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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,221 Ratings
no score

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Ratings: 1,221
Reviews: 461
rAvg: 3.57
pDev: 13.45%
Wants: 35
Gots: 58 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BierFan on 11-06-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,221 | Reviews: 461 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of woodychandler
3.95/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From the bottle: "From our fields to your holiday. A malt driven ale, made with 100% Michigan grown two-row barley malt and a mix of Michigan and Northwest Pacific hops. A bit of cheer from the north country, sure to make any occasion festive."; "Batch # 11581, pkgd 10/30/12".

A nightcap following the Steelers' win over the Ravens a little while ago. I love an aggro pour as it really creates as much head as possible and opens up the beer's nose. I got two-plus fingers of dense tawny head with excellent retention from my nearly-inverted pour. Color was a deep copper with NE-quality clarity. Nose was rich with malt, giving rise to truth in advertising. Mouthfeel was medium, approaching fullness with respect to its near-creaminess. The interplay between the malt, which was prevalent on the nose, and the hops, which now seemed to take center stage on the tongue, was notable. As the head began to fall, loads of sticky lacing was left behind. I was having a hard time believing that this was a Scottish Ale, but at the same time, I was totally digging it! I just wish that the malt had been more smoky as opposed to outright sweet. Finish was semi-sweet with the hops reigning in what could have been too much.

woodychandler, Dec 03, 2012
Photo of Stinkypuss
3.95/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bell's Christmas Ale, brewed with Michigan grown barley and hops according to the label.

Pours a solid copper in color with a rocky off white head. Clumps of lacing.

Aroma of bready malts and some fruitiness poking through. Floral hops are present as well.

A malty tinged brew with a nice spicyness. Not sure if it was brewed with spices or if thats just the hop. Scottish style malt and an earthy hop presence. Juicy with muted fruit notes. A distant dry roastedness finishes it off.

High level of carbonation and a nice crisp, dry finish.

Drinkability is fairly decent. A nice ale with a good amount of flavor and complexity.

Stinkypuss, Dec 08, 2009
Photo of Travlr
3.95/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance was bright amber with a scant white head but good lacing.
Smell involved nutmeg and caramel.
Taste had lots of malt and good scotch flavor, maybe some wood (but not pine) in the background. Bitter, dry, and not sweet at all. Long finish.
Good body.
Very drinkable for the style.

Travlr, Nov 14, 2009
Photo of mothman
3.95/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoying this beer while listening to the Kaiser Chiefs: Ruby

Poured into Sam Adams Sensory Glass.

Pours a 1 and 1/2 finger head, slightly tan. Great retention. Leaves some big lace walls. A lot of yeast sediment. Color is ruby when held to sunlight, but that is not the proper way, so it is actually a hazy burnt copper color.

Aroma: Comes of with a burnt carmel smell. Has some sweet hops as well. Very sweet malts. I am diggin' the smell.

Taste is a lot of hops which surprised me. Sweet malts. Kind or a burnt taste to it. Carmel. Pretty decent.

Mouthfeel is more refreshing than anything. A little creamy. Goes down easy and ends clean, but a little chewy. Good carbonation.

Overall, I really enjoyed this beer. It is April and not December, so that may have an influence in my ratings. That or I just enjoyed the beer. I highly recommend, but at the regular price, it is spendy. I got this on clearance which was great.

mothman, Apr 16, 2009
Photo of LiquidBread219
3.95/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A lot better on-tap than in the bottle

A= It was light brown in color had a little head.

S= I picked up some fruit and wood on the nose.

T= Starts off with a carmel malt and then I pick up on a bread malt of some type. Nice noasty winter beer.

M= Medium bodied for me it had a little to much carbonation.

D= This was a nice beer to have on a cold winter day really enjoyed it a lot better on draft than in the bottle.

LiquidBread219, Dec 19, 2010
Photo of TurdFurgison
3.95/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a bottle at Cloverleaf in Royal Oak, not wanting to commit to a 6-pack until I tried one first. The beer sort of light colored for a scotch ale, darkish yellow with a 2-finger head. The smell is malty with a little, very little, hops fruitiness. The taste is toasted and malty, with a really nice fruit after-taste. I could drink quite a few more of these just for the after-taste, so good. I'm getting a 6-pack before Christmas, and recommend the same to everyone else.

