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Bell's Deb's Red Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Bell's Deb's Red AleBell's Deb's Red Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

87 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 87
Reviews: 40
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 10.72%
Wants: 4
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  6.30% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Mitchster on 10-02-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 87 | Reviews: 40 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ZAP
4.65/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Now here's a dandy....It's funny how you learn to identify these beers by the smell...I got this from my brother Big Huge..I never really looked at it, and poured it and smelled it...I said this has got to be "Bell's" and in the upside down fine print I see it is...

This is a high quality beer....a big red with character....dwarfs any other red I've had...Nose is fresh and spicy with a a good dose of maltiness...the body is tremendous for this style...Like I said this beer has character....But the taste is the best thing...it features a strong maltiness complimented with some excellent spiciness....This is one of the best in its class in the world in my opinion.

ZAP, Oct 08, 2002
Photo of gratefulbeerhead
4.5/5  rDev +20.6%

gratefulbeerhead, Nov 17, 2011
Photo of Bighuge
4.5/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Murky looking scarlet in color. Sticky medium sized ivory white head recedes to a thick film and then stays that way for a while. Huge mix on the nose. (Make that Bighuge mix on the nose.) Bready yeast tones. Caramel maltiness. Sour lactic notes. Very nice. Medium to full body. I really like the subtle notes of lactic sourness in this beer. Must come from their yeast strain as I've picked it up in their beers before. Hops also play heavily into this Amber. They seem to be of the NW variety and contribute an underlying citric note. Deep caramel and biscuit like malt profile provides the backdrop for all of the above. This could very well be my favorite Amber (if not, one of my favorites).

Bighuge, Nov 01, 2002
Photo of Mitchster
4.35/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brew is a murky red-amber that has flecks of yeast flittering in the mild to moderate carbonation. Pours with a dense peaking dark beige head that leaves lots of tenacious red lace atop small to medium sized bubbles. Aroma is rich and complex...fruity hops, juicy grapefruit, warm sugar cookies, and lots of prunes and raisins...similar to a lighter version of Third Coast Old Ale. Taste starts with a soft, meaty body and gives way to a roasted sweetness in the back of the throat, quickly fading into a long, biscuity, pleasant, fresh bittering hop finish with a mild astringency. Prunes and raisins are more dominant in the nose than in the flavor, but there for sure. No alcohol bite or fusels (even as it warms) make this extremely drinkable despite it's modest ABV (It even gives me a warm feeling at this ABV...perhaps because I associate it with Third Coast Old Ale)...a very well done potent and complex red. Another top-notch brew that maintains Kzoo as my favorite brewing company.

Mitchster, Feb 02, 2003
Photo of BillMueller
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%

BillMueller, May 21, 2012
Photo of ADR
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer seems bigger than the American Amber category...

Red-brown "swamp-water" color with the characteristic Kalamazoo chunks doing the slow dance in your glass. Tiny skim of a head. Spicy aroma, especially of nutmeg with a touch of lime. Take all your pumpkin pie ingredients, mix 'em in a bowl, add a cup of lime juice, then put it in a "Juiceman" juicer and this is what might come out in your glass. Impressive body and fullness, a sense of cherry after a few sips. Hops lend pepper to the finish but are not overly assertive. To me, this is a cool weather brew with more citrus and spice than candy impressions, a little dirt and smoke, almost like a little "cousin" to Bell's Batch 5000.

ADR, Oct 08, 2002
Photo of corby112
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Draft at City Tap House.

Pours a very dark amber/mahogany coolor with golden copper hues when held to a light source and a two finger frothy off-white head with excellent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cp. Streaks of lacing left behnd.

Slightly earthy dry hop aroma with hints of caramel, rye, sweet alcohol and dry piny hops. Although the other notes shine through, especially rye, the nose on this beer is dominated by the hops.

Chewy medium body that is very hop forward with lots of dry piny notes That linger throughout over the sweet caramel malt backbone and rye notes into a lingern dry yet sweet finish. The rye is very prominent and slightly overpowers the sweet caramel malt backbone. Very well balanced with the dry bitter hops slightly overpowering the other flavors but the sweet malt and rye are strong enough to make this beer very quaffable.

corby112, Jun 08, 2010
Photo of a6ladd
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%

a6ladd, Oct 05, 2012
Photo of elNopalero
4.23/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This pours with a nice caramel color. It has a pleasant malt aroma with some caramel notes, and a warming caramel malt flavor up front balanced by a hoppy bitterness and a pleasant, dry finish. It’s an enjoyable addition to Bell’s stable. Even if it’s (as far as I could tell) an Eccentric Café exclusive.

elNopalero, Apr 09, 2012
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.18/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Is there something in the water in Kalamazoo, or just something in Larry Bell's blood, sweat and other bodily fluids that makes everything these guys make stand apart from everything else?
Cleverness abounds in Bell's country, for their red is not named after any Deborah, but the famous unionist, Eugene V. Debs. A murky red color, spicy nose, quite hoppy. Flavors of plums, raisins, cinnamon. Malt is substantial, but not dominant. Medium body, but thick and full with flavor. Remarkably soft, smooth, and spicy!

feloniousmonk, Nov 19, 2002
Photo of dlello2
4.15/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What a great amber from bells. It's sweet but not overly sweet. A touch of hop presence really balances this out. After the ridiculously heavy black note this was extraordinarily refreshing. Smell was underwhelming but the taste was spot on. A sessionable brew that I would be glad to stumble upon again.

dlello2, May 04, 2012
Photo of BeerDawgs
4.14/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at Bell's and Taco's event Brick Store Pub Feb 13, 2011

A - amber red, 1 finger of head and tons of sticky lace left on the glass!

