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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.

1,402 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,402
Reviews: 473
rAvg: 3.58
pDev: 13.41%
Wants: 42
Gots: 122 | 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: 1,402 | Reviews: 473 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DoubleJ
3.36/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bell's other winter offering besides its witbier is its Christmas Ale. Many thanks to Halcyondays for sharing a 12 ounce bottle with me. On to the beer:

Attractive dark amber rests in the glass. But despite its monikor as a Chirstmas Ale, this Bells offering tastes more like a light English bitter filled with esters than a warming spiced ale. The taste is straightforward as dates and esters make much of it. The beer is on the lighter side, which means you could fool people in a blind test for which season this beer is brewed for.

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.43/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear and orange with a half inch of head that generates a fair amount of lacing on the glass.

S: The aroma is relatively subtle, with notes of malt, fruits, and alcohol.

T: The beer itself is mildly fruity, with a sweet malt flavor. It's rather plain and unexciting, but altogether drinkable. This is certainly a different, and refreshing in most cases, take on a Christmas ale, in that it is not loaded with spices. None of the flavors are particularly bold, but everything flows pretty well together.

M: The feel is medium-thin bodied, with a mellow hop presence in the finish.

D: Simple in nature, and relatively easy to drink. I wouldn't want more than one, however.

Photo of akorsak
3.58/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A 12 oz bottle from Al's of Hampden.

A: The Scottish ale has a large head, nearly overflowing my glass with approximately 3 oz. left in the bottle. The dense head that results laces nicely, coating the mouth of the glass. The ale itself is a ruddy brown hue, opaque.

S: The nose is malty, heavy with caramel and darker breads. A touch of peaty thickness, rather light aroma-wise, runs around the background.

T: Sweet caramel malts, lightly roasted, take over from the first sip. A fruity apple flavor, thanks again to the malts, pairs with the caramel nicely. Theale is a comfort beer, I just feel better sipping my way through it. Beyond the caramel, flavors are a little light.

M: The mouthfeel is weighty upfront, warming the tastebuds early before settling down. The front of each sip delivers the best aspects of the beer.

D: I just sorted my Scottish ales and was reminded of Abbey Wright's Smokey Oak (mmmm, the best Abbey Wright beer ever). This is no Smokey Oak but it works in bad weather.

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.95/5  rDev +10.3%
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.

Photo of brandoman63
4.5/5  rDev +25.7%

Photo of chinchill
3.58/5  rDev 0%
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.

Photo of tdm168
3.65/5  rDev +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.

Photo of rab53
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of KAF
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%

Photo of billab914
3.48/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

Photo of dmorgan310
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of HopHead84
3.43/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

Photo of sendbeer
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%

Photo of atrocity
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of Zaphog
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of liamt07
3.76/5  rDev +5%
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.

Photo of Cynic-ale
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of Tone
3.35/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

Photo of Bighuge
3.53/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

Photo of DrJay
2.25/5  rDev -37.2%
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.

Photo of harpus
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.53/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

Photo of glid02
3.8/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

Photo of TurdFurgison
3.95/5  rDev +10.3%
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.

Photo of THECPJ
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%

Bell's Christmas Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
82 out of 100 based on 1,402 ratings.