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

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Bell's Rye StoutBell's Rye Stout
Very Good
426 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 426 |  Reviews: 317
Photo of OStrungT
4.17/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours an inky black color with a thin brown head. The head fades very fast, leaving a decent lacing.

This beer has a very strong roasted malt aroma. VERY strong. It has a smokey aroma as well. Some caramel sweetness is present. It has an ever so slight bready aroma also.

This beer has a sweet caramel flavor. Also, I taste some smoky flavors. As with the aroma, this beer tastes very roasted malt like. It has a biscuit like flavor also. It also has a slight woody flavor.

This beer goes down smooth, leaving a smokey roasted malt aftertaste. It is a little higher carbonated than I would expect. Also, it is slightly thinner than I expected.

This beer might make a good session beer. It tastes good, and is not overly aggressive. Also, it is not overly high in alcohol.

Overall: Thanks go out, once again, to HimerMan for this tasty brew. It was on my wants list, and now I can take it off. I liked this one, and would drink it again if I could get it.

 979 characters

Photo of IronDjinn
3.01/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours out pitch black, a light impermeable black, with a tall spongy dark tan head which settles to a chunky cap of foam.

Roasted malt and coffee notes up front on the nose, but the earthy rye malt is apparent as well.

The flavour is very mild and subdued, surprisingly so. Very subtle granola-like grains up front and pretty much the whole way through. A bit milky in places even. Mild nutty, earthy tones on the finish and aftertaste.

In the mouthfeel dep't it's silky smooth, but lacks in body, a bit thin without being watery.

A curious little stout, very mild and unassuming, almost a wallflower with eyes pointed towards its shoes within the style. The rye provides some pleasant earthy and nutty notes, but not enough to make enough of an impact or impression when all is said and done. Either way, many thanks to rudge75 and fisherman34 for the sample.

 874 characters

Photo of PSUDREW
3.05/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

wow. pours a deep ptich color. the head is boney, dissaptes quickly, and leaves little head

nose is very roasted malty

taste is rather pleasent. some what asstringent, but pretty good over all. the intial hit is kind of malty. sweet.. roasted. definatly a pick me up. Coffe is a signatre flavor. definate hints of licorice.

Pretty easy drinking. medium mouthfeel and drinkablity. Over alla nice brew, but I would't run out to get it

 442 characters

Photo of xymyl
4.45/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Color is almost black with dark red highlights, dark brown head that settles to a thin film leaving lacing.

Aroma is very strong toasted malts, tobacco, teriyaki beef jerky (or maybe even turkey jerkey), pepper, coffee, and a hint of alcohol.

Taste is all of those mentioned along with a middle note of dark chocolate/vanilla/root beer, not bad at all but quite unexpected. A very stable chocolate/coffee note carries from beginning to end. Slight peak of sweetness at the start slight peak of bitterness at the end... these are very slight.

Body is medium but the beer itself is huge. Big flavors but balanced and light enough to enjoy at any drinking pace. But drink slowly.

 685 characters

Photo of IntriqKen
4.47/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Definitely a black stout topped with a smallish tan head that melts to nothing.
Aromas are burnt chocolate, strong black coffee, and tobacco.
Flavors of dark coffee, dark chocolate, sharp spices from the rye drying everything out. Nothing sweet here but nothing bitter either.
Just dry, spicy and very flavorful.
Aftertaste is rye spice and burnt chocolate...maybe a little tobacco coming through as well.
We need more Rye beers. This is an excellent example of why.
Great stuff.

 485 characters

Photo of GregBrewski
3.89/5  rDev 0%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Impenetrable by light, it has a slight brown tint with a nice tan head but it dissipates completely in my glass. Has a roasted barley, coffee, and dark cocoa smell. It has very light carbonation and well hidden alcohol. The taste is mostly earthy, sweet, roasted, and bitterness like that of dark chocolate. Not a bad stout, but nothing too exciting, due to its smoothness it could be a good session beer.

 405 characters

Photo of maundythirsty
3.57/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark mahogany beer that lets just a tiny bit of light through. Tiny, off-white head is gone in a hurry. Smells of nice, deep roasted malt.

Tastes bready, with a touch of coffee in the end. Rye and alcohol tang is almost a nutty lager sort of taste. Light and slippery beer. Little carbonation.

An interesting take on a stout, but not one I find terribly appealing.

 370 characters

Photo of treedoctor5002
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a really dark brown color with a lot of nice carbonation going on. It has a tan head that didn't last to long at all. I'm not really tasting the rye to much but it does have a nice taste and smell. Nothing to fancy here just really good overall drinking. Really smooth with a nice pleasantly sweet aftertaste. Very, very drinkable, I could probably drink quite a few of these.