TurdFurgison, Dec 20, 2008
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.95/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

unique take on a christmas beer. pours a heavy amber color with an off white head 2 inches high. smells very different, like wine grapes and other acidic fruits. malty and rich. flavors of the grapes are really bold, very unfamiliar territory on my beer palate, but i like it. theres fruit without sweet, which i like a lot. also a very smooth bready malt flavor which balances everything out. mouthfeel is a little heavy for me on this one, especially as it warms. it filled me up, which most beers usually do not. overall though an excellent beer which is apparently quite hard to come by. really different flavor, worth a try for sure.

StonedTrippin, Jan 01, 2012
Photo of dogger6253
3.95/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice dark amber color with a strong, foamy, glorious head on top. The head is really something special, the body not so much, but nothing off-putting.

The nose is sort of an amalgamation of floral hops and chocolate and tobacco. There is not much there, no power in the scent. Aromas are there, but they don't really sing.

Taste is nice and bready with a candy-like sweetness. There are barely any hops to speak of, no real bitterness of any kind. I'm searching for the chocolate and tobacco I smelled, not really there. The flavor is quite nice, but no real depth to make this exceptional.

This beer is quite refreshing and not heavy on the gut or the head. I might make this a go-to session beer this holiday season.

dogger6253, Dec 25, 2010
Photo of danielharper
3.95/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark orange (almost red) body, nonexistent head, heavy amounts of carbonation suspended in the glass. Even aside from the bubbles, this is a very hazy beer -- I can't see through it to the other side except vague lights.

Smell: Clean dry malts, very bready. Other than the strong aroma of grains, not much else to the aroma. No hops present. It's good, just not complex.

Taste: Sweet caramel malty start, slightly dry in the finish. A touch of astringency to the aftertaste. A nice flavor, not very complex -- little I can really say about it in detail.

Mouthfeel: Moderate. Coats the tongue well but not quite as thick as you'd expect from a good Scotch Ale.

Drinkability: This is a good beer that is perhaps a tad mislabeled. I'd consider this closer to a bock than a Scotch Ale -- it's not high enough in alcohol or thick enough to justify the label its given. Not a lot of complexity, but a great flavor that makes it worth picking up.

danielharper, Dec 29, 2008
Photo of melitameister
3.98/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased a bottle already 18 months old from great beer store on Topsail Island, NC. Was in the cooler and apparently well kept.

Not much to remind me of a Scottish Ale and surely not typical of a Christmas ale. Label says "malt driven," but fairly dry, more like a very well made pale than a Scottish.

Appearance - Burnt orange with some cloudiness with a nice creamy head. That and yeast in the bottom says this is a live beer.

Smell - Orange, citron, pine and malt.

Taste - Full but dry malt balanced with hops bitterness and some dry hop fruit. Lots of subtle esthers carry on to make the taste last.

Mouthfeel - Light but creamy. Despite not getting what I expected from a Bell's Christmas, a highly drinkable and delicious brew. What I have come to expect from Bell.

melitameister, Apr 12, 2012
Photo of Megahertz
3.98/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz into a New Belgium Globe. Bottled on 10/15/12, consumed 12/02/12.

A - Clear deep red with a massive, pillowy head and very tight lacing. Beautiful.

S - Surprisingly sweet freshed baked bread with a subtle citrus & resin note in the background.

T - Fresh baked bread, crust and all, with a serious toasted note in the middle. Considerable ale esters - raisin, plum and cinnamon. Hop bitterness is present but very mild, clean and gentle. Medium dry finish. A refined flavor.

M - Medium body with medium carbonation. Creamy mouthfeel.

O - A very nice ale - distinctly American yet complex. Nothing to do with christmas, but I'll drink it any time, anywhere.

Megahertz, Dec 02, 2012
Photo of KeefD
3.98/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Significantly hazed copper orange color with a nice tan head that falls slowly, lots of suspended particulates (always a welcome staple of Bell's) and some lacing. Aroma is very fruity. There's some orange, and lemon in the nose backed up by some sweet malts. It has a nice flavor but kind of misses the mark for a Wee Heavy. It's slightly sweet, with a nice bitterness in the middle and slightly dry on the finish. Nice use of hops in this one, but never becomes too bitter for those who like slighyl lower IBU ratings. Caramel coated orange slices is the best way to describe this beer's flavor. It's light-bodied, however, but what it lacks in body is almost made up in the flavor. Slightly creamy, light carbonation. This beer is pretty damn decent but nothing spectacular. I could have gone for a little fuller mouthfeel, but it was tasty and quite drinkable. Another example of how Bell's makes some of the most solid brews around.

