1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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: 33
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 528 | Reviews: 364 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nomad
3.23/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

In a chalice this beer is a shimmering light orange, with just about no head on top. Shows a small amount of carbonation, especially for the style, but does show thin and wide lacing on the glass.

Smells of a light honey, dried flowers, rose hips, and dry and bitter spikes of floral hops. A zesty yet moderate body of scents.

For taste, its body is of chewy flavors similar to oats and wheat paired with some hop punch, the most hops I've evered experienced in a triple. These settle into a minty zing with a floral sense, balanced by a very light sweet tinge, like a blonde and floral honey. Also has some subtle bits of apple and pear, finishing with a mouth-warming angelic hum of alcohol, and a yeasty bread wash pasting the tongue.

Complex but a bit too much hoppy bitterness for the style, in my opinion, and this Styrian-sort of wallop further underscores the bready and yeasty tones a bit too much in the lingering finish.

nomad, Feb 27, 2004
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.38/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: A 12 ounce bottle with the generic Bell’s style label. A large letter ‘S’ is surrounded by Hops and Barley Malt. The obverse label holds no clues to what is inside, but the reverse label describes this as an American Triple and correlates it with a “glass of the bubbly”. No strength or best before date listed.

Appearance: Gorgeous golden body with tangerine flashes when lit from behind. Streamers rise to contribute to the underside of the pugnacious fluffy and uneven white head that readily forms, and appears to want to leap out of the glass onto the end of your nose. Constant delicate swirling retains a decent looking head, but it collapses without attention. Solid levels of conditioning in this one. Has a viscous look when slowly swirled.

Nose: Bread like toasted malts and spicy hops with some light citric fruits in the back end. As this warms the spicy fruits and peppery hops really break though in the latter third. Strong and invasive, this one is not shy when it comes to tickling the nasal passage.

Taste: Toasted malts and bready wheat influences quickly build to a spicy bitter hop-soaked middle. Bitter lemons and a black peppers and a longer lingering spicy hoppy finish rasps the tongue and leaves a bitter tingle for some time.

Mouthfeel: Solid feel, with a long lingering warming finish on the gullet. Powerful feel that like Snickers, satisfies.

Drinkability: Not exactly one for wolfing down, but one that will accompany you easily for a long time, and even through a meal. I partnered this with some Sharp English Cheddar and it was robust enough to handle it.

Overall: A very nice drink and a damn fine offering. Westmalle-ian at times.

Wow, Thanks to BigHuge for this Tripel-tastic Beer – Recommended.

TheLongBeachBum, Feb 02, 2004
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.43/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

WVbeergeek, Jan 31, 2004
Photo of jreitman
4.43/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A quite outstanding brew. Was not expecting a belgian style ale, but was happily surprised to find one in the bottle. The aroma of candi sugar and tropical fruit was a wonder to behold. The flavor was nicely balanced between sweet chewy malt and acidic grapefruit flavors. An obscenely well crafted brew and a pure joy to drink. Could easily make this a session beer if it weren't for the high alcohol as it is incredibly easy to drink.

jreitman, Jan 22, 2004
Photo of chilidog
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought this brew for New Years not really knowing it was a abbey tripel or what to expect. As soon as I opened it, bubbles formed in the bottle neck. On a careful pour I got an inch of liquid brew and one massive head. I let it sit as the hazy amber gold settled back to liquid from the bottom up. The head was white fluffy, lace sticks around all glass long. The aroma of flower, hop, and citrus. The taste was lemon-lime citrus, hop, slight malt backed by a soft (but noticed) hint of alcohol. The mouth is left tart. I should of bought more for the cellar. I agree, the sweetness of this 2003 had not developed yet. But a good brew of bubbly to be had, Happy New Year!

chilidog, Jan 04, 2004
Photo of lampkins
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When I initially picked up this beer @ the store and saw Abbey Tripel, I thought a poweful albeit flatter beer. Sorry that is just my impression of Abbey Tripels. Boy was I wrong after tasting the craft brew. Like other reviews have noted this beer pours smooth and hazy which gives the beer a velvet like head.

