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

Not Rated.
Bell's Sparkling AleBell's Sparkling Ale

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

528 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 528
Reviews: 364
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 11.81%
Wants: 32
Gots: 15 | FT: 0
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: 528 | Reviews: 364 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Skidz
4.08/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a light, glassy gold and sits a hazy golden amber with a large, billowing white head that provides nice lacings all around.

Smells of fruity esters, sweet and tart apples and fresh cider with hints of cinnamon. Light doughy aroma with toasted edges. Carmel laden with freshly picked herbs and spices envelop the sides of the nose.

Tastes lightly sweet upfront, an empty void of malty flavors. Spiciness engages the sides of the toungue and dries with an alcoholic presence. Faint caramely flavors swirl around and coat the mouth with a dough-like stickiness and yeasts dry the mouth upon swallowing. Lingering peppery flavors stick to the toungue.

Good feel to this one, not entirely smooth nor crisp, but finds a happy medium. Carbonation delivers well inside the medium-full body.

Easy to handle and well contructed. Bottle is soon diminished, leaving my glass with a bit more color than it started with.

Photo of budgood1
4.18/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours out a slightly hazy and chunky golden colour...lots of carbonation makes my glass look like a perpetual snow globe...pretty cool. nice thick and tight snow white head. plentiful lace. aroma of cookie dough, vanilla, spice, yeast and alcohol. smells delicious. tripel in taste...sweet and candy like...maybe dairy queen should develop a blizzard this flavour! slight hints of fruitiness...doughy and spicy...with a subtle alcohol warming presence. there is a good deal of hopping present...adding to the liquid decadence. body is fullish and the mouthfeel silky smooth. finishes both sweet and a bit peppery...alcohol lingering. this is a fine "american tripel". i'm still a relative novice on the tripel style, but i liked this one. drinkability is frightening; after three of four of these treats one might find themselves seeing "tripel".

thanks go out to feloniousmonk for providing me a bottle of this fine bell's offering!

Photo of walleye
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured cloudy golden with a medium size head with a lot of floaties. aroma, citrus, malty.alcohol,yeasts , flavor sour grapefruit, yeast, as the description says tart alcolol burn, fruity. not to bad. bells does it again. I am glad that bells is so easy to get.

Photo of Rastacouere
3.38/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Golden sunny day body. Head is limited to a thin film from the beginning. Very floral aroma, grassy with notes of honey, lemon, grapefruit. You’d almost think this is a well hopped pilsner and you’d be right weren’t it for the very yeasty counterpart. Saazy taste, floral and orangey. Creamy lemonbite, slight mineral tones. Foamy mouthfeel with fitting effervescence. The comfortable texture and nice fruit/yeast development make it pretty good and there’s certainly a good amount of balancing hops together with a slight tart presence, but don’t expect anything spectacular. Thanks Jeff.

Photo of ken3c
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thick bubbly head. Light golden color with a steady stream of bubbles.

Fruity and spicy smell with a hint of flower smell.

Fruity and spicy up front with a flowery finish. I like both tastes but they don't seem to mix well on my palate.

Mouthfeel is bubbly and very champagne-like.

I really liked everything about this beer except the most important part: The taste. I'm looking forward to trying this beer again to see I can learn to enjoy the taste better.

I drank the yeasty sediment separately and liked the taste much better. It was spicier and less flowery. I'll try rolling the next one before opening but I'm sure it will adversely effect the mouthfeel and appearance.

Photo of ppoitras
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle obtained via trade with CRJMellor. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1" off-white head above slightly cloudy (if I could decant with any talent, there wouldn't be any little floaties, but alas) warmly golden brew. Head laces well. Aroma is yeasty and grainy, smells similar to a weizen to me. The taste initally leads me to again notice the similarities to a weizen, until the alcohol makes its presence known. Mouthfeel and drinkability are excellent for the style.

This seems like an odd duck tripel to me, not based on the Belgain-style malts that I usually associate with the style. But variety is the spice of life, I guess, and this one was an enjoyable brew. Experimentation is always welcome. Not always appreciated, but always welcome...

