Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and select auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

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 pbechtel
4.29/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a burnt orange with a little head and lacing. Very smooth - the right mixture of citrus and hops. I believe this beer would serve as a good introduction to American IPAs to a newer drinker...Overall a great experience!

 227 characters

Photo of 57md
3.63/5  rDev -3.2%

Cloudy light copper. Rye notes are present in the nose but I am not really getting any rye in the flavor profile. The body is light with a crisp and mildly bitter finish.

 170 characters

Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Some lighter malts on the nose, spice, light fruit – almost grape, light, some alcohol warming, medium to a little more on the carbonation, brilliant straw color.

 164 characters

Photo of MarkQ617
3.25/5  rDev -13.3%

Not bad, had this on one of the last few warm days of summer. Poured out of the bottle into a pint glass. Clean golden ale with a nice spice from the rye. Usually I prefer rye in a pale or IPA, but this worked. Nice yellowish color, completely clear with a little head. Not bad.

 283 characters

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

Bottled 12/26/13 at 40 degrees into standard pint
Aroma light hops and rye spiceness
Head average (4 cm), white, creamy, slowly diminishing to 4 -8 mm layer.
Lacing poor – few small islands of small bubbles
Body light yellow, chill haze
Flavor spicey, slight hop citrus; no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate light to medium, watery, lively carbonation

A very nice pale ale, very easy to quaff to excess. A very pleasing appearance, light aroma and flavor, and enjoyable palate.

 474 characters

Photo of cbutova
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Big review dump from camping the last week. This was consumed in Sioux Falls, SD at our campground. Full notes taken on phone.

A- Hazy golden-apricot body poured from a 12oz to a goblet. A white head rises up to about one finger with decent retention and a frothy foamy texture. Thin islands and the small ring leaves spotty lace

S- Pretty much half and half balance of hops and malts for me. Maybe a bit to the hoppy side if I had to chose. Hops bring resin citrus grapefruit and floral. Caramel, rye and pale grains.

T- A small shift happens here with an increase in floral and specifically citrus oily feel, lemon oil almost with flowery herbal and spicy notes. Base of medium caramelized grains, spicy rye, slight sweets, rye crusty bread and some apple fruit esters.

MF- Light bodied with a nice texture from the rye. Silky and creamy with high end carbonation that helps drive the medium bitterness.

Nice balance of citrus floral hop strength and rye crusty cracked grain.

 983 characters

Photo of dbossman
4.04/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Cloudy, apricot hue with a full and sudsy and thick head that has amazing retention and very good lacing

S: Lots of citrus: lemon, lemon rind, grapefruit rind; with some resinous hop oils, grassy herbal and floral aromas as well; and of course the spicy rye

T: Citrus hop bitterness followed by the spicy rye; this starts off citrusy with lots of hop resin and bitterness but ends spicy and bready; this is tasty

F: Pretty thick, full texture and oily and sticky and yet still creamy

O: I really like this beer; for what it is--a slightly bitter and citrusy RYE forward beer, this hits it out of the park; so refreshing and drinkable

 640 characters

Photo of fgmiele
3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours golden amber hue with foamy carbonating white head. Aroma is tart and bitter.. Hoppy and floral with some mild pine notes in the background. Flavor is pleasant..hoppy but not overwhelmingly so. Mouthfeel is thick and satisfying..hop flavor sticking to the sides of the mouth. Another success from bells.

 309 characters

Photo of IronLover
3.82/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Amber yellow in color with perfect clarity. Poured with a thick, dense white foam with excellent staying power that left sheets of sticky lacings on the glass. Citrus hop and floral aromas up front with rye malt notes in tow. Medium bodied with soft carbonation and a resinous feel. Flavors are similar to aromas with citrus and floral hops up front followed by spicy rye malt through the middle and a clean, light crisp finish. Refreshing and easy to drink 

 459 characters

Photo of beergoot
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Light, honey-colored body with a very thick, dense, creamy white head; finely bubbled foam rings. Smell had a veggie funk; slightly spicy. Mild black pepper flavor with low-key phenols present; a bit of tartness. Light bodied; powdery dry; very fine and robust carbonation.

A fine, light, summery ale featuring a delicate lemony tartness. The rye component definitely adds a one-of-a-kind of subdued spiciness to things. Nice and delightful.

 442 characters

Photo of mvanaskie13
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a sam adams custom glass: color is gold to copper, head is bright white and presents 1/2 inch thick then dissipates to a top with some lacing on the glass.

