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

Not Rated.
Bell's Smitten Golden Rye AleBell's Smitten Golden Rye Ale

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BA SCORE
85
very good

273 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 273
Hads: 1,513
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 8.97%
Wants: 26
Gots: 215 | 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.
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Reviews: 273 | Hads: 1,513
Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
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. (253 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.4/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Packaged 1/22/15.

Pours a murky honey orange with a foamy tan head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Tiny particles of sediment are seen floating around in the beer after the pour. Smell is of malt, grain, rye, earth, black tea, and slight herbal hop aromas. Taste is much the same with grain, spicy rye, earth, and herbal hop flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of rye and hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer that is drinkable, but the rye and herbal hop aspects mix together give this one a fairly assertive bitterness that make it a bit of a chore to drink in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle. (802 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is relatively clear yellow in color and has a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles on the surface, a collar around the edge of the glass, and lots of lacing down the sides.
S: Light to moderate aromas of citrusy hops are present in the nose along with notes of rye.
T: The taste starts out with some flavors of orange citrus but quickly transitions to a light to moderate amount of spicy rye flavors that continue to linger through the finish.
M: It feels just about medium-bodied and somewhat crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I liked the citrusy notes in this rye beer as they added complexity to the taste and helped take some of the edge of the spicy flavors, making this beer more drinkable.

Serving type: bottle (871 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Bell's last weekend.

Pours a clear golden color with a thin white head and some spotty lacing on the way down. The nose carries some rye and a bit of light spicing. The hops are mostly floral and there is an earthy component as well. Nothing over the top. The flavor has a bit of rye and spice with mild hops. Light body and high carbonation. Body is crisp and fairly bitter. A nice, easy-drinking brew. (414 characters)

Photo of brentk56
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
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 (665 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Smitten- what a clever name for a beer that is down to earth, charismatic, and a real beauty to look upon. Yea, maybe I have a little crush on this honey rye.

Smitten opens with a bright and cheery straw color with just enough of a haze to create a vale that gently breaks up the light. A light and foamy head caps the beer with persistence and clingy lace. Though a pale ale, the beer takes on lager-like appearances.

The lightly kilned barley makes way for a grainy-sweet scent that's accompanied by a kiss of floral honey tones. Spicy to the nose, that background husky rye and grassy, citrusy hop notes deliver the scent from the grain and balance the sweetness at the same time.

Thin caramel sweetness greets the front of the mouth, light enough to allow the earthy and flowery taste of honey to make equal impact. At the same time, the zingy spice of rye tingles the tongue with the grainy, peppery, spicy tone of the steely adjunct. The rye balance to the sweetness links up seamlessly to the citrusy hops at middle palate and then the sharp yet clean grassy bitterness that finishes the beer. It's overall balance is even-keel with the taste of malt that evades much of the sweetness from malt.

The beer's short-lived sweetness is whisked away, favoring a dry malt bready texture that's light, airy, and highly refreshing. The rye spice pangs on the tongue with the heated sensation of fresh cracked peppercorn. But the beer delves into a dry finish with mild alcohol warmth and clean hop bitterness.

Smitten pits its supple sweetness against raw spicy notes for balance that shows both its seduction and its boldness. (1,631 characters)

Photo of emerge077
3.82/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

3rd bottle of the sixer thus far, it's fairly unique, and more of a Rye IPA imho.

Pale orange yellow, murky with suspended sediment, billowing white foam and concentric halos of spindly lace in the glass. Lasting head retention, looks rustic like a saison, and the first whiff lent to this impression.

Complex aromatic combination of hops, rye, and yeast, sort of rustic and herbal, mildly grainy.

Firm herbal bitterness, floral, lemon rind, rye and pale malt, lingering dandelion bitterness. Light bodied and a little bit thin, would be quenching on a hot summer day for sure. Hope to revisit in warmer months. (617 characters)

Photo of zeff80
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, bubbly, orange color with a one-finger, white head of foam. It left thin rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of spicy rye bread with some caramel.

T - Some toffee and caramel sweetness. A very subtle spiciness.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale.

O - This was really tasty. I wished that I had another one as soon as I finished the first. (394 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.46/5  rDev -8.7%
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. (577 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.93/5  rDev -22.7%
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. (624 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Served in a moustachioed shaker pint glass.

Thanks to VDubb86 for this bottle!

