Bell Ringer - RJ Rockers Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Bell RingerBell Ringer

Educational use only; do not reuse.

424 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 424
Reviews: 179
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 12.43%
Wants: 6
Gots: 39 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
RJ Rockers Brewing Company visit their website
South Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: mikesgroove on 08-16-2007

Our high gravity offering weighs in at 8.5% ABV and is delightfully loaded with malt and hops. This is an ale worthy of your sturdiest goblet or most treasured stein. Ring it!
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 424 | Reviews: 179
Reviews by jackorain:
Photo of jackorain
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Standard pour into my Hopback Amber glass yielded a minimal 3/8 inch head which topped a light brown/amber color. The head had decent retention though and left a nearly full lace the height of the original head.

The aroma is malty and fruity with some caramel overtones. The alcohol is not present here in the nose

The taste is quite malty with a nice early, spicy and leafy hop bite. The alcohol is always present here in an underlying way.

There is an orange tinge in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a nice carbonation, but a bit hot.

Drinkability could be quite good but the alcohol in the taste would get to me.

Thanks For Reading.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Its to bad I cant find RJ Rockers stuff around here anymore, I think they make some quality stuff.Poured into a pint glass a clear amber/bronze with a well defined 1/2 finger white head atop,it held very well for a long time.Aromas are a mix of sweet malty caramel and sweetish dough,with a shot of piney hop that comes out more as it warms along with more present alcohol.Love the complexities on the palate,its quite toasty and warming with a big amount of caramel and sweet breadiness,there is a nice shot of piney hop in the finish.Its warming and basically a double ESB in my mind,a little light in the feel, but I really liked this beer.

Photo of tbryan5
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A- A reddish copper with a one finger head that dissipates pretty quickly. And some yeast can be seen floating around.
S-Lots of bread. Smells more and more like a bakery as it warms. Amazing.
T-More bread but less than the smell indicates. Followed by a nice balance of hops.
M- Medium carbonation and thickness. Nice.

If I can find another single to put in a make your own six pack then I am all over it. And it's really good for it's 8.5% abv.

Photo of marvin213
3.82/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It looks like a barleywine, but I guess a lot of strong ales do. Dark brown, with only the slightest head. Really--it looks pretty normal.

It's got a caramely vibe to it, and both the malts and the hops are aggressive on the nose. The smell--with all that malty hoppiness--is more aligned with a strong ale, but this toffee-like edge still leaves me thinking barleywine.

Malts dominate the taste, but I'm fairly certain it was hoppier the first time I tasted it. It's still like a barleywine, with a malty sweet mouthfeel countered by a bittering hop presence. Oddly, this is like an Arrogant Bastard Ale mixed with its more potent brethren, the Double Bastard--and the 8.5% ABV is probably spot-on for such a mixture! It's a pleasant enough beverage, and one I'll likely pick up again when I come across it on the shelves.

Photo of Jason
3.97/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle, no freshness date.

Hazed copper color with a good amount of foamy suds and good head retention from that as well. Smells fruity, hoppy and faintly buttery with a clean ester alcohol in back. Smooth with a medium to full body and slightly prickly carbonation. Underlying breath of alcohol with each sip. Hint of caramel within the maltiness yet there is more of a dry bready and toasted biscuit flavor. Hops come across with a balancing bitterness and a semi-pungent orange-mint combo flavor. Finishes a little bitter and dry.

I really do love strong ales like this where there is some balance and still drinkable. A thumbs up!

Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to blutt59 for sharing this bottle. This is my first beer from the great state of South Carolina.

The beer pours an orange-amber color with a white head. The aroma is very malty with caramel and toffee notes. The flavor is lots of caramel malt but not too much else. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of startreker
4.75/5  rDev +28.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Found this at a local grocery store. So I had to give it a try, being that its a localy made microbrew.

Nice orange beige color, that poured up thick with a velvety head. Not much in the way of lacing, but has decent head retention.

Very nice aroma, hints of vanilla and caramel to be sure.