Photo of blitheringidiot
4.33/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Rather plain, yet, curious label. Poured slowly into me golden trimmed pilsner to reveal a champagne like golden bright clear effervescent non-stop carbonation packed bubble appearance. A rush under a tightly packed 2” white froth. The bubbles are non-stop! An amazing pour, as usual for BELL’S. What makes this a perfect pour is the way that the carbonation eruption continually recycles the suspended particles for a spectacle show. If there were a 5.5 out of 5, this would grab that brass ring. Might add, excellent head retention.

Extricated scents thru the thick rock solid tight head are reminiscent of a Belgian yeast spice met with delectable Bryer’s Vanilla ice cream malts.

First swigs: Malty cookie dough. Spiced in the vein of cinnamon & egg nog, blending to an aftertaste of vanilla extract. Quite complex flavor with the awl-kee-hawl well hidden, until warmed. Then, the awl-kee-hawl slips out. Ephemeral hardly noticeable nutmeg aftertaste.

Light to medium bodied brew.

Last swigs: An American Triple? Part of a mixed case, purchased for $58 from the Beeryard with a great selection! Quite unlike other BELL’S. A unique spicey, contemplative offering. After reviewing their site after my review, it's a December offering only, as per website. 8.2% ABV, an American Tripel, trappist & Belgian yeast. Highly recommended.

Beer is good. Happy beering.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.18/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep amber-gold with a veritable blizzard of yeast suspended within. This may be the yeastiest beer that I've seen yet. My usual pour resulted in a mess on the beer coaster as I was unable to keep the head from overflowing the glass. The rich cream-colored cap is massive and is super stiff. It deflates exceedingly slowly and manages to leave quite a bit of chunky lace behind.

The nose is impressively aromatic. It's Belgian yeast funky and is nicely fruity. On the palate, the beer is sweet, spicy and citrus fruity all at once. There's plenty of candi sugar and loads of yeastiness as well. All of Sparking Ale's various flavor elements work well together. It's a bold beer, yet a well integrated one.

For a tripel, it's amazing how well-masked the alcohol is. The body/mouthfeel is full and lightly syrupy, but is an unqualified success because it's lightened considerably by the generous, yet far from manic, amount of carbonation. This beer is just about as gulpable as it's possible for an 8.2%'er to be.

Tripels aren't my favorite style, but I must admit that they're growing on me. I would put this one at the top of my list along with Great Lakes Anniversary Ale. I'd have to have them side by side to pick an absolute favorite, but both are excellent domestic versions. Bell's Sparkling Ale is a fine beer and I recommend it heartily to those who have even a passing interest in the style.

Photo of RoyalT
4.13/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

Photo of Dogbrick
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

After browsing this beer several times I always passed it by based on the label. Sparkling ale? Only after reading the fine print did I see that it was a Belgian. Pours a lightly cloudy dark golden color with a medium thin off-white head. Thin lacing. The aroma is a nice concoction of spice, malt and a little sweet fruit. Medium-bodied with a strong wheat character and flavors of malt, citrus and spice. Some alcohol is evident at times too. The finish is rather short and leaves a lingering yeast taste. This is a pretty good beer but doesn’t compete with the better Belgians out there, especially considering the price.

Photo of winomark
3.08/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Beautiful medium gold with a very thick bone white head. Very vigorous carbonation. Herbal notes dominate, with some good malt and (wheat?) tones. Lots of tropical esters; bananas and stone fruits. Mild hop herbiness subtle in the finish. Light mouthfeel, but fairly flavorful and slightly sweet. IMO, a good interpretation of a tripel style ale. Not a fave of mine, but worth a try.

Photo of silenius
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a clear glowing bright gold with a large champagne-like head. Very little bit of carbonation appearing as bubbles in the glass. Some yeasty floaties lurk toward the bottom of the glass.

Smells sweet with some cinnamon/nutmeg/clove spices coming in with a touch of hops spicing. A little apple cider in there as well.

Taste is amazingly big for such a light colored beer. Thick sweet candy and maple syrup. Some stinging clove and hop spice on the end.

Mouthfeel is thick, creamy, and syrupy. There was some carbonation bite on the end.

This may get a little cloying during the second bottle, so drinkability suffers.

