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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: 60 | 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 KarlHungus
4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a cloudy burnt amber color. The head is an inch and a half in height, rocky, and recedes very slowly into thick, chunky lacing. The aroma is caramel, with a solid fill of herbal hops. The taste is very balanced for a Scottish Ale. There is surely a tone of malt, but there is also a significant amount soft herbal hops. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a velvety texture, and mild carbonation. Overall, this beer is too hoppy for the style, but tasty nonetheless. I would love to see Bell's adding this to the yearly offerings.

KarlHungus, Nov 18, 2008
Photo of fisherman34
3.28/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled sample via oakbluff. Orange in colour with moderate carbonation. Surprisingly American C-hop forward on the nose, with notes of citrus and pine along with some smooth vanilla caramel malts in there too. Some odd flavors going on that are hard to pin down. There's definitely a green wood note, along with some odd floral and confectioner's sugar elements. Some moderate malt character provides some stability, but the palate just seems muddled to me. Clean finishing. Not really the Scotch ale or X-mas seasonal that you' d expect, but still fairly drinkable.

fisherman34, Nov 17, 2008
Photo of robg2251
3.33/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can't remember ever trying this beer, and I've been drinking Bells for 10 years. I'm not sure how long this has been around, but I finally picked one up. The beer pours a nice deep orange color with a foamy white head. The head went down, but there's still a thin layer as it sits here.
I smell a faint hint of cinnamon, very faint. Malt, orange and a slight hop fragrance.
Very smooth with medium to high carbonation.
The taste: Again, I taste some malts and some faint spices, with a crisp hop up front. Definitely taste some orange in there.
This is a good beer, but definitely not what I was thinking as far as a Christmas Ale goes. It's fine though, some of those holiday beers go overboard on the spices. This is a nice session beer, you could take to a holiday party and everyone would enjoy.

robg2251, Nov 16, 2008
Photo of inhoc00
3.9/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Went with the Bell's Xmas over the Great Lakes Xmas at Armaneti's

A- Pours golden to cloudy amber.

S- Bready like a lager. Yeasty like a german pilsner. This is a scotch ale? Xmas seasonal?

T- Light hops, biscuits, yeah like a german pilsner. Reminds me very much, in fact, of DFH Golden Shower from years ago. Xmas tree on the label?

M- Fresh, sharp bubbly carbonation. Citrus snap for a winter ...seasonal?

D- Really easy. Could be a session. Imagine drinking this on a hot..sweaty...wait this is coming out in November? I'm a bit confused about this beer. Its not bad. Its not great. Its just a good beer with an odd seasonal symbol on the package and the name Bells on it which, in Chicago, could sell anything because of its popularity. Hmmm...should have gone with Great Lakes.

inhoc00, Nov 16, 2008
Photo of cokes
3.13/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Smoky cinnamon brown with a low beige cap.
Toasted dark bready nose, along the lines of pumpernickel. Some of that mushy, oatmeal and cement Bell's yeastiness. It's stronger here than anything I've had in the recent past. Hops add some dry leafiness, more autumnal than holiday.
Bready and doughy throughout the mouth. Toasty and rubbery too. It's hard to really define flavors here. It's not sweet, but it's not dry either. It's just sort of mush. Wet toast is probably the best example I've got, and lots of oatmeal and basement yeastiness, possibly touched with clove. Hops add a lightly spicy autumn leaf bitterness, with a vague notion of pine.
The mushiness carries over into the texture. It's flatish and blah...once again. It's not truly hard to drink, it's just hard to stay interested.

cokes, Nov 15, 2008
Photo of Crosling
2.25/5  rDev -37%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

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?

Crosling, Nov 15, 2008
Photo of nlmartin
3.78/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was served in a pint glass.

Appearance: The beer has a very nice murky ruby coloration. The head is thick and pillowy with a biege coloration. The head retention is fantastic. This streams of lacing remain on my glass.

