Midwestern Pale Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.
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Ratings: 647 | Reviews: 113 | Display Reviews Only:
2.76/5 rDev -17.6%
One that I've been reluctant to purchase... or even try, just based on the relatively poor reviews it has. But hey, it's Bell's, so it can't be that bad, right? ....Right?? Midwestern Pale Ale pours out like a foggy pear skin; muddled and overrun by a jungle of small and sifting sediment particles. The porcelain head looks like a cloud, overcasting the unfiltered brew and taking its sweet ol' time to finally settle itself.
The aroma is kind of confusing. And not really in a good way. Mildly sulfuric, toasted bread, pale malt, and a touch of meek, musty hops, reminiscent in my mind of Saaz, or at least some kind of Noble hop. I get a chunky, crisp lager whiff, too, very akin to lagering yeast. Really, this smells like more of a lager than an ale, but not even a *good* one at that. Kind of boring and plain, and not really fitting of the "American Pale Ale" namesake.
Equally disappointing is the flavor, starting off with a combo of light DMS, sulfur, and off-beat graininess - this beer almost tastes like it has been sunstruck... so much for the brown bottle. Metallic notes, musky, and earthy hops that are far too faint with a finishing sucker punch of dirt, crisp yeast, and unexciting pale malt. Light bodied, not a whole lot in terms of palate presence, though the carbonation is crispy and dry, again, giving me that "lager" feel.
Bleh, wow. I'm pretty upset with Bell's on this one. Not at all what I think of when I hear the term "Pale Ale". For a brewery that has released stuff like Two Hearted, Hopslam, and Expedition Stout, you kind of expect more out of their constant rotation pale ale. Instead, we have this boring, bland, mildly off-putting, almost lager-ish but not as good, confusing mess of a beer. Good thing they have so many other great offerings - this one won't be missed.
08-05-2013 17:02:45 | More by tectactoe
2.78/5 rDev -17%
Some tiny sediment particles hang around this bronze and amber, slightly hazey APA. One finger of head and a thin layer of foam for most of the twelve ounces.
The aroma is very weird. I poured this beer into a clean pint glass. There's some citric hop aromas, alittle biscuity, toasty malt. But overwhelmingly vomitous!? There's a vomit aroma thats a little off puting to say the least. My guess is I got an unlucky bottle of some sort.
Crisp and grainy palate with a lighter than expected body. Biscuits, crackers, and bread crust with a strong funky orange and earth almost barnyardy flavor. I don't really know what to make of this beer.
01-28-2013 15:32:55 | More by scruffwhor
2.83/5 rDev -15.5%
Hazy, golden, almost orange. Big, fluffy head with strong lacing.
Smells of wheat and grass. Smelled like a wheat beer from the first whiff. Smell isn't that powerful.
Tastes floral and malty, the wheat taste from the smell is there as well. Beer reminded me of some Czech Pilsners brewed in the US without the crisp finish. Certainly not what I would expect from an APA, also not a very big flavor. Lacked the citrus and hops that most APA's are going with today. Probably a bit too muchc wheat and floral flavors.
Easy drinking, smooth, not too crisp, light carb. Would be easy to put back a few too many of these, but with the low ABV I wouldn't feel too guilty of it.
Hard to describe overall. Not a great representation of the style. If I were in the mood for an APA, this wouldn't be my choice, but if I were in the mood for something a bit different, this could be a great choice. For how cheap and easy it is to get, I'll probably buy it again.
I'm reviewing this after drinking three over two weeks. It isn't quite as good as I thought it was the first time I had it.
12-01-2012 00:16:48 | More by HarrySTruman
2.85/5 rDev -14.9%
a: best part of the beer, indictive of the style
s: soft wheaty smells. nothing too special
t: didnt like it too much. Strangly yeasty and off tasting
m: slick and light
wasnt a big fan of this one. one of the weakest brews from Bells.
02-16-2013 01:51:38 | More by jucifer1818
2.86/5 rDev -14.6%
12 fl oz brown glass bottle with appealing label art and branded pry-off pressure cap acquired at Zipp's Liquor in Minneapolis, MN for $1.79 and served into a stem-tulip. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given the brewery. 5.2% ABV confirmed. Packaged 07/29/13. Reviewed as a pale ale because of the name, though the label description calls it a blond ale.
Served cold - straight from the fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.
A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.
Pours a one finger wide head of white colour. Disappointingly thin. Lacks creaminess and frothiness. Consistency is smooth. Complexion is decent; not particularly soft or supple. Head retention is average - about 2 minutes. Little lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.
Body colour is a hazy nontransparent translucent mango colour. Sort of a reddish orange - kind of hard to pin down. Average vibrance. No floating yeast particles are visible.
Overall, it looks a bit off for a pale ale. Not as light or clear as I'd expect.
Sm: Honey, caramel, pale malts, fruity tones (mainly mango and vague tropical character), a hint of graham cracker, clean yeast, sweet bready malts, and some doughiness from the yeast. Not as hop-forward as you'd expect (and want) in a pale ale.
I'm looking forward to trying it, but it's far from unique or special. I'm a bit concerned at this point.
No alcohol or spices are detectable. A clean inoffensive aroma of average strength.
T: Mango fruit, light pine, and some biting grapefruit citrus notes comprise the bulk of the hop profile. Pale malts, some caramalt, and a light doughy character provide the simple foundation. Lightly resinous. Hints of lime. Decently balanced, with a cohesive but not gestalt build.senses at different points in the structure. The bitterness/sweetness is off, but in different Very simple, lacking complexity, subtlety, nuance, and intricacy.
The doughy yeast character doesn't fit the clean feel you'd want in a good pale. There's even some (admittedly light) alcohol presence here too.
