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

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

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

Style: Rye Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by Biggness on 06-14-2008

User Reviews
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Reviews: 303 | Ratings: 1,678
Photo of wuthrichj15
4.14/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A solid brew by Bells pours a copper color with a nice head. Smells of citrus and rye. Has a nice hoppy balance but you still get that nice ale taste. I will definitely be drinking some more.

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Photo of drdiesel9483
3.67/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Cloudy Copper color with a lasting white head. Citrus rye scent. Slight citrus with a different tang and slight rye tent. Medium body with quite a bit of carbonation. Alright beer. I got it for cheap and it was worth being cheap.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.51/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

This one pours a nice dark amber/honey colored body, an SRM of about 5, and a 1/2 finger of head that stays gelatinous for ages. Opacity is about 80%.

Aromas of rye malts, leafy greens, some juicy orange fruit.

In your face without being too extreme. The finish is hard to contend with, though. It starts with a robust rye body, morphing into a textured graininess with tree bark, ending on a very sharp and fuzzy pine and mint note. It's a mismatch all the way through but somehow it seems to still be drinkable. I'd tone down the finish a bit though.

Feel is crispy and snowy, tons of busy carbonation that roughs up the palate quite quickly. The finish is drying and bitter, leaving a starch behind on the tongue. Not a fan of that.

Overall I can see how people would go nuts over this, but it's not my type of beer. It's mild but still too intense, and that rough mint/pine finish just destroys it.

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Photo of Wer34truh
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Pours a smallish beer, with a clear light amber color.

Smell is quite light, but reminiscent of a India Pale Ale, with some distinct bitter hops and some citrus.

This is more of a summer ale than it is a rye beer. The drinkability is at the forefront. The rye is present, but it takes the backseat to the bitter citrus of this brew.

I don't love this beer, but I've had a lot of summer beers from breweries I love, and a lot of them have been disappointments - this is not. I could, and I hope I will, drink a lot of this on warm summer days.

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Photo of Sparty21
4.17/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy orange with a surprisingly citrus flavor with and underlayer of hops. The beer has a great head with an orangeish amber color. There is some slight spicy notes which leave a clove-like flavor and aroma.

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Photo of HensonJ3
3.63/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

hazy orange color. Similar look and smell to an IPA. Citrus, hops, and other spicey flavors are apparent in this beer as well. Would order again but only because of the seasonality.

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Photo of m_hall
3.84/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pour from a 12oz bottle into a nonic pint. Pours just slightly hazy amber-gold, topped by a fluffy two-finger tall white head. This falls slowly to a nice cap with good retention, leaving quite a bit of lacing.

Aroma is very IPA/APA-like, lots of citrus from the hops (lemon, tangerine.) Light spicy notes, rather clove-like, are also present, presumably from the rye in the mash-bill.

Flavors come in with strong (but not overwhelming) pine-y hops supported by a sweet malt foundation. the bitterness lingers throughout the palate, leading to a fairly long finish with earthy notes and just a trace of spice.

Mouthfeel is a bit bigger than I was expecting, just slightly creamy, though a brisk carbonation helps keeps this one nicely drinkable. Alcohol is 6%, keeping this one in a nice session-able range,

Overall, this is a good, if not great pale ale. A good solid summertime sip, and should pair nicely with a wide range of foods given the control on the hops. However I did find myself wishing the rye was a bit more assertive; as it stands you'd really have to be looking to notice it.

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Photo of THSdrummer
3.82/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours orange with an over-so-slight haze. Medium-thin, foamy white head. Fair retention and good lacing left behind. Spicy rye, and pine hop aromas. Taste has a little bit of rye spice, with more pine and resin hop notes behind. Mouth feel is carbonated, and medium-thin consistency. Overall, a lovely warm-weather beer.

Served in a 12oz snifter.

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Photo of BethanyB
3.73/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Look: One of of the largest heads of froth I've beheld, and being ecru in color, it looks somewhat like tapioca pudding. The bubbly body is clear, and pale gold in color.

Smell: The aroma is surprisingly malty. The spice one would expect from a rye is virtually undetectable. The hop aromas are fresh and grassy, with just a hint of citrus. While the hops are nice, overall, it's a humdrum, light bouquet.

Taste:,The rye is also next to absent from the taste, although a bit of spice gives a slight pick-me-up to the finish. What we really have here, in my opinion, is a highly drinkable, yet fairly basic pale ale. The balance leans toward the ritz cracker-like malt, but tangy lemongrass hops make a strong impression as well. The bitterness is little more than mild.