Smell is very yeasty almost hefe weizen like, detect aromas of orange marmalade on white toast.

Taste is great, it is like drinking a hefe weizen with a powerful kick at the end. I sense a good deal of carbonation that I normally don't detect in other Tripels. It is a combination of champagne and ale.

Like this beer a lot, but frown a drinking too many, given the high alcohol content.

lampkins, Dec 24, 2003
Photo of beerluvr
4.7/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a plain white head that settles over a cloudy orangey/amber liquid. Some very slight sulfury notes in the nose that are whisked away by a nice fruity-yeasty aroma. The taste...oh the taste, it's a stunning mix of Belgian candi sugar, tropical fruits, sweet chewy malts, bitter hops and alcohol. You can actually taste each individual flavor component here, ultra-complex and delicious! It finishes as awesome as it began: kick-ass bitter, fruity and potent. Another Bell's winner here! Oh how I wish I lived where these beers are availiable locally :o)

Thanks CRJMellor!

beerluvr, Dec 21, 2003
Photo of Gusler
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a muzzy light yellow-orange color with a pythonic sized head that is brilliant white in color with the texture creamy and the lace a heavy blanket to keep the glass covered. Hint of lemon-lime, crisp and fresh to the senses, sweet at the back with the start malt laden and mild in its sweetness, the top moderate in its feel. Finish is rigorous in its acidity and the hop titillating in their spiciness, quite dry and somewhat tart aftertaste, a quite tasty brew.

Gusler, Dec 18, 2003
Photo of faernt
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been collecting this beer for three years. I'm simultaneously reviewing beer purchased in January of 2002, December 2002, and November 2003. Over the past two days I drank them in order from oldest to youngest.
They have color in common. The oldest is slightly darker than the others but generally they are all the color of honey. The oldest has beautiful lace which sticks to the glass in consecutive rings. It's a sweet sticky beer but the December 2002 is even sweeter with its lace similar. The 2003 has light lace and the sweetness has not yet appeared. The 2003 is almost still in pieces with the hops still bitter and the sweetness not yet appearing in the malt. The 2003 is so young that it tastes like a different recipe. I have some in reserve to taste later to see what happens.
This beer makes reserving examples of annual bottlings worthwhile.

faernt, Dec 14, 2003
Photo of Brent
3.18/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was a bit let down by this beer. The aroma was very nice - quite spicy with orange, coriander and clove - along the lines of a spiced-up witbier. Not a lot the aroma translated into the flavor. Up front a quick hit of some yeast fruit, and then the flavor washed out. The middle was rather flavorless, and the finish was a nondescript bitterness. The label noted that it was an "American tripel" - I guess this is like the "American wheat" interpretations - bland and without soul.

Brent, Dec 11, 2003
Photo of clvand0
3.3/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I don't know what I was expecting when I picked this beer up, but it wasn't what I was expecting. Pours an orange color with a large head and leaves a little lacing on the glass - lots of floaty stuff. The aroma is mostly citrus and yeast - not too strong. The flavor is big. Be prepared. The citrus and the yeast pack a strong punch when you taste it. There are also some spices in the flavor. The alcohol is very evident in the taste, but blends pretty well. The drinkability isn't as high as I would like, but it's a pretty decent beer once you get used to it. Very unique.

