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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,010 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1010
Reviews: 203
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 12.02%

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

Style | ABV
Rye Beer |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Biggness on 06-14-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,010 | Reviews: 203 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Golfbeer


4.73/5  rDev +29.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I picked up a 6-pack of this beer the other day at Franklin Fine Wine in Royal Oak. I have never had a Bell's beer I didn't like, so I figured this one would be a good choice. And it was. I like just about any craft beer, but this is one of my favorites of the month. It had great flavor. A nice hearty flavor, but not bitter and not too filling. This is a great beer. I encourage you not to run to the store and buy them all, because I'd like to have them all for myself.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2013 03:46:43 | More by Golfbeer
Photo of busternuggz


4.71/5  rDev +28.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Center poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass. Bottle date of 1-18-13.

Beautiful golden/straw color with a puffy, finely bubbled head. Leaves a thick ring of sudsy lace.

Big, sharp, bright aromas of bitter orange, spicy rye, fresh grass, grapefruit zest. A little bit of grainy bread. Very nice, full and inviting.

Lively rye malt leads in to nice bitter grapefruit and orange zest, rye spice, bitter grassiness. Hop forward but very well balanced. Finishes dry with a long, pleasantly bitter herbal/rye aftertaste. Harmonious, bright, and very clean. Manages to be both intense and very drinkable at the same time. This beer is beautifully made.

Crisp, light texture, very smooth, ends clean and dry. Fades out with subtlety and leaves you wanting more.

This beer is immaculate. Superbly crafted, amazing balance, straightforward and clean with a nice complexity. This beer is about everything I could want from an American pale ale. My favorite beer this year so far, hands down.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2013 05:38:47 | More by busternuggz
Photo of carlborch


4.56/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a brilliant golden-tan with a significant amount of minuscule flocculates - almost hazy. Produces a creamy, thick, 2 inch off-white head. Poured a second carefully and "candled" - stopped pouring when the flocculates reached the neck. The ale does have a slight haze! Beautiful, fresh citrus and hoppy nose. Bright, clean, spicy palate that lingers. Totally moreish. Perceptively sessionable, although the 6% ABV may be a concern. Develops a very nice Belgian lace. Forward bitter notes with lingering malt and woody-earthy notes! Poured a third . . .

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2013 16:22:10 | More by carlborch
Photo of woodychandler


4.55/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

I picked this up during my latest foray to Mari's 6-Pak 'n' Mor in Reading and have been awaiting the right moment to open it. I believe the flower of the label to be a daisy and that last petal represents "She loves me" as it applies to my Old Lady, a kitten with whom I am smitten.

From the bottle: "With wonderfully bitter citrus notes, resinous hop flavors and earthy overtones, this interesting take on the American Pale Ale doesn't leave a lot of room to wonder if you'll love it."

I allowed the beer to flow freely from the bottle until the foaming head threatened to pass over the lip of the glass. I easily had two fingers of French Vanilla-colored head with not only great retention, but as it fell, it was creating great lacing in its wake. Color was a cloudy orangish-yellow, like freshly squeezed grapefruit juice. The nose was to die for! It had the black pepper of the rye along with a very earthy scent, like digging in the garden. Mouthfeel was medium and the black pepper flavor was immediately evident on the tongue. It combined nicely with the grapefruit flavor of the hops. This is an APA?!? Wow! The finish was dry, especially with that lingering flavor of freshly-turned soil. I would have this again real soon, hopefully to share with the Old Lady.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2013 15:55:23 | More by woodychandler
Photo of 1mrbeer


4.46/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Saw this today at Meijer and decided to pick up a 6 pack.Sure am glad I did.Poured into a pilsner glass about 1 inch of head that faded but left nice lacing.Has nice hop aroma and flavor but you can also detect some spiciness from the rye.I REALLY like this.Well done,Bell's!

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2014 18:19:26 | More by 1mrbeer
Photo of Florida_SC_Trojan


4.45/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love this beer and brewery. I wish this was a year round beer for this brewery. A true good representation of a rye beer. Beautiful golden hazy color with good retention. Floral with a spicy rye finish, another very drinkable beer. Not alot of depth but a great initial flavor that is very easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2013 21:31:24 | More by Florida_SC_Trojan
Photo of MasterfulIdiot


4.45/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a riedel tulip glass.

Appearance is semi-transparent golden with tons of bubbles. Nice thick off-white head has really good staying power and leaves sheets and sheets of lace.