But what did he end up saying when the last petal was plucked? Anyway, this stuff pours a clear gold populated by a steady suspension of floaties and topped by a finger of off-white foam. The nose comprises pine sap, leek-y grass, funky lemon rind, and a light dusting of rye spice. The taste generally brings in more of the same, though now the leek character is more of a dank/dark one, and there's less of a funkiness present, allowing the lemon to express itself as it sees fit. The body is a rather light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a relatively dry finish. Overall, a pretty nice rye beer, one I could easily see enjoying a few sixers of over the course of its availability. (779 characters)

Photo of oline73
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Served in a snifter at Churchkey.

Pours an orangish amber with a layer of off white head. The nose is abut weird. I'm getting rye and some citrus but there is also a slight medicinal quality. The taste is better. Rye spice teams up with citrus peel hops. The malt backbone is quite nice. Quite enjoyable but not spectacular. (325 characters)

Photo of Kegatron
3.62/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap @ Bell's Eccentric Cafe on 4/23/09. Served in a pint glass.

Pours a crystal clear golden copper with a thin head of foamy brite-white. Retains mostly around the edges, leaving some light spotty lace back. The aroma is mostly smooth smelling rye that is promiment but doesn't dominate the profile, as I'm also getting strong backing notes of bread, citrus, and floral hops, as well as a touch of alcohol heft.

The taste is similar with drying rye notes up front that balances the sweetness that comes courtesy of bready malts and some citrus character. Firm dose of hops in the back ends things with light bitterness and dryness from the rye. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a sharper feeling carbonation that punctuates the hops and rye. There is also a bit of beef to the body, that when mixed with the heavier rye notes, kept the drinkibility down somewhat for me.

Not bad. This definitely brought the crisp rye character but the alcohol was dialed up just just a tad to too much make this thirst quenching. This was worth a try though. (1,055 characters)

Photo of Slatetank
3.96/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I picked this up at Giant in the mix-a-six cooler enjoyed chilled from a willybecker.

The color is slightly darker golden with light amber accent with mild haze and thick pale cream of about 2.5 fingers and retention is very good with lace stickage on the glass. The smell is nice with some floral hop elements and mild nutty and grainy malt in the nose with slight citrus in the hop aroma with light orange rind and grapefruit tinged nose. The feel is very good with moderate bitterness and mild sweetness with slight husky grain presence midway through with semi-dry and moderately astringent aspect toward the end with spicy and gently acidic quality in the finish

The taset is pleasant with citrus peel hop flavor and gentle earthy malt with slight grassy taste from the hops w/ light tannic element which seems like a tea-like hop astringency with toasted maltiness in the back end. Overall a pretty tasty rye w/ nice balance and plenty of hop flavor which is almost a Rye IPA in terms of perceived bitterness with fresh taste and dry feel that brings you back for more. (1,079 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.67/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A bit thinner than I would have expected for a rye beer. But it's a nice earthy presentation overall. Inky and earthen tones are there on the end. Fairly full carbonation. A hearty drinker, even though it's on the lighter side of most rye beers you get out there. (263 characters)

Photo of russpowell
3.71/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Packaged 01/14/13

Pours honey colored with a thumb of beige head. Pretty good head retention & some lacing

S: Grassy, bready, some dry hay, some floral notes

T: Grassy, lemon, floral & pepper notes up front, along with some herbal hops. Slight lemon pepper notes as this warms, just a touch of grapefruit & some grain husks. Finishes crisp with lemon zest, grainyness & grassyness

MF: Light body with subtle carbonation, decent balance

Easy to drink, but nothing I'd buy again. I'll take Red's Rye any day. I would take this over Oberon to be sure (553 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%
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-) (1,205 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.87/5  rDev +2.1%
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. (1,674 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bell's Smitten Golden Rye Ale. Hey, at last a new Bell's seasonal offering that I can actually find on the shelves and won't cost me $16 for a six-pack. I had a pint of this on tap at a bar a few weeks ago, and like it, then. Looking forward to sitting down and tackling it in the quitted of home, with a mind undistracted.

First off, what about the name? Cute, dear, darling. The dandelion with the petals pulled? Are they shooting for a female market? Perhaps the colors, images and name are looking for ladies who want to be pulled towards something approachable, but substantial, not the same old honey wheats and wits they're used to being marketed to? Just some thoughts. Now let's get to the beer…

Highly hazed, with plenty of particles, but a beautiful golden color despite that, under a slim, sure white dotted head, leaving a little film behind.