clvand0, Dec 02, 2003
Photo of tavernjef
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy light golden yellow color, medium white head bubbly head appears, fades somewhat quickly to a thickly foamed ring around the edge and a firm skim on top. Good sticky lacing of every kind, sheets, spots, and strings. Complexing aroma of spice and crispness, solid waft of clove, underlaying tones of minerals/medicinal yeast, and citrus peels. Wheat malts standout with light hops in parts of the back, and alcoholic warmth smolders through. Taste is crispy and malty with a quick citrusy start, sweet and candyish, subdued clove and spicy medicinal yeast bring forward a popping mouthfeel of zip but doesn't last, jumping quickly to the finish with a dry and light peppery end. Feel is of a solid medium body and a nice easy carbonation which makes for smooth drinking. Smoothes out even more as it warms. A fine Triple style, but surprisingly mild for Bell's.

tavernjef, Dec 02, 2003
Photo of CRJMellor
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours syrupy to golden yellow/orange color with a thick effervescent head. Slightly hazy.
Classic Belgian triple aroma, "cough syrupy", grass, malt and other subtle spice aromas
Tastes sweet with cloves, orange peel ?

Alcohol is present to style but not too much. Finshes pretty dry.
(Note to self: More than two of these and call a cab !)

An overall very nice beer and nice part of Bell's lineup.
Have also had it on draft before and it was even better.

CRJMellor, Nov 24, 2003
Photo of granger10
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A beautiful pour here. Orangish gold and cloudy in appearance. Large head that was sticky and foamy. Intense amounts of bubbles rising to the top with a good amount of yeast floating around. I could look at this all day long. I couldn't get too much from the nose of this beer, kind of champagne in smell. But the taste hit you like a bag of bricks! A sweet precense hit my tongue first followed immediately by a citrusy and tarty fruit taste. Hoppiness is at the end but not really that noticeable. Strong flavors of yeast and peppery spices finish up this complex and well made brew from Kalamazoo. I must get this one again.

granger10, Nov 15, 2003
Photo of AtLagerHeads
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a big beer. The look is very cloudy light amber just full of chunky particles of yeast. The head rises enormously in lusty display of ivory foam and retains for a minute before shrinking back and remaining as a quarter inch of lacing engine. This has great gobs of sticky lace that spots the glass with gusto. Plenty of carbonation at the start.

The nose is yeasty and a bit small for the look. There is malt to be sure along with fruit and some subtle spice notes. Alcohol also plays into the mix and this comes through in the taste with a great warming sense. The flavor is mostly of fruit and malt with nice yeast notes and spice. The alcohol is subdued here as the flavor of the malt and yeast is BIG. The mouthfeel is full, creamy, and smooth. The drinkability suffers from the bigness of this brew; big and sweet, big alcohol, and big fullness.

A really lovely brew from the folks at Bell's.

AtLagerHeads, Oct 05, 2003
Photo of Sudmissle
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer could be called "Son of" Bell's Third Coast Old Ale. It has a syrupy, sticky mouthfeel and a bubbly carbonated character. The alcohol is apparent, but the overall flavor of the beer is strong enough not to let the alcohol dominate. Not what I would call a session beer, because it is heavy in flavor and alcohol content, but it is a good beer to have when you are in the mood for just one.

Sudmissle, Sep 12, 2003
Photo of waughbrew
4.38/5  rDev +15%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

highly carbonated large yeast chunks very pale orange off-white head lasts a minute or so smells like a creamsicle with big yeast esters and phenolics tastes smooth and well balanced alcohol makes its presence known finishes with a long lingering spiciness reminds me a bit of heavyweight lunacy except this has the phenolics in more control very creamy texture by the end of the beer it was as much from white labs as it was from bells

waughbrew, Sep 02, 2003
Photo of Brian700
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

First off, be carefull.
This beer is merciless, do not try and drink a 6 pack of this and expect to come out of it lookin pretty.

It pours a crisp golden yellow with a lot of suspended sediment making it sort of hazy. Tiny bubbles, Champagne-like. It has a yeasty wheat-like aroma. You cant really smell the alcohol, but its there, believe me. Sweet and smooth. Nice job again from the people at Bells.

