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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: 1,526
Avg: 3.75
pDev: 28%
Wants: 31
Gots: 224 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 274 | Hads: 1,526
Photo of tigg924
4.2/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

In my opinion, what Bells does as well as any brewery is take ordinary styles and perfects them. They make super clean and tasty offerings of styles that I would not be as excited to drink a six pack of. Smitten is no exception. The beer tastes somewhat leafy, very citrusy, and has a touch of spice from the rye. Not the most complex brew, but wow is this juicy and drinkable. This is one that I will certainly revisit.

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Photo of everythingiszen
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Full golden colored. Healthy ring of fuzz, lacing. Spicy pine. Tangy citrus. Take your pick. Definitely leads pine. Pinier than most ryes I've tried, an interesting combination. It's growing on me... fans of bitter IPAs will like this; fans of ryes with low IBUs will tolerate it I imagine.

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Photo of nickapalooza86
3.81/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a nice gold, finger of white head with great lacing, lots of floated

Smell is earthy piney hops, some spicy rye notes, bread, some lemon like citrus

Taste is quite heavy on the rye up front but then some very piney hop notes kick in, a light citrus quality, nice bready malt, a little orange

Mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium, slight drying in the finish

Very unique beer, good, but glad I only grabbed a single. Not something I would drink on the regular. If you like rye, my guess is you will love this.

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Photo of Maxbier
3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden pour with big off white head. Big citrus pine aroma. Flavor is light spicy rye malt with piney bitter and a citrus grassy hop finish. Tasty.

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Photo of sataylor888
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

one of the better golden ales that I have had, I am a sucker for rye at the moment though. If you sometimes feel golden ales are missing something, this may be it, a little more spice.

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Photo of megamick
4.5/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Honey colored, hoppy, citrus flavored 2 fingered head in a snifter was good for me. Rye is very understated, but Enjoyed immensely & would highly recommend!

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Photo of denver10
4.01/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours orange golden with a slight white head that quickly recedes. Aroma is toasted grains, honey, spicy rye, a little fruitiness and some grassy hops. Flavoris biscuit, honey, spcy rye, fruity, with a mild to moderate resinous finish. A crisp, medium bodied mouthfeel with a dry finish. Overall, surprised a little by how much I enjoyed this one. Dangerously "sessionable," because at 6% abv it is certainly no session beer.

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Photo of TeamMathis
3.53/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Huge head. Cloudy orange liquid. Not a big smell, but it had orange and pine. The taste had a nice mix of sweet citrus and little bitterness to it. Very spritzy. All in all, I could drink it all the time just because it's refreshing.

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Photo of Floydster
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

16 ounce can

Appearance is clear yellow, moderate carbonation, one inch of off white head with tons of lacing

Smell is grapefruit, piney hops, rye, caramel, and

Taste starts off with a big orange flavor followed by other citrus like lemon peel and tangerine, fades into large amount of spicy rye flavors that linger in finish along with crisp hop bitterness

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, crispy with strong carbonation, rushes of bubbles keep this beer refreshing

This was very strong in the citrus department for a rye beer, spiciness provided balance and made this quite drinkable

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Photo of JohnnyI
3.35/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours from the growler in to an IPA glass with a light golden hue and just a kiss of red rye. The minimal white head settles quickly in to a thin collar, while the transparent liquid shows just a touch of chilled haze. The aroma yields bready pale malts and hops of the earthy variety. Only moderately aromatic, with just traces of rye discernible. The taste follows the nose. Mildly flavored and balanced, with a slightly drying finish. A bit of peppery spice from the rye and a lingering mild hop bitterness leave a lasting impression. A spritzy, lively carbonation helps give the impression of a fuller body, though it's mostly an illusion, and a good one. Overall, this is a pretty standard affair, and it makes me yearn for something more potent and flavorful, like a Ruthless Rye. When a pale ale takes on the same basic profile of an IPA, but tames all of the desirable characteristics down, it simply leaves me unsatisfied. It's not easy enough to be a session beer, and not bold enough to stand out. Perhaps a good bridge to better things if you're trying to ease in to the craft world.

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Photo of Dave1999
3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy golden color with a bright white foamy head.

The smell is spicy rye, earthy hops.

The taste is much like the smell, a little spicy rye and earthy hops.

The feel is light and refreshing.

Overall an easy drinking beer, nothing especially exciting though.

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Photo of larryarms847
3.37/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a slightly orange golden yellow with nice straight white foam.

Floral, lemony, and resinous hops met with a slight spiciness of rye.

Floral, earthy, herbal, citrus, and some rye spice.

Light-bodied, medium carbonation, floral bitterness, slightly grainy, and soft.

Overall, this is much better than I anticipated. Light and citrusy, but just enough earthy rye spiciness to balance things out.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.4/5  rDev -9.3%
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.

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Photo of neenerzig
4.31/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured out of a 12 oz bottle into my pint glass, this beer pours a slightly hazy/cloudy, but mainly clear, medium golden color with a nice, fluffy white head about 1/2 to 2/3 inch thick when first poured. Has lots and lots of streams of little bubbles rising to the top of the glass. the head eventually settles to a solid 1/4 inch thick and has excellent retention down to the last sip retention, along with good lacing. Aromas of grassy, herbal, citrus hop notes and a nice rye presence upfront, followed by some bready malt notes. Has a good herbal, slightly grassy, earthy, citrus hop flavor upfront that gives way to the rye flavor that is rounded out with toasted bready malt sweetness. Good balance of flavors here. The hop bitterness and rye bitterness are certainly the dominant flavor profile here, but the toasted bready malt sweetness is not overpowered by the bitterness. It has a really nice balance! Has a crisp, yet quite smooth and frothy, almost creamy, medium to full bodied mouthful with moderate carbonation and a dry finish. Quite easy to drink in the way well crafted beer ought to be. An excellent offering here that is well worth a try.


