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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

524 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 524
Reviews: 364
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 11.81%
Wants: 31
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)
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Ratings: 524 | Reviews: 364 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of marc77
marc77

California

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

Deep golden hue with a light murk. Thick, virtually solid, stiff porcelain white head retains well and leaves roughly textured lace. Soft, but bright, juicy acidic fruit akin to ripe kiwi and starfruit are dominant aromawise. Alcohol provides a heaty undertone, and subdued clove phenol adds a sweetly herbal tinge. Clean & well rounded in aroma. Citrus laced sweetness upfront in flavor is quickly supplemented by a mellow clove and lingering bready malt combination. Breadiness morphs into a oddly thick, pseudosweet, jackfruit and starch melange akin to breadfruit mid palate. Ethanol and fusels are well integrated, and provide a subtle heat, lending a heated tropical compote impression late. Moderate bodied, with a firm, yet smoothly dextrinous mouthfeel. Finishes mostly clean, with a snap of hop bitterness and peppery alcohol yielding to lingering, mellow sweetness. A flavorful, highly drinkable tripel. Not as complex in yeast derived flavor contributions as others, and certainly more dextrinous. Perhaps fermented too low and a touch under attenuated as well. Nevertheless a dangerously balanced brew. Very tasty. Kudos to Feloniousmonk for delivering the bottle of another fine Bells.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2003 19:07:52 | More by marc77
Photo of BeerBuilder
BeerBuilder

Minnesota

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

Pours to a golden/straw color with a creamy off-white head. Leaves good lacing. The aroma reminds me of a Belgian. It has a soft medicinal aroma, with sweet candi sugar. A tad bit of clove and hay-like aromas are present. It is a very unique aroma. The flavor is medicinal, and sweet with an alcohol flavor. It is a medium-full bodied brew with a dry finish. It has a masked alcoholic kick that will definitely sneak up on you. A tasty brew.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2003 08:15:11 | More by BeerBuilder
Photo of bditty187
bditty187

Nebraska

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

Cloudy, hazy gold hue with two fingers of white head, excellent retention, loads of unorganized lace. Yeast sediment settled on the bottom. Spicy, slightly peppery with undercurrents of yeast, citrusy zest, hops, musk… inviting, average potency though. The first sip was dominated by bitter, citrusy hops. Subsequent sips were better balanced with pepper, spice, citrus, and candy. The alcohol was blunt… somewhat unrefined. Highly carbonated, champagne-like… medium bodied. Even with the impressive abv is beer is very drinkable, pleasurable and recommended. It is a good stab at a Belgium Tripel.

Thanks feloniousmonk!

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2003 14:34:01 | More by bditty187
Photo of jtw5877
jtw5877

Ohio

4.8/5  rDev +26%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer pours a clear golden hue with a white head. An excellent ale, Malty, Yeasty, Spicy, and warming. This is a really good representation of a triple, yet from Michigan. A very enjoyable beer. It's cool to see brewers take on complex styles like this.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2003 18:21:17 | More by jtw5877
Photo of jackndan
jackndan

Illinois

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

Bell’s Sparkling Ale: What a tremendous head, three inches of solid white foam that lasts and lasts. It will take several minutes before the head dissipates and I can try my first sip. A deep golden yellow. The beer is very hazy, with suspended particulates. The aroma is very nice and appealing: oranges and just a touch of parsley. The initial sip shows off the high carbonation levels of this beer. The taste is very fruity, with oranges and a hint of bananas. There is a hint of sourness toward the end, that is not only not unpleasant, but really helps to balance out the sweetness of the fruits. Boy, for a beer with something north of 10 percent alcohol, it is not that noticeable, except for a little warmth deep in the throat. Very nice.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2003 15:35:21 | More by jackndan
Photo of JohnnyDuvel
JohnnyDuvel

