and a thin bubbly white head that fizzeled away leaving a ring around the surface and subtle streaky lacing.

s - sweet honey and flowery orange peel. pretty subtle. candied bozzy sweetness.

t - sweet without cloying, malty nutmeg. some grape and tropical fruitiness.

m - medium bodied and a bit syrupy. very sweet on my mouth.

o - overall seems like another american take on a belgian classic. definitely not classic to style, but not bad by any means. seems like a tripel in the way that kerbos from flyingdog is a tripel.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2012 04:23:02 | More by cosmicevan
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Bell's Sparkling Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 518 ratings.