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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

274 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 274
Hads: 1,518
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 8.97%
Wants: 29
Gots: 216 | 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.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 274 | Hads: 1,518
Photo of morimech
4.21/5  rDev +11.1%
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. (711 characters)

Photo of tdm168
4.16/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - orange with a thin lacing of white head; a lot of floating hop sludge

S - intense, peppery rye; some spicy hop notes; and some faint citrus notes

T - peppery, rye, some spicy hop notes, faint herbal notes, mildly bitter hop finish

M - medium bodied, smooth, well carbonated

This is a decent beer. The rye is forward and intense. and the hop character is very complementary. There are some subtle, underlying citrus and herbal notes as well. Though not terribly complex, I am impressed with its drinkability. I really enjoy a rye beer especially a rye beer that showcases the rye as the primary ingredient rather than a secondary element. This is worth a try for all rye fans. (683 characters)

Photo of bluejacket74
4.02/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, Batch 11695, packaged on 1/14/2013. Served in a nonic pint glass, the beer pours a hazy gold color with an inch and a half white head. The head stays around a long time, and there's also a good amount of lacing. The brew smells like bready/grainy malt, rye, citrusy hops, and some grassy hops. The taste is similar to the aroma, but there's also the addition of some light peppery spice. There's a nice bittersweet finish in this brew. Mouthfeel/body is light/medium, it's a bit creamy, but also refreshing with good carbonation. Would be a great beer on a hot day, but it's still good on a 25 degree day, too. I like this brew, I'd buy it again. $9.99 a 6-pack. (679 characters)

Photo of Florida9
3.69/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Lightly hazy gold in color. Forms a moderate sized bright white head. Decent retention. Minimal lacing.

S: moderate aromatic with lots of spicy rye and a little grapefruit and some bread.

T: very mild malts allows a lot of toasty rye to come through in this beer. Unfortunately, aside from the rye and some grapefruit pith, there just isn't much depth to the flavor.

M: thinner side of medium. Moderate to aggressive bitterness is fleeting. Medium carbonation.

O: a good beer. A bit one note, but this has to be one often most rye forward beers I've come across even if that's all there is to it. (607 characters)

Photo of hardy008
3.52/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy gold with a two finger bright white head with good retention and nice lacing. the aroma has rye, yeast, floral hops, and biscuit malt.

The taste is lightly sweet up front with bread malt, but is more bitter and spicy as the rye, yeast, lemon,and floral hops more in. The biscuit malt flavor comes in at the end, making for a beer which starts with light sweetness, goes to being spicy and bitter, and then finishes balanced, all in one sip. Funny thing is this keeps happening as I continue to drink it.

Light to medium bodied with soft carbonation. Finishes dry. Not a bad beer, but I would like it better if it didn't have as much bread and biscuit malt flavor to it. (686 characters)

Photo of peabody
3.54/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Batch 11695 bottled 1/14/13.
Man the floaties in this. Pours out a semi-clear yellow liquid with three fingers of white suds that stick around for most of the glassfull. No lacing to speak of here.
Smell is freshly mowed grass and straw. Almost a green aroma. The sugar and malt are way behind this everpresent rye aroma.
Taste is strong rye at first then the hop comes in. The bitterness is not just hop here. The rye is coming through and it isn't too bad.
Mouthfeel is sticky and bitter so there must be sugar in behind the rye somewhere.
Overall I am more confused by this beer than anything. I like it but don't know how to review the thing. Probably wouldn't buy this if weinstephaner was available. Still Bells kicks butt and this is not a bad beer by any means. (769 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 J-beer
3.61/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A new Bell's in six pack form..A straight to the point review IMO. If you like Bell's Pale Ale try this. It seems somewhat similar less hoppy add rye. A sweet bready smell. Taste sweet, rye at first followed by hoppy kick...overall I like it and I would try it again if I was in the mood for this style. (303 characters)

Photo of DrDemento456
3.71/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Another mixed six pickup. 6 packed for a $1.75 Bottled 1/15/13 so less than two weeks old.

A - Wow this one is unfiltered too with a crap ton of floaties. Mild carbonation resulted in just a thick sticky lace ring. Beer seems to be a bright yellow.

S - Smells of spicy rye, some bread, and a touch of wheat.

T - Starts of dry and bitter with some rye then I get some bready malts, touch of wheat and a dry finish. It's not as rye forward as other rye beers so it's enjoyable.

