Bell's Smitten Golden Rye Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

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Bell's Smitten Golden Rye AleBell's Smitten Golden Rye Ale

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1,499 Ratings
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Ratings: 1,499
Reviews: 292
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 11.75%
Wants: 24
Gots: 206 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Rye Beer |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Biggness on 06-14-2008

Drawn from one of our oldest recipes, Smitten Ale began as part of a series of rye beers at our Eccentric Café. The combination of sharp citrus & resinous flavors from the hops with the earthy, rustic overtones of the rye malt contribution yield an interesting take on the American Pale Ale.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,499 | Reviews: 292
Reviews by starrdogg:
More User Reviews:
Photo of jwc215
3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Packaged on 01/13/15:

Pours slightly hazed golden. A thin lasting white head leaves lacing.

The smell is floral, slightly citric, bready. A hint of minty rye comes through.

The taste is floral, piney, citric, bitter, with a touch of sweetened bread to balance it. There is a subtle hint of minty/spicy rye in the dry finish.

It is light-bodied, a bit fizzy. Crisp.

An easy-drinking, balanced refreshing pale ale with a subtle hint of rye.

Photo of oberon
3.46/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Pours into a standard pint a clear light to medium golden with a great looking sticky over one finger white head that lift multiple rings of broken lace as it settled into a frothy mass.Aromas were just mild with a sharp note of rye over top of light citric hops,again pretty light.Flavors have some decent citric hops and sharp rye notes but they end ebruptly and nothing really lingers.There is some earthiness that comes into play but the flavors seem to die out pretty quickly after a good start.Not one of the better rye ales I have had but it's not horrible by any means.

Photo of tectactoe
3.6/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a somewhat hazy, golden-yellow color, some light amber highlights when held up to the light. A soapy and foamy white head forms and settles at about a quarter-inch where it sits atop the beer for a surprisingly long time. The nose has a very crispy and sharp stature, almost clean and lager-like with mild grains and dryness, most likely from the rye. The hops have an earthy, dirty, and musty appearance, maybe just a bit floral and rosey. All in all, the nose is a little quieter than I would have liked. Even upon letting this warm up a little bit, it never really hits your nostrils that hard and the rye isn't as powerful as I'd hoped for.

The taste has an initial bitter spike from the hops, which retain their musty, earthy, and floral characther. Coupled with the high level of carbonation, Smitten cuts the tongue sharply and feels very crispy and refreshing. This is drinking almost more like a lager than an ale. Some dry rye and bread comes out about midway through and rides into the aftertaste which actually becomes dominated by heavy rye, along with a light bitterness. Some clean yeast flavors on the very tail end, but not really enough to combat the rye. I'm very pleased to see the rye make a big appearance, even if it isn't until nearly the end of the sip. Better late than never, I guess, although I still wish it held a larger stance in the aroma. Medium body with pretty heavy carbonation.

A crispy, tasty, and refreshing ale that feels almost more like a lager. Nice helping of rye, though it would've been nice if it were more "up front" with it. Drinkability is great, but I could see this one getting old fairly quickly. Still a solid choice, though, but there are better rye beers out there.

Photo of SD-Alefan
4.14/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a quite hazy gold with a dense white head that leaves lots of lacing.
Great aroma with hints of citrus and spice, pine, candied fruit and dark bread.
I dig the taste. Pine and citrus up front with hints of spice and a lingering bitter, resinous bite.
Great mouthfeel, smooth and almost creamy.
Thoroughly enjoyable beer.

Photo of warnerry
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle #336 of 508

A - Pours a clear pale copper with one finger or so of off-white head. Head has decent retention but leaves only small spots of lacing.

S - Quite a bit of malt in the aroma. A faint spiciness, but really much going here.

T- Nice spicy rye up front, along with some floral hops. Malt becomes very prominent in the middle. Finishes with a bit of bitterness and spice. Pretty nice, if not the most complex taste around.

M - Mouthfeel is slightly watery in the middle, but finishes nice and dry.

O - Pretty good beer with a nice rye presence, but otherwise nothing really sticks out. Enjoyable, but not sure this warranted being in the 750 series.

Photo of Wolvmar
4.05/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Gets mixed reviews but one of my favorites. A beer that grows on you; at least that was my experience.

Photo of tigg924
4.2/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

In my opinion, what Bells does as well as any brewery is take ordinary styles and perfects them. They make super clean and tasty offerings of styles that I would not be as excited to drink a six pack of. Smitten is no exception. The beer tastes somewhat leafy, very citrusy, and has a touch of spice from the rye. Not the most complex brew, but wow is this juicy and drinkable. This is one that I will certainly revisit.

Photo of Jstewart6
3.09/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

My 2nd beer from Bell's and my 2nd let down. The label to me explains how it tastes. As a kid we would dare each other to break the stem of a dandelion and lick the white stuff....this beer taste like that. Very bitter and immediately after sipping I feel my sinuses clear. The after taste taste like a generic beer to me.

Photo of bsp77
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Cloudy orange with moderate stark white head and minimal lacing.