Smell: The aroma of the beer is oddly hop driven. I get alot of citrus grapefruit, lemon and a bit of grassyness. The hops are backed up by a cookie dough maltyness. Just a kiss of peat is floating around the aroma.

Taste: The sweet maltyness leads in the flavor. This is well supported by bitter hop bite and flash of smoke. Not very spicey but well done.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: The mouthfeel of the beer is just shy of medium. The beer is well carbonated. This is a easy to drink beer. Looking forward to polishing off a few more of these.

nlmartin, Nov 15, 2008
Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.58/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark ruby brown in color. There was a nice off white head forming on the pour. Smell is some pine, nutmeg and something that I got in the JP Noel but can't put a finger on it.
Taste is bitter and well carbonated. That flavor is back in full force in the taste and for the life of me I can't figure out what it is. It's a tad much as well. It could be toned down a bit and rounded out a little better.
We'll see how this gets once it warms up a bit.

FtownThrowDown, Nov 14, 2008
Photo of morimech
3.25/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy amber color with two inches of white head that settles to a thin cap. Moderate amount of sticky lacing is left on the glass surface. Has a fruity hop aroma that is a bit unusual for the style and a winter brew. The flavor is also on the hoppy side. Citrus notes with a rather timid malt profile. Has a dry finish. The body is light and a bit overcarbonated. A nice tasting beer but I don't get what the brewer was going for here. Would be better as a summer beer than a winter one.

morimech, Nov 14, 2008
Photo of beachbum1975
3.93/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch # 8803 picked up at Root Cellar in Montgomery, Ohio.

I'm always excited to try another offering from Bell's, so here it is. Attractive, timeless label of a Christmas tree alone in a Midwest farm field.

This beer pours a rich and attractive ruby to copper color with a fine tan 1/4 inch head. Very nice to look at.

Smells of scotch, lightly roasted malts and a tinge of fresh hops.

Tastes reminiscent of the nose. A firm, but quick handshake with scotch, then some spiciness all wrapped up in velvety, lightly roasted malts.

Surprisingly light bodied with a super crisp and dry finish. Bitter in the beginning and middle, then fades away quickly.

Unique and worth a try!

beachbum1975, Nov 14, 2008
Photo of miketd
2.8/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours dark copper with a small, off white head. Aroma is a bit subdued, but there is caramel, sweet malt and fruity.
Flavor is odd. sweet, almost medicinal thing. Has a decent mid palate of caramel malt and lasting malty finish.
Body and texture are decent. Drinkable, but very average creation. Meh.

miketd, Nov 13, 2008
Photo of gearbike
4.03/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A perfect dark golden color. Thin white as can be lacing clings to the glass. Nice fruit like sweetness smell. I immediately questioned if I was drinking a Scotch Ale but I will leave that up to the beer technocrats. Has a solid malty backbone with a soft sweetness. What make this beer great is that something extra that seems to come from the hops and slight carbonation. This no alcohol laced Christmas warmer. A very versatile drink for either a session beer or just for the great flavor.

gearbike, Nov 12, 2008
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 alexgash
4.08/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, batch 8802.

Lightly hazy deep copper with ruddy golden edges. Thick, creamy finger of off-beige head. Terrific lacing. Nose is laced with sugary brown sugar malt, caramel, bubble gum (Double Bubble), and some faint pine hops. Nice. Soft, sweetish caramel and cookie malt up front. Yeasty edge. Some fruit (pear) but mostly rich cookie malt. A hint of smoke and I swear I taste a dash of cinnamon. Blend of modest pine and citrus hops in the finish throws some balancing bitterness into the equation. Medium body with a very creamy, smooth feel. Definitely more of a Scottish ale (a slightly hoppy one at that) than a Scotch ale, and a welcome addition to the phenomenal Bell's lineup.

alexgash, Nov 12, 2008
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 jdoncbus
3.9/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 8803

Poured into Sam Adams BL tukip. The color is copper-bronze with a heavy amount of carbonation. Thin head that looks like a root beer float and produces some lacing.