KeefD, Nov 22, 2008
Photo of lhaqq
3.98/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a light copper with a light tan head that dissipates somewhat quickly.
S: Smells of spices and alcohol. Also some sweetness of darker fruits.
T: The spiciness starts off the taste, but it shifts into the (light) sweetness of dark fruits and some maltiness.
M: Good; I think a beer where the mouthfeel would leave it enjoyable cold or at cellar temp.
D: When I ordered it, I assumed I was getting a winter warmer. But scotch ales are one of my favorite styles, so I didn't mind that it wasn't. Yet it didn't really taste like any other scotch ales I've had. Not sure what category I'd have put it in. Nevertheless, probably would get it again.

lhaqq, Jan 04, 2009
Photo of mick303
3.98/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a large snifter which yielded a healthy creamy head with good retention and lacing. Colour is an amber brown-copper, nice carbonation.

Smell has a very fragrant nutty, clove spicey malt. A light roastiness, and remains overall light and slightly fruity, apple and a bit of grapefruit, a subtle citrus tartness, some brown sugar.

Taste is initially a nice roasty malt with plenty of plumy fruit character. A touch of brown sugar caramel sweetness but also a bit of hops to counter this. Some candied orange and all-round good flavour that seems quite festive, none of it gets in the way of the beer though. Some vanilla oakiness towards the end, finish is dry.

Mouthfeel has a high carbonation and it really refreshing and sessionable, moderate body, and highlights the beer and hard to ask for much more. Leaves a dry fruity aftertaste.

Really enjoyed this, it incorporated a good range of flavour, decent complexity into a pretty well balanced ale, and avoided being overly sweet. A nice treat, could be more interesting but this is a nice easy-drinking xmas beer and worth a try.

mick303, Dec 28, 2012
Photo of Namarsha82
4/5  rDev +12%

Namarsha82, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of BuckeyeSlim
4/5  rDev +12%

BuckeyeSlim, Nov 22, 2012
Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: 1 inch head, high carbonation, orange-brown in color, hazy

Smell: cherry, bread, dark fruit, and holiday spice

Taste: earthy pale malt malt, cherry, bread, dark fruit, and holiday spice

Mouthfeel: medium body, sweet with slight earthy bitterness especially at the end, high carbonation

Overall: A bit more pale than I would have expected and I got more winter warmer here than Scottish ale. That said I like the spice combination. A good not great beer that I would get a six pack of each holiday if it were available here.

tigg924, Jan 21, 2013
Photo of iparules
4/5  rDev +12%

iparules, Feb 19, 2012
Photo of deebo
4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Bulldog-uptown
Served in a pint with a thin finger of white head that laces the glass. Looks like Christmas-copper/amber and clear. Smells of warm spices and breast caramel toasted malt. Slight aroma of pine tree hops. Taste is smooth. Malt forward with a nice finish of NW US hops. A full bodied brew with a hint of astringency/hop resin in the finish. Overall a very nice winter beer. Aromatic, malty with some nice complexity.

deebo, Dec 29, 2012
Photo of MattyG85
4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass. Bottled 10-19-11.

Appearance: Pours a deep and slightly hazy copper orange with lots of rising bubbles. Big six finger off white head with good retention. Lots of lacing sticking around the glass.

Smell: Lots of lightly toasted barley malts with good hints of caramel and toffee. Along with the malts is a subtle but noticeable hop presence with some citrus orange and earthy pine resin. Aroma reminds me of an English Bitter.

Taste: Very bready and fruity. Lots of toasted caramel and toffee malts up front giving a strong biscuit flavor. Notes of citrus orange and lemon follow along with some subtle herbal pine resin. Malt forward but the fruity hops make their presence known well.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Crisp, creamy, and lightly prickles the tongue. Finishes somewhat dry.

Overall: A pretty solid Christmas brew. Nice use of malts and hops. It did pretty well without the spices as the Brewery website states.

MattyG85, Dec 07, 2011
Photo of GOBLIN
4/5  rDev +12%

GOBLIN, Mar 29, 2014
Photo of KevBearcat529
4/5  rDev +12%

KevBearcat529, Dec 17, 2012
Photo of jminch
4/5  rDev +12%

jminch, Dec 09, 2011
Photo of
4/5  rDev +12%

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, Nov 24, 2011
Photo of jamiemottram
4/5  rDev +12%

jamiemottram, Dec 17, 2011
Bell's Christmas Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
81 out of 100 based on 1,221 ratings.