Bell's Rye Stout | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

very good
317 Reviews
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Bell's Rye StoutBell's Rye Stout

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Michigan, United States

Style: American Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.70%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 12-11-2001

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Reviews: 317 | Ratings: 423
Photo of ColdPoncho
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From notes, 3-30-11

Was surprised to see this on tap at an Oberon release event, I didn't even know this beer existed.

A - opaque black body, small tan head. Simple, but strong. Good look

S - coffee, hint of rye spice, some fruity hops. Interesting

T - coffee, earthy notes, rye spice, dark fruit. Nicely complex beer, and it is even a bit hot.

M - really nice body, very smooth and full. Robust and a touch dry.

O (D) - A very solid, fairly interesting stout. A good drink.

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Photo of Brenden
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is a medium-dark brown in color with red hues shining through. It's dark enough that it can just barely be seen through, and not well. The light brown head doesn't tower but isn't small either, about a finger, and thick. It leaves patches and some legging of creamy lacing sticking to the glass as it recedes.
The aroma's a bit light, and not quite what I've come to expect from Bell's. The rye really doesn't come through clearly, and I wonder if rye can really work in a stout the way it can in a less malt-forward style. Caramel sweetness lingers in here. There's a little bit of coffee ground and some smokiness with a woody / earthy touch to it.
The flavor, again, is a little light, but the rye comes through just a little bit more strongly than in the aroma. Sweetness rolls on the tongue with a hint of nuttiness before the smoky woods pull through, finishing out with the malted barley, biscuit / breads, and a touch of sourness I attribute to the rye hiding in the background.
The body is full with a fairly lush, smooth mouthfeel. Carbonation is light to moderate and the somewhat lingering finish is a mix of sweet and bitter tinged with a note of sourdough.
This is a good beer, though Bell's for me has always been top-notch to this point. Still, I'd drink this again for sure.

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Photo of dmfrench
2.6/5  rDev -33%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Sub-par pruney, salty, thin stout... try again Bell's

A: Opaque black with a fleeting one finger khaki head.

S: Prune, salt, a bit of roasted barley... not particularly aromatic.

T: Again prune, salt, roast, a bit of spiced hops... I can neither taste nor smell rye, which is a shame considering how delicious rye can be... not very inspiring from a giant like Bell's

M: Full and creamy in the mouth, but quite thin on the aftertaste.

D: Just not very impressed...

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Photo of Geuzedad
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this at The Birch in Norfolk. Served in a Bells pint glass. Was a very dark brown in color with a one finger tan head that faded to some nice lacing. Nose was a mix of coffee, chocolate, even some fruity? and also spice.

Taste was malty sweet and chocolate, followed by coffee and a hint of rye but not what I expected, and a caramel finish.

Mouthfeel was medium bodied, good carbonation and crisp.

This was my first Bells and I was impressed. I was told this isnt even one of Bells best so I cannot wait to try their other concoctions. I really enjoyed this beer and would definitely drink it again.

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Photo of Landfill21
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this beer at the local beerfest. This was one I definitely wanted to try. Had a smell of coffee, toffee and a hint of caramel. Had similar tastes. The hint of caramel really comes through at the finish. Has a nice medium mouthfeel and a decent drinkibility.

I expected more from a stout from Bell's overall was a great stout that I would recommend.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Have passed this one by many times and just decided to get around to trying it this evening. I am always a fan of bell's and being the stout lover that I am figured it would be a nice fit. This one poured out a nice deep dark brown with a good opaqueness to it. A nice small tan colored head rose up above it and lasted for a few moments before settling down to just a thin layer of lace that covered the top and left behind a good amount of side glass presentation in its wake. Some slight reddish tints on the sides and bottom of the glass, but this one was nearly black in its presentation.

The aroma was subtle, not nearly as strong as I thought it would be. Light aromas of coffee and smoked wood were the dominant players here with a touch of a spiced note playing in the back of it. Not the big smoky aroma you would have expected, much more subtle. Good amount of sweetness mixed in as well, hints of caramel and lots of malt. The flavor followed suit pretty much exactly. Nice smooth creamy feel, with a good carbonation gave it a very full body. The flavor of roasted coffee came rolling through first, with a good dose of caramel thrown in on top of it, lightening it up. The middle seemed to have that nice smoked wood flavor that I was looking for, except it was very sweet, with caramel playing a good bit of a roll here. The slight bitterness of some hops presented itself in the finish, really just drying it out and leaving you with a long sweet, wood like flavor that blended well with the coffee. Very sessionable, as it was not thin and very well carbonated, and low on the ABV. I would love to have tried this on tap, and would have no issue throwing down more then one.

