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Bell's Christmas Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Bell's Christmas AleBell's Christmas Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

492 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 492
Hads: 1,541
Avg: 3.58
pDev: 22.91%
Wants: 46
Gots: 209 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Scottish Ale |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BierFan on 11-06-2008

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 492 | Hads: 1,541
Photo of BellsGuy
4.82/5  rDev +34.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ok, I'm a big fan of Bell's so I came in assuming I would already love it. For a Scotch, it's a little weaker than I would prefer, but regardless I really enjoyed this brew and went back for more.

My favorite beer appearance is a reddish/golden look and this matches up perfectly. Nice froth on the poor, not too much lace left behind, and an excellent ale aroma. A nice beer that tastes like a beer, something I'm always looking for.

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Photo of smptenor
4.79/5  rDev +33.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is a beautiful brown to red color with a finger length head. Smell- I can smell beautiful types of fruit, some honey, some wheat. Just a beautiful smell I really love the smell of this beer. Taste- So I have to be honest. I am from Cleveland Ohio and I am going to college in Michigan and very upset because Great Lakes Brewing Company's Christmas ale just came out in Cleveland and I can't get it in Michigan so I saw this at the store and said I'd give it a try not expecting much. I'm shocked. It's great! It starts with a hoppy like honey taste and finishes with a beautifully smooth yet strong cinnamon taste. I think it competes hard with Great Lakes Christmas Ale the only thing I don't like as much about it as it is only 5.5 abv and Great lakes is 7.5% abv. Other than that I'm loving this beer. This is my second beer by Bell's and I'm loving this brewer. Mouth feel- the moth feel is exactly what it should be for this type of beer. I is easy to drink and smooth but has a perfect amount of carbonation. This beer is great and makes being away from my hometown of Cleveland and away from my Great Lakes Christmas Ale a little bit easier. Just a Great Beer. A Must Try! Just to say though I think my rating might be a bit higher because it totally surpassed my expectations.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.75/5  rDev +32.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I couldn’t stop raving about this. Wow.

It pours a light auburn color, almost like a dark blood orange tint. It’s lightly hopped with a bit of citrus and a touch of pine to it. Not a hoppy beer but I’m wondering if the hops are more forward with a fresh batch (bottled in October, purchased/drunk on Christmas Eve)? Regardless it was still great. I picked up some sweet cherry notes, a light maltiness that held up, and just a fantastic pleasing finish as well. What a treat.

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Photo of DarthVorador
4.75/5  rDev +32.7%

A VERY good session ale. Malty, but well balanced. Just a very wholesome flavor that screams QUALITY!!! ...Not sure I'd call it a Scottish Ale though.

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Photo of GordonQuid
4.7/5  rDev +31.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a bells pint glass.

Clear copper with a hue of ruby red with a one inch tight head and ample lace.

Smells of blended malts, honey and cinnamon with a nice spicey hop variety.

I agree with this categorized as a Scottish Ale; the flavor profile is VERY malt driven. I am very impressed at they way they utilized the malts to create such a unique and satisfying elixir in coordination with the hop variety both local Michigan hops and Pacific coast. It is hard to explain how perfect this beer is.... I love it!
Rich caramel and munich malts, cara-vienna and crisp marris otter blended with fresh wet hops locally grown and blended with possibly Warrior or yakima magnum gives it a nice alpla bite. THis stuff kicks ass!

Easy as hell to drink!

Buy a case and share with friends and family!


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Photo of Lauthaha
4.57/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pure tan. Fizzy white head bubbles down to a wispy but present lacing on top of the beer and around the edge of the glass. Slight reddish tint to the beer. Somewhat cloudy, active carbonation.

Smell: Wheaty...cloves, raisins...just a touch of caramel in the malt, maybe. Very pure, a great smelling Scottish ale!

Taste/Mouthfeel: Mmm, very mellow, low (but present) bitterness, warmth from the alcohol, sweet bread or raisin bread, a great beer to chew for a moment. Cloves in the aftertaste. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: It deserves a 5, in my book. Very tasty, not overly estery, not cloying, not weighed down in malt but not empty-bodied either. Perfect.

I love Scottish ales, and this is a good example by an American brewery.

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Photo of 2BDChicago
4.5/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pretty redish amber haze, on top is a fluffy foam head that's kinda of kahki color.

Grabbing me with totaly non-standard flavors...esp for style (not always a fav).

Very low note of sotch ale on top of bubblegum.

Spice bombs are a distant memory.

What a mellow holiday brew, that has a personality. I could see this as a go-to brew on a long x-mas eve.

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Photo of hosehead83
4.33/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a twelve ounce bottle into a standard pint glass
Attractive bright orange cloudy color, with a nice two-inch head of foam
Aroma-Spicy malt, wheat, biscuit, subtle orange zest
Taste-Malt, wheat, subtle honey, cinnamon-orange,biscuit, slight hop notes
Overall,very smooth, creamy and tasty. Would make a fine session beer-A bit surprising that this is considered a Scotch Ale, but whatever the style, it's a tasty offering.

