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

Bell's Christmas AleBell's Christmas Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

1,151 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1151
Reviews: 460
rAvg: 3.58
pDev: 13.41%


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: 1,151 | Reviews: 460 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of tigg924
tigg924

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +11.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2013 16:46:15 | More by tigg924
Photo of chefhatt
chefhatt

Pennsylvania

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

i poured this into a pint glass, it had a reddish color body, with a 2"tan head to it. The smell is sweet of malt. The taste is sweet of malt and has some citrus hop on the finish. I didn't detect any spices. The mouth feel is very nice, smooth and well carbonated. Overall a good beer. This is only the the 3rd scottich ale i have had.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2013 22:23:15 | More by chefhatt
Photo of liamt07
liamt07

Ontario (Canada)

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2013 01:44:32 | More by liamt07
Photo of BlackBelt5112203
BlackBelt5112203

South Carolina

3.69/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle poured into a nonic pint glass at cellar temperature.

L – Medium amber color with a 1.5-finger bubbly, cream-colored head. Pretty good retention and some nice lacing. Lots of yeasty floaters make the beer appear murky.

S – Lots of caramel malt, some nutty and toasted malt, and some earthy and faintly smoky aromas, too. There may be some very faint orange hops in here, as well.

T – Sweet caramel malt up front giving way to toasted, nutty malt and some earthiness. Possibly a presence of bitter citrus hops can be appreciated at the finish.

F – Medium-bodied with good carbonation, a sticky and somewhat creamy mouthfeel, and a toasted and slightly bitter finish.

O – This is a pretty good beer. It just seems a little watered down, especially for a Christmas beer. I think it would do well with some more of that sweet caramelized malt and definitely some more smoky and earthy aromas and flavors. Still, this is a tasty and very drinkable beer. Even when Bell’s misses, they don’t miss by much.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2013 21:39:46 | More by BlackBelt5112203
Photo of Jerone
Jerone

Florida

3.44/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

A - Hazy golden tan one finger head, some lacing. With every beer from my six pack I got large sized floatables that I do not like at all.

S - Nice malt smell, bready, touch of yeast, touch of hops.

T - Mostly bready malt with a kinda weird and nice aftertaste of yeasty bread with a hint of hops.

M - Mouthfeel was good, medium carbonation, pretty light body.

O - Meh, nothing I would buy again, could be done much better and I don't know why I kept getting large floatables in my beers, and yes I was very careful when pouring.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2013 18:32:33 | More by Jerone
Photo of MikeD71
MikeD71

Michigan

4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I liked this beer, it was better than expected. Still developing my palette and have been trying various craft brewers out.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2013 23:45:43 | More by MikeD71
Photo of Mojo
Mojo

Alabama

3.6/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle -> dimpled mug

This offering from Bell's Brewery pours up a kind of hazy copper with a big fluffy two finger head with great retention, and plenty of lacing. The smell is kind if grassy and pine. Taste is kind of dry and flat, not very strong at all. It isn't bad but it certainly wasn't as good as I expected it would be. Mouthfeel is okay, but has a mild lingering unpleasant aftertaste. I've had worse, but this was kind of a disappointment considering the brewery.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2013 03:47:56 | More by Mojo
Photo of bigaltemple
bigaltemple

Colorado

3.3/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz. Bottle Packaged 10/16/12

A - Bright copper with lots of yellow and orange. Two-finger, foamy, off-white head settles to 1/4" thickness and remains that way throughout. Thick sheets of lacing coat the glass after every drink. Just an amazing look to this beer!

S - Light caramel malts. Some muted spices. Small hint of orange peel and mild bitterness. Nothing really standing out here.

T/M - A bit spicy and lots of malt initially. Has some citrus rind bitterness, with a little hops bite. Light to medium body. A little thin. Very crisp carbonation.

O - After being stoked about the appearance of this one, everything else just stuck to a pretty average brew. Easy to drink, and I could very easily handle a few, but can't say it makes me want to seek it out.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2013 04:34:55 | More by bigaltemple
Photo of wingman14
wingman14

Ohio

4.08/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy orange caramel with a frothy off white head. Smell is sweet and malty, a little bready, very different and inviting. Taste follows, less sweet than expected but a unique malt flavor, with not much else except a hint of bitter at the end. I was surprised to read on bells website that they use no spices, considering the smells and flavors. A nice smooth medium mouthfeel. Overall a unique Christmas ale, definitely worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2012 01:42:53 | More by wingman14
Photo of deebo
deebo

Minnesota

4/5  rDev +11.7%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-29-2012 01:08:32 | More by deebo
Photo of mick303
mick303

Ontario (Canada)

3.98/5  rDev +11.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2012 03:25:00 | More by mick303
Photo of HuskyinPDX
HuskyinPDX

Washington

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2012 06:03:26 | More by HuskyinPDX
Photo of BrownAleMale
BrownAleMale

Wisconsin

2.95/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a Horny Goat pint glass

Appearance- The color is a hazy peach with a solid finger of off white head that only dissipates a small amount. Leaves a decent amount of cascaded lacing.

