Bell's Deb's Red Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.
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Ratings: 87 | Reviews: 40 | Display Reviews Only:
3.6/5 rDev -3.5%
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.
09-09-2011 20:59:40 | More by Sammy
3.53/5 rDev -5.4%
On tap at the Eccentric Cafe this past weekend.
Pours a clear amber with a good off-white head and a bit of lacing on the way down. The nose brings forward some light bread crust as well as a bit of caramel. Light citrus and earthy hops. Flavor is fairly similar with the malt shining for the most part, though it's hoppier than your standard amber (excluding India Red Ales). Mouthfeel is medium and somewhat chewy with a semi-dry finish and mild bitterness. Good, not great.
09-01-2011 11:13:49 | More by Thorpe429
3.99/5 rDev +7%
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.
05-30-2013 14:10:36 | More by metter98
3.78/5 rDev +1.3%
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
07-13-2013 01:36:18 | More by brentk56
3.5/5 rDev -6.2%
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.
11-27-2012 16:50:08 | More by BEERchitect
3.5/5 rDev -6.2%
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.
03-11-2003 07:59:14 | More by oberon
4.18/5 rDev +12.1%
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!
11-19-2002 00:24:44 | More by feloniousmonk
3.23/5 rDev -13.4%
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.
09-05-2011 04:10:23 | More by oline73
4.25/5 rDev +13.9%
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.
06-08-2010 05:35:10 | More by corby112
3.6/5 rDev -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.
08-30-2013 03:48:34 | More by Stinkypuss
4.5/5 rDev +20.6%
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).
11-01-2002 19:44:02 | More by Bighuge
4/5 rDev +7.2%
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.
02-14-2011 23:11:35 | More by glid02
4/5 rDev +7.2%
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.
03-28-2011 18:08:10 | More by thagr81us
3.6/5 rDev -3.5%
Sample at the Bell's tasting at Brews Cafe on 3/6/08: This brew is a clear reddish-copper color with a thin off-white head that burns away quickly. Spotty lacing. Aroma of light hops, earthy malt and citrus. Light to medium body with mild hops, toasted malt and spice flavors. The finish is hoppy and malty with notes of pine and citrus in the aftertaste. Above average overall.
11-24-2008 18:46:42 | More by Dogbrick
3.25/5 rDev -12.9%
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.
11-23-2011 21:16:00 | More by AgentZero
4.65/5 rDev +24.7%
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.
10-08-2002 21:40:39 | More by ZAP
3.74/5 rDev +0.3%
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?
06-12-2013 11:42:52 | More by tectactoe
3.3/5 rDev -11.5%
Split with the wife at the Eccentric Cafe in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Amber brew with again, almost no smell coming off of it. How can something this malty not smell like...something?
This is a massive, straight-up malt bomb with only a tingle of hop bitterness at the end that's quickly overrun. Honestly, I've never had a beer this malty in my life. The first sip or two is a turn-off, but as it warms, this grew on me. My wife hated it. Not sure I could down more than one of these, but it was worth having!
Pretty good beer. No "balance" in this one, though!
08-17-2009 14:27:38 | More by maximum12
Bell's Deb's Red Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
84 out of 100 based on 87 ratings.