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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.

1,198 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,198
Reviews: 461
rAvg: 3.57
pDev: 13.45%
Wants: 32
Gots: 55 | FT: 1
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: 1,198 | Reviews: 461 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BlueCat1


2.6/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Christmas holiday beers are always something to look forward to. Frankincense and myrrh make for some pretty funky additives! Over the years many crafts have offered interpretations of an undefined style, so there's not really any right or wrong.
Bell's Xmas Ale, at least for 2010, is tame and uninteresting. It has a reasonably nice amber color. But beyond that there's nothing that strikes a notable chord. Not much hop taste exhibited, and the malt aspect is weak and almost watery.
There are many excellent holiday offerings out there. If you're looking for something to excite you don't look here. If you're looking for something that your Lite drinking sister-in-law might consent to drink you might try this.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2010 00:30:57 | More by BlueCat1
Photo of Rifugium


3.45/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

First had: ?

A: Reddish brown, and slightly hazy, with a nice moderate head.

S: Slightly malty, slightly citrusy, slightly spicy.

T: Well balance of smooth malts, citrusy hops, and subtle spice. Not as flavorful as some holiday ales I've tried, but nice and subtle and well-blended. Slight alcohol tinge.

M: Medium body, moderate carbonation.

D: Drinkable and pleasant.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2010 18:36:01 | More by Rifugium
Photo of Spica66


4.05/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into tulip.

A: Reddish brown and slightly hazy. Excellent head formation and retention.

S: Malt and citrusy hops on the nose with an undercurrent of spices (like nutmeg maybe?).

T: Extremely nice malt profile with a strong dose of hops and the finish leaves the spices rattling around on your tongue, but not in an overpowering way. I like this one much better than last year's.

M: Medium body with perfect carbonation level for smoothness in your mouth.

D: With no overpowering spices this year, this beer is a joy to drink!

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2010 20:14:40 | More by Spica66
Photo of Frothboss


2.1/5  rDev -41.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A - Pours a light brown color with light brown head about two fingers high

S - Very light hop and malt, not much smell to it.

T - Tastes kind of neutral, nothing really jumping out at me, light hop on the back of tongue. very light malt taste but didnt notice at first sip.

M - this one coasts all the way down. Light, kind of thick but it might just be to cold. It would probably loosen up a bit if it warmed up.

D - Good one to serve to my family or friends who is not into craft beers. Almost reminds of Budweiser select. Wont be buying it again....might even be in my fridge till next christmas! LOL!!

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2010 00:18:35 | More by Frothboss
Photo of Joemark


2.08/5  rDev -41.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Very disappointed in this beer.
Pours a nice lookin amber. All downhill from that point on. Scent is dull, and taste is light and unimpressive. I'm a big fan of winter/christmas beers for their robust scents, and complex flavors. This beer falls short in all aspects, as far as what I look for in a winter seasonal ale. Oh well, off to the next

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2010 01:38:44 | More by Joemark
Photo of BeardedBoffin

New Mexico

3.4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer poured into the glass very active. The coppery brown liquid was topped with a big cap of foam which left moderate lacing down the glass.

The aroma is modest. Some nutty character and malt combine to convince you are drinking a "brown" beer, but nothing else. I would expect a deeper malt character for a Scotch ale. More of the same on the palate. Non-sweet malt which morphs into a dry hop character at the end. It finishes a little pepper, which must be from the hops. For a Christmas ale, comment on the lack of spice. For a Scotch ale, I would ask for more malt and less hop.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2010 00:18:24 | More by BeardedBoffin
Photo of BeerImmediately


3.43/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a short, off-white head over a cloudy, orange-to-amber body with good carbonation showing. Great lacing.

Aromas were too light - only very faint cinnamon, and some sweet cherry-like aromas.

Light Northwestern hoppy bite on the palate, malts come through sweetly, a touch of clove, but no other discernable spices.

Plenty of carbonation keeps the mouthfeel clean, and somewhat powdery.

Drinks easily, nothing terribly strong or off-putting.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2010 04:59:01 | More by BeerImmediately
Photo of Jesstyr


3.5/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I poured this one into my St. Bernardus chalice, and was a little bit disappointed given Bell's great line of brews.

Pours amber, with light head and significant lacing. No real head here though, thats the major issue. Nose is full of piney hops - perhaps they are going for Christmas tree?