Aroma is mostly citrus hops, with some spicy/grainy rye underneath. Actually this is really incredibly citrusy - smells like there's orange juice in there!

Taste follows the nose. Mega- citrusy, with some nice rye spiciness underneath. Really nice mix of flavors and really well-balanced. It's actually amazing how much citrusy/floral hop flavor there is without being over-the-top or overpowering the rye. There's some nice subtle creamy malt sweetness backing everything up. Really really nice - relatively unassuming, but wonderfully flavorful!

Mouthfeel is also really great. Moderately thick and creamy with tons of prickly carbonation to cut through it. Perfect match for the flavor, and just feels wonderful in your mouth.

Really great overall - I could drink this every day. Super great hop flavors and really well balanced!

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2014 01:48:03 | More by MasterfulIdiot
Photo of shand


4.39/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Smitten pours out a hazy orange color with a nicely retaining head. The aroma is nice and rye-forward, with light malts and hopping. The taste, again, is rye forward, but it doesn't smack you upside the head with spiciness. The rye is also brilliantly matched by an APA-level of bright citrus hops. The mouthfeel is light and moderately carbonated, and the drinkability is exceptional. Bell's Smitten is an excellent rye beer, one of the best I've had. It provides an insanely delicious level of balance that keeps me coming back for more.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2013 00:40:05 | More by shand
Photo of SportsandJorts


4.38/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Type: 12 oz bottle
Glass: Pint
From: Plum Market in Ann Arbor
Price: $9 a 6 pack

Appearance: a deep hazy yellowish orange. almost opaque. lots of floating sediment and extremely bubbly. a very small head that left behind a lacing on the edges. I think its a good looking beer

Smell: very faint hops, earthy mostly but maybe a touch of citrus. some rye and breadiness but nothing to strong. I wish it was more aromatic as the smells are kind of dull

Taste: hops, earthy with a touch of citrus. not overpowering but certainly there. followed by rye and breadiness. The rye ends up being pretty strong. ends with rye but is slightly bitter finish

Mouthfeel: crisp, due to the high carbonation, and light. ends slightly bitter but it is refreshing.

Overall: I am impressed by this one. not overly complex, just nicely balanced and well done. certainly would be happy to have one of these when I am in the mood for a pale or just a refreshing beer. I hope its around for the summer. I would like to crack a Red's Rye open and see how it goes. I think I have to give the edge to Founders but this isn't fair behind.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2013 02:24:48 | More by SportsandJorts
Photo of SerialHiker


4.38/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a lovely deep golden orange…80% opacity, there’s tons of sediment floating about…just off white head formed nice, thick and settled to a thin layer…livens up a bit when I swirl it around…(4/5)

Smell: I could smell the floral hops as soon as I began to pour…from the glass, I’m getting rye malt, perfume, floral hops…very flowery, almost like daisy petals up close…all that with a hint of bitterness and maybe a dash of yeast…I wouldn’t call it strong, but it’s aromatic…pleasant, inviting, fresh, light…(4/5)

Taste: Hmm, this is no ordinary beer…it’s bitter, sour, floral…there’s some lemon/orange peel…there’s some pale malts, some earthy bitterness…there’s a nice bit of peppery/rye bite that I’ve been digging lately…tons of flavor…it’s light, it’s zesty, it’s interesting...(4.5/5)

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body…there’s a good amount of life and carbonation to this brew…it fluffs up creating a cloud of citrus/floral bitterness that is more refreshing than off putting…refreshing and crisp…finishes noticeably dry…fantastic! (4.5/5)

Overall: This is a superior brew…the flavor is unique and distinct…Bell’s took the “APA” concept on a journey, got a bit guidance from a magical liopleurodon and ultimately found candy mountain with this one…it’s super good, zesty, lively, refreshing, but there’s a touch of sour that I actually like…the peppery/rye flavored brews have taken over for me as the choice seasonal, I’m gonna be on the look out for more of these in the future…I could drink this flavor all night and now am curious how this is out of a tap, I really need to make a trip to Kalamazoo…total score, I’m definitely picking up another sixer for later…(4.5/5)

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2013 23:04:44 | More by SerialHiker
Photo of 451beer


4.38/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This has become one of my favorites. I'm surprised to not see it rated higher. I have drank allot if the top beers. Heady, pliny, zombie , to name a few and loved all of them and think this should be ranked up there with the rest. Must be my love of rye beers. They are definitely under rated

