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Bell's Kal-Haven Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Bell's Kal-Haven Ale
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very good

42 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 42
Reviews: 11
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 11.54%

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Rye Beer |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: akorsak on 07-19-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 42 | Reviews: 11 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of cfrances33


4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at O'Rourkes in South Bend, served in a Bell's snifter.

Pour: hazy, deep orange, with two fingers of deep creamy head. Some lacing, and the head hangs around as a rim.

Smell: big tropical fruits up front... Pineapple, mango, grapefruit, and even a touch of red berries. Fruits carry most of the nose, with just a touch of earthiness from the brett, and a light spiciness from the rye on the finish.

Taste: again, big tropical pineapple, mango, a touch of citrus, and some floral notes sneak in. Lots of earthy brett in the middle, and some breadyness. Rye shine on the back end, with a touch of spice, that cuts through all the other flavors and lingers.

Mouthfeel: rather heavy, but in a good way. Definitely took my time with the glass. Earthyness and rye really builds as it opens up. Finishes with an interesting mix of dryness and a lingering rye taste.

Overall: definitely a delicious and underrrated beer. A great showcase of what brett can do, and the rye adds a nice complexity.

Serving type: on-tap

03-25-2013 22:16:45 | More by cfrances33
Photo of jeonseh


3.59/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Bell's

A - Golden and orange with a slight haze to it.

S - Lemon, grassy, blue cheese funk with a slight vinegar. Reminds me of Orval in the nose

T - Banana with a slight bubble gum. There is also lemon in the middle. The finish is slightly grassy and slightly bitter. There was not as much funk or complexity in the taste as I picked up in the nose.

M - Lots of carbonation that leads to a nice full feeling in the mouth. Slight astringency in the finish that lingers on

O - From the nose, I was hoping this would be a great beer but the flavor and astringency lead to this being only solid. It is nice to see Bell's experimenting with Brett.

Serving type: on-tap

01-23-2013 04:17:46 | More by jeonseh
Photo of elNopalero


4.24/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I love the pun on this—it’s a play on the Kal-Haven Trail that runs across southwest Michigan. The beer is a light tan amber with light foam. I get a earthy funk from the aroma. It’s light but present, like a light onion sliced in the adjoining room… which is the only way I could think of describing it. Nice malt body with a delicate brett note that emerges as it warms. Not bad, but I’d like to see what could happen with some more time on this one. It shows promise and plenty of potential.

Serving type: on-tap

01-14-2013 07:40:17 | More by elNopalero
Photo of tectactoe


3.73/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Oak Cafe. Pours a pure copper color with an ever-so-slightly off-white head; slight lacing left behind on the glass, but not much. Sour, sweet, and a bit tart on the initial whiff; fruity and dense with some old-cork funk to it. Not much rye on the nose, even though it's a rye beer. For some reason, it seems like rye is much harder to detect in the aroma most times.

The initial taste bites with a touch of leafiness that quickly subsides in favor of a heavy fruity sweetness that comes about. Strawberry-ish, oranges, some other fruits I can't exactly place my finger on. Without wasting much time, the sweetness turns into a tart, nearly puckering flavor rush for a split second, right about the time the carbonation bubbles become noticeable. Once the tart shock is over, the taste subdues a bit into this funky, yeasty, old soaked cork type of flavor. Damp, musty, slightly woody; very barnyard-esque. Just as the beer heads down my gullet, the rye finally hits and hits big. Heavy rye at the very end, dark and toasted and dry. Aftertaste is nothing but rye with the decrescendo funk. Medium, slick body with a seemingly dry finish from the rye. Carbonated heavily.

Certainly a different and creative beer, here. Not quite a sour, not quite a rye beer... what the hell is it? Who knows and who cares, as long as it tastes good, right? Well, it's pretty good. The tartness gets weaker as the beer goes on and the funky rye flavors get more powerful. Still not sure if I like that or not. I'd like to try this beer again a few months from now. Probably wont be able to find it, though.

Serving type: on-tap

12-07-2012 13:08:32 | More by tectactoe
Photo of BARFLYB


4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On Tap at The City Tap House for their Bell's event during beer week. I love this city.

Pours a mix of light bronze and hazy amber with bits of dark yellow. The head was an inch of loose off white suds that look die off into nothing. Small spots of lace. Smells like a lot of great bretted up homebrew I've had. Brett and some funk and a lot of barnyard IMO. Some rye is under all the wild. Some caramel and grain. The taste is pretty marvelous. Bretty up front with hay and grass and other earth, barnyard. Not overly funky, kinda tart. I like the low level of rye in this. Some rye bread and grain towards the end. Feel is below medium with a nice carb punch from the tap. Crisp and evervesant, easy going down, if brett's your thing. It's mine so this is insanely drinkable. Good job.

Serving type: on-tap

06-12-2010 20:38:57 | More by BARFLYB
Photo of rfgetz

New Jersey

3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dusty copper color with orange highlights, decent cap of off-white head and good lacing. Scent is mellow - funk, earth, clay with dry, spicey grain. Taste is a little more aggressive, spicy rye with a mild funkyness to it. Medium bodied, active carbonation, dry and lingering. A decent beer which combines ingredients from different styles nicely.