From a flavor perspective the first thing you notice is that this beer is too bitter/hoppy to be a scottish ale, and honestly isnt my style for my favorite beer season - Christmas. Mouth is a little thin. This beer is made for the hopheads, not those of us who love scottish or Christmas beers - at least in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2010 23:34:57 | More by Jesstyr
Photo of Thanby


3.58/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy amber with a thin, soapy head and little carbonation. Nose is amber malt with mild seasonal spices, a little nutty. Taste is mostly the rounded amber malt, a little toasted almond, clove and coriander, a little bittering hops. Medium body, lightened somewhat by the spices, not bad overall. A good solid winter amber ale that's not too in-your-face with the spices.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2010 21:36:46 | More by Thanby
Photo of farrago

New Jersey

3.55/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Light head, finger of light tan to eggshell white, lots of larger bubbles which dissipate at a rapid clip, doesn't come up with much lacing. Gauzy orange rust in color with a burnt red dirt edge, slight loss of depth at the rims, loosely arranged bubbles spread throughout the glass. Clean evanescence to the nose, dried grass and straw, peat moss, pepper and sage, mild caramel and chocolate accents, as it warms you get more apricot, peach, yellow apple scents as well as scone, soda bread and honey. Medium-bodied, here the carbonation too active, prevents many of the flavors from finding a center and then soaking in. Noticeably dry, leads once more with a grassy earthiness, followed on by dry grapefruit, orange pith. The yellow apple, pear, apricot fruit tenuous, in turn not enough honey, toffee to elevate overall sweetness and bolster the fruit. Smidge of pepper and other bitter herbs, leading into a sour finish. Not horrible, but doesn't make you especially want another bottle.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2010 20:35:51 | More by farrago
Photo of paulozanello


3.38/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear copper color with a nice white head that has good retention and amazing lacing.

Smells of caramel malts, biscuit and some spicyness.

Taste follows nose with sweet malts upfront and fruity, spicy and mild tartness and bitterness in the finish.

Body is moderate to light with high carbonation.

Overall a malty and nutty beers with faint hop presence. Not very impressive for a brewery like Bells.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2010 03:26:14 | More by paulozanello
Photo of avalon07

South Carolina

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2010 13:04:15 | More by avalon07
Photo of Lauthaha


4.58/5  rDev +28.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pure tan. Fizzy white head bubbles down to a wispy but present lacing on top of the beer and around the edge of the glass. Slight reddish tint to the beer. Somewhat cloudy, active carbonation.

Smell: Wheaty...cloves, raisins...just a touch of caramel in the malt, maybe. Very pure, a great smelling Scottish ale!

Taste/Mouthfeel: Mmm, very mellow, low (but present) bitterness, warmth from the alcohol, sweet bread or raisin bread, a great beer to chew for a moment. Cloves in the aftertaste. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: It deserves a 5, in my book. Very tasty, not overly estery, not cloying, not weighed down in malt but not empty-bodied either. Perfect.

I love Scottish ales, and this is a good example by an American brewery.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2010 02:32:52 | More by Lauthaha
Photo of bsuedekum


3.25/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a bottle into a snifter.

A - Has about a one finger head that fades slowly to a thin head that remains along with carrying a solid lacing. It's a dull rust or copper in color.

S - malt and is it weird to say I get some field grass smell in there. It's a slight aroma overall that I'd say is best described by calling it an earthy malt smell.

T - Another reviewer calls this taste "rather plain and unexciting" and I think that nails it. It's not bad, but it's nothing special by any means. I've never felt more confident marking this down as an "average" beer in taste.

M - It does carry an effervescent mouthfeel.

D - At 5.4% it's definitely not hard to have several of these. And it isn't a bad beer by any means so I'd say it's slighty abover average as a drinker.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2010 02:18:22 | More by bsuedekum
Photo of gopens44


3.2/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Decent enough looking beer with it's frothy head and dark red appearance

S - I didn't notice a ton of aroma here. Light toasty smells with hints of spice, but not overwhelming by any measure

T - Similar to the nose, not overwhelming. Perhaps some hints of dark cherry and a light hop presence. Malty would be the best base flavor description in my opinion.

M - Light and well carbonated. Not a ton of aftertaste.

Meh. Not my favorite seasonal this season, but it was balanced decently. Easy to drink if you aren't looking for an overwhelming taste bonanza.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2010 18:52:10 | More by gopens44
Photo of StoutHunter


3.65/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a six pack of this the other day since I have never had it before and because I love bell's. Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A- This beer poured a nice amber color with 2 fingers of chunky white head and nice lacing.

S- All I really pick up is a medium amount of malts, not much going on here. Smells more like an American lager then a Scottish ale.

T- Thankfully the taste is far different from the nose. There is a good amount of mild fruitiness that sticks out fairly well. The malts are present mixed with some mild spices and the hops have some pleasant bitterness and citrus on the finish that really helps tie this beer together.

M- Medium bodied, good carbonation, and a nice crisp finish.

D- I would have one or two of these before I moved on to something else, more then that might be too much sweetness and spices.