Smell: Sharp citrus, almost like orange zest and lemon rind. Some breadiness. Much of the aroma dies off after a few minutes, and it just smells bitter and dry.

Taste: Bready backbone, with strong juicy hop citrus overtones of orange and lemon. Some earthy, floral and spicy notes on the finish. Quite bitter.

Feel: Medium body with moderate carbonation. Very dry finish.

Overall: This is a very good hybrid of an American Blonde Ale and IPA, with some rye flourishes. Refreshing and crisp.

Photo of NilocRellim
3.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This ale poured from a bottle a nice golden and cloudy colour. There was visible sediment in the bottle that was seen before even pouring into the pint glass. Ale smelled of rye and citrus hops, and tasted of bitter hops and rye. Very strong flavors. Sweet malt notes blended well with the citrus hops, and lingered on in the aftertaste.

Would I buy this beer again? Maybe.

Photo of Franziskaner
3.76/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Light copper in color with lots of tiny sediment suspended within the body. A quarter inch off white head rests on top. Brussels lacing. I smell earthy rye and a bit of citrus hops in the background. The flavor is a blend of bitter citrus hops and earthy rye, but the hops dominate until after the fade. If it wasn't for the lingering rye I would bill it as a rye IPA. The mouth is moderately carbonated with some stickiness from the hops.

Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Some lighter malts on the nose, spice, light fruit – almost grape, light, some alcohol warming, medium to a little more on the carbonation, brilliant straw color.

Photo of MattyG85
4.16/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams "Perfect Pint" glass. Bottled on 01/18/2013.

Appearance: Pours a fairly hazy golden orange with a lot of fast rising bubbles. Big four finger off white head with good retention. Leaves a lot of lacing around the glass.

Smell: Aroma is a mix of spicy rye and a mix of hops and malt. Big hints of rye giving a big kick of spice. Earthy and floral hops along with a scent of citrus orange, pineapple, tangerine, and lemon. Also some grass and pine. Soft malts with hints of biscuit, hay, caramel, and yeast. A little bit of honey and a slight hint of peat. The rye and citrus stands out the most from the mix. A pretty good spicy smell.

Taste: Follows the smell, a spicy and citrus forward taste of rye and hops. Big taste of rye spice throughout. Solid mix of earthy, floral, and herbal hops. Good taste of citrus orange, tangerine, lemon, and pineapple. A little sugar and honey. Soft pale malts with notes of biscuit, hay, caramel, toffee, yeast, and a little peat. Taste is somewhat laid back but well balanced and solid. The spice from the rye is pretty good.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Crisp, spicy, and somewhat juicy. Finishes dry.

Overall: A pretty solid rye beer. Good spice and citrus taste.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.87/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Listening to Dr. John on Spotify goes great with this light summer/spring brew from Bell's...color is a kiss of orange/apricot preserves with a whipped head that brings a beige cream colored head forms thick with fine even banded lacing poured into a Tripel Karmeliet chalice. Aroma heavy hitting with floral citrus based hops, underlying hints of spicy rye malts with signature Bell's house yeast strain glowing through like your favorite artisanal crusted bread. The nose hits with orange marmalade like notes heavy on the peel, glazed with sweetness from the malts and balanced with the rye sharpness. Flavor is melding well, heavy bitterness with minimal crashing waves of alcohol seeping through this beer is sending out a lovely message, refreshment with hop bitterness. Someone had to do it I'm glad it's a great company like Bell's, I'm going to quit trying to act like somebody else and just enjoy what's good and not what's popular. I don't see this beer getting raved about, let me start the bandwagon, it's fuckin' good simply pleasurable well crafted American pale ale. The more I taste and smell this beer I'm getting limoncello with spiced rye grains bleeding through the alcohol, not nearly as strong but the same presence. Mouthfeel is creamy textured with hints of nuttiness on the sides of my palate, ample flowing carbonation this beer is smooth but still has that lingering rough hop oil bitterness that most "normal" beer drinkers don't care for, however I'm a "hophead" and I wouldn't expect anything less. Overall high quality well thought out beer, that I'm pleasured to sample a bottle of keep 'em coming good stuff from our friends up in Michigan.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.3/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a teku)
Bottled 1/18/13
A- This beer has a hazy golden yellow body with lots of hops jetsam suspended while big bubbles push their way to the surface. The thin snow white head sticks to the glass and soon forms a thick ring.

S- The green British hops have a bright pungent woody herbal quality to them with a fresh pale malt note that is a bit dry coming through as it warms.

T- The green pungent hops have a British hop character and a papery quality to them. There is a full spicy hop or rye character in the finish. An earthy rye note comes through as the dry finish opens a bit. The woody herbal hops pungent flavor lingers in the aftertaste but it is never overly bitter.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a scrubbing fizz that cuts into the hop flavor until it dies back a bit.

O- The great hop flavor and nice rye support is full and tasty but it is dry enough and light enough in the body that it is very drinkable as a session beer.

Photo of CloudStrife
3.84/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Bottled on 1/27/14.