Overall, this was not bad; however, it was a little underwhelming for me. I expect everything from bell's to really push through and hammer down styles; I was just not so sure this one was really that big of a winner. Definitely worth a try, no doubt, just not as big as I hoped it would be.

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Photo of Drew966
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bell's Rye Stout pours a dark brown with a tan head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. Coffee and chocolate are apparent in the nose and flavor, toffee also strikes me in the flavor. Definitely a decent brew, but pales in comparison to other Bell's stouts. Still, it's better than a lot of other breweries efforts.

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Photo of zrab11
3.76/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-pours a nice dark color... no pitch black though...

S-smells of grapes and a fermentation smell

T- has hints of malts and I'm getting a slight hint of grapes which is surprising

M-medium bodied with a nice crisp feel!

D-super easy to drink.. really like the unique taste... can't really pin point it. But like it.. will get this again!

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Photo of woosterbill
4.26/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Staunton Baja Bean into a shaker pint.

A: Black body with clear brown highlights and a half-inch of tight, soft tan head. Good retention of what little's there, with sticky lacing. Quite nice - excellent pour for a bar.

S: It's hard to get much, what with the shaker pint and the smokiness of the bar; I do detect some sweet chocolate, some rye spice, and light hops. Pretty solid.

T: Opens with a rich blast of sweet malt that carries through into a more complex rye and chocolate middle, and ends with a delicious kiss of citrus hops and a roasty coffee aftertaste. Excellent.

M: Substantial body with the carbonation to match. Very rich and smooth.

D: No idea what the ABV is, but I'm loving the blend of rich flavor, bitterness, and the lack of noticeable booze. I think I'll get another.

Notes: This beer was tasty enough to make me ignore the bar's impressive bottle list and get a second pint. Very tasty, easy-drinking stout. Surprised to see how low this is rated on here.


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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 5/20/2010. Bottle thanks to Tsotsi. Pours a dark brown with a small light tan head. Aroma of roasted malt, a touch of coffee, sweet malt. Flavor of sweet roasted malt with a touch of spice although I can't really say that the rye is very prominent. Pretty tasty overall (although I was hoping for just a little more).

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Photo of drabmuh
3.84/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I actually worked a beer fest earlier this year and poured this beer for 4 hours, I must have had a gallon of it but I didn't bother to review it, on tap tonight at Meridian Pint, this particular stout is brown and hazy with almost no head and no lacing, low carbonation.

Beer has a mild aroma, with perhaps a little smoke / peat in it. Mostly just mild roast and malt.

Beer is medium bodied and finishes drier than it probably should. There is a ghost of an aftertaste of smoke, subtle smoke that creeps in from the back of the beer. The forward is mildly rye flavored with a little barley sweetness. The roast character in this supposed stout is completely absent.

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Photo of Magpie14
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Butch's Dry Dock.

A: heavy red and brown hues. Light orange hues at the base and top of my tumbler. Nice head and decent lacing

S: smells of bittersweet chocolate, barley, and malts. Not much in the way of rye. Or at least that I can tell. Nothing unusual here

T: flavors range from cocoa, barley, some toasted malts. Solid balance between these flavors, slightly bitter and mildly sweet. Waiting for the rye to show up, no luck. Maybe a timid showing of rye/spiciness in the finish. Bulk of this beer is chocolatey bread and coffee notes

M: slick and very good feel. Nice heavy body

D: session all over this one. Very tasty brew

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Photo of tubacharlie
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An aggressive pour yields a two-finger head of a khaki color which soon recedes to a light foam coating over the hazy dark brown brew.

A little aroma of brown sugar and toast hits the nose with a hint of coffee, not as pronounced and cocoa infused like most stouts. The flavor is robust and dark, with a hefty malt bill that gives it good viscosity. Creamy carbonation carries a roasted cereal flavor over the palate with lingering bitter coffee and hop accents.

Tasteful and traditional, it went nicely with an appetizer of wine-pickled herring.