Below average depth and duration of flavour. Average intensity of flavour.
Decently put together, but ultimately quite underwhelming. I'm not a big fan and I'm not sure what they're going for with this one.
Mf: Fairly clean. Crisp, smooth, and wet. Too filling for a pale ale. A bit too heavy on the palate, with too full a body. Doesn't suit the flavour profile or the style all that well. Unrefreshing. Overcarbonated.
Not oily, astringent, harsh, gushed, hot, rough, or boozy.
Dr: Nowhere near as drinkable as a pale ought to be, but fairly downable. I'm glad I just got a single; I wouldn't want another and wouldn't recommend this to friends. A simple swing and a miss from Bell's. Very average.
12-02-2013 03:55:28 | More by kojevergas
2.86/5 rDev -14.6%
Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a BrewDog cervoise glass. Bottled 26 November 2013.
A: Hazy brown-yellow; darkly translucent. Very little head. Gentle lacing.
S: Lightly sour fruit...citrus? Spoiled tropical fruit? Lightly lagery yeast.
T: Hugely disappointing. Bell's is my favourite brewery, but this is a miss. Light, bland, lightly sour, lagerish. I imagine it might be good on a very hot day as a lawnmower beer.
M: Pretty refreshing.
O: I didn't like it :( -- not recommended. Will not have again.
12-30-2013 01:18:27 | More by AgentMunky
2.89/5 rDev -13.7%
Reviewed from notes. Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a CCB pint glass.
A: Hazy deep gold with a finger's worth of creamy eggshell head and tons of visible carbonation made of tiny bubbles.
S: Pilsner malt; floral, herbal and grassy hops; hints of sulfur and spiciness.
T: Pilsner and light cracker malts, mild grassy and floral hop bitterness, and a touch of almost astringent sulfur. The mild hop bitterness with the creamy sweet malt flavor lasts into the hang.
M: This actually has a creamy mouthfeel, and I don't think that's good here. No alcohol presence to speak of, but a heavier body for an APA.
O: Yeah - don't know if I got a bad bottle, or if this was just a bad beer. There's some lager and APA characteristics mixed together, but it misses the style for both. I've had Cream Ales with less of a creamy body than this one. So many tasty, refreshing summer APAs out there, but unfortunately this isn't one. Sub-par.
06-27-2013 02:02:00 | More by macrosmatic
2.9/5 rDev -13.4%
Full disclosure, I am a huge Bell's fan. In my opinion, every thing they ever do is exceptional. That is, until this.
A - Hazy, golden, almost orange. Big, fluffy head with strong lacing. I was actually pretty stoked to give this a rip.
S - Wheat. Not too strong, some floral.
T - Floral and malty, and obviously wheat. Big disappointment in lacking citrus and hops that are often found in current APA style. The floral presence is a little annoying. There comes a point when too much floral seems perfumey.
M - Easy drinker but not very crisp. Average.
O - Pretty disappointing offering from a world class operation like Bell's. It's a non descript sessionable beer that doesn't differentiate itself from others in it's class. Bland and way too safe; memorable for all the wrong reasons. Just way too many other beers in this style/class that are better buys and much more enjoyable.
12-27-2012 17:55:24 | More by cityofFestivals
2.9/5 rDev -13.4%
Bottle > Pint Glass
A - Hazy gold, 1 finger soapy white head, little lacing.
S - Very little aroma, some bready malt, a little pepper.
T - Watery taste, some bread and biscuit malt, rye, pepper, some other spice, very little hop character.
M - Very thin, watery, forgettable.
O - This is a really lame APA, no good display of hops, weak flavor.
11-20-2013 23:30:47 | More by Omnium
2.91/5 rDev -13.1%
Last of the mixer sixer pours a nice looking hazy deep gold. Minimal head that regressed to a ring after a minute or so.
Smell was primarily husky grain and a bit of skunk..Old bottle?
Taste wasn't much better than the smell. Musty with a bit of grainy sweetness and some skunky hops tailing off at the finish.
Medium bodied with pretty dense carbonation.
Not a beer I'd seek out again but still better than the macro garbage.
03-10-2014 23:51:09 | More by BrewMaven
2.91/5 rDev -13.1%
Pours sparkled gold color with a ton of sediment floating around in it like a snow globe and a thick foamy 1 finger eggshell color that was full of bubbles and faded slowly, leaving very nice lacing coating the sides and rings as it went down.
Smells of malt, light caramel, corn or wet brown rice like a macro lager, grass and mild spices; nose did not match the looks and was quite boring, which surprised me.
Tastes of malt, lemon zest, light caramel, faint piney hops, very light coriander, biscuit and then like the nose there was corn or like a macro adjunct lager, grass and herbs; easy to put down and sessionable if you’re not looking for flavor, but damnit this is a Bell’s brew and I expect it to taste very good if not great.
Mouthfeel is very light and almost watery, with mild to average carbonation, a thin, slick feel and a slightly grainy bitterness to end it. Overall it was nothing special and actually went downhill after the pour. Not sure why it’s so dull, but it is and seemed like any old lager that you could grab at a 7-11.
06-21-2014 03:52:29 | More by CHickman
2.98/5 rDev -11%
Pours a big, dense, resiny, white head. Soft malt in the nose, with a nice floral hoppiness. Straw colored. Starts tart, almost. Bright, bitter hops with a citrus note. A medium-high bitterness, moves into a malty finish.
This isn't horrible, but not as good as I've come to expect from Bell's.
The hop profile is just not very good; low aromatics, mostly bitterness, not a lot of hop complexity.
12-28-2012 03:06:41 | More by TheSSG
Midwestern Pale Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
77 out of 100 based on 647 ratings.