Smell- Some carmel, pine and bready malt.

Taste- First off, I have to say this barley reminds me of a scotch ale at all. I suppose there is a case to be made that it could be a winter warmer/scotch ale experiment gone wrong. You get this Wheat beer flavor with an orange peel flavor that is quickly cut off by a ton of smoke.

Mouthfeel- Nice medium body with medium carbonation that creates a crisp semi dry finish.

Overall- This beer is all over the place with the flavor and scent profile. As I described above, it is a science experiment gone horribly wrong.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2012 20:26:34 | More by BrownAleMale
Photo of Darkmagus82
Darkmagus82

Virginia

3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a 10 oz pint glass

Appearance – The beer is served a reddish amber color with a nice one finger off white head. The head has a good level of retention giving a quite nice level of lacing.

Smell – The nose is overall quite light. It consists of a light bready smell mixed with some light citrus and brown sugar.

Taste – A bready and malty flavor greets the tongue. A decent sweetness is upfront being of a caramel and brown sugar flavor. Dark fruit flavors then come to the taste more toward the middle. While the dark fruit comes to the taste, the sugary tastes dwindling a bit. Some flavors of a smoky nature soon come to the tongue more toward the end and are accompanied by a light spice as well as some bitter citrus. These flavors, in the end, leave a malty but hop and sweet balanced flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel –The body of the brew was on the thicker and creamier side for a brew of only 5.5 % abv. The carbonation level was on the slightly lower side, but very close to average. The combo of the thicker body and medium carbonation made it a bit of a slower drinker, but not too slow where it wasn't still refreshing and to where all the spice and sweet flavors lost their draw. Quite nicely done.

Overall – A great drinking Christmas ale with a good flavor and mouthfeel.

Serving type: on-tap

12-15-2012 00:31:33 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of 2BDChicago
2BDChicago

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pretty redish amber haze, on top is a fluffy foam head that's kinda of kahki color.

Grabbing me with totaly non-standard flavors...esp for style (not always a fav).

Very low note of sotch ale on top of bubblegum.

Spice bombs are a distant memory.

What a mellow holiday brew, that has a personality. I could see this as a go-to brew on a long x-mas eve.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2012 01:54:50 | More by 2BDChicago
Photo of dbrauneis
dbrauneis

North Carolina

3.53/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very hazy (almost cloudy) dark copper in color with some orange and ruby red highlights, moderate amounts of visible carbonation, and moderate amounts of small visible yeast particles in suspension. The beer has a two finger tall creamy beige head that slowly reduces to an even thin film covering the entire surface of the beer with a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Overall, there is a rather light aroma to this beer with some light notes of toasted bready malts, spices, dark fruits, and yeast.

T: There is a moderate amount of maltiness to this beer - some caramel, some toasted, and just a hint of peat smoked malts.There are some lighter hints of spices and dark fruits in there as well, giving it a touch of sweetness upfront. There is a light to moderate amount of citrus/orange peel hops that contribute some light bitterness that lingers. Just a touch of yeastiness to the overall flavor as well.

M: Light to medium bodied with slightly more than moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Not really what I expected, a little light in smell and taste for what I expect in the style - I expected something a little less generic from Bell's. Overall the flavor is pretty well balanced and enjoyable. Easy to drink because it is ind of generic.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2012 00:57:31 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of mfnmbvp
mfnmbvp

Illinois

3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, bottled on date reads 10/15/2012 so this beer is nice and fresh at only about 2 months old.

A - Pours a hazy dark orange with lots of sediment floating around and lots of bubbles rushing to the top creating a nice two finger head that lingers around.

S - I'm getting a lot of crisp malts in the nose, and a strong bubblegum smell, but not much else.

T - Nice roasted malts hit the palate right away, maybe a little bit of a hop presence, and definitely a touch of fruity sweetness hidden in the back somewhere.

M - The mouth holds a nice level of carbonation, not too weak, not too heavy. The resinous feel of the hops chills in the back of your mouth somewhere, as does the roasted malt flavors.

Overall, this isn't a bad beer to kick back and chill with in front of the hearth, after a nice fat holiday dinner. Nothing remarkable, but highly drinkable stuff.

Bell's Christmas Ale ---3.5/5.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2012 00:42:10 | More by mfnmbvp
Photo of andrewjraab
andrewjraab

Michigan

3.55/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A. Copper orange with a crisp white head that leaves some decent lacing at first but thins out

S. not a very big nose on this. Pale hops and orange peel.

T. This Is a good tasting brew that is easily drinkable, but I guess was hoping for just a bit more. It is just meh all the way around.

O. Meh, I would drink it again, but it will not make the regular Christmas rotation.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2012 02:38:22 | More by andrewjraab
Photo of AdamBear
AdamBear

Pennsylvania

3.48/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A-dark orange gold with a nice frothy light cream colored head. good lacing.