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Photo of Anthony1
3.33/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The stout is a dark brown ale with a moderate sized head that retains nicely. The aroma coming off of the stout is chocolatey roasted malts and a bit of rye spiciness. The stout has a very sweet chocolatey caramel flavor, clearly the result of a pleasant malt mixture. The flavors meld together seamlessly, allowing the stout character and a bit of rye sharpness to come together nicelessly. The rye sharpness is a nice undertone that keeps the stout together. The velvety smooth stout is a joy to drink, chocolatey yet silky smooth. A delicious ale. The ale is smooth and sweet, delicious without going overboard on the roasted malt element.

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Photo of Strix
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black with brown edges, little head.

Vague malt smell, not picking up much else.

Malt, a little dark chocolate, dark bread, and spiciness. A tasty blend.

Mouthfeel nice and smooth.

Bell's really knows how to do a stout. Not my favorite from them, but very solid.

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Photo of glid02
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours one shade from black with a one-finger tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of smooth roasted malts with good amounts of baker's chocolate and lighter amounts of spicy rye. Also present are slight hints of smoke.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Sweet roasted malt flavors kick things off. Midway through the sip equal amounts of dark and milk chocolate flavors make an appearance. Before the end of the sip mild amounts of spicy rye flavors work their way into things and carry through to a mildly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a very smooth thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I had no problems finishing my glass and could have another.

Overall I had higher hopes for this beer however I found the rye influence to be more muted than I would have liked. Still, an easy drinking beer with a good deal of complexity that's worth a shot.

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Photo of TheKtulu7
4.23/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this beer into a glass and commenced with the best 45 minutes of my already-great day. To be fair, I had gone the entire week without a beer (to save a bit of money and to make sure I could...I almost couldn't), so even Miller Lite (my most detested brew) might have been appreciated (okay, maybe not).

A - I love a good dark color to my beer. Rye Stout poured dark and got darker. I tried to hold it to the light to see even some reflection and saw none other than from the glass itself. Nearly 100% opaque (until, of course, the beer is almost gone). Pure black would be too far due to the brown tints, but I don't want to suggest that brown was the prominent color.

S - I expected a strong rye smell, but instead was hit with hot cocoa, except instead of milk chocolate the style was dark chocolate. Very dark chocolate.

T - I've never had a rye beer before, and I don't care for rye bread very much. So I didn't know what to expect, but I did expect something different. The flavor was mostly dark chocolate, a bit of some sweet notes and malt, and some coffee tones. I noticed a very subtle spiciness to the finish of the beer that reinforced my assessment of the beer as one wholly appropriate for a winter evening.

M - Smooth, a bit creamy, consistent.

D - Very good. I had to fight the urge to drink this beer quicker than I did (which is often true anyway), but savoring it was well worth the effort.

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Photo of TexIndy
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Cool label. Batch #9370 which was packaged on 9/29/09 so got a little age on this one. It was a dark brown color but could detect some good carb streams on top and around the edges. It had a small fizzy head that quickly dissipated into nothing. No lacing at all. Some of this is explained by the age.

The aroma was really good with roasted malt, chocolate, light coffee, touch of rye and caramel malt. More in a hop mode these days but I kept sniffing this one so it must be good. The taste was also good with a good roasted flavor balance by the malt and chocolate sweetness. Muted a bit by age I'm sure but still very good at 11 months. Very drinkable. Mouthfeel is medium with good carbonation and pleasing aftertaste.

Overall, a really solid stout that I enjoyed very much. Highly recommend. Would love to try a fresher one as well to compare. Not avail here in TX so shipped back from my Indy trip. Rotation - this is an occasional release but I'd get a sixer or two per release if I lived where available. For now, I'd definitely get more to ship back during trips to the folks. Also would get a 6 to drink while in Indy. [R;Y;ship]

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.33/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter on 6/27/10

Batch 9370

Pours a very dark brown, settles near black. One finger tan head drops to a skim amid random patches of bubbles. A few drippy lace spots. Swirling helps maintain a little foam.

The aroma is quite smooth; I've had this bottle several months, so it may have had a chance to mellow a bit. Roasted dark malts are most apparent, interspersed with mildly spicy rye notes. The rye isn't as pronounced as I expected. I initially thought something smelled of licorice, but that aroma has since vanished.