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Photo of JDK
4.33/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a golden amber color with a 1 finger off white head
Very mild smell along with the taste, light toasted malts, coriander and a touch of hops.
Mouthfeel was light on the carbonation with an almost flat finish.
Very good over all and worth a try

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Photo of oberon
4.32/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Man I love a little cheer from the north country,I didnt know they grew hops back in the home state,ya learn somethin new everyday.Poured into a standard pint glass a hazed lighter amber/copper with a nice frothy 1/2 finger white head that left broken lace as it never fully settled.Wow love the aromas,a mix of full sweet malt and spicey hop,with even a hint of winter-like spice to it wich I dont think it has.Toasty and warm up front with some brown sugar and caramel sweetness,and again I get a hint of Xmas spice,a big herbal racey hop finish ends nicely.Wow this beer is rated pretty low but hot damn I love it,another gem from K-zoo.

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Photo of stewart124
4.32/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Quite a bit a of light tan head atop this hazy copper colored beer. Decent lacing along the sides but I was expecting more after seeing three fingers of dense foam.

The smells coming from this scotch ale are malty, bready and a touch of citrus hops. Some earthy/floral aromas as well.

This has a very nice mouthfeel coupled with a smooth creamy body. Plenty of caramel malts add a nice sweetness with a biscuity/bready character. There is also a little bit of citrusy spice from the northwestern hops.

This is very drinkable and very tasty. Nice American version of a scotch ale.

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Photo of msfoster77
4.31/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I think this beer was a great buy. I like christmas ales tha don't taste like you are drinking a spice ball. This beer smelled of hops and oranges. It poured an orange red color and looked almost pulpy after I poured it, but that was probably a product of the pour. It had great carbonation.

The taste was of hops and citrus, and small hints of spices. I thought it was great, but it tastes more like a mild IPA than a christmas ale.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.31/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Out of all the on tap offerings today this one was the best!

A - Looks to be a deep color amber with a nice bit of foam and the best lacing on the sides of my glass. Great presentation!

S - Smells faint but I can get cinnamon and nutmeg with some hops and malts.

T - Very good! I can pick up the cinnamon, maybe some all spice, and nutmeg but also a mild cherry tone. Tastes awesome!

M - Very light to medium bodied. Was able to finish the sample pretty quick.

D - I don't remember it being this great out of the bottle but it sure impressed me on tap! Great flavor and surprisingly smooth low ABV scotch ale!

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.3/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got this brew from SirSketch, Thanks Zach!

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

L - cloudy orange/amber color with a beige head that left good lacing.

S - toasted malty sweetness with a bit of earthiness in the background.

T - starts out with malty sweetness and then a nice touch of bitterness sneaks in before a light, dry finish.

F - medium bodied with a smooth feel.

D - Merry Christmas!

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Photo of KBomb
4.3/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I gotta say I'm surprised this is classified as "Scotch Ale", but whatever. Its the drinking experience that matters, and my friends, I enjoy drinking Bell's Christmas Ale.

Ruby toned deep brown color, one finger of foamy head. Big caramel malt aroma on the nose, a hint of fruity sweetness compliments. Tastes bready. Some green apple flavors and a touch of cinnamon and spice. Good sweet flavor to this beer, but not too much sweetness. The "Christmas Spices" are mild, but present to add depth of flavor to the caramel malt. Super dry mouthfeel-- creates an invitation for another.

Bell's Christmas Ale is very likeable. A great simple, malty session beer well suited for the season.

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Photo of DAllspaw
4.28/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into pint glass

Amber color, a little cloudy with solid 1 inch off white/tan head. Plent of tiny bubbles.

Malt is king here, most notable in the aroma then same in the taste. A bit of caramel and toffee which remind me of other scottish ales, though others I've had are darker.

Slightly sweet and even a little smoky aftertaste. Reminds me more of ESB with, but regardless a very nice beer and perfect for time of year. Plenty going on, another strong offering from Bells.

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Photo of Pedro07
4.27/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Deep amber hue with a nice rocky white head that rises high. Lots of beautiful lacing. The beer is an iconic color and depth.

S- Very sweet off the bat, bot a whole lot of malts, but more candy and cherries. Do I sense a citrus hint in the nose? I digress, there is a small amount of earthiness present, but the nose on this beer is very unique!

T- If a beer can be very mild yet bold, this one toes that line. As opposed to the nose, I get a lot of yummy maltiness in the taste. I can't sense bitterness anywhere, this is one smooth beer. Maybe there is a small bit of dried fruit in the taste, but it's like rum-soaked cherries or cranberries.

M- Very full and satisfying. I'm quite pleased, the beer is mouthcoating.

D- Very sessionable beer with no negative qualities. The only thing I can think of is why they call this beer a scotch ale. When I think of scotch ale, I think of Dirty Bastard which is a lot more powerful than this one. Odd...maybe it's a mild english style?