S-smells like barley and hops...a lot like how beer smells before the yeast is added. might have a hint of baking spices to it. not a very well defined scent. seems scattered...can't put my nose on exactly whats going on. not terrible though. decent strength

T-comes in tasting surprisingly how it smells. i've tasted wort once, what the beer is after the boil before the yeast is added. this beer tastes closer to that than any drink i've ever had. its a definitely not a bad taste. it might lack a lot of flavor, maybe doesn't taste quite right, but it definitely tastes like a real and authentic beer. the grains and hops taste so raw, not flavorful at all as they often are, and maybe often exaggerated too as well. this just tastes like a grunting blue collar beer. the after-taste has a good amount of bitterness to it.

M-medium creamy carbonation with a dry finish

O-its an interesting beer. its not as glamorous as the typical christmas beer. this is much more raw. as much as i appreciate the authentic approach, its a boring beer. there isn't much here at all. i'm not even sure what kind of beer its supposed to be, it definitely doesn't resemble a scotch ale...i'm not sure who decided that was this style. something i won't get again. skip it. i expect more from Bells.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2012 02:43:37 | More by AdamBear
Photo of DrinkMoreBigBeers
DrinkMoreBigBeers

Michigan

3.48/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Date on the bottle is 10-15-12

A - Pours out a deep amber color with little particles floating around in this partially see through ale. Produces a two finger off white yellowish head that looks nice and creamy.

S - On the nose it is all bready malts, some mustiness and slight hops. Really, mellow on the nose.

T- Interesting here. Is definitely malt forward on this with some sweetness,ginger bread, lactose, pepper flavor, and some light bittering hops in the finish. Leaves a slight bitterness in the palate that builds while you drink into it, it develops a zesty spice flavor.

M - Nice full bodied fluffy creamy mouth which happens to be well carbonated.

O - Not sure what to make of this beer it is well made and is not off-putting but it is not one I would reach for again. It flavors are a little strange and I am having a hard time placing them. It almost reminds me of a lactose beer I had in the past. Try it your up to something different but do not expect to be blown away. Cheer!

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2012 01:48:04 | More by DrinkMoreBigBeers
Photo of BeerBuckeye
BeerBuckeye

Ohio

3.2/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a hazy copper/amber color with puffy 2 finger, off white/cream head.

S - Caramel malt, bready, a bit of cinnamon and brown sugar and a touch of molasses. Faint, but there.

T - I'm trying to work out where I've tasted this before. It tastes a bit like a candy, sort of a Werther's Original butterscotch and something very sugared. Heavy on malt, a bit of cinnamon at the end. It's not bad, but it's kind of odd.

M - Thick, syrupy, and a little drying from the cinnamon.

Overall - I'm not really sure what to think of this one. I'm not blown away by it, but I'm a bit intrigued. A decent beer? Yes. A good beer? Not so sure.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2012 18:49:42 | More by BeerBuckeye
Photo of thecheapies
thecheapies

Pennsylvania

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

Pours with some suspended dustiness; amber in color with a clumpy off-white head. Even laces to some effect.

Light malty nose with vanilla and mace. Sweet, clean, and perfumy. Almost a berry + leather pairing in the nose. Hard to describe how inviting it is.

Plummy malts with lots of fruity esters, all the while accented by some Christmas spices. Nutmeg and mace and an herbal element of sage or thyme. Sweet and malty, like the nose, with a light vanilla bent. Too light for a warmer, with the alcohol level being disguised. Caramelized sugars are creamy and light, also. Touch of peach. Maybe grape. Perfumy, too. Certainly interesting in its candy sweetness.

Drinks like a champ. Especially, at the end of the night. Simply crafted to be consumed.

Curious about the low rankings, as this is a nice spiced Scottish Ale, perfect for the Christmas season. I feel like this years' is a vast improvement from the last.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2012 05:31:55 | More by thecheapies
Photo of patpbr
patpbr

Ohio

3.83/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bells Christmas ale pours a red color with a nice off white head. Nice lacing. Malts are upfront here. Slight toasted and a bready or earty. The body doesn't hold up as I would like. Some spice in the finish. An easy drinker in the Scottish Ale category.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2012 22:15:47 | More by patpbr
Photo of rlee1390
rlee1390

Indiana

3.6/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Bright ruby, some carbonation, one finger head. Really the only part of this beer that scream Christmas.

S-Malt, weak on the spice, balance isn't there, maybe some grass.

T- Off. Unbalanced, spices are there but not balanced, some cinnamon, nutmeg no bitterness.

M-Light to medium bodied, nice carbonation.

O- The beer was off, poor balance and didn't have the spices I like from a christmas ale.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2012 02:01:28 | More by rlee1390
Photo of woodychandler
woodychandler

Pennsylvania

3.95/5  rDev +10.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2012 01:16:45 | More by woodychandler
Bell's Christmas Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
81 out of 100 based on 1,151 ratings.