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Photo of HarpuaCritz
4.36/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Golden with moderate head that dissapates slowly into a lacy white collar. Subtle nose with notes of grass and slight fruitiness. Medium bodied with nice complexity. Starts off slightly sweet and fruity and transitions to bready, then earthy almost woody hop notes. Well balanced and easily drinkable. Yum.

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Photo of ordybill
4.34/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass.
Aroma- Has a nice citrus and hop smell.
Appearance- The beer pours a clear yellow and has a small white head.
Taste- Has a nice blend of citrus, hop and rye.
Palate- This is a medium-bodied beer with moderate carbonation. It has a crisp fairly dry finish.
Overall- Bell's has once again formulated a very nice brew. I recommend everyone give it a try.

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Photo of breakingbland
3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The aroma was slightly sweet with a hint of rye and hops. Fairly typical of an American ale. The taste followed the aroma but not quite as sweet. Refreshing.

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Photo of metter98
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
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

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Photo of BikeChef
4.13/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Nothing stands out about this beer, but it is a superbly balanced, beautifully crafted ale. Don't expect fireworks here, just relax and enjoy this one, being glad we're living at a time when such good, fresh beer is so readily available. I'm smitten :)

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Photo of atr2605
3.53/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a slightly hazy gold color with a white sudsy head that leaves a bit of lacing
S-predominately rye, a bit yeasty, piney
T-rye and pine bitterness followed by some citrus, and a dry biscuit malt finish. Crisp. Bitterness lingers a bit
M-medium to medium light bodied with a good amount of carbonation
O-Not my favorite beer but very drinkable.

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Photo of kickbundler
4.29/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The bottle is dated 01/04/15 and was decanted to a standard pint glass. This beer pours a slightly hazy gold with a small head. A small amount of head lasts throughout with quite a lot of lacing left behind. The aroma is subtle with a nice malt and piney smell. The taste is nicely crisp and refreshing. The hop bitterness is not overwhelming and the aftertaste is clean with just a touch of lingering bitterness that fades quickly. The presence of rye is not obvious in this beer. Overall this is an extremely drinkable beer.

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Photo of Chiefy770
4.35/5  rDev +16%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 Fluid Ounce Bottle
Bottled on January 12th, 2015
Reviewed on February 13th, 2015
Served in a Kölsch

Clean looking gold body. An average foamy white head formed, collapsed, and left a great amount of sticky white lacing throughout. Plenty of bubbles circulating throughout the body.

Tons of citrus. Floral undertones. Subtle notes of pepper and bread.

A blend of floral and citric hops hit the tongue first. Spiced rye followed the hops, mellowing things out a bit. A rather strong hit of citrus lingers in the finish. Medium/light body. Moderate carbonation.

Great hop-heavy rye. It’s bitter but goes down easily. All around a great brew.

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Photo of dwagner003
4.27/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Smell and taste are totally flowery and perfumey. Like, it smells like I am drinking flower pedals. Almost some Saison qualities. Call me crazy, but it worked for me.

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Photo of rkat32
3.79/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle dated January 9, 2015. Poured into a New Glarus nonic pint glass. Consumed on February 10, 2015; reviewed on February 11, 2015.

L: Slight haze, deep gold in color; decent two-finger, cream-colored head that sticks around in the glass.

S: Rye, pepper spice, rustic hard bread crust, earthy hops. Looking for a little more from the aroma, but the beer is over a month old by now.

T: Spicy rye, earthy hops, hearty citrus, honey, bready malts, very floral, nice hope bite, makes one want to take another sip.

F: Creamy mouthfeel, long-lasting bitterness with pleasant floral and citric hop characteristics.

Overall: A very nice, hop-forward English-style rye pale ale. Extremely drinkable despite the bitterness. As usual, a nice offering from Bell’s and a welcome addition to their early winter seasonal rotation.

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Photo of Stevedore
3.32/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle dated 1/12/2015, served in a Bell's snifter 2/9/2015.

A- Slightly cloudy, but for the most part a clear light orange body, two finger white head with good retention although it does not leave much lacing.

S- Bready aromas waft out, floral and earthy notes are predominant. The rye imparts a distinct aroma but is not a particularly strong aspect of the nose. The floral and earth are the main aromas here.

F- The rye is much more present on the palate. Honey, a bit of orange marmalade, toasted bread makes the malt backbone very much like a pilsner in character. Plenty of floral bitterness, a bit of earth on the backend. It's interesting, not sure I love it but it does grow on you with each sip.

M- Medium bodied, crisp but soothing on the palate even with the floral bitterness on the backend. Reasonably drinkable, although the floral bitterness does wear on my palate after a while.

O- Reasonably unique pale ale with a nice rye spice to it and plenty of citrus and floral bite. It's kind of like what I would expect a rye English bitter to taste like. It's pretty solid, nothing special but worth a shot.

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