A: Pours a slightly hazy golden yellow with a white head on top. Some small floaties in the glass give it the haze. Leaves some lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: The aroma is a blend of hops and rye malts. A bit of a citrusy floral note to the hop. The rye provides some bready toasty qualities.

T: Focus of the flavor is really on that rye malt. A bit sweet with a spice like quality, the rye is real solid. Hops give it a balance with a mild fruitiness. Aftertaste comes back around with a toasty rye flavor.

M: Light to medium body with ample carbonation. Clean refreshing finish with good drinkability.

Overall I'm a huge rye fan so this is an enjoyable brew. Solid balance and easy drinking.

Photo of timc100
3.47/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Very hazy pale orange with lots of chucks floating around. Solid foamy white head that sticks around.

S: Very mild. Lemon citrus, very slight orange/coriander, bread. Very dry

T: Much like the nose, but brighter. Biting citrus, hay/bread/spice melange of sorts. Dry and refreshing

P: Nice, do not really notice it - active carbonation, light-medium bodied.

O: Nice beer, would be better in hotter months.

Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.94/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the 12 ouncer into a pub glass.

A- Big foamy, frothy, pale white head that dissipates into a plateau. Golden/copper liquid is hazy and showing mellow carbonation.

S- Resinous, dank piney hops hit my nose first, then mild notes of rye and malt.

T- Citrusy and sweet. The rye emerges at the finish to provide some spiciness. Even getting some orange or grapefruit peel in there. The malt is low-key. Rye and grapefruit provide a long finish.

M- Very light and thirst-quenching. Has a pleasant creaminess and a slight burst of carbonation on the finish.

O- Another good beer from Bell's. This beer seems like a great session beer, although I say that without having checked the ABV.

Photo of mbratt93
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

this beer was just alright. nothing special. easy to drink but lacking anything memorable.

Photo of TheSixthRing
4.03/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours hazy golden orange with an off-white finger width head. Good retention, leaving behind a healthy layer of microbubbles atop the surface. Spotty lacing with good stick.

Smell - Bready, slight caramel, with moderate citrus tones and a touch of rye spice at the tail end.

Taste - Strong bready presence upfront and throughout. Rye spice kicks in shortly thereafter, and coincides with the juicy orange hop character, both of which strengthen toward the finish. The result is a sweet, bready, orange aftertaste with a mellow peppery spice.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, with low to moderate carbonation. Somewhat creamy. Finishes semi-dry.

Overall - This is a pretty awesome pale rye ale. Flavor-wise, reminds me a bit of Deschutes Red Chair. Solid all-around balance, with an interesting mix of flavor. Bring this to California, please!

Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An easy drinking ale. Prevalent but not edgey rye flavour, a decent pale ale level of IBU. Good drinkability. Floral. Cloudy golden colour with a good lasting head. A bit above average mouthfeel. Bottle from February 2012, thanks Steve.Rich, satisfying.

Photo of tdm168
4.16/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - orange with a thin lacing of white head; a lot of floating hop sludge

S - intense, peppery rye; some spicy hop notes; and some faint citrus notes

T - peppery, rye, some spicy hop notes, faint herbal notes, mildly bitter hop finish

M - medium bodied, smooth, well carbonated

This is a decent beer. The rye is forward and intense. and the hop character is very complementary. There are some subtle, underlying citrus and herbal notes as well. Though not terribly complex, I am impressed with its drinkability. I really enjoy a rye beer especially a rye beer that showcases the rye as the primary ingredient rather than a secondary element. This is worth a try for all rye fans.

Photo of secondtooth
3.79/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours golden and semi-cloudy due to massive chunks of sediment. My bottle is dated only a month ago, so I have no explanation for this. Regardless, there's a wealth of lovely and attractive lace.

Nose is malty and appealing, with a hint of hops. Not bad.

Taste is pleasantly hopped, with nice citrus notes and a slight bitterness. Didn't get a lot of the rye in the mix (which is fine with me), just a well-hopped pale ale. Tasty, well-done, and very enjoyable!

Photo of tjsdomer2
3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Golden yellow, almost orange. Lots of yeast. Very rustic, but a tad flat. Overall, the lacing is very nice...again...rustic.

Smell: Freshly mown lawn and dandelions, like the one on the bottle. Slightly sour.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Sweet corn and a hint of flowers. Quite herbal. Not a whole lot of rye. Pretty good. Fairly creamy, but a bit too thin. Too light-bodied for a rye.

Overall: A light rye beer is a cool idea, put not great in practice. It is good though.

Photo of zaphodchak
3.51/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Bell's Tap Takeover at Mellow Mushroom in Charlottesville, VA.

Cloudy, gold, finger of creamy whitish head. Laces some.

Some rye on the nose, trace of vinegar.

Wheat with some rye tang and hop kick. Summery.

Excellent, so creamy and wheaty.

Overall fine, a slightly bitter-er summer beer.

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Bell's Smitten Golden Rye Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
83 out of 100 based on 1,499 ratings.