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

Bell's Deb's Red AleBell's Deb's Red Ale

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

77 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 77
Reviews: 39
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 10.67%


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: 77 | Reviews: 39 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of TheDM
TheDM

Indiana

3.3/5  rDev -12%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours a small head of mostly diminishing fine light brown colored bubbles and a medium amber brown colored body. It had a hoppy aroma and a somewhat smooth thick flavor of hops, malt and spices. The best thing about it was its appearance. Then, it went down from there. But, it is a very nice brew none-the-less.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2003 22:13:48 | More by TheDM
Photo of hotstuff
hotstuff

Indiana

3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled. When I poured this beer into my glass, it poured a mall tan head that had medium sized bubbles that fully diminished. The lacing was good on the sides of glass. The body was clear and the hue was reddish. It had a moderate hoppy aroma and also an aroma of clove and a hint of citrus. There was no carbonation present with this beer. It was bitter tasting from start to finish and the bitterness seemed to linger for a while after finished this beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2003 13:55:05 | More by hotstuff
Photo of jcalabre
jcalabre

California

3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Originally sampled on 29 November 2002. I am writing this review from my notes.
This pours cloudy, brown colored with a nice one finger head. It has a medium body, upfront sweetness, followed by some bite on the tongue. This is a nice beer. It is unique.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2003 21:27:05 | More by jcalabre
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pretty nice aber color with perhaps copper tinge.Smelled very sweet and malty and some fruit tinge from the hops,very comples.Tasted of baking spices?A little filling but that may be just me.A real complex red ale very well made in my opinion,have had it a few times.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2003 07:59:14 | More by oberon
Photo of Mitchster
Mitchster

Michigan

4.35/5  rDev +16%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2003 16:21:17 | More by Mitchster
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

4.18/5  rDev +11.5%
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!

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2002 00:24:44 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of Bighuge
Bighuge

Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev +20%
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).

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2002 19:44:02 | More by Bighuge
Photo of Jon
Jon

Illinois

4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
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!

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2002 20:15:43 | More by Jon
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ZAP

Minnesota

4.65/5  rDev +24%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2002 21:40:39 | More by ZAP
Photo of ADR
ADR

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +13.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2002 07:39:55 | More by ADR
Photo of TheBrewo
TheBrewo

Michigan

3.94/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew was served on tap at Diamond Jim Brady’s in Novi, Michigan. It arrived in a generic chalice, showing a glowing ruby, dirty burnt sienna coloring. It held a one and a half finger tall head of sandstone colored foam, leaving beautiful sheets of lacing in geologic layers, following a decent retention. A brief, chill haze was noted, but no sediment was found. Carbonation appeared to be moderate. The aroma gave notes of lemon rind, funky green manure, dried lawn grassiness, cherry fruitiness, wheat and gingerbread crust, toasted amber and pale malts, oregano herbals, oily muddiness, plastic grocery bags, and cork. Our first impression was that the flavoring showed surprising hoppy freshness to nicely balance the deep, toasty grain bill. As we sipped, the taste opened with clean amber malts, cereal grain, herbal and floral hop juiciness, hibiscus bitterness, sweet orange blossom fruitiness, brown sugar, and lemon rind. The middle came to a peak with grainy and gritty metallics, mild florals, pear and strawberry fruitiness, hints of fresh laundry soap and cotton, coppery red malts, and a tannic, unsweetened, lemony breakfast tea to pull us to the finish. Here, a blend of continued lemon tea bite, toasty ambers, red grape skins, fresh cranberry juice, sesame seed, lightly roasted coffee malts, tangerine sweetness, continued herbal and earthy hops, dried autumn leafiness, phenolic clove and plastic, gravel, and red cherry sweetness hit the palate and washed it clean. The aftertaste breathed of cocoa, sassafras, raw ginger root, peach pit, unsweetened black and lemon breakfast teas, cantaloupe melon, amber, red, and pale malt bitterness, and juicy floral hops. The body was medium, and the carbonation was medium, but frothed and prickle with some vigor on the swirl around the mouth. This afforded a nice coating around the mouth, with quick astringent dryness, and light pucker. Cream, froth, smack, slurp, sip, glug, and pop were all nice and pleasant. The abv was appropriate, and drinkability was great.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this beer was its flavoring. This gave hearty, deep, and spicy amber malts, as expected, but with wonderfully juicy and heavily floral hops to balance. This was both unexpected and unique to the style, giving it a soft edge and lightly sweet drinkability. This was countered by the stark tannic flow and bitterness through the end, but again, this was befitting to the picture, and a nice juxtaposition of both flavor and mouthfeel. That said, we are happy to have stumbled across this offering, and believe that any fan of the style, or anyone who likes any of Bell’s beers will procure some enjoyment from tasting Deb’s Red Ale.

