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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.

491 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 491
Hads: 1,537
Avg: 3.58
pDev: 22.91%
Wants: 46
Gots: 205 | 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: 491 | Hads: 1,537
Photo of zac16125
3.76/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle into a pint glass

A: crystal clear, dark Amber, large light tan head, good retention and leaves a small amount of lacing. Pretty beer. 4.25

S: very malty, caramel, fairly sweet, some herbaceous noble hop type characters 3.75.

T: like the nose it's quite malty, some herbaceous characters, not too sweet , an almost smokey character; not a ton going on but pretty tasty actually 3.75

M/D: medium body carbonation appriate, drinkability avg 3.5

O: decent beer, worth a try3.75

 499 characters

Photo of AgentMunky
3.49/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle. Bottled 30 October 2015. Can't believe I've never seen this one before.
A: Gorgeous ruby red. Almost glowing. Beautiful with a half-finger of head. Pellucid and lovely.
S: It smells like artificial cherry. Cheerwine or cough syrup. How strange!
T: Weird beer. It's...syrupy strange. Malty, but the fruit (cherry) character is the strange bit. Otherwise, spruce and freshy hops, with a lightly spritely citrus-hop aftertaste to temper the thick sweetness.
M: Herbal-fizzy mouthfeel, slightly sticky endtaste. A bit chewy. Caramel malt.
O: I hate to say, but I don't love it. It's a bit weird, muddled. Thickish and sort of syrupy.

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Photo of 98green
3.61/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Wow this one is weird. Smell is all spruce, taste is carmel malts and some fruit. I don't get the grapes others do, but there is something here. Glad to have tried it but I'm one and done

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Photo of Vogie
3.44/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottled 10/23/15. Poured into a pilsner glass.

Pours a nice copper with two finger soapy off white head. Aroma is very subtle with sweet malt and banana. Taste is rather bland upfront with a slight hint of caramel malts and ends toasty, dry, and bitter. Light body, decent carbonation, and almost sessionable.

Not feeling very festive after drinking this one. Perhaps some spices would put me in the mood.

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Photo of jimdalton
3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Cloudy, copper that pours a one finger head and a bit of lacing
Smell: Sweet Malt with subtle grape notes.
Taste: Toasted malt with a hint of grape and a very subtle herb flavor.
Mouthfeel: Medium body with average carbonation.
Overall: Very nice sweet ale that brings an interesting grape flavor to the table that maintains a flavorful malt base.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.56/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Packaged 10/6/15. 5.5% ABV per the label.

Pours a murky copper with a foamy khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Thin rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Tiny particles of sediment are seen suspended in the beer after the pour. Smell is of toasted malt, grape juice, grape jelly, and slight caramel aromas. Taste is much the same with toast, grape jelly, caramel, nut, and earth flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of toast and earth bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and dry mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with distinct grape characteristics that I wasn't expecting from this one.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of SometimesIfart
3.59/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bell's Christmas Ale.

With Fall beer season being a distant dream it's time to divulge into some winter brews I've never tried. I've seen this one a few times but never bought it. Have no idea why since Bell's is my favorite brewery buttttt oh well. Paid $1.79 for a single bottle at my local Meijer. Not sure what to expect but I'm hoping it's tasty yo!. Let's get started.

Look - From the twelve ounce bottle into a random dimpled pint glass. This beer pours a very deep amber with a two and a half finger slightly off white head that just barely fills out without spilling over the top. The carbonation is extremely high...honestly probably the highest I have ever seen in a beer. The head has thus far stuck around pretty damn well. It's quite pretty thus far. The lacing and stick are fairly alright after the beer has been consumed

Smell - The smell is completely dominated by an ever present light level of nuttyness and juicy grape like hops. The grape isn't like that of a cheap malt liquor, it smells quite juicy. Caramel malts are all there as well though the beer does not get earthy in the least. Smells like a lighter Scotch Ale...which I guess is the goal of a ' Scottish ' Ale ahaha.

Taste - The hops come through to be juicier than you may expect for any brew that has to do with Scotland. Definitely grapefruit like in nature but a long ways off from dank. The nuttyness meets at the halfway point and those two mentioned flavors make up the entirety of the flavor profile without anything else to say regarding the matter.

Feel - The body on this brew is a perfect level of medium without going far to one side or the other. The flavors all remain exactly the same as they were in their respective profile and the carbonation seems to die a bit as the beer sits in the mouth down to about moderate levels. Swallows easy as can be.

Overall - I did honestly expect a little better bit this is still a pretty good beer, especially for being a lower ABV Winter seasonal designed to obviously appeal to the hipster kids with the ball sack length beard extentions. Nothing to complain about,but nowhere near the best thing Bell's has put out by any means. Try it and come to your own conclusions..

