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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 ONovoMexicano

New Mexico

3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2014 02:17:01 | More by ONovoMexicano
Photo of CHickman

New York

3.76/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours cloudy yellow gold with a big 2 finger white head that was full of bubbles and faded very slowly, leaving excellent foamy lacing and rings as it went down. Impressive looking for a pale ale or rye beer, this looks like one of Bell’s IPA’s.

Smells of rye, floral hops, herbs, mild spices, mint, light grapefruit, roasted grains, yeast like that wet cardboard smell, and spices like potpourri. Nose has a lot of strong scents that work well together for a very different smelling beer, I enjoyed the nose a lot.

Tastes like it smells with rye, floral hops, herbs, mild spices like pepper, mint, coriander and allspice, grapefruit, lemon zest, pine cone/piney hops, roasted grains, yeast, and biscuit or wheat. Flavor is hoppier than the nose with the spices and rye finishing each sip on the dry side.

Mouthfeel is light and crisp with a little texture, light fizzy carbonation, and a slightly bitter spicy finish that’s on the dry side with rye and hops. Nice beer overall, pale ale or rye beer category is not important since it’s tasty, crisp and easy drinking. Could be a session beer if I can get more of it.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2014 02:34:14 | More by CHickman
Photo of Kendo

New York

3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled on 1/27/14; consumed on 4/10/14.

A: Poured from the bottle into a pint glass. Body is hazy golden with a good-sized (1.5-fingers) fluffy off-white head. Good thick rings of foamy lacing. Lots of fine bubbles visible throughout.

S: Pleasant nose: florally, perfumey hops with some underlying cereal grains for foundation. As it warms I'm getting some skunkiness as well.

T: First impression: this is slightly light-struck, as I get a bit of skunk lingering on the aftertaste. Grainy malt foundation, then spicy rye is obvious. Good strong hoppy finish - florally again, with modest lemony bitterness. Nice spice bite too.

M: Medium in heft body with moderate, creamy carbonation.

O: I bought this single bottle at Price Chopper and I'm guessing it hasn't been properly handled. I'd like to get a fresh, clean bottle; I suspect I'd give it a better review.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2014 23:46:55 | More by Kendo
Photo of Scrapss


4.15/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dumped aggressively into a cheater pint.

A: beautiful, almost self-illuminating with a glow and radiance of a golden orange color. Floaties and not transparent gets is a slight ding here. dense head collapses into a thin 2mm head that laces all the way with a white wispy lace.

S: Tropical and spicy, dusty rye. This is a hallmark of slightly dusty rye and why I love this style is embodied in this smell. I am getting that almost galaxy and rye combo, with sweet tropical fruit notes and peppery rye.

T: follows nose, leaving some very sweet up front notes, rye-sourdough bread, mango and souring from under-ripe mango, followed by apricot and nectarine notes then dries out to a rye white pepper. Complexity, due to the fact that it shifts though these notes in a predictable, welcome and harmonious fashion.

M: creamy and medium bodied with a spicy white pepper tongue action. That fruit sweetness comes and goes and makes it difficult to concentrate on the dryness. It ebbs and flows from dry to sweet to dry and back. Interesting, and never had a brew do this strange flip-flop.

O: Very nice and worth the quaff. Dare I say it, it is what I would seek if I pictured a rye Hopslam.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2014 01:23:17 | More by Scrapss
Photo of farrago

New Jersey

3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pure white foam head, tightly woven microfoam, semi-aggressive pour yields a little over a finger, retention is okay, the lacing streaks are meager but long, average stick. Filmy golden colored liquid, lots of fine particulate floating throughout, semi-opaque as a result, few visible bubbles. Very grainy nose featuring spicy rye notes, black pepper, orange and grapefruit rinds, once you get past the initial burst there’s underlying sweetness found in honey notes and peach, apricot fruit accents, light touch of mineral water and cigar ash before it floats off. Medium-bodied, the carbonation charges right out of the gate, gets things churning. On the dry side even as the rye is not over the top, hoppy with no lack of leafiness even if it’s the grains which take precedence. Stronger citrus presence here, lemon to orange. As in the nose, the apricot, peach, yellow apple fruit holds off before showing. The finish is filled with earthy, metallic notes, creates added bitterness. That said, balanced on the whole, drinking well chilled helps. You can tell it is well crafted, however, it also has a sort of lowbrow “throwback” feel and taste to it.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2014 23:19:08 | More by farrago
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 scottbrew4u


