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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.
BA SCORE
81
good

1,222 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,222
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: 1,222 | Reviews: 461 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mdaschaf
3.45/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to THECPJ for this bottle.

A: Pours a hazy orange/red with a one finger head that dissipates quickly down to a very small layer of foam on top. Nice sheets of lacing.

S: Nice malt aromas, some caramel, ginger, and a nutty smell. There is also a sweetness and a slight oxidized aroma.

T: Nice bready malts with some candy sweetness. There is a caramel and orange flavor combination.

M: Medium bodied with decent carbonation.

O: Its pretty good, if I hadn't read it, I would not have pegged it for a Scottish, I just assumed it was a winter warmer.

mdaschaf, Mar 17, 2011
Photo of brandoman63
4.5/5  rDev +26.1%

brandoman63, Nov 27, 2011
Photo of rab53
3.5/5  rDev -2%

rab53, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of tdm168
3.65/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - dark amber with a quarter of an inch of thick, soft, white, pillowy head that has great retention

S - caramel, a bit grainy, bread, baked apples

T - baked apples, faint caramel, a bit bitter in the finish; the flavor here is dominated by fruity esters

M - crisp, medium bodied

This is a rather "run of the mill" beer. There isn't much to it. It's all esters and caramel malt. This isn't bad, but I certainly won't buy it again.

tdm168, Feb 03, 2013
Photo of billab914
3.48/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Starr Hill shaped glass. It poured a deep copper color with a frothy, inch thick head to it. The head faded to a thin transparent layer and left just a hint of lacing on the glass.

The aroma shows some herbal, earthy hops to it along with a moderate bready and malty flavor. I get just a hint of nuttiness to it as well. Not bad, but also not that much to it.

The taste has more caramel and nutty flavors to it, and less hops compared to the aroma. Some malty and bready sweetness come through as well. The hops are very faint in the finish and probably lend more of a balancing bitterness than anything else.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and carbonation is moderate. Drinkability isn't bad, it went down pretty easily and had some decent flavors. It wasn't bad at all but it also just wasn't all that special either. It seemed pretty plain for a Xmas beer as well.

billab914, Jan 02, 2011
Photo of sendbeer
3.25/5  rDev -9%

sendbeer, Oct 22, 2012
Photo of chinchill
3.58/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz undated bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a nice clear medium amber with less than 1 finger of bone head. Head has good retention and lacing.

Somewhat sweet aroma featuring caramel (?) malts.. More toasted malt than hops, but hops are detectable.

Taste is good but quite mild, although the finish is a little bolder and more toasted than anticipated.

M - smooth with good carbonation level.

O - rather blase offering, particularly for something called a "Christmas Ale", but should appeal to many people, especially fans of amber ales.

chinchill, Apr 19, 2011
Photo of Bighuge
3.53/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Murky looking bronze. Thin beige head. Lacing clings nicely. Aroma is real herbal and nutty. Also fruity. It's smells like a fruitcake. On the palate, there is a very interesting blend of berries, nuts and rum. Again, I'm reminded of Christmas fruit and nut breads. Pretty dry finish. Medium bodied and moderately carbonated. Most interesting scotch ale I've had. Pretty decent.

Bighuge, Nov 12, 2008
Photo of dmorgan310
3.75/5  rDev +5%

dmorgan310, Nov 09, 2013
Photo of DrJay
2.25/5  rDev -37%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

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.

DrJay, Dec 13, 2008
Photo of Zaphog
3.5/5  rDev -2%

Zaphog, Mar 27, 2012
Photo of liamt07
3.76/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from Siciliano's. 12oz into a tulip, batch 11572 bottled Oct 22, 2012.

Hazy reddish orange with a few fingers of cream coloured head. Nose has a sweet cakey malt, some fruits, a bit of grass/herbal and some grains. Taste has grainy notes, some dried fruits, citrus zest, and some spice. Mild bitterness, malt is sweet. Medium carbonation. Nice flavour profile on this guy, I'd revisit.

liamt07, Jan 16, 2013
Photo of HopHead84
3.43/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Batch 8802. I notice this is categorized as a Wee Heavy. 5.4% seems to be a bit too low for the style. But, beer shall not be confined to style guidlines!

Poured into my Delirium Tremens tulip, the beer is dark orangish amber with a two finger head and some lacing. The aroma is of sweet caramel malt and alcohol with some citrus (orange). The more I smell it the more dominant the citrus becomes.

The taste is also quite citrusy. This could be a malty, underhopped pale ale. It tastes unlike any Scotch Ale or Wee Heavy I've had. Sweet, toasted malt with some alcohol. Somewhat yeasty with a mild spiciness to it. The finish is dry and contains the majority of the bitterness. Some alcohol is present once again, and the citrus is still there.

HopHead84, Jan 29, 2009
Photo of Tone
3.35/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, copper color. 1/4 inch head of an off-white color. Decent retention and slight lacing. Smells of hops, citrus (strawberries?), and spice. Seems to stretch the boundaries of what a Scottish Ale can be. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of citrus, slight hops, slight spice, and strong yeast characteristic. The malt is really lacking, which is odd in a Scottish Ale.

Tone, Dec 07, 2009
Photo of glid02
3.8/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Last year's version purchased from Brawley's in Charlotte quite a while back.