The taste reminds me of a fine congnac, something to be sipped and savored. Very malty, but not at all overly sweet. The hops seems to balance out the sweet malt wonderfuly, with a finish that is neither to bitter, nor to sweet.

Mouthfeel is very full and satisfying, velvety smooth as it hits the back of my toungue.

Overall, one of the best brews to ever grace my palate. Not a beer to be guzzled down by anymeans, as it does have a much higher alcohol content then your standard beer.

It would be a disgrace to simply chug down such an outstanding brew. Savor this beer slowly and enjoy!!

Photo of kingcrowing
3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into an Allagash snifter. Thanks to theghost3 for this!

Pours a deep gold, fairly hazy with a small head, nice lacing. Smell is malty and sweet with a tinge of hop bitterness to it.

Taste is very malty with a bitter finish, body is a bit light and watery but still very solid. You would never know this is 8.5% either. Nice and easy drinker.

Photo of PatLarsen
3/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Very cloudy copper coloured body with an orange glow and a thin-ish tan head. Aroma of strong malt, alcohol, caramel, pit fruits. Malty flavour with not much behind the initial taste showing some alcohol, a bit of pit fruits and not much else really. Aftertaste shows a little bit of hops (I'm pushing the envelope here to find something positive) and a tiny bit of pit fruits and almost nothing else. Overall, a pretty uninteresting beer - I was expecting much more from the taste, but this one is very weak in the flavour - the look and smell are okay, but there is nothing at all to this beer. I think I've grown tired of giving RJ Rockers my money to be uninspired by their work. It's almost as if they throw 3 ingredients in and a little hops, and call it a day on all their stuff.

Photo of chinchill
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle served in a pint glass. No indication of beer style on the label. Were it just a bit less sweet, I'd guess DIPA.

A - Pours a hazy orange-amber color with a modest tan head that has great retention and leaves some lacing.

S - Has a sweet and fruity (spicy citrus) aroma with the high ABV fairly well hidden. Sweet malt base.

T - Sweet and malty up front with hints of orange hard candy. Plenty of hops in there too, athough more might be better given the heavy sweetness. Rather than balancing nicely, the sweetness and bitterness seem to battle each other with the early dominance of sweetness eventually losing out to hop bitterness in the bittersweet finish. Alcohol is hidden except in a slight warming sensation and a very mild tongue burn.

M: Full body with very good carbonation. Sticky. No ill effects of the alcohol.

O: A bold and flavorful beer that is reminiscent of Bell's Hopslam, albeit much sweeter and less finely crafted. In fact, my main reservation about this beer is that it seemed a bit roughly put together, like a very good homebrew. Some of that impression comes from the high levels of both sweetness and bitterness, with the bitter losing out until the aftertaste. It also lacks the complexity of a world class brew. Still, as a local brew it is about about half the price of Hopslam. Worth a try, for sure.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a snifter) Thanks to cbak999 for this brew
A- This beer has a hazy orange body with a bubbly yellowish -beige head that stays creamy for a good while. There are a few tiny bubbles gliding up the side of the glass.
S- The rich citrus hops blends with caramel malt and some rich graham aromas come through as the beer warms.
T- The pungent quality of green hops mixes with the soft orange hop flavors. This blends with the caramel malt that has some softer biscuit malt qualities to it. There is a dry finish with a pungent note that lingers.
M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel that is creamy as long as the head last and doesn't have any alcohol heat. There is a gentle carbonation prick in the finish.
D- This beer has a full pungent hop flavor with support from caramel malt and other softer hop flavors. This is really easy to drink especially for 8.5 %. It would be nice to taste this with a bit of age as I suspect the hops would soften and the malt would grow.

Photo of LordofTime25
3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received in a trade from casemw!

Pours to a orange color that is cloudy with a slight off white head. The head had some retention with good lacing left on glass.

Mainly get the strong aroma of the hops in this brew. Nice!

You get a sweet tasty bitterness with the hops in this brew with a hint of malts.

Full body with a good carbonation!

A nice very drinkable brew!

Photo of asabreed
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a Delerium Tremens.

