Raspberry Ale
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store

Raspberry AleRaspberry Ale
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Fruit and Field Beer
3.6 | pDev: 14.72%
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Michigan, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Raspberry AleRaspberry Ale
Notes: The vivid red hue and tart finish of Raspberry Ale comes from the use of massive amounts of Michigan-grown whole raspberries. Intensely flavorful, Raspberry Ale focuses on the contribution of local agriculture and follows a Bell’s tradition of leaning towards using tart flavors to complement malty notes, rather than additional sweetness.
Reviews: 20 | Ratings: 75 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of BEERchitect
3.65/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Where most fruit beer makers like to celebrate the candied fruit components of raspberry, Bells prefers to draw from more Belgian-esque form and employ a more tart and true-raspberry character that chases from nose to finish.

Certainly fruit-centric, the ale pours with a mauve body but capped with a modestly pinkish froth. Light and and foamy, its head retains half the session before giving way to the acidity of the fruit. After which, a memory of lace adorns the glass in the beer's wake.

Fruit forward for certain, the culinary experience starts with a must fruit scent and overtones of raw raspberry. Settling in a bit its taste is semi-sweet and semi-dry with the robust character of vine-picked raspberries. Both its delicacy and its racy acidity plays out on the bed of dry cracker malts that provide the most modest of sweetnesses- its an ale that plays off of the fruit but doesn't entirely rely upon it.

Mid-light in body, its early malt and embedded carbonation gives creamy impressions, but after that, win-like acidity and dryness balances that of malt for a finish that's fruity, semi-dry and lingers with a memory of berry.

I love the ale- but I understand that as a fruited beer, its potential is limited. It's easy, effortless and straddles the fence of what's sweet and what's sour. But its sessionability is not questioned as it can be enjoyed all summer long!

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Photo of Kbogac
3.95/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this as part of a beer dinner. Served in a small snifter type glass from tap. Nice slightly red color, no foam with a whitish ring. There may have been foam when it was poured but not when I received it. The smell is fresh raspberries and a little hops. The taste is almost the same. Tart fresh raspberries and maybe a bit of hops. Light mouthfeel with a good bit of carbonation. Overall this is good but more sour/tart I prefer.

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Photo of russwbeck
4.01/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The second pairing of RFD Washington's Bell's Beer Dinner. I had never heard of Bell’s Raspberry Ale before. They paired it with mixed greens with candied walnuts, prosciutto and shaved Romano drizzled with Raspberry Ale vinaigrette.

A: Pink to red pour with a few fingers of white head. Beautiful lacing down the side of the wine glass and decent retention 4.5

S: Huge raspberry aroma. Very sweet, basically the only thing I can smell is the fruit, which is a good thing. 3.5

T: The taste is a bit more balanced. Raspberries and a slight hoppiness combine to create a fruity, but clean taste. 4

MF: Light body with a good amount of carbonation. Extremely drinkable and pairs very nicely with this light salad. The calm before the storm I would assume 4

O: Very much liked this. Very win like, sippable, palatable, delicious. Not sour! 4.5

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Photo of inlimbo77
4.08/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle split between two people (Deschutes snifter and Lost Abbey snifter). Bottle 376 of 495; Batch K10357. Thanks to stickman1220 for this one.

A: Pours a really nice looking redish pink amber color. Really clear with nice carbonation coming off glass bottom. About a finger of loose white big bubbled head. Sticks around a little bit. On swirl, it gives two fingers. Some nice lacing.

S: It almost smells of a traditional Gueze or Kriek. You get a little funk along with the raspberry notes for sure. Smells very inviting.

T: Again, Kriek style on the tip of the tongue but for sure not AS sour. Lots of raspberry tart and sweetness on the tip of the tongue. Some funkiness I. The mid mouth and a dry wine like finish. The sip gets better with some temp warming. Very nice beer.

M: Light and refreshing beer. Some MIGHT say its getting to medium with the tartness.