On a side note, I usually don't like the lighter Bell's offerings, but this is the lightest I have had and I like it. I feel the alcohol flush after just one (empty stomach?) There must be some non-linear relationship between color and flavor in Bell's beers. I must investigate further. . . .

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

Sampled from 12oz bottle.

Appearance: cloudy, golden honey color. Lots of suspended particles, HUGE head.

Smell: malty, belgian yeast, cottony vanilla sents

Taste: Biscuity, dry malt; hints of oak, bitter orange peel

Mouthfeel: dry, slightly carbonated, slightly puckering

Drinkability: Good, unique, hides the alcohol well

Photo of lackenhauser
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a somewhat hazy golden color with a nice tight head that remained for the most part down the glass.Nice aroma-somewhat floral,fruity.Malty flavor-tart with a slight residual sweetness.Has the typical Belgian "wang" to it.Full mouthfeel-leaves you with a mild puckering.Decent beer-quite enjoyable.

Photo of UncleJimbo
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz amber bottle, capped, no date.

This abbey style ale poured a hazy, golden color with creamy, fluffy, slightly off-white foam that persisted, clung to the glass, and coated the glass. The smell was a nice, strong fruity, vinous, faintly sweet aroma with some Belgian malt notes. The taste was tangy and vinous and lightly malty with moderate hoppiness and an astringent, dry finish. The mouthfeel was dry and crisp and sparkling. The body was medium with strong carbonation. Overall it was clean, and it was slightly warming. This was a nice, crisp "tripel".

Thanks to at least 3 BAs who sent me this one (feloniousmonk, MJR, WVbeergeek); it was worth the wait as perhaps it improves with age.

Photo of aracauna
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ok, what a relief. I was trying to figure out just what the hell was going on with this one. I was expecting a lighter refreshing summer type ale, and what I got wasn't fitting into my expectations. My bottle was very fresh as the yeast poured in as a cloud instead of chunks. Very cloudy medium gold with a thick white head that sticks to the sides of the glass. Pineapple and banana and a good bit of spice in the arome. Lightly sweet malt flavor is a bit of a letdown after the aroma, but still tasty. The name is appropriate given the plentiful and constant streams of tiny bubbles.

Photo of mikeys01
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 12oz bottle. Poured into my glass a light golden color, somewhat hazy, and whitecapped with a fine thick white head that sticks around for quite some time. Aromas of yeast and bread rising, with a hint of spice and alcohol in the nose as well. Taste is absolutely delicious, complex, and very drinkable for a tripel, even an "American" tripel as Bell's calls it. Starts out sweet and bready-malty at first then roils into a complex blend of hop bitterness, tangly spice, and hints of orchard peach and lemon. Finish is nicely dry and just a bit sour, with a nice hint of warmth. Very drinkable stuff, wish I had more than this one bottle....

Photo of Morris729
4.4/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy golden color with noticeable flakes of sediment floating throughout the beer. Nose is quite sweet with aromas of candied sugar, fruity yeasts, and a bit of Belgian spice. Light to medium in body with a very fine carbonation that is a bit zesty and spritzy in nature. As with the aroma, the taste starts off sweet with flavors of cane sugar and apricots followed by some citrus fruit and sweet malt. Next comes a good deal of spiciness with notes of coriander, clove, white pepper, and some vanilla extract towards the end. To me, this was sort of like Duvel with a good dose of extra sugar added—pretty darn tasty. Thanks to faernt for the sample!

Photo of putnam
4.47/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a misleading and confusing name for this beer. It has nothing to do with the original "sparkling ale" style originated in Australia. Shame on Kalamazoo Brewing Co.!

Foggy orange in color with a brief, white dome of creamy suds. The aromas are an enticing blend of toast, butter and orange marmalade. On the palate it is pleasantly bitter - from beginning to end - and drenched with flavors of peach skins, root vegetables, orange peel, and noble tannins. Cutting edge, bitterly hopped Belgian-style Triple and one of the best Bell's beers of any style.