M - Light and crisp, somewhat watery so it could use more carbonation.

Overall I haven't found one bells beer that I hated and even though I don't enjoy rye this one is very drinkable. (665 characters)

Photo of scruffwhor
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear brass and light copper color mix, minus the perfectly suspended yeast sediment. No bubbling, quick head, and a thin foam that lasts for most of the twelve ounces.

The aroma is full of lightly spicey rye, eathy and grassy hops, with toasted cracker malts. There's just a small note of yeasty fruity, sweetness.

Very light in body. Just a little syrupy in texture. Light flower hop bitterness and rye spice. Watery, toasted cracker with a little crouton dried bread crust. Easy to drink, spicey, bitter, but nothing special. (532 characters)

Photo of schoolboy
3.77/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

This beer is a style that I have slowly been warming up to for the last year or so. It is especially pretty in the glass. A nice yellow beer with a moderate head that poops out quickly.

The aroma is faint, but a bit hoppy. The taste is more of an APA hops taste, which is a good thing. It is not as dark and bitter tasting as the style would indicate. Instead of dark it is somewhat fresh and piney.

The aftertaste is a nice lingering of the pine taste, again, more like an APA or AIPA. Everything about it gets better as it warms.

A nice, easy drinker, I also got it in a big can, and I think the can is slightly superior to the bottle, but really the same taste. (668 characters)

Photo of BB1313
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Batch #11705; Bottled on 1/15/13. 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours almost a hazy pale straw color, but it remains golden like the name suggests. The aromas are fine, but don't exactly slap you in the face. The word of the day with this one is earthy. The nose is calm and subtle, but still has a fruity aroma with orange peel leading the way. Very floral. The flavors start off extremely spicy and bitter, but it definitely cools down the more you drink it. Lots of pine needles and grass. The malts aren't heavy, but there. The rye is extremely noticeable in the flavors. Well done. Lots of black pepper in the in mix as well. This is an extremely rustic beer. Crisp and refreshing as well. The mouthfeel is wonderful, like most of Bell's beers. Medium-bodied, fluffy, creamy, active carbonation. The mouthfeel stands out and definitely makes this beer an easy drinker. Alcohol goes unnoticed.

Enjoyable beer. Bell's own description of the beer is spot on. Very earthy beer. It's definitely a unique take on the Pale Ale style. It also nails the rye aspect. The craftsmanship is there. I was just hoping for something a little bolder. This would be great for the summer. (1,183 characters)

Photo of pvo
3.59/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

An enjoyable pale ale-- I've been struggling recently to find beers that were both interesting, and accessible to friends who are less interested in beer/trying something new. Saisons, IPAs, and some other styles were a bit much for them; I am confident that this is both something I will enjoy, and something they will as well.

Appearance: golden, as in the title.

Smell: fairly hoppy, but more floral than citrus.

Taste: crisp, hoppy, but not overpowering. Can be had on its own, or with food.

Mouthfeel: stays on the palate, fairly rich and staying for the pale ale style.

Overall: happy to have found a good beer that is both accessible and well done. (661 characters)

Photo of barczar
3.49/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy copper with an orange tint and a foamy one inch cream head that dissipates fairly quickly, leaving small sheets of lacing. Tiny floaties are present.

Citrus, resin, bready malt, and rye form the initial aroma. A catty note and pine emerge.

Grapefruit dominates the beginning of the flavor, which becomes bready and pretty dry mid palate. Sour orange and resin add intrigue. The finish is decidedly bitter, with rye notes lingering. Onion and grassy, earthy hops eventually become detectable.

Body is moderate, with moderate carbonation, slight astringency, and a fair amount of alcohol warmth.

Packed with flavor, but the citrus and bitterness don't allow other ingredients to shine. And the combination just doesn't hit my palate well. (753 characters)

Photo of aasher
4.04/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This new arrival pours a light bodied, very clear and bright yellow gold in color with a soapy one finger bright white head. The nose is light and hoppy with a moderate pine character. I could smell the beer the second I took off the cap. The flavors are great for the style. It's hoppy with a pine, floral, lemon aspect with a touch of malty sweetness in the finish, rounding it out. It drinks light in body and slightly dry and drinks very easily for 6.5%. Overall this is a really nice and lighter pale. This is perfect for warmer weather. (542 characters)

Photo of patpbr
3.99/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured golden with a white head and good sticky lacing. Aroma is lemon and citrus hops. Rye is up front on taste, Some citrus and spices, mild hop bitterness. Crisp with moderate carbonation and a dry finish. Been more willing to buy rye beers lately and this has backed it up. (277 characters)

Photo of jmarsh123
3.86/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Max's

Pours vibrant light gold with a white head dissipating quickly into a ring.