Florida

3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Initially, I could have been fooled that I was drinking a Duvel. The appearance, with that lemon-meringue head, that somewhat sour taste, etc. But, as you go on, you notice the difference. There is something in the aftertaste that doesn't sit as well. Whereas, with a Duvel, I crave another, I don't think I'd drink more than one. It doesn't seem to hit at 10.25%, either. I won't go into any more detail, but this is similar to several great Belgian beers, and it doesn't miss by too much. I'm sure if any of the homebrewers on the site tried to make a "Duvel" and came up with this, they'd be thrilled. I'm sampling several Bell's beers (thanks, Monk!) and so far, I'm impressed.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2003 20:27:14 | More by JohnnyDuvel
Photo of Mitchster
Mitchster

Michigan

5/5  rDev +31.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Fermented with both Trappist and Belgian yeast.

OG=1.075, 8.2% ABV.

Geesh almighty! After opening the bottle with a solid "whoosh", this beer pours out brilliantly clear golden with orange accents. After a careful pour, the head touched the rim of the glass, but like a Chia-Pet, it literally forms a peak before your eyes, escaping out of the glass! The head is white with a meringue-like consistency atop small to medium-sized bubbles. There is monster carbonation, but absolutely perfect for the style, and not overwhelming like the Mythical White Grand Cru or Duvel. Obviously, with any Bell's product, there is going to be variation amongst batches, and some have less or more carbonation than previous batches. The bubbles forms eddys and streamers, and there are little bits of something floating in there (looks like orange pulp?). At any rate this is an exceptional looking beer! Truly a "Sparkling" ale. Adding the yeast forms a cloudy peach with sediment suspended heavily in the thick nectar. The aroma is mouthwatering...spicy, crisp hops, funky basement and dust, hints of burnt rubber, tons of sweet green and red apples, and a brisk wheat note hidden in there as well...Amazing aroma. Lacing is remarkable...one solid sheet of white lace with little punched out holes like patterns on a butterflies wings. Mouthfeel is extremely smooth with a remarkably delicate yet dense body despite the amount of malt used. Taste starts out with a sharp spicy sourness with tons of spicy and phenolic cloves, fading into a remarkably smooth and soft sweet malt body. The malts are firm but amazingly well-balanced. There is then a hefty bunch of sour green apples followed by sharp burnt rubber, an extremely clean and mild hint of the alcohol that is lurking in this brew, followed by a warming sensation in the gullet. The finish is exceptional...toasted grains and smooth bittering hops nicely complementing the lingering wheat briskness and remote flavor of peaches. There is a somewhat rubbery feeling in the mouth despite the moderately dry finish.

I am floored. Reminding me of a cross between La Fin Du Monde, Celis Grand Cru, and Great Lakes Anniversary Ale, this is one of the most exceptional brews I've ever had, comparable to the world's best Grand Cru's. If you love Unibroue's 10 or 11, this is a must-try! This beer is pure punch-drunk love. I'm giggling, and a shit-eating smile erupts across my face. I'm in love.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2003 19:50:19 | More by Mitchster
Photo of AudioGilz
AudioGilz

Pennsylvania

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

It's a little bit orange and pale yellow with some cloudiness and sediment floating. A gargantuan fluffy head forms and stays throughout. The aroma is very citrusy, mostly lemons and grapefruit. Flavors consist of citrus strongly as well, some spiciness, and some warming alcohol in the finish. It's rather smooth for such a high ABV. I'm pretty happy with this beer. It's most definitely worth a try. Anything with the name Bell's has impressed me thus far.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2003 23:48:02 | More by AudioGilz
Photo of proc
proc

Michigan

3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer surprised me. It poured out to a bright color, almost orange in the glass. The aroma was that of light hops. The taste though is where this shines through. Somewhat sweeter than I was expecting from a Bell's beer. Hops are here, but aren't an overwhelming presence and balance quite nicely with the malt. The 10.25% ABV is very well hidden and isn't noticeable.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2003 09:22:33 | More by proc
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