Serving type: on-tap

09-07-2013 15:24:27 | More by TheBrewo
Photo of Stinkypuss
Stinkypuss

Pennsylvania

3.6/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber color with a frothy head. Smells of citrus , breads and caramel. In the taste, nutty , toasted malt and a heavy hand of citrus hops. Well balanced with a firm semi roasted malt body. Malty notes linger and has an almost cocoa like aftertaste. Medium bodied, crisp and holds the carbonation well. Overall this is a solid ale with good character.

Serving type: on-tap

08-30-2013 03:48:34 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of Ryan011235
Ryan011235

Ohio

1.94/5  rDev -48.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2

On tap at King's Table

Clear tobacco brown. Decent head with skimmy retention and good lace.

This smells of toasted caramel, floral hops and herbal root. The taste is an ugly flourish of copper wire and charcoal, bitter bread and caramel wrappers that have been in tossed in a Half Price Books dumpster. The feel is sharp and brittle. High carbonation. Thankfully there isn't much of an aftertaste.

Pass on this.

Serving type: on-tap

08-19-2013 22:39:35 | More by Ryan011235
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Arrives with a copper color and a rather modest head that leaves a few shards of lace

Smell: Caramel forward with fruit and earth tones; hints of pine underneath

Taste: Caramel sweetness hits the tastebuds first, with a build-up of fruit and earth tones; in the middle, the piney hops make an entrance creating a balance between the sweet and bitter flavors

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Not a bad Amber but at the end of the day, it is still an Amber

Serving type: on-tap

07-13-2013 01:36:18 | More by brentk56
Photo of Alextricity
Alextricity

Michigan

3.89/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at Bell's Eccentric Cafe.

Maybe it's because I had it right after Quinannan Falls Lager (which blew my mind), but I wasn't *huge* on this. The beer looks unbelievable with spectacular lacing, but it only seemed "good" after that effing Quinannan Falls! A mild hop nose with the caramel is a nice change of pace from the Red Ales that seem to be heavy on the malt. The flavor is not much like the aroma, I found, and it lets you know that you're drinking a red. Deb's Red Ale has a significant caramel malt profile (as one'd expect) with almost a slight roast flavor as well. I'd try this again in a heart beat, especially as a starter beer.

Serving type: on-tap

07-08-2013 03:47:12 | More by Alextricity
Photo of tectactoe
tectactoe

Michigan

3.74/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Pete's Place. Deb's Red pours a translucent, red-tinted orange color with a mild haze falling all the way from the top to the bottom. The cap is slightly gray-tinted and off-white; it comes out pretty small already, so it doesn't take long for it to become nothing but a skin. However, nice sheets of lace are left near the top of the glass while this happens.

At first, the aroma is a bit subdued, but it grows a bit with some warmth. It smells like you'd expect a red ale to smell; citrus fruits, orange, mango, with decent pine and grassy hoppage mingling softly. The citrus aromas seem a bit stronger than the pine, but overall, they're pretty evenly matched. Malts aren't quite as heavy as in many red ales, though a good amount of toasted bread is noticeable hanging out in the background.

Malts are more amped up on the palate; very faint caramel, bread, and toasted crackers lay the foundation for a dump truck of hops. Pine, light ash, grass, citrus and grapefruit peel, pineapple rind... The nose has carried over and transferred nicely to the flavor profile. A light bitterness strikes up front and slowly fades over the course of the sip.

The aftertaste is comprised of a comeback from the once-forgotten malts; a light toffee and toasty bread flavor coats your palate a bit after the beer has left your mouth. The body is medium, and the mouth feel is a bit sticky and resinous, almost like you're sucking the oils out of a hop. Carbonation is on the high side, but it's working for the style.

Overall, a very decent ale; though there isn't necessarily anything that puts this red ale head and shoulder above the others, it exhibits great balance and great drinkability. Very enjoyable for me, especially considering it's a style I'm not particularly fond of. You can still chalk up another successful brew for Bell's - is there anything they can't do?

Serving type: on-tap

06-12-2013 11:42:52 | More by tectactoe
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

3.99/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Thirsty Monk, Asheville, NC

A: The beer is slightly hazy amber in color. It poured with a thin off white head that died down and left some lacing on the surface and down the sides of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of caramel malts are present in the nose along with strong notes of citrusy hops.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has lots of flavors of sweet caramel malts along with notes of citrusy hops.
M: It feels medium-bodied and very smooth on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I liked the combination of sweet caramel malts and citrusy hops in this beer.