Aroma consists of sweet, toasted malt with brown sugar notes. Some citrus and molasses appear along with golden grahams cereal.

Crisp introduction on the palate that leads into a woody, toasted malt flavor. The dark grains mingle with pine hop and dark fruits while the mouth is left nice and dry with a touch of cinnamon & honey.

Overall, a balanced and enjoyable beer. Nothing in the beer floored me but it's typical Bell's quality; which is always damn good.

jdoncbus, Nov 10, 2008
Photo of paco1029384756
3.9/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy, somewhat dark orange color with two fingers of off white head.

Scent is malty with some caramel and spices, hops are present, but subdued. Not bad, but it's not all that great, just kind of plain.

Taste is comparable, but lighter, malts start with a hint of hops, some caramel and spices as well as a hint of yeast. Balanced well and nothing is overly dominating, quite enjoyable.

Mouthfeel is smooth and somewhat heavy.

paco1029384756, Nov 09, 2008
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.2/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazey, opaque color, bordering on a lighter brown, nice, creamy toned head, ...

Fruity malt sweetness hits the nose at first, matched by hops, high hops, higher than I'd expect out of a Scotch Ale, as this is purported to be...grapefruit and orange, a twist of lemon, matched with juicy malt. Interesting...

Whoa! Big, bitter bite right off the bat...not sure I'd call this a Scotch Ale or a Wee Heavy, after the pithy attack of hops with each new taste. I like it, mind you, I might even love it...

Described on the label as a "malt-driven Scotch Ale". the malt may drive it, but the hops take over the steering wheel and take command. Scotch Ales shouldn't taste like Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale or Surly Furious. But I like it, despite that...
It's great, ...bright hops smack up into lush, lovely malt. Great balance, ... like a big IPA, with full Scottish malt at hand. I can enjoy this. Stylistic sticklers should be warned, though.

I think I'll be having a lot of this, this winter!

feloniousmonk, Nov 09, 2008
Photo of Wildman
3.85/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a clear reddish amber color and formed an off white foamy head that coated the glass with lace as it subsided. A small amount of carbonation is present. An aroma of malt, caramel, slight hint of spices. The flavor was of malt, caramel with a hint of pepper. It has a medium light body and a slightly burnt finish. A good beer, but not one of their outstanding beers.

Wildman, Nov 08, 2008
Photo of mcallister
3.83/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love the way the beer looks and was suprised by the deep ruby color after reading other reviews and hearing people talk about this beer. A thick chewy off white head erupts and holds retention till the end of the glass.

Nose leaves you guessing. Hints of caramel and toffee with a floral type hop aroma. Not much else really.

Good for what it is and not what it's lable says in my opinion. Thick malt with a bity carbonation and slight glyceryl streak in the middle. Some bittering hops on the finish. Biscuity grains with a hint of red currant fruit. A bit of an odd flavor on the finish? Good solid beer but nothing that stand out and grabs you.

mcallister, Nov 07, 2008
Photo of roadhouse
3.53/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appears a copper orange with a big two inch thick and creamy off-white head that continues to rise over the rim of the glass to a nice cinder cone. The carbonation in this looks like a whirlpool!

Aroma has sweet caramel malts, a bit of spiciness, but overall it's pretty weak.

Taste has some sweet malts up front, then a building spiciness that culminates in some earthy hop flavors.

Mouthfeel is medium-light and quite crisp.

Not one of Bell's best beers. Kind of wish I would have gotten a single instead of getting so excited and buying an entire six pack. It is a pretty sweet bottle though.

roadhouse, Nov 07, 2008
Photo of BierFan
3.8/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a gold-rimmed cervoise. The bottle is marked batch number 8802.

Appearance: Hazy dark orange to ruby brown body with a light tan head.

Smell: Smell is clean, light maltiness, with some alcohol as well.

Taste: Caramel malts, dry hops, and some spicy aftertaste. Not as rich or dessert-like as other scotch ales that I've had.

BierFan, Nov 06, 2008
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Bell's Christmas Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
81 out of 100 based on 1,222 ratings.