Pours a chestnut brown color with a 1.5-finger tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of lightly toasted caramel malts with hints of nondescript fruit.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Caramel and toasted malt flavors up front carry through to a sweet ending. As the beer warms very slight fruit flavors enter into things but they're not as intense as the aroma would indicate and they take a backseat to the malts. Not a whole lot of complexity here but everything's done well.

Mouthfeel is good. There's a nice thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I had no problem finishing the bottle and could have another.

Overall this is a solid low ABV scotch ale. Worth a shot.

glid02, Aug 18, 2009
Photo of harpus
3.5/5  rDev -2%

harpus, Oct 16, 2012
Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.53/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle opened on 11.29.12

A - Pours a cloudy light brown with a one inch tan head with good retention.

S - Malts, orange peel and some toast.

T - Spice, Orange peel, and mild malts.

D - Good carbonation and a mediumb body.

O - Mild all-around - meh. Needs more in one direction or the other.

HuskyinPDX, Dec 24, 2012
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 THECPJ
3.25/5  rDev -9%

THECPJ, Feb 20, 2013
Photo of dirtylou
3.45/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz single, batch 8802 - always nice to see a new bells release

appearance: poured into a hopleaf tulip, murky and muddy amber body, light beige head with very minimal retention

smell: light malty aromas, a touch of nut and a touch of grain.

taste: This beer just doesnt do much of anything for me...it has some traces of promise but falls pretty damn flat. There is a festively spiced hop profile and a light earthy malt base but it certainly isnt your fathers scotch ale and it just doesnt have much flavor at all

mouthfeel: smooth, medium-light

drinkability: fine

dirtylou, Nov 11, 2008
Photo of scruffwhor
3.7/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a rusty, ruby amber with bright copper highlights. Great two finger head after the pour that recedes to a lovely thick skin of foam that lastst the whole twelve ounces. Great bubbling too. Very faint note of spices in the nose that add a nuancing glaze to the dry tasted malt nose. Toasted whole grain bread starts the taste,then a some spearminty hops come in the middle. The finish is a spicey herbal note. Hints of cardamon and even a little cinnamon play with the minty hops and bready malts. Pretty hoppy for a Scottish ale. Bready and grist in mouthfeel. Good mix of flavor, hough I don't think it falls under the Scottish ale category.

scruffwhor, Nov 26, 2008
Photo of xnicknj
3.38/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

on tap at devils den

Pours a clouded auburn with a solid white head. Fades to film which disappears rather quickly, leaving hardly any lacing.

Some malty peat and chocolate in the nose, with notes of breadiness as well.

Begins with citrusy hops and pine, followed by notes of chocolate and bitterness. Slight smoke and leather with some caramel malt. Finishes a little dry with some bread crust and lightly roasted malt.

Thinner medium body, higher carbonation, a little chewy. Drinks okay, but I really wasn't impressed with the flavor and pretty much wanted to be through with this to get to something better.

xnicknj, Dec 16, 2010
Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.05/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip. Batch # 9422 (October 21, 2009).

Thanks to Sweemzander for hooking up two bottles of the Holiday spirit!

A - This pours a beautiful clear amber orange color with a two-finger off-white head. Very dense and creamy looking. Great retention and some thick lacing on the glass.

S - The mellow aroma smells of light malts and a refined honey sweetness. A little bit of brown sugar pokes out. There is also this overarching mango, fruity nose. Very fruity. No hops in the aroma.

T - Smooth mellow malts with an underlying honey sweetness. The fruitiness is there but goes to the back burner. Up front is a delicate hop flavor that's a bit floral and all subtle.

M - Very creamy and smooth in the mouth, it's medium-bodied with a light dry but crisp finish. Well balanced.

D - Not all that Christmas-y but it is darn good. A mellow and smooth beer with a little crisp bite to the end that smells, looks, and tastes good.

BeerFMAndy, Dec 21, 2009
Photo of Bitterbill
2.63/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle courtesy of russpowell. Thanks Russ!
Coded 10023.

It's a hazy orange-red-brown with a 2 finger head of foam. Foam of the stubborn kind. A great looking brew.

I'm sticking my nose right into the glass as the smell is trying to evade me. Ok. I'm getting some malty/sugary sweetness. More whiffing and it's more of a fruity sweet.

The taste is kind of sweet, kind of tart/bitter as in fruity bitter. I've got me a weird tasting beer here. Getting some spicy notes now but not much of a malt profile, at least not to my palate and I've never tasted a Scottish Ale that tasted anything like this. Mixed feelings.

Good overall mouthfeel though maybe a bit brisk with the carbonation.

Getting down and dirty, I've decided this isn't my cup of tea at all and I'm, somewhat, struggling to finish the bottle. Bell's makes some really excellent brews so it's no big deal that I didn't find the Christmas Ale to my liking.

Bitterbill, Dec 30, 2010
Photo of avalon07
3.58/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an amber color and a mostly clear consistency. There was a big, foamy, long-lasting head. Very good lacing.

S: A very subdued aroma of malt, caramel and hops.

T: Pretty much tastes like it smells: Malt and caramel up front with a slight hoppiness in the finish. Not a very dynamic or memorable flavor, but not terrible either.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a dry finish. Medium-bodied.

D: Bell's has done better work, but this isn't a wholly undrinkable beer.

avalon07, Dec 03, 2010
Bell's Christmas Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
81 out of 100 based on 1,222 ratings.