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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

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Ratings: 1000
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: 1,000 | Reviews: 203 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Lawl3ss


2.84/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.75

Chilled 12 oz. bottle into a 33 cl snifter. Bottling date 1.14.13.

Look- Pale Amber, lots (and I mean LOTS) of suspended particulate. Looks pretty unappealing, actually It's not that old and it's been in my fridge the whole time, so I'm not sure what's up with that. Three fingers of pillowy head fall quickly, nice lacing.

Smell- Bready, definitely saison feel. Light spice, melon, apricot.

Taste- Very saison-like, light biscuit and a little funk, noticeable bittering, mild soft fruitiness. Grassy hop flavor and light metallic twang builds as the glass empties. Aftertaste of shortbread and white tea.

Mouthfeel- Medium body, medium carbonation. Juicy, full feel but dry, slightly chalky finish. Has a hard water feel to it. Easy drinking.

Overall- Meh, I'm not really a fan of this brew, doesn't really come together for me and it's neither light nor dry enough for what I want it to be. Spicy, bold ale? No. Light, crisp ale? Not really. Too middle-of-the-road I suppose, and the rye characteristics are overshadowed by the yeast and what I interpret to be the liquor/water characteristics. I probably wouldn't avoid it, but I'd likely not order it for myself either.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2013 00:10:10 | More by Lawl3ss
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 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 ChainGangGuy


2.94/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

12 ounce bottle - $1.79 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

11726 - 01/24/13

Appearance: Pours a hazy, dark golden body with a tall, growing, near white head.

Smell: The aroma is weak, hesitant, with a faint degree of maltiness, a touch of rye grain, and a some dried flower petal undertones.

Taste: A little toasted grain to the maltiness, with a definite rye kick to it. Very low sweetness on hand. Firmly floral throughout. Medium bitterness. Some sustained spiciness on the bitterish, bone dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium carbonation.

Overall: I found it to be tiresome and tedious, frankly.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2013 14:21:36 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of ThisWangsChung


2.98/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Thanks to Momar42 for the 12 oz bottle! Poured into a nonic pint glass.

A: Pours a golden orange color with a ton of yeast particles floating around. The head is a two finger white shade. Both texturing and retention are pretty damn good, and the lacing left by the receding head is quite attractive as well. Pretty face, ugly body, let's split the difference here.

S: I do notice a bit of rye to it, along side some piny, herbal hops. The hop profile seems to fit the rye malt quite well. It becomes a bit maltier as it warms up, and grows a biscuity component as well. Aromatically, it could be a little less muted.

T: One thing that lets me down right from the onset is the lack of distinctive character to it. It starts and finishes with a combination of earthy, spicy malts and piny hops. After a while, the finish will develop a grassy hop quality to it that I enjoy somewhat. This really is the type of beer more conducive to simple drinking than actual reviewing...

M: Rougher than I like, which is exasperated by the coarse yet strong carbonation and fuller body. The back end is quite clean and crisp; so maybe this would be good in the summer time?

O: Not bad - but I'm certainly not smitten with it. It's too sharp in feel for its nondescript flavor profile.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2013 21:55:56 | More by ThisWangsChung
Photo of babaracas


3.03/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On the label it claims this pale ale will be citrusy and resinous. They oversold it, big time. Pours a cloudy amber with thin white head, spots of lace on the glass. Smell: wheat, soft graininess (rye), spicy, just a hint of lemon peel. Taste: tastes like a pale wheat with rye subbed in, light caramel. Hops are spicy, lightly earthy, a little but not enough citrus to advertise it on the label. Dry finish. Yes, the rye is featured decently, but it's not a very good beer, and the marketing team screwed up. Glad it was only a single. Bottled 1/15/13.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2013 03:30:26 | More by babaracas
Photo of Stinkypuss


3.03/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Bells Smitten Golden Rye Ale

Pours a honey gold color with a white head and a bit of lace. Large chunks of yeast or proteins are hanging in suspension. Aroma of clean maltyness, some floral and sweet fresh doughy bread. In the taste, bready malt sweetness balanced by a citrusy hop character and a bit of grainy rye. Mild bitterness with notes of grapefruit. Medium bodied with a chalky finish. Overall, this was an ok beer but a little disappointed. This ale could use some cleaning up.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2013 15:04:30 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of Jstewart6


3.03/5  rDev -17.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2014 01:54:30 | More by Jstewart6
Photo of bashiba


3.08/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a nice clean golden with a thin white head, minor lacing.

