Bell's Christmas Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.
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Ratings: 1,194 | Reviews: 461 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by kels:
4.05/5 rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
I really, really enjoy this beer. It isn't the typical Scotch Ale though, which I think probably contributes to it only having a B rating. Definitely try it if you get the chance.
Beer pours into the pint glass a really nice warm coppery red. The creamy off-white colored head starts at about 2 fingers and fades to a well-retained finger or so depth. A considerable amount of sticky cream foam coating the sides of the glass. The beer is fairly opaque, but the carbonation bubbles rising throughout are still quite visible.
Aroma is faint, but I do pick up a toasted, nutty malt scent, along with a very earthy, dry grain - much like rye. I'm only getting hints of peat, but it isn't nearly as smoky as I get out of most of this style.
The taste is definitely the best part of this beer, followed very closely by the feel. It's not particularly complex, but I really enjoy the straightforward fullness of the flavors. There is a definite malt-heaviness that is very toasty and warm. It is coupled with a breadiness that reminds me a lot of rye bread or pumpernickel. Instead of caramel sweetness that I find in most Scotches, I get a nuttier, only slightly sweet flavor that is very enjoyable. The taste can really be described as "dry," more toasted than roasted/smoky, and the peat doesn't really present as could usually be expected. The finish is very clean with only the slightest hint at the appley hops within. I really appreciate the way the feel complements the flavors of the beer. It is very well carbonated, and the creamy feel starts with the texture of the foam and continues throughout the drink. Overall feel is moderate, heavy enough to coat the palate and hang around awhile, while still being light enough to be highly drinkable and smooth. Finishes clean and dry.
This is a great beer for the season. I would probably drink it year-round if available. I hope no one passes it up based on the okay overall rating. If I wasn't rating within style, I think my score would be higher - more like a rye beer to me than a Scotch. Cheers!
Serving type: bottle
11-09-2009 23:19:38 | More by kels
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Bell's Christmas Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
81 out of 100 based on 1,194 ratings.