Roasted malts are not lacking to taste. There is a bittersweet touch a la bakers chocolate & maybe even the vaguest spot of coffee. Again, the rye offers a spiciness but isn't featured to the extent I would like. Possibly I should have cracked open the bottle sooner. Very mild-mannered hop presence.

Full bodied though it feels thin around the edges. Appropriately low carbonation. Without a doubt it's a smooth, creamy brew. No appreciable alcohol. Subtle toasted rye on the finish.

Rye Stout is easily drinkable & enjoyable. It's solid, too - I just wish the rye was cranked up several notches. I'll have to give a fresh bottle a go sometime to see if that's the issue.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch #9370, acquired from hawks10 so a big "Thank You" goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is kind of faint but contains, roasted rye malts, and touches of chocolate, coffee, spices and hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of chocolate, coffee and some dark fruit and spices. Then the bready and hearty rye malt character comes in. The hops presence is decent for the style and provides some balance. The after-taste is bready and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium-to-heavy body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, slightly filling, good kick, good representation of the "rye stout" sub-style, this is a good beer to drink when you want something that's a bit different than you're normal stout.

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Photo of mdwalsh
3.77/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Thin tan head, black body with no head retention.

S: The aroma is mostly of roasted grain, particularly rye.

T: The Taste is the same, very dry.

M: Light body for a stout and good carbonation.

D: Not the most rye beer I've had, making it more approachable and a good learning beer for a person just getting into rye.

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Photo of CharlatanSin
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Love rye beers. Love stouts. Love what I've had from Bell's so far. Yeah, I'm looking forward to it.

A: A dark brown, but closer to brown than black. Pretty fizzy looking. The pour creates a wispy tan head that disappears very quickly and doesn't leave any lacing at all.

S: Roasted malt and lots of chocolate, but, disappointingly, hardly any rye. It smells pretty good for a stout, but not quite what was promised.

T/M: There's the rye. It's subtle but nice. Bready and sharp. Other than that, it's a solid American stout. Chocolate malt, a shade of coffee, and maybe a little hop presence. The mouthfeel's weak. It's light bodied but with low carbonation, which is a combination I don't care for in a stout.

D: Okay, but I had much higher expectations.

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Photo of bruachan
4.24/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

this might have been the tastiest beer i sampled at Bell's (i guess my review will be an empirical test)

the aroma is deliciously roasty, and perhaps featuring coffee? chicory

deeply roasted without kilning astringency. it's a sweet beverage--almost desserty--complex, rich, yet manages not to be cloyingly sweet. i frickin love rye and this one delivers: that prickle, that sour spice...mmm. oh yeah, slight chocolate thing going on. balanced bitterness

i'm not sure if they followed my advice after my last review (bottle) or if it's just that much better out of the tap or if my palate changed...i enjoyed this much more than i have before (and i tasted it from a tap at a bar in chi recently and i think my thoughts then were what my past review in 6/07 reflected)

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Photo of beer2day
3.76/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown pour. Thin sheen of foam and no retention.

Dry nose. Lots of rye in there. Shot of oats as well.

Oats and rye dominate the flavor. Very dry in taste, to match the nose. Always nice when the nose and taste match.

Thin feel for a stout, but somehow appropriate with the overall presentation.

Very easy drinker for ~7%.

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Photo of Chronofied
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cellar temperature, pured in a pint glass.

Appearance - Dark brown, almost opaque; mahogany around the edges where the light gives it a bit of glow. Very little head to speak of, and what head there was dimished quickly, leaving behind no lacing.

Smell - Rich but not very aromatic. A definite scent of mocha, that is to say coffee with a hint of chocolate. Grain smell is also strong, unsurprisingly. Malt came through more clearly than expected.

Taste - Huge coffee taste right away, slightly nutty and slightly sweet. Pleasant dark malt taste, moderate intensity. Most of the grain flavor comes along at the finish, and hangs out for a while afterwards.

Mouthfeel - Only slightly creamy, this stout is much lighter than expected, though still sweetly sticky. Carbonation is moderate, giving the stout its lightness, but not making it overly sharp. Cripness in the finish is nice.

Drinkability - For a rye stout, it's pretty drinkable, thanks in large part to the lightness and the coffee, which blends the alcohol into the background quite effortlessly. The slight sweetness makes it that much easier to open another bottle.

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Bell's Rye Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.88 out of 5 based on 423 ratings.
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