Appearance: A darker hazy amber copper color with nice stretched head retention and lacing. Very nice color overall.

Smell: Interesting and balanced aromas of dark chocolate and citrus hops, with good rind-like bitterness. Not much fruit or sweeter malt aromas, so it's not what I expected, but I like the odd meld with the chocolate flavors.

Taste: Aroma comes through in the taste, with big bitter chocolate flavors and citrus hops comings through, longer malt flavors with the finish and wisps of citrus hops.

Mouthfeel: Nice and medium-bodied with a good chewiness and creaminess.

Drinkability: Doesn't feel as alcoholic as it is, and it's very easy drinking and different for this style. I enjoyed it a lot and would certainly try it again.

Photo of Sammy
3.62/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Rather ordinary beer, though yes lots of hops, and malt, not so well integrated. OK drinkability to get the hops, a better malting would improve drinkability. little coconut.Doug’s bottle. Ordinary for the style. Decent sized retained head on hazey golden body.Some lace.

Photo of tdm168
3.56/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - dark amber with a faint orange hue that has a big, thick, dense, off white head that has great retention

S - bread, plum, figs, alcohol, cherry, medicine

T - plum, cherry, bread, faint pine, faint herbal hops, dark fruit, alcohol, faintly medicinal

M - a bit crisp, medium bodied, warm, a little overcarbonated

This is a rather complex and flavorful beer, but unfortunately there are a few off flavors in my opinion. The cherry in both the nose and taste are a bit medicinal which over power the bready malts and nice dark alefruits. There's a nice underlying hop character which lends a little balance. Overall, not a bad beer, but a bit of a more balanced flavor would really make this an awesome ale. As it stands it's worth a try, but I'll probably avoid it in the future.

Photo of mempath
4.32/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

good looking pour. some retention and a nice head that settles fast. orangey hazy appearance.

nose is an interesting fig preserves smell. sweet organic earthy bready. deep malt funk. in a good way.

wow. an AESB...i haven't had alot of ESBs but this seems to be a nice interepretation, taking 'balance' to a new level. a laid back explosion? very hoppy blast fits just perfectly in the normally staid ESB experience. i still get all the usual ESB notes of rich maltiness and almost sour dough breadiness, but the hop butter slathered on this is unmistakable. still very balanced. the mouthfeel helps keep this where it needs to be. and at this ABV, it is 'sadly' quite drinkable...session this. and be prepared for a potential hangover. i really love the sweet pale ale sense of an ESB mixed with the rich hoppiness. something different about this. only thing to improve? the label.


Photo of NeroFiddled
4.02/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Without a doubt, Bell Ringer is my favorite beer from RJ Rockers.

It delivers a deep amber-copper body with golden highlights beneath a creamy head of 'vanilla'-white. Unfortunately, especially for a beer of this girth, the head falls rather quickly. How that can happen with so much dextrin and hop behind it I don't know, except that there is a good deal of alcohol behind it as well (8.5% abv).

The aroma is rich with caramelish and doughy sweet malt, and some fresh, gently grassy, floral, spicy, and leafy hops slip through as well. Once warmed, a whiff of alcohol becomes evident as well. (I wonder if the spiciness is alcohol or hops?)

The flavor is as the aroma suggests, but less sweet as it has more hop character to it. It's initially caramelish, lightly toasty, and bready and doughy, but then the hops step up towards the middle, lending it a balancing spiciness (or is that alcohol), grassiness, leafiness, and herbacious quality. A solid bitterness anchors it, and it finishes drying as the sweet malt slowly erodes and the herbal and spicy hops become more prominent. A spritz of alcohol eventually brings it to complete dryness, and the lingering earthy/herbal hop notes beg you to take another sip. It even becomes a bit minty. If there's a fault here, apart from the spritz of alcohol, it's that it's just too damned balanced. It's got a big and blocky, sticky maltiness on one side, and a big and blocky bitterness and hop flavor on the other. They overlap midway, and then all balance out. It's just too easy and too perfect. Maybe a little bit of leaning either here or there would give it a little more interest.