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Photo of Catracho5
3.91/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Pours reddish-orange color, white head, not much head retention, good amount of lacing, lots of sediment in the glass as I poured aggressively.

A: Picking up a smokey caramel sweetness, floral notes, brown sugar, hint of gingerbread crackers, caramel, floral, crackers, sweetness, aroma is mellow it's pretty complex.

T: Hint of smoke, caramel sweetness, mild floral hop bitterness, finishes sweet and dry with bread notes, very drinkable, nice balance of flavors.

M: Almost a medium bodied mouthfeel, dry finish, not much carbonation.

O: First impression, it's very drinkable and enjoyable, nothing jumps out but with some time Bell's Christmas Ale has some depth and complexity, albeit mild, balanced, bought it on a whim and while I am not blown away definitely not disappointed. I've tried on other Scottish Ale and the smoke and peat came through a lot stronger, this one is definitely milder.

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Photo of Maiora13
2.68/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Hearty and filling. Perfect for the cold winter months. It is nothing that i would drink with the intention of having multiple but is definitely one i would enjoy in December.

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Photo of mchegash
3.78/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - 4/5
Pours a moderately dark orange, slightly hazy, can see many small particles in the beer. About 2-3 fingers of very light tan head. An average amount of carbonation can be seen rising up the beer.

Smell - 3.5/5
Some slightly sweet malts, floral/herbal/slightly piney hops. Aroma is not really that strong so can't detect much else.

Taste - 4/5
Dark malts with a caramelized sugar feel. A slight cherry fruitiness. Earthy/resinous/herbal slightly piney hops. Interesting and complex flavor, very balanced.

Mouthfeel - 3.5/5
Medium bodied, average carbonation. Fairly crisp. Maybe a little bit syrupy.

Overall - 3.75/5
This was a decent beer. I'm on the fence about whether it's worth buying a 6-pack of (I just got one bottle as part of a build-your-own).

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Photo of ordybill
3.84/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12OZ bottle into a pint glass.
Aroma- Has a nice aroma of malt and yeast.
Appearance- An amber colored brew with an off white head
Taste- Toasted malt flavor, not bad at all
Palate- A medium bodied beer with medium carbonation
Overall- A really good ale. I would definitely drink this again.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
3.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a pretty, cloudy, amber color with two full fingers of white head that slowly dissolved into a lacing of foam that completely covered the top of the beer. There’s quite a lot of sediment floating in the beer. Is that normal/intentional?

Aroma: Malty and toasty. Notes of freshly baked bread, dry roasted nuts, brown sugar, clover and hops.

Taste: Interesting. Toasted malt up front, with strong notes of freshly baked and toasted sourdough bread or English muffins. Caramel-like sweetness, followed by some pronounced hops bitterness finishes the beer.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, with some good carbonation to tickle the taste buds. With an ABV of 5.5%, there is no presence of alcohol on the palate. Despite the sediment floating in the beer, there’s nor a gritty mouthfeel of partially solid substances.

Overall: This was a very good beer. Great toasted malt flavor balanced well with hops and caramel-like sweetness. I’m a little unsure if the sediment floating in the beer was intentional or not, but it doesn’t affect the flavor or mouthfeel, just the appearance.

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Photo of ThomasMetal75
3.67/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A- Straight down the middle of the glass, the Christmas Ale pours a very thick tan, cream colored head. 3 fingered head. Rocky. The body of the beer is a hazy copper, red, maroon color. Pretty dark overall.

S- Big, bready, malt note. This is an all malt beer. It has a resinous hop smell that is quite pronounced. But at the same time, it's got toasted notes of toffee and of grains. The smell reminds me of the Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale. The Christmas Ale has some citrus going on, such as orange peels, mangoes, pineapple and grapefruit. I get pine and leather as well. It's overall a rich, sweet malt, grainy and toasted, with an IPA nose on it.

T- It is a lot like the Celebration Ale. This is not as heavy in your face, "Here's an IPA, recognize me". It won't slap you around in the hops. But it will give a hop head what he needs. It's got a lot of red ale quality. It quite toasted and grainy. You get toffee and a caramel sweetness. You do get some of the typical spices that are used in fruit breads. Even some kind of gingerbread-ish flavor is detected as well. That's light. The holiday type spices are not heavy enough to overpower the beer at all. The hoppiness has a oily, resinous, dank quality to it. The hops were more bitter on smell than taste. Had a leathery taste to the hops as well. It finishes pretty dry like an IPA does. I also detect a light biscuity note and some sweet molasses.

M- The body is on the medium side, more towards mild. It's pretty crisp, clean, and it is refreshing. It's only slightly sticky sweet. It is making me smack my lips. It's also a little bit chewy like a big red wine. It drinks like a red ale meets an IPA meets the Celebration Ale.