Mouthfeel:,The mouthfeel could be a bit more crisp--there is a creaminess which seems more suited towards a beer with greater complexity. Medium-high carbonation, however, helps to lighten things up.

Overall, this is a tasty, solid session beer, but not at all a stand-out. The absence of rye is a clear disappointment.

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Photo of Alan_Bats
3.41/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.25

L- light honey color with a thick, 1 finger, white head. Nice coloring for a "golden" ale, sticks to the glass nicely
S- citrus hops dominate the aroma, a little malt comes through and the rye is slightly detectable
T- hops less dominating than the aroma suggests but this causes an overall lack of flavor. Rye flavor is nice which I like for a rye beer but the taste does not linger long. A decent roasty malt backbone is there right after the initial rye flavor. The hop bitterness I expect just isn't there.
F- medium bodied, nice mouth feel.
O- the beer has nice rye flavor but falls a little short on the other components. I don't necessarily crave more hop flavor, in fact, the lack of hop bitterness is a little refreshing, but the hoppy flavor profile isn't substituted with enough flavor.

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Photo of GrumpyGas
3.23/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

16 oz draft pour into a pint glass is a hazy dark straw color upon which floats a disappearing cream colored head.
A citrus aroma emanates accompanied by resiny hops with a hint of rye.
Citrus doesn't carry over into the flavor, but the malt-hop-rye balance is nice.
Mouthfeel is medium, leaning heavy, with minimal carbonation. Neither the hops, citrus, rye, or carbonation cut through. Any one of them would lighten up the feel. Advertised "sharp citrus" would be better.
Overall it's drinkable, given the push for HOPS, (which I endure), but not too high on the list.

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Photo of DaverCS
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a slightly clear orange color with plenty of carbonation, ample lacing, and 1 finger of a fluffy white head.

Aroma reminds of SNPA; however, a rye/ freshly cut wheat characteristic is much more prevalent. Rather tame aroma. Definitely some dry and bitter citrus -- nothing tropical.

Taste reminds me of an American wheat beer mixed with a pale ale. Solid malt backbone, citrus peel and pith, rye, pine, and a moderate amount of dry bitterness that tickles and lingers on the forefront of the tongue.

Overall, the beer is decent: not great, but not bad. Won't buy again because there are many better pale ales and wheat beers out there. I see this pairing well with bacon fried Brussel sprouts, Parmesan, and a balsamic drizzle. It gets a 76.5/100.

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Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy, lemon with a large, white head.
Smells of lemon citrus with a bread backing.
Up front is spicy that fades toa citrus hop that lingers. The rye bite sticks around and continues to bite.
Smooth for a rye and I was pleasantly surprised.

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Photo of ZBowden
4.19/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours hazy lemon copper with thick white head, smells of tart citrusy floral hops with toast and rye, tastes of light and bright citrusy hops with a mellow white bread and rye backing, rich mouthfeel with moderate carbonation and lasting dry finish.

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Photo of SABERG
3.74/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle dated 1/16/16 into the modified tulip glass.
A - Grainy yellow sun, a bit of haze, slow trails of carbonation push upward.
S - Bright spices, nice floral hops and a warm wheat bread nose.
T - Spicy up front, then a bread element and with mustard seed and honey.
M - Very clean across the palate, carbonation cleans up the remainder. dry finish.
O - So glad to have tried this, the rye, mixes well with the base beer, hop additions are spot on.
Cheers all

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Photo of Act25
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Twist on APA. Very punchy rye.

A - Bell's Smitten Golden Rye Ale pours a hazy golden body with a lazy bubbles rising to a frothy white head that lasts and laces.

S - The rye dominates and is good, peppery and earthy, with some citrusy tones. But too subtle by far.

T - on the other hand the taste is BOLD. You can feel the malt, and a bright zest of lemony, carbonation.
It offers a firm bitterness that delivers a dry, peppery spicey, and lasting conclusion. Good finale.

F - medium-bodied and moderately carbonated. Nice feel, steely, flinty, peppery.

I think this is well done. Try 6.

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Photo of BrewThru_29
3.78/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bright orange/yellow appearance with a nice head. Slightly cloudy. Smells like yeasty lemon zest. Taste is sweet citrus on the front end with some of the bitter hops and rye characters lingering. Feel is light to medium for the ABV. Resreshing beer, overall. Solid spring APA.

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Photo of Brian_L-2056
3.93/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Took a chance of a 12-pack of this while in Pittsburgh and glad I did. Pours a dark yellow or light gold color into a typical pint glass. Can pour a large frothy white head. Looks quite hazy and thick with plenty of carbonation. The smell is quite sweet and fruity. Initial taste is also sweet up front with a slightly bitter finish, definitely a different flavor but pleasant. This feels like a heavier brew despite its lighter appearance. Will definitely try more brews from Bell's, if it ever comes to WV.

