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Le Contrabassiste - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Le Contrabassiste
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66 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 66
Reviews: 12
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 10.05%
Wants: 2
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Bière de Garde |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: corby112 on 06-08-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 66 | Reviews: 12 | Display Reviews Only:
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5/5  rDev +35.9%

zoso1967, Nov 26, 2011
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4.5/5  rDev +22.3%

bhayle, Mar 06, 2012
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4.25/5  rDev +15.5%

PHBoiler, Jan 24, 2013
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4.25/5  rDev +15.5%

Arsenal0328, May 05, 2013
Photo of jampics2
4.22/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Night Town during Cleveland Beer Week. The entire Bell's Jazz Series was featured for the first time ever in Ohio.

The color is a dark copper and amber with hints of caramel, almost reminiscent of the color of the finish on the wood a double bass would be traditionally stained to. How appropriate! The beer has a beautiful off-white head, let's call it the cap on the bassist's head. And it doesn't fly off during the solo - instead, it has great retention and some wonderful clinging lace. Probably the most appealing were it not for the somewhat filtered, clear appearance this has, especially when compared to the other two in the series.

The smell is primarily malty, with a touch of toast and even some roast. There's also a subtle touch of smoke, but not enough to add but a touch of depth. It doesn't carry over to the taste, so fear not if you're not into smoky beers. The caramel and toffee from the malt are joined by a few distinct yeasty esters, which add a caramel-covered prune and raisin note to the mix. The nose could be more expressive, but it has nice depth and the slight chocolate roast is a welcome addition. More notable noble hops and yeast esters would move this a few rungs up the ladder.

Wow, what a great malt complexity going on here. The low end is in effect, hitting the bridge between caramel and a great chocolate roast while plucking some silky toffee strings. Just a hint of smoke adds depth without any notable real distractions. The hops are there but quickly fleet as the roast takes over. There are some yeasty esters giving some nice dark fruit - black cherries and raisins. Almost like a French brown ale if there ever could be such a thing. Sacrebleu! Perhaps a roasty Scottish ale would make a better comparison? Je sacre par Dieu, Américaine.

The mouthfeel is crisp with perhaps just a bit too much carbonation. The body is significant enough to handle it though, and any less carbonation would probably make the medium body seem a bit on the heavy side. The beer finishes with some lingering sweetness, but it doesn't come close to the toothsome tastes of the Pianiste. I liked this beer more than the other two in the series as I felt the malt bill was more in line with the better examples of Bière de Garde I've been fortunate enough to try. This is worth seeking out, but maybe I'm partial as I've always been enamored with its namesake. I just wanted to play an instrument I could carry home on the bus without having to sit up front next to the tuba kid.

jampics2, Oct 25, 2010
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4/5  rDev +8.7%

JIMTRK16, Feb 26, 2014
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4/5  rDev +8.7%

Gonzoillini, Aug 09, 2013
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4/5  rDev +8.7%

dsaylor, Dec 14, 2011
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4/5  rDev +8.7%

vrbulldog22, May 13, 2013
Photo of DrDemento456
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Quite a rare find at my local Beermuda. Was able to get a full pint of this for 5 bucks.

A - Pours a deep amber hue brown, very clear in color, with a 1/2 inch of mocha head.
S - Mostly smells of clean fruity Belgium malts, has smoked malts and a bit of chocolate malts as well. In a way it kind of smells like a Doppelbock very Toasty.
T - My notes describe a very clean Doppelbock taste, mostly caramel sweetness, some fruity notes and smoked malts a plenty of toasted malts.
M - Medium bodied, somewhat chewy. Clean and easy to go down.

Overall it seems pretty on par with the description of the style maybe could have used some sour lemon that's always good. It drank well enough was a great beer overall.

DrDemento456, Dec 27, 2013
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4/5  rDev +8.7%

SportsandJorts, Nov 17, 2012
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4/5  rDev +8.7%

Morakaton, Nov 19, 2013
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4/5  rDev +8.7%

sideshowe, Nov 17, 2011
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4/5  rDev +8.7%

TheConnMan, Feb 05, 2013
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4/5  rDev +8.7%

MSandahl23, Aug 12, 2013
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4/5  rDev +8.7%

escapegoat, Feb 12, 2012
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4/5  rDev +8.7%

qwe2323, Jun 18, 2014
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4/5  rDev +8.7%

PhineasGage, Jan 27, 2012
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4/5  rDev +8.7%

tbeq00, Nov 14, 2011
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4/5  rDev +8.7%

JimmyFlatRock, Oct 22, 2013
Photo of Thorpe429
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Bell's last weekend.

Pours a mostly-clear brown-amber color with a short white head. Some spotty lacing as it goes down. The nose is pretty tame, bringing just a bit of malt and bread crust. The flavor is more complex and fits the style quite well, bringing some nice earthy elements and a slight fruity touch. Bread is the main characteristic. Some sweetness. Medium body and moderate carbonation. A good example of a style I'm not particularly fond of.

Thorpe429, Jun 28, 2011
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3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

KevinGordon, Nov 22, 2013
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Zaphog, Aug 11, 2013
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3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

gratefulbeerhead, Dec 15, 2013
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3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

kguard, Jul 14, 2013
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Le Contrabassiste from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
83 out of 100 based on 66 ratings.