Overall, this beer gets a B+, and an 85/100 from me. If you like the sweet grainy notes, toffee and molasses, and a hoppy beer, this one is for you! The beer is fairly dry, so it's gone before you realize it. I'd say get some. It's pretty awesome!

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Photo of mothmanscott
3.39/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear medium amber producing 2 fingers of beige, frothy, somewhat lasting, head that leaves a super coating of pasty lacing. Aroma is lightly toasted pumpernickel bread, caramel apple with hints of butter, roasted nuts, floral hops & a faint earthiness. Taste is similar to nose with more toast, apple fruitiness & floral hops. Pepper, Graham crackers & dark honey are added. The bitterness is nicely balanced with the toasted maltiness. Finishes wet but faintly dry (if that makes sense) & peppery with toast that becomes a toasty, dark tea like bitterness in the aftertaste. No smoke or burnt notes/hints detectable. Mouthfeel is medium bodied & moderately carbonated & lightly prickly.

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Photo of BWED
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter

A- Amber with ruby highlights. Very light tan head. Dense, decent pad with a little lacing, and satisfactory retention.

S- Nice toasted malt. Bready. Fruity hop character. Dark fruit.

T- Toast comes out with some earthy hop bitterness. Not quite caramel, but some sweetness in there.

M- Medium body, with nice bitterness and a subtle sweetness.

O- Glad this isn't spiced, like most Christmas or Winter beers. Not bad. Mild. Could be a little heavier in body and ABV.

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Photo of BeerWithMike
3.77/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Sampling right now on 1/8/15. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured in to a handled-glass thumbprint mug. Packaged on: '10/03/14'.

Pours a hazy burnt-orange in color with close to a 1-finger creamy off-white head with some sheets of lacing seen when sipped. Sediment is seen at the bottom of the bottle around the edges. The aroma is of malts for the most part with some spice. Pretty much the same is said for the taste with some hops with a hint of orange also. The finish is slightly dry but not bad. Medium-bodied with perfect carbonation for this style of brew. Overall it wasn't bad for a Scottish Ale.

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Photo of Brackh
3.83/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a light brown. Smells nice and is consistent with most Christmas beers. Get a little bit of hops and some sweetness in the smell. Taste the hops (almost has a lemon taste that gives it the bitterness) and they are not overwhelming. Some sweetness that matches the smell. A good holiday beer. Not the best but good.

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Photo of davemathews68
2.66/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

I was hoping for something and got nothing. Nothing of this beer is Christmas. Average at best. This would be good named "Bell's Average Ale". I am not a fan.

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Photo of mooseisloose
3.4/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a six of this at TW before Xmas, had some on Xmas eve and Xmas, saved one to review, let's give it whirl. Popping the top I get a nice deep zesty caramel waft. Pours to a light root beer color with a thin tan head. On the taste this brew has good mouthfeel, thick but not syrup tick. The taste is a consistent slightly spicy, flatly bitter yet with bits of sweet caramel coming through. Not really dominant in one flavor or another, balanced and contrite. Would have expected a little darker a little spicier for a Christmas beer along the lines of a winter warmer, but its imbibeable.

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Photo of Roxie_B
3.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks: Translucent amber with rich copper highlights. Straw colored head.
Smell: Apricot, pear, and red apple. Sweet and fruity. Cloves.
Taste: Clove and nutmeg upfront. Transitions to dry pear and red apple.
Mouthfeel: Medium light body and sprightly carbonation.

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Photo of AngusOg
4/5  rDev +11.7%

Not sure what a Scottish ale has to do with Christmas, but nevertheless a tasty and very easy drinking ale. Three of the six pack gone in the blink of an eye, could have easily killed the other three if it had been one of those type of nights. Shlante!

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Photo of barczar
3.57/5  rDev -0.3%

Aroma is slightly sweet caramel malt, with soft notes of cinnamon. Fairly subtle. Flavor reveals a clashing slightly sour/specialty malt fruitiness and a bitter finish. Toffee notes are welcome, but clash again with floral and perfumey hops.

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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.

 150 characters

Photo of Franziskaner
3.57/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Amber in color with some red tinting. I see an abundance of light sediment suspended in the body. There's a half inch of small and tightly packed foam that appears beige with a hint of amber. I smell some slightly earthy barley and I don't pick up anything else. I taste that earthy to gently sweet barley along with a subtle use of piney hops. The hops are definitely muted with no bite and are meant to keep the barley sweetness in check. The mouth is creamy and smooth.

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Photo of BikeChef
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

A really in-your-face maltiness-- as in the malt acts like hops would in a pungent IPA. A very balanced beer, with bittering hops coming in to act as a foil to all the malt. Once you settle in with this beer it grows on you. Good alternative to huge and/or spiced Xmas beers.

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Bell's Christmas Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
81 out of 100 based on 491 ratings.