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2013 02:19:45 | More by 451beer
Photo of rhoadsrage


4.33/5  rDev +18.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2013 14:18:08 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of ribby


4.3/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

There is a lot of stuff in the bottle, but with semicareful decanting pours mostly clear amber. Well carbonated and pours with a foamy head. This is pretty hoppy, and the rye seems to add some spiciness. Still, the hoppiness does not seem to be as over the top as in All Day IPA, but I sense a head to head tasting coming up. The carbonation and hoppiness combine for a solid mouthfeel. Overall, this goes down very easily, perhaps sessionable by taste, despite ABV = 6.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2013 11:15:03 | More by ribby
Photo of wvsabbath

West Virginia

4.26/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Golden yellow/light tan, nice 1 inch foamy head, plenty of sticky lacing.

Smell - Nice grapefruit hops, rye, orange, lemon, spices, A little barnyard/saision like funk.

Taste - Big grapefruit hop kick at first sip. Lots of orange, lemon, pineapple and Rye! Pale malts add a bready/farmhouse flavor. Some added spices give it a pepperish flavor also. Decnt amount of bitter but the sweetness of the floral hops and sugars balance it out alot.

MOuthfeel - Hops coat the tounge at first, Then the rye comes in along with some spices at balance out the bitterness. Palate gets alot of rye and bitter hops. The finish is bitter, peppery and malty.

Overall - Very tasty, easy to enjoy, and plenty of rye. Think sierra nevadas ruthless rye made a big enough impression that bells had to bottle this one. Very solid, not to bitter, not to pale malt forward, great balance, a must try for rye fans.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2013 23:55:13 | More by wvsabbath
Photo of GRPunk


4.26/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle (batch #11,695 date 1/14/13) poured into an imperial pint glass.

A- It had a hazy, golden body with moderate carbonation. The 1-1/2 finger, off-white head settles out to a nice, foamy, film. It left behind some awesome lace.

S- It's definitely a rye beer, though kind of delicate at first. Fresh, citrus hops might even give off some herbal tones. Everything about the aroma suggests that it's quite fresh.

T- Nicely balanced. A solid dose of rye mixed with grainy malts and citrus and slightly herbal hops. Really refreshing as rye beers go.

M- Medium-to-full bodied. Moderately carbonated. Slight hop/rye bite. Very pleasant.

O- I like it. It's a little more delicate take on a rye PA than its local counterparts from Founders and Arcadia. It's also a bit more drinkable in a "yeah, I'll have another" sort of way (which I might just do after typing this). It makes me want a fat Reuben sandwich right about now. I could see this as a really nice spring/summer brew.

As I've heard there could be a looming price rise/switch to a four-pack on Red's Rye, this could be a different, but totally suitable, replacement.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2013 22:32:18 | More by GRPunk
Photo of jucifer1818


4.26/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: dark straw, with a large head

s: Floral, fruity hops dominate the aroma, with some bready nodes

t: This beer has the sour and spicy tastes from the Rye, and they are complimented by a strong bitter hoppy backbone. A bit of grainyness is also present (most likely from flaked rye). A excellent Rye beer

M: Creamy from the Carbonation with a bit of grainyness

Overall: this is a great American Rye ale. One of the best comnerical examples Ive ever seen
Highly recommended


Serving type: on-tap

02-20-2013 05:08:27 | More by jucifer1818
Photo of HopintheSouth

North Carolina

4.26/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured in a pint from a 12oz bottle.

A-golden amber color and shines in the sunlight. Definitely fits the image of a Rye ale

S-Sweet malt mixed with floral hops, orange, lemon peel in the background. Slight spice on the nose.

T-Great flavor as soon as it hits the tongue. Delicious rye on the tongue after swallowing and a surprising hop bitterness that brings on piney, spice flavor and a sweet lemon aftertaste. I've had IPA's that didn't have as much hop bite, and I like it!

M- full bodied and refreshing for a 6% abv, very easily drinkable. I really enjoyed this beer and even my wife likes it, who usually prefers very easy-going wheat beers. I've had many a good beer from Bell's and this is one of them. Definitely a good session beer on a warm spring day.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2014 00:02:58 | More by HopintheSouth
Photo of kels


4.25/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Being a big fan of rye beers, I was excited for the opportunity to try this on tap at the Bell's tasting at the Indy Beer Sellar last night.