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

A huge, thick effervescent white head crowns a hazy orange color. Some yeast still floats around, then settles at the bottom of the glass. Aroma is sharp, fresh, and lively , full of citrus, (lemon, orange)and spices. The name gives no indication of style, but it's clear , before tasting ,even, that they're going for something in a Belgian style, something close to Duvel, maybe.
Taste is divine, with great hop spark alive on the tongue. Yeast comes in big on the palate, and a large amount of sweetness, too. When I first tried this beer last June, I noted :"Did the sugar truck back up into the vat, and dump it's load?" I don't know if it's me, or if it's this batch, but I'm not turned off by the sweet factor, which isn't as strong.
In the middle, more fruitiness comes through, peach, apricot, but sugar is still strong . Light in body and texture, but full of flavor, and bursting with playful hops. "Sparkling" is the appropriate name for this ale, and Bell's has crafted the best Duvel imitation I've ever tasted, from Belgium, the U.S., or anywhere else in the Universe.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2003 15:36:34 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of mickstepp
mickstepp

Ohio

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

In the glass it looks like a lemon meringue pie. Smells like one too. Huge frothy bright white head. Hazy, yellow effervescent liquid. Very mild flavor. Tart and slightly sour and very lemon-like. Most refreshing and much more suitable for a hot summer day. Enjoyable none-the-less on this cold January evening. I'll remember this brew come August. I'm impressed with this brewery's range, I've always thought of them as Stout makers.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2003 16:51:47 | More by mickstepp
Photo of zerk
zerk

California

4.53/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy golden, with a thin but persistent white head that leaves a nice lace. A nice musty aroma of orange peel, coriander, and malt.. somewhat sweet and doughy. The aroma is somewhat reminiscent of Duvel. Flavor is musty as well... with yeast, toasted malt, coriander, and slightly sweet citrus notes. Very good full body, and a smooth mouthfeel. This is a very good Belgian pale... and is quite unique. Highly drinkable, and deceptively strong. I couldn't believe that it's actually 10.25% ABV! A definate must try if you like Belgian beers!

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2002 16:08:14 | More by zerk
Photo of Jon
Jon

Illinois

3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This ale appears to be a true Belgian at first: deep golden color with a well retaining head and excellent lacing qualities. The nose, however, keeps it from being so. Aroma is of yeast, apple and dried peas. Not too attractive. Taste is similar, with that pea note making itself known more than any spices, hops, yeast, whatever. Mouthfeel is pretty good, but not as prickly as I prefer from a Belgian pale strong ale. Drinkability is fairly strong for a beer of its size, but I'm glad I only bought one bottle. This is one of Bell's weaker efforts, but I applaud the effort overall. For a brewery that specializes in stouts and the like, this isn't too bad for what it's worth.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2002 13:45:47 | More by Jon
Photo of MJR
MJR

Missouri

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

Appearance: Into my goblet, pours a cloudy, sediment-ladened, light-honey colored brew with a one-finger, creamy head that slowly recedes.

Smell: I pick up on an earthy, slighty-musty aroma...does Bell's use a Belgian yeast for this one? A touch of fruit presents itself, as does alcohol.

Taste: The flavor profile is quite interesting here. It's very complex, yet at the same time, it seems to hang in the background. There's a spicy fruit character that is quite strong, along with the earthy, organic flavor from the aroma. Good hop presence and bitterness. Hints of coriander. Has a strong malt background too. The finish is very strange, with a warming, alcohol taste and feel that actually feels a bit hot in the back of my throat. What style were they going for with this one? I'm a bit confused...

Mouthfeel: Light mouthfeel with plenty of carbonation. Finishes very dry and, if this makes any sense, hot. I feel it in the back of my throat...I've never experienced that before.

Drinkability: I like it, but between the high alcohol and the style-confusion this brew suffers from, I can't see myself drinking more than one of these in a single night.

Confused, unique, and interesting...I'll see how my other bottle of this responds to a year or two in the cellar...