S - Citrus hops and caramel.

T - toasted malt and citrusy hops. Spicy! Caramel malts and malty aftertaste.

M - Well balanced. Smooth mouthfeel. Medium body

O - An excellent red ale. Drink it if you can find it!

BeerDawgs, Jun 13, 2014
Photo of nmyers
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just so everyone knows as of 4/4/08 it was on tap at the brewery.

This beer poured a brilliant red color with a thin head on it with minimal retention. It had a great hop aroma with nice citrus hint to it and hints caramel roasted malt was also noticed. A nice taste of hops right off the get go and then touches of sweet citrus. It had a nice finish not much bitterness. This was a very drinkable beer.

nmyers, Apr 05, 2008
Photo of Wildman
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

@ Bell's Eccentric Cafe

This beer was a dark reddish amber color and had a nice off-white head which left some lace. It had an aroma of malt and hops. The flavor was of the malt and a slight citrus taste which is common among the Bell's beers. The finish was a bit dry and it had a medium body. Not a bad beer.

Wildman, Oct 02, 2002
Photo of stewart124
4.09/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On tap at the Yard House, Cincinnati.

Pours a medium to dark amber with creamy slightly off-white head.

Citrus in the nose and some light raisin notes.

Smooth and has a medium mouthfeel with a puckering bite that is more than I anticipated. Citrusy hops and some resiny, oily characters on the palate. This is more balanced towards the hops and yet maintains a good caramel note without becoming cloying. Medium caramel adds some fruity characters that compliment the hop bitterness.

Pleasing to drink and finishes fairly dry. Nice to see a hoppy amber ale out there on the market from Bell's. Another very solid beer in their portfolio.

stewart124, Apr 06, 2013
Photo of Jon
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Debs' (as in Eugene Debs) Red pours a glowing copper color with a sizeable off-white head that lasts. The smell is of faint smokiness with some malt character presenting itself nicely. Taste is rather malty, with some of that smoky feel again. Perhaps a little hops in there, as well. Solid mouthfeel with some mild carbonation. Pretty smooth ale. It's also fairly easy to drink, which makes it a standout in the red ale category. Once again, you can't go wrong with Kalamazoo!

Jon, Oct 12, 2002
Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours a hazy light amber color with a one-finger cream-colored head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of heavy rye, both spicy and earthy, backed by solid amounts of grainy caramel malts. Also present are mild amounts of leafy hops.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Moderately dry caramel malt flavors kick things off and are joined almost immediately by large amounts of spicy rye. The rye carries through until midway through the sip where the flavor profile further dries out with the addition of leafy and slightly herbal hops. The hops fade out, allowing the caramel malt and rye to carry through to a moderately bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with solid carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall this was exactly what it was billed - a red rye without anything else. A very nice showcase for the spicy rye character and a beer that's worth a shot.

glid02, Feb 14, 2011
Photo of prototypic
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: It arrived a hazy, reddish-amber color with a generous, off-white two finger head. Retention was very good and a nice web of lace lined the glass.

Smell: Grapefruit and orange citrus scents are sweet up front. Very nice mix of caramel and roasted malts provide a lot of depth. Hops are notable. Perhaps a slight twist of dark fruit and cherry in there as well.

Taste: Light citrus flavors make it a little sweet initially. Caramel and roasted malts are sweet and give it an excellent base. Hops are stronger than the nose would suggest. This is a very well balanced beer. Slight dark fruit and yeasty flavor towards the end.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's light to medium bodied. Carbonation is excellent. It's very smooth and drinkable. I could honestly drink this all night. This beer truly is a gem. Wish it more readily available. Definitely recommended.

prototypic, Mar 13, 2008
Photo of thagr81us
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from tap into a shaker in the company of caSSino. Poured red-orange with a half finger off-white head. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt and pine hop. The flavor was of sweet malt, pine resin, and pine hop. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. Had a nice aroma and flavor going on in this one. I really wasn't expecting the hops and resin to be this robust but they definitely shined through. This is an absolute must try for any pine or American Amber fan out there.

thagr81us, Mar 28, 2011
Photo of Zaphog
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Zaphog, Apr 14, 2012
Photo of FtownThrowDown
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Eccentric Cafe on my Michigan road trip. Pours a reddish light brown in color with a nice half inch head sitting atop. Plenty of hops in both the nose and taste. Now this is a red that I can get into. Not my favorite style, but I would have no problem drinking alot of this one. Glad I had the opportunity to try.

FtownThrowDown, Feb 13, 2009
Photo of Morakaton
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Morakaton, Nov 19, 2013
Photo of josephwa
4/5  rDev +7.2%

josephwa, May 22, 2013
Photo of Gtg642
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Gtg642, Sep 21, 2012
Photo of wingedeel
4/5  rDev +7.2%

wingedeel, Nov 18, 2011
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Bell's Deb's Red Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
84 out of 100 based on 87 ratings.