Aroma: Bright, fresh hops lead the way, citrus-y, spicy, but not too bitter. Floral hops meets spicy, bread-y rye malt. A nice combination.

Taste: That one-two combo jumps right on to the palate, when the liquid lands on the tongue and floods the mouth. A very vivacious flavor in the mouth, a fantastic combination of slightly bitter hop profile and sweet and spicy malt mouthfeel. Light to medium body, smooth to somewhat tickle texture.

I'm really getting it now. I'm suspicions about the name, branding and imaging are proven true. The flavor is a step up from Oberon, for the craft beer fan needing a little something more, …not so much from hops, but enough. Not too much from malt, but the right amount to keep things tasty, light and easy to drink.

I like this. Might not choose it myself too often. But I recommend it. Refreshing and delightful. Maybe I'm smitten?

Here's the typically terse but clever label verbiage from the bottle: "With wonderfully bitter citus 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." Well done, but I'd skip the superlatives. "wonderful" and "interesting" should be left to the consumer to decide. True enough, it's a very likable brew. (2,150 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
3.77/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On draft at Churchkey, beer is yellow, mild haze, wispy white head, minimal lacing, low retention, moderate to low carbonation.

Aroma is a little nutty, a little yeasty, a little spicy, I really like the aroma.

Beer is medium to light in body, a little grainy, a little dry on the finish, overall a nice beer but a little bit of a let down. I"d have it again though. (368 characters)

Photo of superspak
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into signature pint glass, bottled on 1/14/2013. Pours very cloudy golden amber color with a nice 1-2 finger dense white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass. Aromas of orange zest, grapefruit, lemon, pine, floral, spicy rye, grass, bread, and light herbal. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity. Taste of orange, grapefruit, lemon, pine, spicy rye, bread, toast, floral, grass, and light herbal. Fair amount of piney bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, pine, floral, rye spiciness, bread, toast, and grass on the finish for a bit. Very nice flavor balance of hop/malt, with good complexity; zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, lightly sticky, and crisp mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with nearly zero warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very nice rye pale ale! Nice balance of hop/malt flavors with good complexity; and extremely smooth to drink. A very enjoyable offering. (1,089 characters)

Photo of jwc215
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
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. (444 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a cloudy golden apricot in color with significant amounts of yeast sediment in suspension, light amounts of visible carbonation, and some orange highlights. The beer has a finger tall creamy light beige head that slowly reduces to a thick film covering the entire surface of the beer with a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of bready malts with a lighter touch of rye spiciness which is followed by some slightly stronger grassy and floral hop aromas.

T: Upfront there are light to moderate flavors of bready and grainy malts with some lighter flavors of rye spiciness. There is a slight amount of honey sweetness but that fades pretty quickly. The finish has some light citrus/lemon followed by the flavors of grassy hops and light floral hops. Light to moderate amounts of bitterness in the finish which lingers slightly.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly thin/watery with some light amounts of dryness in the finish.

O: This is an easy to drink and pleasant spring beer that is enjoyable on a warm afternoon. Not sure I would grab this one again as there are other rye beers that I prefer which are easily to come by (and Bell's is not readily available where I live). (1,299 characters)

Photo of stakem
4.06/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to ClockworkOrange for gifting me with a bottle of this. 12oz poured into a pint. The brew appears a hazed golden with particulate stuck in suspension. A fluffy white cap rests atop with patchy lace sticking to the glass.

The aroma is lemony essenced with a grassy to noble hop character. A bit of biscuit to cereal grain quality provides a pleasant contrast/backing to the hops.

The flavor is fresh and grainy with a bit of toasty taste about it that is minorly like cereal sweetness. Some lemony citrus hops break things up before getting progressively more herbal to more dank and piney in the finish.

This is a medium to light bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is a nice summertine refreshing brew with lots of enjoyable hop aspects. I could see where someone who doesnt dig pale ales or IPAs might be turned off by this as it has quite a hop punch to it. Thanks again Jason! (907 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.3/5  rDev -12.9%
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. (277 characters)

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Bell's Smitten Golden Rye Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
85 out of 100 based on 273 ratings.