O : Bell's gets a nice A- on their stab at the style. I really enjoyed this one. Would have been a great summer beer, but also would age nicely.

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Photo of DGibb
4.52/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bell's Brewery re-debuted its Raspberry Ale last night, tapping a keg at the R.U.B. BBQ restaurant in Detroit for Detroit Beer Week. Some of the Bell's employees were on staff to tell me a little about it. This beer is made with 800 pounds of fresh, locally sourced raspberries, and it has that punch that you only get from real fruit.

A - I wasn't able to see the head since the server took a little too long to get the drinks to the table, but there was a little bit of lacing as I drank. The ale was amber-crimson when held up to the light.

S - Wow! Fresh raspberries smell great. This is one of the major highlights of this beer. It has a great nose, slightly tart and sweet, like raspberry patches.

T - The raspberry punch is not only on the nose, but it comes through the amber ale in a nice, subtle way. It doesn't overpower the beer, but its presence is definitely felt. There are really no hops to take note of, but that's to be expected in a fruit beer.

M - Fairly crisp for an ale, the raspberry ale is fairly light on the tongue and it is very refreshing.

Overall - Without a doubt, I would drink this again. It is refreshing and fruity, but not cloying. Not bad for a seasonal release.

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Photo of prototypic
3.18/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Watch out when you pop the cork on this one! Definitely a gusher!

Raspberry Ale is a pink stained copper color. Backlighting gives it sort of a crimson look. A light pinkish-white head covers the top. It only rises to about a finger before falling. Surprising given the excessive carbonation. Lacing was stickier than expected.

The nose is rather average. It lacks strength and depth. It smells grainy and a bit earthy up front. Raspberry wastes little time jumping into the mix. It definitely dominates the nose. Frankly, it works pretty well with the earthy notes. Alcohol isn’t a factor. It doesn’t smell overtly bad. It just doesn’t smell very good either.

The flavor is a little better. It starts out grainy and earth. Definitely reminiscent of a wheat beer. Raspberry is more subdued in flavor. I like that. It still is the focal point. It works well with the earthy and grainy notes, but it’s still just a tad too fruity. There are some light malty notes that are interesting. They give it a little more of a ‘beer’ flavor. Definitely a good thing. Alcohol is very light in the mix. Finishes with a mix of berry and grainy flavors.

Raspberry Ale has a lighter body. Carbonation is definitely excessive and buzzy. Not even close to smooth. Less bubbles would really be an improvement. It still goes down easy and is somewhat refreshing. I wouldn’t mind it on a hot day.

Bell’s Raspberry Ale is just okay. I was excited to find it in the general store on our trip to Michigan, but it’s not quite up to Bell’s usual standards. The raspberry aspect and the excessive carbonation are just a tad too much. To be fair, it’s not bad. I’ve had far, far worse berry beers. If you’re into fruit beers, you just might love it…if you can find a bottle.

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Photo of BMoney575
3.8/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on 9-29-11
Batch 10357
Bottled on 6-21-11
#261 of 495

Pours a cool red color, very light, with almost no head and just a few bubbles rising to the top. Looks very viscous and sweet.

Smell is all raspberry, lighter than I expected and not as overtly sweet. A pleasant beeriness comes through, adding a sour character that balances nicely.

Taste is right where the smell leads you. Light and fruity, almost boring. The finish has that nice sour kick, with a light raspberry aftertaste. Not overly complex, but very well made.

Mouthfeel is good, light with good carbonation to keep everything light. Suits the style.

Drinkability is very good, it's hard to tell what the abv is. Still not even close to worth the price.

Overall, a very good beer, but I've had it before. It was a lot cheaper and easier to get, and it was called a Founder's Rubaeus.

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Photo of brew3crew
4.02/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle number 41/495. Thanks Kevin!