Appearance: Pours a bright golden yellow, almost like chardonnay, slightly hazy with some carbonation running through and feeding a short white, foamy head.

Smell: Smells like lemon iced tea with a hint of earthy, cracked rye. Aroma is very full and tasty before even tasting it.

Taste/Mouthfeel: The rye comes through really pleasantly in the taste. It is very bright and literally jumps on the tongue. It's accompanied by a bit of skunky hops like simcoe and bitter citrus in the back of the mouth. Feel is slightly carbonated with moderate body.

Drinkability: Really high. I like the lightness of it that's different from a typical rye beer, but it still has the characteristic full and satisfying graininess that I really enjoy.

Serving type: on-tap

06-23-2009 21:29:06 | More by kels
Photo of GPHarris


4.23/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

a - poured a one finger thick, fluffy off-white head into a tulip glass that left great lacing and sheeting throughout. the body was a bright straw gold color with some orange tints.
s - very citrusy with a lot of lemon.
t - sticky hops with some nice rye spice.
m - prickly and lively carbonation.
o - terrific beer, very refreshing. i'll be going back to this one.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2013 15:46:00 | More by GPHarris
Photo of WoodBrew


4.23/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I love Rye beers and the Bell's Smitten is no different. The beer poured a clear golden color with this white head that left a very nice lace down the pint glass. The scent carried a rye flare with subtle lemony citrus notes. The taste was a very crisp common rye taste with light sitrus backing. The mouthfeel is light to medium body with good carbonation. Overall this is a great session beer and I will be looking to drink more of it...good beer!

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2013 00:26:19 | More by WoodBrew
Photo of donbet69

New York

4.23/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a great beer in my opinion. This was my first Rye ale, and I hope there are more just as good as Bells. Very drinkable, I hope this becomes more readily available in the NY area as I will keep it stocked as a daily go to beer.

Great drink-ability, but that may just be my taste.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2014 22:07:34 | More by donbet69
Photo of morimech


4.21/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Dark golden color that is slightly hazy. Two fingers of head forms and has excellant retention before settling to a thick cap. Thick lacing is left down the glass.

Aroma is a pleasant combination of citrus from the hops, and rye malt.

Rye really comes out in the flavor. It has a nice spicy, bready flavor. The hops are complimentary with citrus and subtle grassy and lemon notes. Bitterness is not that high considering the hop flavor.

Medium body with low carbonation. Smooth texture but I would of liked a touch more carbonation to liven things up.

With all the rye beers out in the market now, this one stands up with the best of them. Really enjoyed the hop flavor that goes along with the rye flavor.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2013 19:58:39 | More by morimech
Photo of Zachtheporter


4.21/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A- Pours a medium yellow golden color with a fat, fluffy, three finger, white head. Very clean and clear looking. Excellent head retention.

S- Fruity, spicy, grassy hops. Some notes of citrus fruits. Spicy rye bread and sweet grains.

T- There is a nice spicy, citrusy hop aroma right up front that blends very nicely with the spiciness of the rye. The flavors really help to balance each other out quite nicely. Some notes of apricot and bready grains as well.

M- Full bodied with a bit of rough carbonation but overall it is very smooth and goes down quite easily.

O- This is a very well balanced pale ale. There was a lot less rye flavor than I initially thought that there would be, however the amount present turned out to be perfect. I can not emphasize how drinkable this beer is. I drank my first bottle waaay to fast, and I'm not usually a fan of rye. A very nice spring offering.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2013 18:10:11 | More by Zachtheporter
Photo of KickbacksSteve


4.21/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Kickbacks in Jax. Poured into a snifter. White head on a hazy gold body. Moderate head retention. Suddsy lacing. Aroma is a pleasant mix of citrusy, lemony hops, and a light sweetness. Taste is nicely bittered, refreshingly fresh tasting, with a mild background sweetness. Very easy to drink I would think, over and over.

Serving type: on-tap

03-30-2013 01:51:09 | More by KickbacksSteve
Photo of NoleDoc


4.2/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served from bottle to glass. Had a thick head that was about 2 fingers thick. Rich yellow color with some sedimentation floating in the glass. Had a great smell of citrus. First sip hits you with bitter citrus notes and slight hit of hops. Has a smooth mouthfeel. Good summer Ale.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2013 20:04:37 | More by NoleDoc
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Bell's Smitten Golden Rye Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
83 out of 100 based on 1,010 ratings.