Smell is very pleasant, clean pale malt, with some toast and light earthiness from the rye; hops are fresh, floral with subtle grass.

Taste is nicely done clean pale ale malt and rye flavors: earthy dryness, subtle spice; hops are a floral and grassy with a hint of lemon.

Mouthfeel is a bit biting on the tongue and rying but expeted for a pale ale to ipa size brew with rye malt.

Overall, a very solid rye pale ale with clean flavors but maybe light on the rye to bring out its true qualities.

 668 characters

Photo of khmel
3.44/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Hazy golden, straw color. Minimal carbonation. Thick creamy head at 1.5 fingers with long retention.

S: Rye malt, but very mild.

T: Mellow rye and malt flavors in front. A little sweet malt, mild hops in finish.

M: Medium body (especially for a rye). Very smooth and creamy, almost stout-like. Low carbonation.

A: Very mellow, enjoyable beer.

 349 characters

Photo of redearth329
3.71/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I knew nothing about this beer before I tasted it other than that I liked Bell's two-hearted. I wouldn't put it on the rye, though, but I can see it now that I know it's there.

A- very clear, light gold; 1 finger of thin, coarse white head that dissipated quickly.

S- general citrus, light cereal malts, a bit of honey. Not much nose.

T- lemon, grapefruit and orange peel. Honey and light cereal malts. Herbal bitterness. Long finish.

M- very well balanced. Medium bodied. Well-integrated flavors. Medium carbonation, which is a great amount.

O- like a less bright, deeper and more malt-oriented version of the two hearted (which is also very good)

 654 characters

Photo of EricTKole
3.57/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a Lagunitas mason jar. Good head retention finger and a half head. Darker golden color with plenty of carbonation. Mild smell, some hops and malt nothing overwhelming. Tastes good to me, malty and bitter but sweet as well. Some caramel notes for sure and definitely a little bite on the back end. Some hints of rye in there but not a ton. Mouthfeel is solid but doesn't stick around very long. Overall a nice beer probably would have been better if it was fresh or on draft but I got this with a case being clearanced at $20 per so I cannot complain. Will definitely try to get it on draft for comparison.

 631 characters

Photo of TreyIsWilson
3.71/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a clear copper with a two-finger white foamy head. Heavy sticky lacing.

S - Faint aroma of floral hops, pine, and rye.

T - Starts off sweet with a nice amount of citrus (orange and grapefruit) and caramel malts. The sweetness fades with the spice from the rye appearing. Hops emerge in the finish providing a nice bitterness.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Dry finish.

O - A very easy drinking beer. This would make a great summer beer.

 462 characters

Photo of lundqu23
3.64/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Much like Bell's Two-Hearted Ale. Has a strong hop taste and aroma balanced out by the caramel undertones. There are overtones of rustic dry malt which balance out the caramel and hops as well. Not a very large head if poured and very carbonated. Great on its own!

 264 characters

Photo of gogreen99
3.51/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This beer is very similar to two hearted ale by bells. It has a very hoppy aroma and taste...good clarity with a light caramel color and thirst quenching. With a six percent abv this beer finishes very smooth. The carbonation finished very creamy. Great!

 254 characters

Photo of ZachMcGinn
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Very similar to Bell's Famous 2 Hearted Ale. Lighter in color, a golden yellow and not as strong in terms of hops or bitterness. Refreshing flavor is perfect for the summer month. There is a distinct carbonation that leaves a tingling aftertaste....

 249 characters

Photo of Jesswellick
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Hoppy and refreshingly light beer. Light carbonation aids in the hoppy flavor developing. Doesn't leave an after taste like other beers with this much hoppy flavor. A great beer to pair with light foods and great for summer time drinking. A great rye flavored beer!

 265 characters

Photo of phartman133
3.31/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

This is a very refreshing beer. You are invited in by the caramel color and once you smell this beer you are hooked. You can smell the hops right from the beginning. Once this beer touches your lips you can taste the hops and citrus flavor of this great beer

 258 characters

Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.94/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the 12 ouncer into a pub glass.

A- Big foamy, frothy, pale white head that dissipates into a plateau. Golden/copper liquid is hazy and showing mellow carbonation.

S- Resinous, dank piney hops hit my nose first, then mild notes of rye and malt.

T- Citrusy and sweet. The rye emerges at the finish to provide some spiciness. Even getting some orange or grapefruit peel in there. The malt is low-key. Rye and grapefruit provide a long finish.