A-red transparent body with a white head that quickly disapates

S-very sweet raspberries. Little bit of lager yeast

T-tartness up front, followed by smooth raspberries

M-light and crisp

O-i don't know why this is so poorly rated. This is exactly what I was expecting it to be, and maybe even s little better

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Photo of HopHead84
3.4/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3


Bottle shared by Javier at Woodshop Classix, thanks!

A: Dark red with good clarity a fleeting bubbly head.

S: Sweet, unbridled raspberry seed and flesh. Smells nice, but there's nothing else going on. Raspberry jam.

T: Tastes like sparkling raspberry cider. Moderately sweet with a low bitterness. The fruit isn't enough to make this interesting, and the base beer has a lot of corn in the flavor that becomes tiring.

M: Lower medium in body with upper moderate carbonation and a sticky mouthfeel.

Overall: An okay fruit beer. The aroma is much better than the flavor.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
2.61/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

750ml corked and caged bottle numbered 380/495 poured into a Heady Topper pint glass. Shared with schen9303.

Beer pours a nice, frothy 2 finger powdery white head with poor retention. Beer is an elegant, clear bright red. Lacing is patchy and sparse with little cling. Average for the style though the color bumps up the score just a bit.

Nose is raspberry juice and some corn and yeast in the background. Adjunct-y. Weird.

Opens sweet raspberry that turns a touch tart half-way through. Simple and nice except for the fact that this all seems to be placed against a background of rice and corn adjuncts that completely ruin the experience. Finish is tart with a raspberry fruit aftertaste. A bit watered down too... though this one gets better as it warms a bit.

Light to medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth in the mouth and a bit watery going down. Slightly messy finish with an aftertaste that lingers just a touch. Average.

I'm really disappointed by this one. Bell's hasn't made any duds by my account but this one comes alarmingly close. For a brewery that puts out the likes of Hopslam, Two Hearted, and Double Cream stout, this is a bit of an aberration... skip it.

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Photo of Beejay
3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to RocPorterFanatic for sharing this with me.

Batch K10357. Bottle 407 of 495.

A: Cherry red in color, with a nice soft pink head on top of it. The head dissipates rather quickly.

S: There is a nice sweetness to the smell. It smells like raspberry preserves. The raspberry notes almost seem over-ripe. There is a cooked aroma to this. A touch of spice in the finish.

T: Sweet with just enough tartness. The raspberry is noticeable but not overpowering. The cooked aroma continues into the taste. The finish is biscuity.

M: Medium light in body. Carbonation levels are high. Perhaps a touch dry with a finish that clings in your mouth with a slight pucker.

O: Overall a very interesting beer. Classier than your typical raspberry beer. But certainly not a perfect execution.

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Photo of zachary80
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Bottle 467/495, batch K10357. Website says packaged June 21st, 2011.

Clear light right body. Small white head with some lacing

Smell is almost pure raspberry, maybe slight yeastiness

Flavor isn't too sweet; the beer is mostly a tart raspberry beer with just a hint of the ale yeast at the finish.

Mouthfeel is a little thinner than expected but carbonation seems about right. Dry

Overall it is a good beer. Not sure of the abv

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Photo of RocPorterFanatic
2.83/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours clear vibrant red, almost crystal clear with an airy head that quickly dissipates.

Smell is just plainly raspberry. Nothing spectacular here. A syrupy soda thing is going on with it too, like its been cooked. All beer is "cooked" and that's not what I'm getting at. Its almost porridge like. Its faint, but present.

The flavor is of a pale ale with raspberries added. Could the raspberry have been frozen when added? Its almost watery. The berry flavor is good, but the base beer is what I'm really tasting. There's a big biscuit flavor here. Almost outshines the berry.

Mouthfeel here is spot on. Vibrant enough to keep it interesting, but mellow enough to let the beer be the star.

Not a great beer, but a drinkable one. I'm glad I got to share this with somebody else. $20 was a little steep.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.21/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for sending this one, Derek.

