Bell's Christmas Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.
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Ratings: 1,214 | Reviews: 461 | Display Reviews Only:
1.93/5 rDev -45.9%
$1.99 for a single at Jack's. "A malt driven scotch ale, made with 100% Michigan grown barley and a blend of Pacific Northwest and Michigan hops".
Pours to a hazy deep chestnut with red highlights. Forms a modest creamy off yellow head with good retention and lacing. Carbonation is kinda mild. The aroma is of dark fruity malts, a touch of floral soap, and when swirled, a faint perfume of jasmine and saffron on a base of souring milk. Mouthfeel is smooth at first, then takes on a stinging fruity quality. Begins with a touch of dark fruit like rotting apples and cherries, then is overloaded with this funky soap/floral character. This is followed by a moderately strong hop bitterness, burning PVC, toast and a hop extract finish. Despite it's quoted 5.4% ABV, there are alot of higher alcohols which give it a harsh, aggressive quality.
Don't care for this one. It is not very enjoyable, and doesn't resemble a Scotch ale in the slightest. I will have a hard time finishing this 12oz bottle.
Addendum: The more I drink this beer, the more I am convinced it is poison. It has this terrible acrid/chemical burn in the back of the throat long after you've drank it...something I have not experienced with even the worst swill.
11-26-2008 22:46:23 | More by Mitchster
2.08/5 rDev -41.7%
Very disappointed in this beer.
Pours a nice lookin amber. All downhill from that point on. Scent is dull, and taste is light and unimpressive. I'm a big fan of winter/christmas beers for their robust scents, and complex flavors. This beer falls short in all aspects, as far as what I look for in a winter seasonal ale. Oh well, off to the next
12-08-2010 01:38:44 | More by Joemark
2.1/5 rDev -41.2%
A - Pours a light brown color with light brown head about two fingers high
S - Very light hop and malt, not much smell to it.
T - Tastes kind of neutral, nothing really jumping out at me, light hop on the back of tongue. very light malt taste but didnt notice at first sip.
M - this one coasts all the way down. Light, kind of thick but it might just be to cold. It would probably loosen up a bit if it warmed up.
D - Good one to serve to my family or friends who is not into craft beers. Almost reminds of Budweiser select. Wont be buying it again....might even be in my fridge till next christmas! LOL!!
12-10-2010 00:18:35 | More by Frothboss
2.15/5 rDev -39.8%
Pours a cloudy amber. I expected a little darker for a Scotch Ale. The smell was very faint. Sweet bready aroma and some yeast in there as well. The taste was nothing like I expected. Not the usual raisins and figs you expect. Actually, it wasn't much of anything. The mouthfeel was far too light for the style. Not a good beer and I will not be buying again. Big dissapointment.
01-03-2009 00:58:31 | More by hops4me
2.25/5 rDev -37%
A murky amber color with a white head. There’s a hint of some hoppy bitterness, but otherwise there’s not much there in terms of flavor or aroma. Has a smooth watery feel. It's odd that this should be a scotch ale, as it lacks the character of scotch ales that I have had. Also odd to call it a Christmas ale, as it lacks the fruits and/or spices associated with such a holiday brew. Disappointing.
02-19-2014 17:56:19 | More by brutusmuktuk
2.25/5 rDev -37%
Hazed copper colour with a fluffy, light beige cap that really lasted. Dense head of fine bubbles, streaky lacing. Musty aroma up front, then a bit of lemon and herbal hops. Malt was hiding in the background, a bit biscuity. Dry yeast smell. Moderate bitterness that lingered into the finish. Yeasty, bready flavour followed by herbal hops and a spiciness that was just short of acrid. Sort of fruity too. Herbal character lingered, along with a bit of lemon. Medium bodied with creamy carbonation, but had a weird dryness in the finish. Drinkability wasn't great, but I was able to finish it without too much trouble. This one was all over the place and didn't come together at all. I'm a big fan of Bell's and enjoy many a Christmas beer at this time of year, but this didn't work for me.
12-13-2008 02:21:36 | More by DrJay
2.25/5 rDev -37%
Amber colored brew. Balanced but unpleasant nose, with hints of biscuit from the malt as well as some grapefruit and lemon from the hops. Flavor is very light, lacking complexity and depth. Nothing even close to a wee heavy. How is this beer not an amber ale?
11-15-2008 03:34:53 | More by Crosling
2.3/5 rDev -35.6%
Bottle gushed a bit upon opening.
Pours a clear copper color with a finger of white head.
Some hints of bubblegum and with some malty and earthy notes.
Bubblegum and clove come through in the taste. This has to be an infection.
The body is a little thin with quite a bit of carbonation.
I really think this was infected. What I took away from this didn't match any of the other reviews.
02-16-2012 05:56:05 | More by samie85
2.35/5 rDev -34.2%
Strange beer. First of all, the entire idea: a Christmas themed beer that purports to be a Scotch Ale? Call me confused. I know that this had to be shoehorned into some category, but do not go and have a pint of this expecting full bodied Scotch goodness, because you'll be disappointed.
Amber pour with a generous head. Nose is gentle, malty. The flavour of this beer is...odd. It has a bit of an herbal hop bite that is vaguely clove-like and somewhat astringent, and then it segues into an inoffensive, but also unimpressive malt section. That's it.
The bottom line for me is that Bell's needs to either run with this ball or just forget even coming to the field. MI is full of breweries that are putting out top tier Scotch Ale style product (Founders and Arcadia both come to mind) and this doesn't hold a candle to either of those.
11-30-2008 22:32:38 | More by CortexBomb
2.35/5 rDev -34.2%
Eh, this was a bit of a let down. I really like Bell's beer, but this one wasn't up to par. For me, it was more of a Scotch Ale light, or if one of the Macros tried to make a Scotch Ale, this is what I would think of. There was no pronounced presence of malt at all. It was just lightly placed with the light hops. Nothing more, nothing less. I would pass on it again.
11-29-2008 03:13:20 | More by JISurfer
2.35/5 rDev -34.2%
12 ounce bottle - $2.09 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.
Batch: 11572, PKGD 10/22/12.
Appearance: Pours a medium amber-hued body chock full of suspended particles hidden beneath a thin, off-white head for not a hazed, but dingy appearance.
Smell: Weak bready-scented malts, slight citrus, slight additional fruitiness, with slight dirty, dead yeastiness given one last sip of half-sweetened iced tea.
Taste: Very lightly bready malts with a thin sweetness. Holds just shy of delivering a taste of toast, a taste of toffee. Curious fruitiness in addition to some orangy citrus qualities. Slight spicy pine hint as well with sufficient bitterness. Hmm, it just doesn't mesh well or come together for me.
Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium-plus carbonation.
Overall: This is one of the regular seasonal Bells offering that I seem to always miss every year like clockwork, which I did regret from time to time, and, now that I've had it, well, I wouldn't have it again.
11-10-2012 22:08:31 | More by ChainGangGuy
Bell's Christmas Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
81 out of 100 based on 1,214 ratings.