3.69/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a bright golden, light- amber color with a bubbly white head about 3/4 inch tall. The bubbles settle slowly and form a nice layering. Great lacing as you drink.
S: Floral hops, crackers, light honey, peppery nose from rye and herbal/spicy hops. Toasty grains and a light citric/lemon peel smack on the nose round out the aroma which is not abundant.
T: Crackers with rye, lemon peel, jasmine, herbal and spicy hops. Husky grains are there to form the backbone of this beer. More bittering from the hops and rye give a dry finish.
M: Light body, with crisp carbonation and a smooth, dry finish.
O: This beer goes down so easy! It keeps you refreshed especially if it were a hot day I can imagine a cold one of these going down great. Probably good with BBQ and lounging on the porch. My only drawback is that it dries out the palate a bit much. I like what Bell's is going for here with this beer and I think it could be sessionable at 6%. Give it a try.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2014 18:28:59 | More by scottbrew4u
Photo of CHADMC3


3.59/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

As advertised this beer pours a transparent golden body beneath the scattered white head which dissolves to leave a faint lacing about the glass.

The aromas are primarily of pine, wheat, pale malt and rye. More of an American Pale Ale with hints of rye than anything else.

The flavor is similar with a more apparent rye presence than in the nose. More pine hops, wheat and again pale malt.

Generous carbonation on the mouthfeel, although lighter in body with a slightly drying finish.

A fairly nice brew, perhaps more of an American Pale as referenced above with hints of rye as it lacks the robust rye backbone some of its counterparts in the style possess.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2014 01:18:27 | More by CHADMC3
Photo of zeledonia


3.3/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottled 17 December 2013. Tasted 31 March 2014.

Pours clear medium golden. Floaties from the bottom of the glass, but that's my own fault. One finger of white head, fizzy. Okay retention and lacing.

Smell is an odd mix of rye spice and Belgian golden ale. Peppery rye, sweet grains.

Taste is, to my tastes, somewhat of a clash. A very light chalky bitterness mixes with rye to produce, well, spiced bitterness. But it's thin and not all that flavorful.

Feel is okay. Medium-light body, low carbonation. Chalky feel combines with the mild bitterness to make for a sort of floury feel.

Not my favorite beer. Not terrible, but the flavors mix in weird ways that don't really work for me.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2014 02:55:17 | More by zeledonia
Photo of DoubleJ


3.74/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

If an American Pale Ale is made of rye, does that make it an American Rye Ale? Adding rye to the grain bill has been a trendy thing for some of the hoppier ales, so I'm not surprise to see an exclusive rye ale hopped like a pale ale. With 12 ounces, it's on to the beer:

Two fingers thick of head sit on top this flame orange colored beer. Head retention remains strong, streaks of lacing rings about the glass. The aroma is pleasing and much like a classic pale ale. Rather clean with pine, citrus, floral, an edge of rye.

Tastes like a classic pale ale too, albeit with a spicy rye note. All around, the flavor is dry with splurges of hops firing out, and a kick of rye. Pine, orange, a dash of pepper, rye, all which provide the key notes to this pleasant and drinkable beer. Feels light in the mouth and airy, maybe a touch more airy than I prefer. Easy drinking too.