A: The beer pours a bright reddish color with a white head that maybe has a hint of pink.

S: Smells like raspberries. Apart from those, there is a lot of grass and a light grain scent, perhaps some corn, too. A decent amount of wet straw, in there as well.

T: The taste is a bit like raspberry seltzer water. Very highly carbonated with a decent amount of sweet raspberry. It is a touch watery and like the aroma, is heavy on the grain, straw, and grass.

M: Somewhat light in body with a very high level of carbonation.

O: Disappointing. The fruit flavor is pretty decent, but the base beer is just not good and detracts from the overall experience.

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Photo of CortexBomb
2.3/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

On tap at the Eccentric Cafe.

Colour was about what one would expect for a raspberry beer, deep red. Small white head on top. Smell, mainly a light raspberry aroma, but nothing otherworldly.

The taste on this was very strange though; it started out with a good tart aspect and genuine raspberry, but then it segued off into this strange, indescribably unenjoyable back end which made the earlier raspberry flavour come across as very fake. If this beer's flavour stayed consistent from the front end, then it would at least be decent, but the abrasive finish knocks points off for me.

Mouthfeel, not bad, a few tingles in the right places. Drinkability, terrible. Hard to drink. Wish that I had tried a sample before buying an entire glass of the stuff!

Bottom line: Try a sample before you buy a glass, not impressive.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.18/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Maduro.

Against illegal aliens period

Appearance: Bright pinked ruby with a thick pink bubbly head that immediately dissipates to nada. Active carbonation streams.

Aroma: Raspberry soda and light malts like one might find in a pilsener.

Taste/mouthfeel: Light raspberry puree blended into and then filtered out of a lager like beer. Little to no hops. Seltzer like mouthfeel. Blistering carbonation. Light body. Easy to drink.

A definite winner for most women and light beer drinkers but not for me. Lacks character and could use more raspberries and certainly more tartness.

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Photo of blackie
3.48/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

appearance: The beer is ruby in color with practically no head.

smell: Aromas of raspberry puree and light malts are found. Moderately sweet smells.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is a medium high, and the body a lighter medium.

taste: Slightly tart flavor or raspberry blended with the grainy sweetness of light malts. No hops are noticeable to me at the time.

drinkability: easy enough...as a beer, this could use some more character

Sampled on tap at Maduro in Madison at the Bell's Great Taste pre-party. Not sure if this is the same beer or not, but it was listed as Raspberry Ale, so this will do until I hear otherwise.

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Photo of CRJMellor
3.62/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured with a faint hue of purple/pink. Aroma is powerful raspberry. Taste is incredibly tart and just overpowers any malt flavors or hop bitterings. Real fresh fruit taste as opposed to so many fruit beers. Main issue with this is it's just too powerful and hard to plow through even 10-12 ounces. I did get a second and mixed with Third Coast Beer and this double cut produced an even more drinkable beer.

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Photo of DrunkMcDermott
2.74/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served on draft at KBC. Don’t know why I kept trying all the raspberry beers as I pubcrawled across Michigan, but here's another. Opaque pink color looks like one of those candles in a wine glass. A more tart finish than other Raspberry beers, and a little less of a “wine cooler” taste... but not much less. Some malt works its way through, as well.

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Photo of Wildman
3.88/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Okay, another entrance in this huge rasberry craze, but this time not as a wheat beer. I was really surprised to see this on tap at Bell's. The beer surprised me by pouring a hazy light red color that you could not see through at all and formed a foamy pink(yes, I said pink)head that left circular lace as it subsided. It had an aroma of malt and raspberry. The flavor was of malt and rasberry, but not overpowering. The finish was light and somewhat astrigent. Unusual style for them to make and not give it a name. Wasn't expecting to like this one since I am not a big fan of the style, but maybe not doing as a wheat style helped it.

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Raspberry Ale from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 81 out of 100 with 75 ratings