M- Very light and thirst-quenching. Has a pleasant creaminess and a slight burst of carbonation on the finish.

O- Another good beer from Bell's. This beer seems like a great session beer, although I say that without having checked the ABV.

 700 characters

Photo of CHickman
3.79/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours cloudy yellow gold with a big 2 finger white head that was full of bubbles and faded very slowly, leaving excellent foamy lacing and rings as it went down. Impressive looking for a pale ale or rye beer, this looks like one of Bell’s IPA’s.

Smells of rye, floral hops, herbs, mild spices, mint, light grapefruit, roasted grains, yeast like that wet cardboard smell, and spices like potpourri. Nose has a lot of strong scents that work well together for a very different smelling beer, I enjoyed the nose a lot.

Tastes like it smells with rye, floral hops, herbs, mild spices like pepper, mint, coriander and allspice, grapefruit, lemon zest, pine cone/piney hops, roasted grains, yeast, and biscuit or wheat. Flavor is hoppier than the nose with the spices and rye finishing each sip on the dry side.

Mouthfeel is light and crisp with a little texture, light fizzy carbonation, and a slightly bitter spicy finish that’s on the dry side with rye and hops. Nice beer overall, pale ale or rye beer category is not important since it’s tasty, crisp and easy drinking. Could be a session beer if I can get more of it.

 1,131 characters

Photo of Kendo
3.67/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled on 1/27/14; consumed on 4/10/14.

A: Poured from the bottle into a pint glass. Body is hazy golden with a good-sized (1.5-fingers) fluffy off-white head. Good thick rings of foamy lacing. Lots of fine bubbles visible throughout.

S: Pleasant nose: florally, perfumey hops with some underlying cereal grains for foundation. As it warms I'm getting some skunkiness as well.

T: First impression: this is slightly light-struck, as I get a bit of skunk lingering on the aftertaste. Grainy malt foundation, then spicy rye is obvious. Good strong hoppy finish - florally again, with modest lemony bitterness. Nice spice bite too.

M: Medium in heft body with moderate, creamy carbonation.

O: I bought this single bottle at Price Chopper and I'm guessing it hasn't been properly handled. I'd like to get a fresh, clean bottle; I suspect I'd give it a better review.

 868 characters

Photo of Scrapss
4.15/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dumped aggressively into a cheater pint.

A: beautiful, almost self-illuminating with a glow and radiance of a golden orange color. Floaties and not transparent gets is a slight ding here. dense head collapses into a thin 2mm head that laces all the way with a white wispy lace.

S: Tropical and spicy, dusty rye. This is a hallmark of slightly dusty rye and why I love this style is embodied in this smell. I am getting that almost galaxy and rye combo, with sweet tropical fruit notes and peppery rye.

T: follows nose, leaving some very sweet up front notes, rye-sourdough bread, mango and souring from under-ripe mango, followed by apricot and nectarine notes then dries out to a rye white pepper. Complexity, due to the fact that it shifts though these notes in a predictable, welcome and harmonious fashion.

M: creamy and medium bodied with a spicy white pepper tongue action. That fruit sweetness comes and goes and makes it difficult to concentrate on the dryness. It ebbs and flows from dry to sweet to dry and back. Interesting, and never had a brew do this strange flip-flop.

O: Very nice and worth the quaff. Dare I say it, it is what I would seek if I pictured a rye Hopslam.

 1,190 characters

Photo of farrago
3.56/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pure white foam head, tightly woven microfoam, semi-aggressive pour yields a little over a finger, retention is okay, the lacing streaks are meager but long, average stick. Filmy golden colored liquid, lots of fine particulate floating throughout, semi-opaque as a result, few visible bubbles. Very grainy nose featuring spicy rye notes, black pepper, orange and grapefruit rinds, once you get past the initial burst there’s underlying sweetness found in honey notes and peach, apricot fruit accents, light touch of mineral water and cigar ash before it floats off. Medium-bodied, the carbonation charges right out of the gate, gets things churning. On the dry side even as the rye is not over the top, hoppy with no lack of leafiness even if it’s the grains which take precedence. Stronger citrus presence here, lemon to orange. As in the nose, the apricot, peach, yellow apple fruit holds off before showing. The finish is filled with earthy, metallic notes, creates added bitterness. That said, balanced on the whole, drinking well chilled helps. You can tell it is well crafted, however, it also has a sort of lowbrow “throwback” feel and taste to it.

 1,163 characters

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