Here's an interesting alternative to the number of standard pale ales on the market. I like Smitten.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2014 05:29:22 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of stingrayvr6

New Jersey

3.4/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured in to a pint glass. Hazy dark yellow, thin white head. Smells bready with floral notes. Taste light and sweet up front, dry rye and floral hops on the finish. Much to commend, but nothing particularly remarkable. Solid session beer, hides the alcohol well.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2014 20:58:05 | More by stingrayvr6
Photo of elNopalero


4.08/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a copper gold with incredible head retention. I caught just a touch of peppery rye backing the lemony hop aroma along with a lightly buttered body that's smooth and crisp. There’s a touch of lemon and crack of peppercorn. I enjoyed this but I'd like it more if it was a sessionable 4% ABV instead of its 6%.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2014 23:51:34 | More by elNopalero
Photo of Jparker37


4.2/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle poured into a shaker pint. Bottled on 1/3/14

A - Straw gold with a slight haze. White cap of head holds strong. Some patches of lacing on the way down.

S - Juicy citrus hops, mandarin orange like. Honey-like malt.

T - Flashes some neutral malt sweetness early. That rye comes in midway and leads into considerable hop bitterness. Hop flavors are piney,earthy,spicy.

M - Medium-light body, medium carbonation, dry.

O - Quite a unique beer. Wildly complex flavors yet simple concept. The rye adds beautiful dimension to its hop bitterness. Refreshing feel from light body and crisp finish.

Recommendation - Plenty of value for this beer. Ideally I would drink this on my patio on a hot day but this has enough dimension to sip and ponder.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2014 02:14:47 | More by Jparker37
Photo of timmy2b

New York

2.84/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottles poured into pint glasses.

Very heavy on the rye scent, only getting a light amount of citrus scent. Subtle orange color in the glass with almost no head but a light white ring around the glass that does not linger.

Taste is also very heavy on the, gives me just a little bit of citrus with a large amount of bitter flavor.

Light and does not linger in the mouth and is very easy to sip on. I think this is a good addition to Bells rotation, but is not something that I would pick over the Oberon.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2014 22:54:58 | More by timmy2b
Photo of smakawhat


3.74/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A real nice perfect apricot orange colored body, solid and shimmering. Makes a nice solid three finger off white fluffy head, with a good solid cap and thick lacing.

Kind of unexpected nose. There's some hint of spice to this, but there's this really strange macro smelling component to this which is hard for me to pin down. Some interesting light brown toasty aromas also, but otherwise fine, but it strangely reminded me of something mass produced if I could use the phrase.

Palate comes with a nice mix of flavors. Soft malted body, and faint sweetness. Good toasty finish. A juicy hop aftertaste as well, and hints of orange citrus in the mid palate, concluding with a very dry and pine finish to match. Really integrated nicely. Good solid depth and palate feel as well.

A good mix and balance of sweet faint caramel, toasty and fruity spice, and orange hop bitterness. Pretty solid enjoyable beer even for me who is pretty picky about rye beers.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2014 16:04:57 | More by smakawhat
Photo of WettNutz


2.86/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a pint glass

A - Dark yellow/light brown, effectively gold as per the name. No head. Highly carbonated and cloudy with possibly yeast floating around, a whole lot of it.

S - Light piney nose, with a touch of citrus

T - Mildly bitter with lasting tartness

M - Full bodied

O - Not a horrible beer, but not my cup of tea. Proper price, 6% ABV, a nice try for a beer drinker who likes darker versions of beers that aren't too heavy, like ales, lagers and pilsners.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2014 22:38:07 | More by WettNutz
Photo of cosmicevan

New York

4.16/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle date 1/28 - enjoyed from a fancy bells tulip.

Brew pours a transparent but rich orange yellow with a big boastful frothy head that hung out and literally coated the glass with milk shake like chunks of frothy lace. Very lively visible carbonation could be seen.

Nose is soggy citrus. Not really any grain at all.

Taste matches this nose with the rye tossed into the mix. Really nice, like chewing on a juicy wet fresh hop...soggy with hop juice. Nice fruity uptick on the tail.

Super easy drinking beer. Can't believe how good it is. A real sleeper in their catalog, I will definitely be drinking tons of this now that bells is in town!