Photo of LuckySevens82
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle.
Pours a champaign color with a nice ivory head. This is one carbonated brew, the head lingers because of it. It looks kind of like ginger ale.
Smell is of ripe fruits and light malts.
Taste is very complex as I would expect a tripel to be. The flavor is dominated by sweet malts, hints of banana, plum and peaches. I think I detected a bit of a bubblegum flavor, which is a little odd for the style in my opinion. Hops are present, and nicely balance out the brew.
This one has a great mouthfeel, the carbonation is nice and leads to a nice, dry, finish.
While this one was interesting, I don't think I could drink too many of them. This was a little bit sweeter than I like a tripel as well. Still a solid offering from a solid brewerey.

Photo of 99bottles
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I saw some bottles of this and after I came home and found out it was a tripel, I figured I had to see how theirs is. Why not call it a tripel? I was very confused, thinking it was some beer-champagne hybrid. Sparkling? Kinda. I'm pretty sure mine is 'aged' in the sense its been on a shelf awhile, but its in the dark, it's taken care of and that's quite alright with me.
The beer pours a nice cloud of gold tinted with orange. A crispy little head kind of pops out into a inch or so, but goes away. I don't know what is 'sparkling' about this. It has suspended particles of spice and probably sediment, but it's the strangest thing I've ever seen. They are suspended in place, as if the beer was jello. Hold it up, shake it, they just stick there. Cool, but weird.
It smells really nice. Very esteric, very phenolic. Lemony yeast and reminiscence of hefeweizens woft from it, then the powerful alcohol catches up and gives a little punch in the nose.
The taste is nice. Now I see the sparkle. It has an evervescence somewhat unbecoming of a tripel. It's very similar IMO to golden monkey, except with more spice and tingle. Banana, of course, and pear, lots of bready yeast.
The mouth on this guy is perfect. Slick and alcoholic, but with enough carbonation to make it go down easy. Leaves small coating when swallowed, but really very nice.
Drinkability? Good for a tripel. I'd have another. I just may as the bottom of this one is pretty clumped up with junk and I think my other one won't last. Very good overall. I definitely reccomend it.

Photo of pezoids
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I came to this beer after an Expedition Stout and it’s the difference between night and day (well almost - their nearly as strong!) This poured a pale, hazy dull gold color and was topped off with a white cream like head of foam. Nice light and spicy aroma of grainy fruits. Good blend of dry spiciness and sweet malts. Yeasty, with an assertive sour tang in the finish. I love the spiciness in this beer – it blends together perfectly with the dryness that the alcohol creates. Lemony and peppery. This is a refreshing Trippel. Strong and sweet, sour, citric and dry – all at once. I’ve had better examples, but this is very nice overall.

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

orange tinted hazy gold in color. big frothy white head. aggresive carbonation machine-guns CO2 to the top. spicy clove and clean biscuty aroma. medium bodied, lively and crisp on the tounge. loads of pale malt flavors with an earthy biscuity undertow. big hit of belgian spiciness (corriander? orange peel?) in the middle followed by an assertive saaz type hop bite. then things get strange. there is a subtle but lingering bitterness that is not really pleasant as you finish your sip. seems weird. i've never tasted this before. sort of brings the beer down a notch. still enjoyable once you get past it. could pass for duvel if things didn't get funky at the end. regardless, a solid american tripel.

Photo of BeerResearcher
4.43/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle. No freshness date.
A smell of fresh squeezed apples is noticed at first pour. Clovey spices, oranges and floral hops spring into action. A hint of alcohol lingers in the background.
Sweet caramel flavors, biscuity malt and the taste of fresh baked bread lay the foundation for the taste of fresh whole hop flowers and citrusy bitterness. A proper dash of cloves, peppery spices and coriander flavors compliment the overall glass. I was expecting more of a Champaign-like effervescence, and was relieved that it was more like what I had hoped for. Nice Beer!
Thanks Feloniousmonk!

Photo of beergeek279
4.45/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in the 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. The color is golden, with a nice white head with good retention. The smell is a honey sweetness. The taste is honey sweet, with a very fruity, floral character to it, and no really noticable alcohol. Mouthfeel was average. As for drinkability, could have several of these.

This is honestly amongst the best tripels I've ever had. A nice floral sweetness with only a slight yeasty character makes this a great beer, and one I'll hope to have again in the future.

Bell's Sparkling Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 528 ratings.