The smell was grainy with a touch of grassy noble hops.

The flavor was dominated by the rye malt, spicy and bready, not much else. Just a hint of noble hops in the finish with a real mild bitterness.

The mouthfeel was light with mild carbonation.

Overall a pretty boring beer, just Rye, and nothing else.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2012 14:07:43 | More by bashiba
Photo of drinkochoice


3.08/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into craft pint glass.

Beautiful golden orange body with a 1/2" white head.

The smell is like fresh picked flowers and of earthy minerals.

The taste mirrors the smell with flowers and earthy minerals but what makes these flavors flow is the bitterness. The taste is surprisingly well balanced through the after taste.

Not to much carbonation as expected from the style.

Overall a very easy going little ale with large amounts of flavor.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2013 03:18:01 | More by drinkochoice
Photo of Pencible


3.15/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: This poured a hazy gold with lots of sediment and a little white head.
S: It smelled like earthy copper hops with some citrus zest and bread crust.
T: It tasted like citrus zest and copper hops, with some spicy rye and earthy bread crust. It had a somewhat clean bittersweet aftertaste.
M: It was watery with moderate carbonation. Ok body.
D: This was not a great rye beer. The scent was sub-par, and the taste and body weren't a big improvement. The finish wasn't bad but wasn't great. No real impressive or redeeming element. Not recommended.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2013 14:51:00 | More by Pencible
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 Pintofbrown


3.19/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I had this in a snifter. Packaged 12/13/13 bottle dating.

A strong pour unleashes a finger's width of turbid white foam that appears soapy. Retention is good with a craggy ring clinging to the side of the glass, creating a crater on the cap. The jet stream-full body is a honey amber with caramel highlights.

A biting earthiness mingles with aromas of caramel and toffee malt. There is a tea-like scent as well, with a whiff of mineral water every sniff or two.

Well, the bottle says to expect resinous hops and earthy flavors, and those are certainly detected. The citrus notes, however, are another thing entirely: maybe some lemon, potentially grapefruit? The problem is that the citrus quality is overpowered by the resin notes and a twinge of aspirin on the finish. Malt? It is barely perceptible, and definitely not sweet like it was on the nose.

Smitten Golden Rye has a light-medium body and runs over the tongue almost like water, with some swishing, builds a decent creaminess. This beer is also dry, dry dry!

This Bell's offering misses the mark. I will never begrudge a hoppy beer with an edge. However, Smitten has too much resiny bitterness and not enough malt to back it up. And whatever the rye was supposed to do, it decided it had other places to be. Besides a quick earthy taste, I do not think the rye has contributed much. Really, this beer is just far too bitter with nothing to accentuate the brute force.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2014 11:17:54 | More by Pintofbrown
Photo of vette2006c5r


3.24/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Smitten pours a golden golden color, with a nice large lacing head. The aroma is a bit similar to a bathroom, luckily its not too strong. The taste is crisp a nice strong citrus, and a nice bit of bitterness. Nice full flavor. Overall a not bad beer, good citrus flavors that work well in this beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2013 04:00:43 | More by vette2006c5r
Photo of kojevergas


3.25/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Served on-draught into a plastic cup at the Elephant and Castle in the Crowne Plaza, Chicago on St. Patrick's Day. Reviewed from notes. Complimentary with my room (which, incidentally, was also complimentary with priority club points). I had high expectations given the brewery.

A: Pours a one finger head of white colour. Fair cream. Decent thickness. Nice retention. Body colour is a nontransparent murky peach. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Generally appealing for the style.

Sm: Floral hops, rye grain, milky citrus, and light grass. A mild strength aroma. Generally appealing. No yeast character or alcohol is detectable.

T: Floral hops, rye grain, and milky citrus - with some buried orange notes. Nicely grassy. A bit of yeasty character. Clove. Pale malts. Balanced but simple. Lacks subtlety and complexity.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Pretty good carbonation. Lightly crisp. Decent presence on the palate.

Dr: Drinkable and enjoyable, but not great. I do like it, but I'm not impressed. I could take down a sixer of this with ease, but the quality just isn't high enough to warrant purchasing again. It's a solid offering from Bell's for what it is.