Serving type: on-tap

06-08-2010 14:12:53 | More by rfgetz
Photo of corby112


4.18/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draft at City Tap House.

Pours a very cloudy dark golden orange/copper color with burnt orange hues when held to a light source and a one finger frothy off white head that slowly fades into a lasting ring. Streaks of Lacing left behind.

Slightly funky tart aroma with lotsnod swee caramel malt and dry Brett notes in the nose. Sweet citrus hops and rye compliment the sweet malts and Brett character. This one smells pretty good.

Chewy medium body that is slightly spicy with lots of sweet caramel malt and rye along with a slightly puckering dry bretty efervescence. The tart Brett presence is mos prominent up frogt and slowly fades throught the palate as the malts and rye counter it. Very well balanced and quaffable with a sweet dry finish.

Serving type: on-tap

06-08-2010 03:42:22 | More by corby112
Photo of spointon


4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at the Eccentric Cafe on 8/28/2009, poured into a 12oz glass. From my notes:

A= This ale poured a cloudy gold color with a fair amount of orange cast in there as well. There was only a thin white head that quickly disappeared and did not leave much in the way of lacing.

S= Smelled very much of light brett sourness and a spicy-sweetness from the rye. Not a very aromatic beer, but a pleasant one to smell nonetheless.

T= Started off with a quick flash of grainy sweetness that lead into the tartness of the brett. Midway or so the spiciness and complexity of the rye did come through a bit, but it was not on the level of a rye beer without brett added. Finish was a dry blend of everything - tartness + rye spiciness.

MF= JUst to the thin side of medium bodied (but not by much) with a nice and crisp mouthfeel.

D= I liked this beer a lot and between the two Bell's sour beers I have had (this and Wild One) I think I prefer this one. The rye gives it a very nice balance and makes it interesting AND easy to drink.

Serving type: on-tap

09-06-2009 05:16:53 | More by spointon
Photo of maximum12


3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Split with the wife at the Eccentric Cafe in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Another winner with brett from Bell's.

This one's a cloudy form of yellow on a partly sunny day. Nose is faint; strangely, almost all the brews we had at the Eccentric Cafe, even the good ones, did not smell like much. Odd.

This is a winner. The brett funk is again pretty subdued, veering into 'tart' territory rather than the horseblanket funk that I'm not wild about (hahahahahaha). The rye offsets the slightly sour component nicely, and gives it a sweetness that interacts in a great way. A sweet sour? Yes. And it works, very well. This is a comob that other's should experiment with, because I can see this holding appeal for a wider audience than sour-heads. My wife dubbed this a "lawnmower/session" beer. Never heard that of a wild ale before.

Very good beer. Love to see this one again. And to repeat, Bell's start spreading these wilds around, you seem to have a knack for it.

Serving type: on-tap

08-17-2009 14:44:43 | More by maximum12
Photo of karst


4.7/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap downtown Madison, WI at the Great Taste of the Midwest Bell's preparty.

We ordered all of the offerings and this one was my last and certainly the best by far.

Larry Bell explained how the beer was named but I will leave that for others and tell you about my one and only pint (so far) of this handsome deep brown Brettanomyces aroma that promised huge barnyard flavors but instead delivered wonderful rye with soft (vs the expected "hard" brett flavors that come after the first year of fermentation.

This softness of brett flavors play nicely with the pepper and phenolics that are natural to a big rye grain bill.

the balance is perfect to display the rye and a dry finish with litte evidence of hops is from the high attenuation expected as brett ferment out those sugars to complex for regular brewing yeasts. They chew away some of the chewyness you would expect but leave more than enough as a reward for loss of mouthfeel. Brett wrecks the head a bit too, thus the half point reduction in appearance. That night it drank ALL 5's

It is my prayer that I find this again. It is one of the easiest drinking brett beers I have experienced after five years or more of exploring Belgian's

I was hoping to retaste it the next day but it was not poured at the beer fest (to my knowledge). It was enjoyable sharing my appreciation of this Rye with the owner and his brewers.

Serving type: on-tap

08-10-2009 23:45:19 | More by karst
Photo of akorsak


3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An experimental rye beer brewed with wild yeast served on tap at the brewery.

A: The ale is a copper brown color, darker at the wider points of the 10 oz glass. An egg white colored head lasted for the frest few sips.

S: The ale is strongly influenced by brattanomyces, with a wild horseblanker aroma that blocks out rye and any other aromas.

T: The first sip is mild, slowly transitioning the brett flavors into the mix. Mid-sip the rye flavors appear with a peppery bread flavor that sets the stage for the funk. Brett is happy to oblige with a gamey, barnyard flavor that dominates the end of each sip. The brett leaves things dry, making me wany another sip.

M: The mouthfeel is dry at the end but bready and soft in the middle. A well-thought-out experiment indeed.

D: My first visit to Bell's, so I was hesitant to get more than one glass at a time. That being said, this one is interesting, especially whem the rye makes itself known.

Serving type: on-tap

07-19-2009 22:46:36 | More by akorsak
Bell's Kal-Haven Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 42 ratings.