The mouthfeel is full, but smooth with a rich, dextrinous body and restrained, fine-bubbled carbonation.

Drinkability is only hindered by minor notes of alcohol.

Photo of socon67
4.02/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Copper color with solid foam retention. Cloudy.

S - I smell some vanilla, maybe a bit of cinnamon, and english malt.

T - Good malty flavor that has a hearty bit of spice and ends with a slightly boozy bite.

M - Very well balanced for the style. Incfedibly smooth and doesn't feel nearly as ptoent as it is. Impressive!

O - I would try this again. A strng ale that is actually one you could have a few of.

Photo of dirtylou
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, gifted to me by bleakness

appearance: boring label design - a bit of a gusher when cracked open but it was stored on its side for its entire stay with me. when poured, it settles considerably leaving only a light beige lace. murky amber body - served in a delirium chalice

smell: grassy hops, doughy, a touch metallic

taste: definitely past its prime - faded hops flavor, doughy, a touch of pine, caramel, toasted grain...just kind of boring i guess and i'm not really getting anything remotely ESB

mouthfeel: moderate bitterness, a touch spicy

drinkability: ok

Photo of tempest
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a variety pack from State Line in Maryland. Appeared a clear light brown with a short off-tan head. Interesting, it tastes like a sort of English strong ale as this beer is pretty hoppy for an ESB. It also is missing out on the traditional creamy candy yeast character of British beer. Still, there's a tasty caramel and toffee malt followed by a rush of earthy, grassy hops. Very tasty and worth a try.

Photo of Crass3000
3.41/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a really nice orange with a small white head that dies quickly.

Smell is not very tropical but a tiny bit piny. There is a tiny bit of sweetness from the malt bill to be sure. Really more of a little pine/malt but not much tropical. Really an OK beer but nothing special.

Photo of Riverwarrior
3.4/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

S = Not a strong aroma, but it did have sweet malts with some citrus hops in the background.

T = Sweet caramel malts upfront and lasted until the finish. There was some grapefruit bitterness near the end, but the sweetness was the dominating flavor. The finish was somewhat bland. Alcohol was hideen well.

MF = Body was medium and carbonation was just below moderate. Smooth and creamy.

Overall, this was a decent Strong Ale, but it was a little one-sided (the sweetness) for me.

Photo of thagr81us
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap into a Dogfish Head tumbler. Pours a hazy red-orange with a one finger white head. Maintains excellent lacing throughout. The aroma was comprised of malt and orange peel. The flavor was of malt, oranges, and chocolate. It had a light feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a very nice brew. All of the aspects of this one seem to be very nice. If it were perhaps a little more complex it could be even better. I am glad I have been sending this out as an extra in some of my trades.

Photo of morimech
3.55/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a full, overflowing glass of foam. Continues with each additional pour from the bottle. The liquid, when it eventually forms, is an attractive deep amber color. A lot of lacing is left down the glass. Yeast sediment from the last bit poured in. Knocking the score down because of the obnoxious pour. Seems the bottle-conditioning got carried away.

Smells sweet. Fruity esters and caramel malt. Also some musty grain in the background that adds some interest. Also get some English type of hop aromas.

Flavor of caramel, raisins, prunes, bready malt, and alcohol. Overall a sweet beer. Alcohol is definately there, but is not overly hot or harsh. Bitterness is low with just a slight herbal hop flavor. Tastes like the yeast did not really complete their job with the raw malt flavor.

Full bodied with a smooth texture. The carbonation lost a bit with the pour but still enough left to give a pleasant feel.

An above average beer that was not exactly well executed. There is potential there that was not fully realized in this example.

Photo of bucklemyshoe
4.16/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. poured into a snifter. This pours a cranberry red with one finger of foaminess (not too carbonated). The aroma is of dark malts, caramel, honey, and a decent lode of hops (70 IBUs?). The taste is dark candied fruit, caramel, and clove. It leans a little toward the sweet side but not unbearably so, with some bitterness at the end. It's the best that South Carolina has to offer.

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Bell Ringer from RJ Rockers Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 424 ratings.