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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 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 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 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 Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

3.53/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: on-tap

09-01-2011 11:13:49 | More by Thorpe429
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 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 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 corby112
corby112

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +13.3%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

06-08-2010 05:35:10 | More by corby112
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 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 glid02
glid02

Georgia

4/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

02-14-2011 23:11:35 | More by glid02
Photo of Dogbrick
Dogbrick

Ohio

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

Serving type: on-tap

11-24-2008 18:46:42 | More by Dogbrick
Photo of thagr81us
thagr81us

South Carolina

4/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

03-28-2011 18:08:10 | More by thagr81us
Photo of ZAP
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 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 maximum12
maximum12

Minnesota

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

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!

Serving type: on-tap

08-17-2009 14:27:38 | More by maximum12
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
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 prototypic
prototypic

Ohio

4/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

03-13-2008 02:23:39 | More by prototypic
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 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 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 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 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 tmoneyba
tmoneyba

Ohio

3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy copper color with an average creamy off-white head that was mostly diminishing and had good lacing. Good malty and citrus hoppy aroma. Medium body with slick dry texture. Moderate well balanced smooth flavor with a medium bittersweet finish of moderate to long duration. Good brew.

Serving type: on-tap

06-01-2010 01:49:12 | More by tmoneyba
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Bell's Deb's Red Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
84 out of 100 based on 77 ratings.