Overall I thought this was a good beer, I was not wowed by it but I would buy this again, specifically for the holidays. The combination of fruits and spices make this a worthy Christmas ale. Good job Bell's.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2010 03:49:41 | More by StoutHunter
Photo of Frosty80


3.03/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color: pours clear, light golden brown. sits clear, slightly dull copper

Smell: low malt sweetness with low diacetyl and spicy hops

Taste: watered down. very balanced malt sweetness and hop flavor. very low diacetyl with next to no bitterness. finish is light with a hint of graininess

Mouthfeel: clean and crisp. low carbonation. medium-light body

Notes: where did the flavor go? im re-reviewing this and is nothing like my notes. sometimes i wonder who is tasting for consistency!

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2010 03:17:09 | More by Frosty80
Photo of photon3130


3.93/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 10027

Poured from the bottle into a merlot glass. Golden in color with a little bit of ruby red. There's a 2 finger white head that has good retention and lacing. This isn't a strong smelling beer, but I get some light fruit and floral aromas. The taste follows the nose and also has some added nutmeg/winter spices. The main fruit tastes I noticed were cherries and apples. The carbonation on this is a little high, but gives it a nice crisp, clean finish, especially with the spices. Overall, I enjoyed this beer and would have it again.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2010 03:05:16 | More by photon3130
Photo of rfgetz

New Jersey

3.83/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazed coppery brown color with decent cap of khaki head. Scent brings forward a mix of sweet carmel malts, roasted nuts, citrusy hops and some prune/fig like qualities. Taste starts with the citrusy hops, followed by a 50/50 mix of sweet malts and roasted nuts, the back end features the lingering notes of dark dried fruits. Medium bodied, slightly high in carbonation. A decent beer, but the strange mix can overpower the palate - akin to a very hoppy brown ale in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2010 15:16:59 | More by rfgetz
Photo of Giggy


3.7/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Not a typical Christmas seasonal. I've tried this one every winter over the last few years. Taste changes from year to year.

Appearance: Red/Brown tint, slightly cloudy

Smell: Toasted sweet caramel malts

Taste: Roasted malts with a delicate citrus overtone

Mouthfeel: Spritzy and light in body

Drinkability: Sweet with a crisp finish

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2010 01:22:23 | More by Giggy
Photo of claminat420


3.28/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- poured a transparent amber color with an off white/ tannish colored head. a bit frothy.

S- just some plain weakass malt scent like you would get if you sniffed a budweiser. are there hops in this thing?

T- like a good pilsner but with a weird yeasty apple taste hitting the palate.

M- light to medium bodied. good carbonation.

D- got a single from my bro. i wouldn't mind picking up a 6 pack later down the road.

Overall- i didn't know what to expect from this beer. i heard many of tales. some say they can taste some hops like an american pale ale to some say it was a weaker brown ale. to me, this brew is what i would define as a basic brew. it's not to much of one thing but in the middle. i bet they use the yeast in their two hearted as the same in this brew.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2010 11:31:27 | More by claminat420
Photo of Birchgrove77


3.13/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Bright amber color with minimal carbonation. Nice off-white head that quickly dissipates to nothing. A bit fizzy in appearance.

S- A very adjunct lager-like aroma with a hint of plum.

T-Better than the smell hinted at, but not as malty as the label describes. Plum, maybe a touch of dried apricot, but a light sour character does exist. A nice light holiday spice character, very nicely done, but the spices don't seem fresh.

M/D- A bit sticky on the lips, but not sweet. Reminds me a bit of wassail, but not something I would seek out an entire six pack. Could be a great beer to use during the holidays to convert noncraft dinners though.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2010 04:34:38 | More by Birchgrove77
Photo of micromaniac129


4.13/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A clear deep amber ale with an off white foamy head.
Aroma is weak but sutle hints of roasted malts are present with underlying aromas of Christmas scents such as cinnamon and nutmeg.
Balanced tasting beer. Hop and hop bitterness are at a minimum here bring out a nice dry malt bill. Christmas spices are present, but are not overpowering.
medium to thin body that's smooth and soft.
Good drinkability over the Christmas season.
Drink well to all, and to all a good drink.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2010 11:45:45 | More by micromaniac129
Photo of Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

3.43/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2010 20:25:14 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of jrsully77


2.98/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Dark Amber color

Bitter and fruits

You get hit with a lot of cherries and then the hops. The cherry flavor is overpowering

Light crisp beer for a Christmas Ale

The taste of cherry makes this a difficult beer to drink. Would not recommend more than one.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2010 19:35:17 | More by jrsully77
Bell's Christmas Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
81 out of 100 based on 1,198 ratings.