Lemon and light citrus in the aroma with a bunch of biscuit/bread character along with spicy rye.

Wow this is rye heavy. Like rye bread in liquid form. Some lemon up front and finishes with an insane amount of rye kick.

Lighter bodied with carbonation a touch on the high side, but works with the rye.

Enjoyable beer as I was not expecting that much rye kick. Nothing substantially great, but if you are a fan of ryes you'll like it. (530 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 Cabbage_pants1
4.14/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance was orangey with a slight haze
Nose was bready huge malt loveliness with the promise(which was delivered) of citrus and a slight spice to come. I have to say I fell in love with the nose on this one...beauty... sheer beauty...
Taste.. Ahh taste... Malty toast preceeded by a citrusy, mostly orange flavor... Good stuff...
Mouthfeel was ephervecent at first rolling about mid mouth provideing a truly balanced feeling almost maturing as you drink... Lovely probably my second favorite part
Overall I like it... I want to love it but it won't let me... Good stuff though if you see it drink it! It's totally worth it... (628 characters)

Photo of fastenoughforphish
4.01/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

New Bell's seasonal I believe. Bottle 1/14/13 so very fresh.

A: Appearance is nice golden light beer, small one finger head that dissipates quite quickly.

Smell: Smell is a little bit of citrus presence up front, followed by a good biscuity maltiness. Toasted.

TasteL Taste is similar to the smell, with citrus hops up front, but these leave the palate very quickly. Followed by a toasty spicy malt flavor from the rye that sticks around. Pleasant taste. Toast sticks around until the end with little bitterness, just enough to balance out the beer.

Mouthfeel: High carbonation, light body, works well for the beer. Nothing special.

Overall: A tasty beer, the rye toasty flavor dominates, but there is definitely a citrus hop presence up front in the nose and mouth. A good bridge between winter and spring. (814 characters)

Photo of PHBoiler
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured 12 oz bottle which was bottled on Jan 14 2013 into blonde glass

Poured bright golden color with a solid two finger head and plenty of carbonation

Smell was different. Grassy and toasted. No real hop presence.

Different taste from any APA. No citrus notes or hop forward taste. Much like the smell. You taste the toasted rye flavor. Clean and crisp for the most part. Bitter finish. Not overpoweringly bitter but it stays on the tongue.

The mouthfeel is effervescent and almost lager-like.

Worth a try. Very fresh and grassy. Hard to compare to anything else. Bell's continues to produce thought provoking beers in variable styles. (645 characters)

Photo of buschbeer
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle
Served in a standard pint glass

A - It has a nice golden amber body with an inch or two of off white head.

S - I get some light citrus notes as well as some rye.

T - I get modest citrus flavors, and it finishes with some rye.

M - Moderate

O - It is an enjoyable beer. (285 characters)

Photo of mynie
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Super rare beer bought at the brewery. It comes in a fancy bottle that makes you think chalice, but the style and ABV are more suited to my regular-ol' pint glass.

Pours... goldish. Kind of like a very pale APA, and with a tiny head.

Smells... ryeish. A light tang goes against a light hop. EDIT: A fantastic, bready yeast complexity becomes apparent as the beer warms and lends some fantastic complication to the brew.

Things are a bit more happenin', flavorwise. But, still, it's pretty much like a boilerplate ryePA, only a bit crisper and lighter. Earthy malt, green hops, and then a bit of rye tang. (607 characters)

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 warnerry
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle #336 of 508

A - Pours a clear pale copper with one finger or so of off-white head. Head has decent retention but leaves only small spots of lacing.

S - Quite a bit of malt in the aroma. A faint spiciness, but really much going here.

T- Nice spicy rye up front, along with some floral hops. Malt becomes very prominent in the middle. Finishes with a bit of bitterness and spice. Pretty nice, if not the most complex taste around.

M - Mouthfeel is slightly watery in the middle, but finishes nice and dry.

O - Pretty good beer with a nice rye presence, but otherwise nothing really sticks out. Enjoyable, but not sure this warranted being in the 750 series. (667 characters)

Bell's Smitten Golden Rye Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
85 out of 100 based on 274 ratings.