Serving type: on-tap

05-30-2013 14:10:36 | More by metter98
Photo of stewart124
stewart124

Ohio

4.09/5  rDev +9.1%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

04-06-2013 00:29:22 | More by stewart124
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Spinning from the ever reliable Amber Ale, Deb's tribute brew continues Bell's attention to implacable balance, enticing flavor, and effortless ease in drinking. Once again they hit the nail squarely on the head of the classic American amber ale.

Opening with a medium deep amber hue that captures garnet red hues as the light passes through. Lightly hazed from its unfiltered character and even-keel use of hops. Capped with an off white, creamy head of foam, the charming beer invites the nose and taste buds with its sheer and strong appearance. Long lasting and lacy, the foam accompanies the beer until the very last sip.

Balanced aromas of caramel and hops become the consent thread that guides the beer from initial aromas until the racy finish. Caramel malts pin against citrus hops for an aromatic display that draws in elements of toast, nuts, light toffee, grapefruit, oranges, and light pine.

Much the same is delivered in taste, which leads with medium caramel malt sweetness, with richer and more succulent taste of toasted pecans, biscuit malt, and sweeter crusted breads. As the beer moves across the middle palate, the hops come alive with the sharp citrusy taste of white grapefruit, freshly zested oranges, and light pine refreshment. As the finish prefers the drier and toastier malt character, it seems to allow the hops to pull ahead ever so slightly, yet the beer retains a balanced taste even then.

Medium bodied early because of the malt sweetness and creamy carbonation that provides fuller texture on the front of the tongue. But the beer lightens with a consistent fade that starts with the fleeting carbonation and the transition from sweet malt to dry toast to finish. Citrusy bitterness and a mild stemmy effect accompanies moderate alcohol warmth and a minty aftertaste that closes the beer with satisfaction.

Deb's Red Ale provides an effortless drinking session that displays the straight-forward dialogue of hop and malt balance; with little else to convoluted the stage. It should be the perfect complement to artistically barbecue pizza and caramelized onions and swiss on burgers.

Serving type: on-tap

11-27-2012 16:50:08 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of barczar
barczar

Kentucky

3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cl.ear amber with copper highlights and a solid one inch beige head that lingers as a foamy cloud.

Caramel malt dominates the aroma, with floral hop character and a touch of resin at the finish.

Odd flavor, fairly fruity malt character, probably attributable more to hops, but hits early. Citrus tones resonate throughout, with perfumey hops contributing to the relatively dry finish. The bready malt backbone is biscuity, and no match for the hops.

Body is moderate, with moderate carbonation and a touch of astringency at the finish.

Overall, not what I expected from the description. The perfumey hops almost leave an impression of staleness. Malt could've been a bit more of a complex player.

Serving type: on-tap

11-07-2012 22:02:35 | More by barczar
Photo of dlello2
dlello2

Illinois

4.15/5  rDev +10.7%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-04-2012 21:11:52 | More by dlello2
Photo of elNopalero
elNopalero

Texas

4.23/5  rDev +12.8%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

04-09-2012 19:53:10 | More by elNopalero
Photo of AgentZero
AgentZero

Illinois

3.25/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Amber colored beer with a bit of a foamy head. Decent retention with a bit of lace.

S - Some citrus and earthy hops, with mostly malt coming through. Nothing particularly special here, little bit of soap.

T - Taste is about like the nose, there's not really enough hop character to this and the malts seem a little bit watered down.

M - Smooth, crisp, medium bodied.

O - Not a great beer, but it's drinkable without being offensive. There's a lot of Amber/Reds I'd rather drink than this one.

Serving type: on-tap

11-23-2011 21:16:00 | More by AgentZero
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

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

Enjoyed on tap at the brewery tasting room. A hoppy citrusy red that's a very decent and interesting beer. A reddish tinged body with a tiny head. Good malt backbone.Average overall for the style, average mouthfeel. Passable for the more edgy stuff Bells puts out.

Serving type: on-tap

09-09-2011 20:59:40 | More by Sammy
Photo of oline73
oline73

Maryland

3.23/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

I had this in a sampler at the Eccentric Cafe while on our beercation in Michigan.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy red amber with a finger of thick off white head. Great head retention and lacing.

Smell: Mildly sweet malt up front along with some citrus hops.

Taste: Quite malty with a mild spice. Some citrus hop bitterness balanced by a sweetness from the malt.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with smooth carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: A very nice looking beer, nice to drink but not very interesting.

Serving type: on-tap

09-05-2011 04:10:23 | More by oline73
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Bell's Deb's Red Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
84 out of 100 based on 77 ratings.