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2002 19:13:29 | More by MJR
Photo of maxpower
maxpower

Missouri

3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy glowing golden-orange color, huge off white, foamy head. Fruity citrusy sweet aroma, sweet Champagne-wine like fruity flavor, full body, loaded carbonation like seltzer or champagne, some alcohol in the finish, very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2002 14:05:51 | More by maxpower
Photo of ADR
ADR

Pennsylvania

3.3/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

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...

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2002 09:22:04 | More by ADR
Photo of Wildman
Wildman

Ohio

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

Okay, this beer is Bell's attempt at a Belgian in the sea of it's November Stouts. This beer poured a cloudy golden color with sediment/particles present. It formed a nice white bubbly head that subsided leaving circular lace. An faint aroma of malt and spice. A flavor of malt, hops and grain with some spice element. The finish reminded me a touch of an IPA.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2002 19:20:01 | More by Wildman
Photo of pbrian
pbrian

Connecticut

4.38/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pale golden orange, mildly hazy, small lacy head. Sweet & sour spicy aroma, fruity and yeasty. Taste starts sweet but then the confusion begins. A sourness rolls past the tastebuds. Is it an attempt at a lambic? Nah. Coriander next. A strong Wit? Stupid idea. Dries a littte but stays sweet, finishes astringently bitter. I like this beer but have no idea what I'm drinking.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2002 20:10:56 | More by pbrian
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

4.35/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy, golden-orange body topped by a full frothy white head that eventually receeds to an 1/8" creamy surface covering. The thin head holds exceptionally well (buoyed by carbonation) and leaves some very nice lace. The aroma is fruity, yeasty, and sweet with cookie dough. The body is light/medium with a very fine and lightly effervescent carbonation that leaves it quite creamy in the mouth. The flavor starts lightly tangy and fruity (citrus), then becomes quite creamy in the mouth as it warms & CO2 breaks out of solution enhancing the sweet bready malt. Alcohol, peppery notes and a firm bitterness burst forth... then gently receed with a lingering sweet & fruity (cherries, berries, orange) maltiness in an exceptionally long finish. Quite impressive. Clearly a little bit on the wild side, but also unique. Clearly not a pale ale - definitely a tripel.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2002 15:21:21 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of inebrius
inebrius

Michigan

3.2/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sweet, almost an artificial sweet, odd sweet. Nose is sweet potato casserole with melted marshmallows. Big malt body, did they add candi sugar after fermentation? Alcohol is more apparent in my head than anywhere else. For this beer to be enjoyable I would require a heap more hops to offset the dripping saccharine character or maybe it could be cut with some tonic water. This beer made my teeth hurt.

Cheers to Deuce for the sample!

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2002 22:33:22 | More by inebrius
Photo of ZAP
ZAP

Minnesota

3.13/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Looks great and smells very nice...but tastewise this it has a strong sour/ grain alcohol presence. I guess at 10% you might get that but I would never buy this one again. Really a sour finish...I'm not a big Belgian fan to start with and this one really doesn't sit right for my personal preferences.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2002 21:12:28 | More by ZAP
Photo of cokes
cokes

Wisconsin

2.85/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2002 04:30:57 | More by cokes
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2002 11:28:41 | More by oberon
Photo of Bighuge
Bighuge

Minnesota

4.85/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a white frothy head. Cloudy, pale appearance. Fresh hop aroma. Maybe candi sugar aroma? The aroma reminds me a bit of some of the better Belgian beers that I've had (like De Dolle Stille Nacht). Very slight alcohol taste. Not as much as you'd expect from a 10+ % beer. There is a sour taste present similar to Belgian Beers also. There's a hoppy taste, but this beer is not bitter like an IPA. Pretty easy drinking for 10+ % alcohol. Kalamazoo website describes this beer as a tripple pale ale.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2002 23:52:26 | More by Bighuge
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Bell's Sparkling Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 524 ratings.