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Photo of Dravin
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Duvel tulip. Bottled on date of 01/20/16 A.

Look -- 2 fingers of white head atop a clear pale amber body. The lacing is decent but the overall head retention is somewhat lacking.

Smell -- Moderate resin with hints of grapefruit, a little malt sweetness is pulling through as is a very light touch of rye spiciness.

Taste -- As the nose but the rye character is coming through better here as a sourness makes itself known and the spicy character of the rye comes forward more.

Feel -- Moderate carbonation and lightish body is in the wheel house for a pale ale, though on the lighter side of that range. It's a fairly crisp beer.

Overall -- I wish the rye character came through a little more prominently, I feel like it's partially buried underneath the hops. Still, it's a tasty beer and the ABV of the peer and the crispness of it is a good combination for a spring seasonal and makes a good compliment to the warming weather.

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Photo of drtth
4.04/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours out into a Duvel glass a nice dark golden amber color with an ivory head that soo recedes to an island and thin film of foam on the liquid. Sipping leaves a few legs and small patches of lacing.

The aromas include some malt, some rye and some herbal hops.

The flavors include some light malt with a touch of sweetness, some rye, and some herbal hops and a touch of background bitterness.

The mouthfeel is on the light side of medium bodied and has a nice light crispness from the persistent carbonation. The finish begins about midway through as the sweetness fades into some light rye bread mingled with hop bitterness. This then fades away into dryness as everything leaves and the dryness invites another sip.

On the whole this is a quite nice offering from Bell's that I'll be happy to have again and will be looking to find more of soon and over the next few years. It's definitely a keeper. Even though some may not consider it to be world class it's light, clean, crisp and refreshing. A great beer to announce the coming of Spring and for the first cookout of the year. I suspect that even some of my friends who think they don't like beer might find this one enjoyable.

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Photo of MJSFS
3.96/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottled dated 1/15/16 into a pint glass L: hazy golden color with two fingers of a pillowy head and tons of fine suspended particles A: pine and hop resin T: strong piney pale ale, not getting much rye M: crisp, carbonated, and dry O: really good pale ale and definitely worth a try

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Photo of 88caprice
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A deep golden color with some honey hues. One-finger head settles to a thin foam layer on top with some lacing. Smells crisp and hoppy with grapefruit characteristics. Taste is also crisp with a hop-forward bitterness. A malty backbone peeks through briefly, ending with a bitter-tart cracker finish. This brew is refreshing and bites the tongue a little, but also feels thick and smooth without being heavy.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.15/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

this is dessert island beer for me. not quite as addicting as my go to, the one claw from westbrook, but this is one of the best pale rye session beers in the country, and deserves a lot more credit than it gets. give some credit to context, i had a freezing cold can of this on a hot afternoon in old san juan, so i may have romanticized it a little in my mind, but my palate loved this to the last drop. golden in color, neither clear nor cloudy, and quite rich looking under its inch of bone white head. more like a tripel than a pale in the glass, something regal and special about it. it smells awesome too, that pale rye malt all the way, with almost no other grain character at all interfering. its high rye for sure, but no crystal or wheat or anything to weigh it down, so its clean. it also has a great hop nose, citra maybe, i get lemon zest and straw, summery and bright. the taste matches the nose perfectly, but is just so dynamic and well proportioned. the hops end up being flavorful but also delicate, more bitterness seems to come from the rye and its attendant spice character than from the hops themselves, although the light citrus notes and floral vibe is a nice compliment. the rye leads the way, which i think is so uncommon, especially in pale beer like this, they just let that malt shine, and shine it does. i could drink 20 of these, and wish it were regularly available in colorado. another example of bells doing their best work in their more simple beer, a theory i have maintained for years. this is one of the best rye beers on the market for my money!

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Photo of MUTINY
3.78/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Quick review. Pours clear (& fitting) gold with 3/4" fluffy white head that dissipates quickly. Retention & lacing are poor. Smells primarily floral with bready malt & a hint of citrus. Palate is similar, with more focus on the malt - actually achieving a fine balance. Feel is a bit crisp, properly carbonated & altogether refreshing.

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Photo of Tilley4
3.86/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Uber crushable.... Light and delicious... The rye brings a spiciness to the dance that really shines... Crisp and clean... Loving this seasonal from Bells.... Terrific beer for spring... I will purchase this multiple times while it's still available,..

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Bell's Smitten Golden Rye Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
85 out of 100 based on 303 ratings.