Brian700, Sep 01, 2003
Photo of beerguy101
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy gold color. Medium head. Aroma is fruity and yeasty. A medium bodied Belgian Ale. Very typical of a Belgian ale, Fruity and sweet, yeasty and spicy. Flavors are peachy, apricots and a touch of vanilla. Sparkling is a good description. This is a VERY dangerous beer, as there is NO hint of its 10.5% alcohol content. Very smooth. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly sweet

beerguy101, Aug 26, 2003
Photo of xgrigorix
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Twelve ounce brown bottle, no dates.
Pours bright burnt orange, clear and then hazy due to yeast. Creamy looking white head, amazing head retention. Sticky lace clings all over the glass as the head slowly settles.
Aroma is sweet with a hint of citrus. Medium bodied.
Starts off sweet and spicy, then a bright orange flavor pops. A long dry finish lingers with a slight metallic aftertaste.
Sticky sweetness left on my lips.

xgrigorix, Jul 24, 2003
Photo of Bierman9
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up in Dearborn on my brief Red Sox-Tigers weekend junket earlier this month. Bells Sparkler has a somewhat cloudy, orange/golden color. I see some tiny bits of particulate clustered near the bottom of the goblet. Head is white, rich and creamy, leaving a decent display of lacework. Nose exhibits a big, dry quality, with a distinct peppery/spicy nature. A subtle bit of fruit (like orange/apricot) lingers beneath the spice. The body seemed to be about medium, though with an over-abundance of carbonation, it produced a huge bubbly/foamy feel on the tongue. Taste is heavy on the spiciness and peppery quality, and light on the fruitiness. Malt is initially present, in a crackery manner, and the finish is slightly bitter and lingers somewhat in an unappealing manner. Not bad, yet a tad too heavy on the peppery aspect makes it a bit one-dimensional.

overall: 3.85
appearance: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 3.5

592

Bierman9, Jul 23, 2003
Photo of daledeee
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful tall head. Yellow in color. Cloudy if you swirl the yeast out of the bottom. Excellent lace. The nose is good; a little fruit. There is something else there that smells good, but I can't identify it.

Taste is slightly different than other tripels. Less tang and fruit. Malt and hops are prominent. Good mouth feel. Alcohol is amazingly hidden.

I like this beer but there are higher rated tripels.

daledeee, Jun 27, 2003
Photo of Sixpack595
3.48/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy amber with a thick, nearly white head capping it. This beer looks the part, and laces very well. Aroma was a bit weak, and really suggested a bit more Hop than I expected. The taste was a real dissapointment for me. I felt that the hops overpowered all the other flavors I love in a Belgian. The finish was a bit bitter, and the mouthfeel medium bodied. The ABV is very well hidden, and if it tasted better it would quickly put you on your ass before you had any idea what was coming. Not a bad beer, but not what I like in a Trippel

Sixpack595, Jun 26, 2003
Photo of BierReise
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really didn't know what to expect as I poured this ale into my glass. It was a mere coincidence that it resembled the liquid that previously rested in the very same glass, Allagash White. Appearance was amazingly similar, cloudy honey colored with a towering white fluffy head yielding great retention. Aroma was quite accurate to a good Belgien Wit. Sweet and an almost yeasty wheat aroma and slightly sour. Body is very smooth and full with a slight crispness but not as sparkling as I expected. Alcohol of 10% is disguised beautifully. This is a fantastic ale and as good as most Belgiens I've had.

BierReise, Jun 22, 2003
Photo of TheDM
3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours a very envigorated head of fine to medium sized off white bubbles and a carbonated yeasty cloudy golden colored body with a lot of yeast floating in it. Its aroma is very mild and almost non-existant. It had very little lacing. THis brew is very belgian like with a flavor of yeast, bread, flowertry and citrousy. Its mouthfeel is slightly fizzy. Iverall, it is a very nice brew. An American-Belgian ale for indeed.

TheDM, Jun 13, 2003
Bell's Sparkling Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 528 ratings.