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2014 23:16:19 | More by cosmicevan
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: The first pout created a huge head but subsequent pours were more as expected, bringing a hazy amber head to settle on top of the honey colored liquid

Smell: Lemony and grassy, with a biscuity undertone

Taste: Biscuity malt brings a hint of sweetness, but the hops and the rye take over rather quickly; lemon, grass and a spicy/peppery character emerge; very bitter, after the swallow, with a rather metallic edge to the bitterness; dry finish, as would be expected from a rye beer

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate to high carbonation

Overall: An interesting twist but I am not a fan of the flavor profile here, particularly in the metallic edge

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2014 23:44:49 | More by brentk56
Photo of utopiajane

New York

3.79/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a hazy golden color with a slight orange blush on it when held to the light in the room. Fat head of off white foam that fell slowly enough and left lace and a small ring. Nose is lemon, lemon peel and some spicy rye. A powdery and perfumey floral and a bit of spice. It has a juicier fruity scent that reminds me of orange but it's hard to place. Citrusy . The taste is sharp and bold. Dry breaddy rye with a touch of spice. The citrus is powerful and the sweeter fruitiness is juicy and laid into the beer. The finish is slightly sharp with a bit of bitterness. Mouthfeel is creamy and a bit of bitter to last.

This is a strong beer for only 6 percent and the flavors are bold and uncompromising.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2014 17:42:48 | More by utopiajane
Photo of FLima


3.74/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Golden color with a thin off-white head with low retention.
Nice initial unique aroma of a very fresh citrus, lemongrass, dandelion and multigrain bread.
Flavor of rye, American yeast, resin, earthy and citrus hops, honey, pine and spices. Quite dry aftertaste, bitter and a bit acid.
Medium body with low carbonation.
Rye here matched perfectly with its hops. Pleasant and tasty.

Serving type: on-tap

02-25-2014 20:58:32 | More by FLima
Photo of Tsar_Riga


3.86/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Golden brown, with slight opacity, a solid half inch of head on the pour, lacing.

S - Floral and pine, with some hint of spice.

T - Clean bitter brew, with a spicy, peppery note, and a close which comes in with bready rye notes. A good malty sweetness and honey notes complement the bitterness.

M - Moderate carbonation, strong drying.

O - A decent quaff, and easy to drink. Not a huge fan of rye bread; I find it overpowering. So I welcome the muted rye notes which have many of the virtues of the bread without bowling me over. I liked this beer's balance, and I'd drink it again.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2014 01:16:11 | More by Tsar_Riga
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 CloudStrife

New York

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.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2014 20:57:04 | More by CloudStrife
Photo of humuloner22

North Carolina

3.16/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

I really like Bell's in general. I have had a few rye beers and none of them have done it for me, I thought if any brewery could do it Bell's could. Maybe my taste buds were off tonight, but this is an odd beer. It smells great, similar to an IPA or pale ale. It looks great, and in the beginning it tastes good, then that spicy bitterness hits and it lingers on the back of my tongue in a bad way. Its a very strong bitterness that I could not shake. I thought maybe it was me, I drank some water ate a few pretzels then tried again, same result. It tastes very nice on the front of my tongue but as it passes over the rest of my mouth it clings in a rather unpleasant way to the back. It gives off a strange alkaline flavor that I just cannot get past. I will have to say this is not my favorite by Bell's. I will place it in the same category as Oberon another grain that I don't enjoy in my beers, wheat! Oddly enough the other rye beers I had tried in the past did remind me of wheat beers, and is why I did not enjoy them, but now I have found another reason not to like them. I am giving this one higher marks than I should and on paper it looks better than it is, but the smell is nice, I will have to give Bell's that. Anyway, I will keep trying on occasion, but this one does fall short. I do find this odd because I generally like rye whisky and I also like wheated bourbons. But as far as beers go, neither wheat nor rye work for I.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2014 03:32:57 | More by humuloner22
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
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Bell's Smitten Golden Rye Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
83 out of 100 based on 1,010 ratings.