High C+ (Borderline B-)

Serving type: on-tap

06-07-2013 20:53:13 | More by kojevergas
Photo of Kerrie


3.29/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

This isn't a bad beer but I'm finding it fairly bland.

A- Golden color with minimal head yet quite a bit of lacing. Lots of sediment throughout the glass.

S- Not much here; just a faint hop smell.

T- A very mild beer with a slight hop taste. Not too strong or weak, and seems like it'd be a good summer beer.

M- Not too thick or thin; satisfying.

Not sure if I'd get this again, but it's not bad for a single bottle.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2013 01:26:52 | More by Kerrie
Photo of ToddT


3.29/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

L- Somewhat hazy orange topped with an off white fluffy head, that fades slowly to a cap and leaves a good bit of lace on the glass.

S- Light notes of rye malt and floral / citrus hops, not a very strong aroma.

T- Citrus notes right away, hints of lemon and orange, soon balanced out by the rye malt. Finish has a hint of hop oil but otherwise is pretty clean and dry.

M- Medium in body and decent carbonation, a bit of a creamy feel to this one.

O- A decent experiment, the hops and the rye clash a bit but not to a degree to make it unpleasant. The 6.0% ABV is a nice little kick and is well hidden.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2013 01:58:26 | More by ToddT
Photo of Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

3.29/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Hazy golden body with a soft, white head. The aroma brings grain, mild hops, earth, citrus. The flavor is ok. A bit too conservative for me. A hint of hops, mild bitterness, finishing dry. Crackers, grain, earth. Middle of the road. Not one of the better offerings from Bell's.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2014 20:49:20 | More by Huhzubendah
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 Vonerichs


3.39/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pale orange body and it has a ton of chunky and suspended sediment. I even let it settle for a while but this crap just wanted to hang.

Grainy smell with some lemon and grass.

The flavor is also very grainy. The lemon is a bitter pith and some intifada orange. Light rye spice in the finish.

Mouthfeel is well carbonated and light.

Eh, I wasn't very impressed at all. It seems like a user friendly beer for people just switching over to craft.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2013 00:42:26 | More by Vonerichs
Photo of HopsMathias


3.4/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle.
Yellow to copper color with a lot of sediment.
The sediment doesn't make it hazy more just suspended pieces which actually detract from the appearance.
Very light hop aroma.
Initial taste is very light with a hoppy and slightly peppery finish.
Mouthfeel is very light as well.
Overal not bad for an IPA. Less hoppy than some.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2013 00:00:52 | More by HopsMathias
Photo of NilocRellim


3.4/5  rDev -7.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2013 03:37:35 | More by NilocRellim
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 ffejherb


3.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Bell's brewpub on 11/28/08. Served in a 12-oz. glass.

A - Slightly hazy golden body with minimal carbonation and half a finger of off-white that receded into a thin ring of retention, some patchy film and spotty lacing.

S - Not much going on here except some graininess and some toasted malt. Hop presence is minimal with just a pinch of grassy hops.

T - Dull grassy hop bite with quite a bit of dryness from the addition of the rye. Hops are mild overall, with the grainy and toasted malt characteristics dominating the flavor.

M - Medium body with a dry, crisp texture and fizzy mouthfeel. Finish is dry and moderately bitter on the palate.

D - Not a lot happening with this brew, but it does have a dry rye presence and a decent hop bite in the finish. Pretty average for Bell's.

Serving type: on-tap

12-02-2008 22:15:13 | More by ffejherb
Photo of punky796


3.45/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Buffalo Wild Wings.

A - Poured a cloudy amber-orange, with about a finger of head when served. BWW's laser-etching helped keep the head alive. Impressive lacing.

S - Very hoppy smell, as expected from Bell's, fruity, with some wildflowers thrown in.

T - Hops again. Lots of them. Next comes the rye, which didn't really show up in the smell for me, but I like. Who knows, I might have confused the hops and the rye a little bit, making for less hops than I perceived, but they go together nicely. The wildfloweryness of it transforms into a kind of honey taste. An interesting combination.

M - Pretty smooth, with medium carbonation, but with relatively heavy thickness. Nice.

O - Generally wouldn't be my type of beer considering it's hop-heaviness, but Bell's does it well.

Serving type: on-tap

03-09-2013 06:16:38 | More by punky796
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Bell's Smitten Golden Rye Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
83 out of 100 based on 1,000 ratings.