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.25/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bell's Christmas ale pours a very hazy reddish amber body beneath a creamy head of off-white froth. The head retention is good, and it leaves some very nice lacing as it goes.

The nose is malty with a gently caramelish and biscuity note, a hint of fruitiness, and some minor hops (perhaps some citrusy hops?).

In the mouth it's dextrinous and decidedly medium bodied (not quite medium-full) and creamy smooth.

The flavor is as the nose suggests, with a rich but only lightly caramelish malt that's bready, a touch nutty, and perhaps even subtly toasty - smeared with leafy, herbal, spicy, and citrusy (lemon zest) hop flavors, and accented by underlying yeasty fruitiness (berries, apple) and yeastiness.

Quite enjoyable, and readily drinkable, it's a bit of a mini malt monster that's well balanced by hop bitterness, and well-accentuated by a wide range of mild yeasy and hoppy flavors. Nicely done!!!

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Photo of montecristo2
4.23/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a tulip glass at Mother Murphy's Irish Pub in Chicago. Served on tap!

A nice reddish/mahogany colored ale. Nice head in the glass, good lacing.

A really tasty Christmas Ale-one I could drink all night, actually. Not overly spiced, and the alcohol is tolerable, in fact, barely noticeable.

I really like Bell's Brews, and this is another to add to the already delicious lineup. Whatever they are doing works for me. I enjoy everything they do, and this Christmas Ale will go on my list for future purchase.

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Photo of chaz410
4.22/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very excited to try this puppy. It pours a beautiful dark red, nice for the season. The smell has notes of figs, lots of malts, caramel, some berry notes like cherry. The taste is very warming, thick fruit and backgrounds with mild spices blending well in with the caramel malts. I really liked this beer, it's in my top three favorite winter warmers without a doubt. Grab while you can!

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.22/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazey, opaque color, bordering on a lighter brown, nice, creamy toned head, ...

Fruity malt sweetness hits the nose at first, matched by hops, high hops, higher than I'd expect out of a Scotch Ale, as this is purported to be...grapefruit and orange, a twist of lemon, matched with juicy malt. Interesting...

Whoa! Big, bitter bite right off the bat...not sure I'd call this a Scotch Ale or a Wee Heavy, after the pithy attack of hops with each new taste. I like it, mind you, I might even love it...

Described on the label as a "malt-driven Scotch Ale". the malt may drive it, but the hops take over the steering wheel and take command. Scotch Ales shouldn't taste like Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale or Surly Furious. But I like it, despite that...
It's great, ...bright hops smack up into lush, lovely malt. Great balance, ... like a big IPA, with full Scottish malt at hand. I can enjoy this. Stylistic sticklers should be warned, though.

I think I'll be having a lot of this, this winter!

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Photo of martyl1000
4.2/5  rDev +17.3%

A Scotch Ale? Nah.

A surprisingly quaffable and bright flavored malty concoction? Yes. Definitely not a Winter Warmer or a spiced beer. (No spices added.)

Light-bodied. Low-hop-bitterness. Nice fruity flavor to balance the malt bill.

Way better than the bulk of the Christmas Ales out there.

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Photo of thecarster1
4.2/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a- bottle poured into a tulip, beautiful two finger head leaving lace layer all over, amber brown coloring.

s- sweet toasted malts, cinnamon, nuttyness.

t- i just looked at the style and didn't realize that this was a scottish ale, i figured it was a winter warmer. either way it was very tasty, nice amber body to the front that gives way to nice hops and a spicy finish with cinnamon, tasty.

m- medium body.

d- nice drinkability here, i would drink this again for sure. winter isn't my favorite season for beer, but i found this to be a welcome brew. i'd drink this again for sure.

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Photo of drxandy
4.2/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz to footed ale glass, pours a deep amber reddish golden orange, cream colored head fades to lacing, looks deep

smells of sweet piney hops, spice, heavy malt

taste is of sweet pine, bitter, great flavor, spicy barley, dry, crisp, yeastly, good balance and easy to drink

mouthfeel is bitter and spicy, sweet, malty, creaminess, lingering flavors and highly sessionable

a nice addition to bell's portfolio, mmm

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Photo of mdwalsh
4.17/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a good 1.25 finger head, a bland tan color. The beer is amber hued brown with lots of active carbonation. Fairly clear too.

S: A spicey, but malty smell. Maybe some rye? Or just really well done hops/spices. Excellent for christmas, pretty good for Scottish Ale

T: Taste is similar to the smell, but the malt takes front seat, the spice is an afterburner taste. But with all that flavor, it's still pretty blunt. There just isn't much going on for intracey. Good, but not wowy.

M: Mildly sparkling, not that smooth at all. But I don't think I want my christmas beer to be too smooth. But sort of dry feeling.

D: Very, nice sessionable beer. Might make an appearence at my Thanksgiving table.

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Bell's Christmas Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
81 out of 100 based on 492 ratings.