 392 characters

Photo of xav33
4.07/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bell's Rye Stout
12 oz bottle
Packaged 02/06, pondered over 10/06.
Medium pour in an English pint

Poured black, with dark brown highlights, with a moderate frothy mostly diminishing light brown head with a tiny ring of lacing.

Smelt of strong leathery and mushroomy yeast.

Taste was upfront moderate sweet caramel, raisins, cereal, like oatmeal, but sweeter, probably the rye, bitter spices, wet earth, followed by a moderate wet leaves earthiness and moderate mild chocolate bittersweetness on an average length finish. Mouthfeel was medium bodied, oily and softly carbonated.

Overall, a very interesting take on a stout. The flavors are brand new to me. Its hard to tell whether on not I like it. Im pretty sure I do, but this stout is unlike any other stout. Better looked at as a rye beer than a stout, so as to not be disappointed.

 851 characters

Photo of rabsten
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another dark ale from Bell's...yippie!

Okay, with that out of the way: poured into a pint glass, deep, dark brown to black with thick brown head. And by thick, I mean it's not just tall (it's several inches) it's thick and gooey. Nice retention, good lacing.

Smoked grain, alcohol. Very "stout" in the nose. Nice.

More toasted grain flavor up front, moving into a smooth, malty finish. Some hop bitterness throughout, but it's subtle.

Slightly thick but smooth. Good drinking stout. It hits hard and instantly warms the throat and belly. Perfect drinking beer for a cold fall evening; probably wouldn't work during the summer.

Bell's = dark ale goodness. Another winner. Worth getting a few.

 706 characters

Photo of alexgash
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a stout black with a gauze of sandy brown head. Roasted coffee, mud, spicy dark chocolate. Grainy, roasted, slight-sweetness malt with a peaty, smoky edge. Spicy bitterness fights with creamy tobacco and milk chocolate in the finish. Medium-bodied with a creamy feel. Interesting stout to try, but not as flavorful as most of the other Bell’s stouts. I’ll try again though.

 381 characters

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in an American pint glass)

A-This beer pours an opaque deep brown body with a faint light shining through in the very base of the glass. A coco colored creamy head fades a bit and no sign of carbonation in the deep abyss.

S- This beer has a slight tart dark chocolate note with some alder smoke hint is very well balanced.

T- The very light tart but earthy chocolate malt note has some black malt flavors but no black roasted grain qualities. There is a light spicy finish that is a bit salty. The finish is spicy but not really hoppy. As the beer warms there is a slight note of dark roasted rye also.

M- The medium-full mouthfeel has a slippery finish but the beginning of the beer has a velvety feel.

D- This beer is very interesting and it has more layers to its complexity with every sip.

 818 characters

Photo of veggiemafia
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle into an Imperial pint.

Appearance is nearly black, ruddy red with a surprisingly very white, medium-substantial head.

Nose is roasted grain and what I think is roasty rye thing, which is nice, different. The rye adds some bready dryness all over this one. Dark or bittersweet chocolate is also a big thing in this for me, and it's really well done.

Taste is similar. Very roasty, chocolatey with good balance from the rye, and (I suspect) some hopping is also doing some work so this one stays dry.

Mouthfeel is creamy, and actually I think, very smooth and luxurious.

One of the most drinkable stouts I've had. This couldn't quite be an every day beer, but a really great beer for watching the game, and refreshing and balanced enough for after rugby games or bike races. (I may have to bring this to both).

 836 characters

Photo of PeatReek
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark ruby brown, not quite black. Medium beige head doesn't hang around too long but leaves a nice lace. Aroma is big and fruity, cool, with plum and allspice notes. Each sip starts off with a grapey, plum-y sweetness, and evolves into a spicy rye flavor. Ends with the roasty flavors blending into the rye, for an interesting spiced coffee impression. Hmm. The body is a little thin, but the mellow carbonation level is right on target to bring out the complex flavors without grinding your tongue away. The rye flavor is a bit large for this to be a real session stout, but it's in that zone and highly drinkable.

(Batch 7235, bottled Feb '06, aged 7-8 months)

 671 characters

Photo of blitheringidiot
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

*Calling this a rye stout is like throwing a deck chair off the Titanic to make it lighter.*

Bottle art: "7235."

Dark eggplant topped with a scant ivory collar.

Light roated notes with a certain rye wheat bread nose.

First swigs: Stout-esque initial introduction with a pumpernickel middle. Light flavor balance that rounds a delicate style combination of stout and rye.

Feel is thin, most likely due to the oily characteristics of brewing with real rye.

Last swigs: Well done. Not another boring stout bomb from Bell's but a robust spicy loaf of Beefsteak Rye that was in the toaster. Rye fans should go forth and seek.

Beer is good, happy rye-off beering.

 681 characters

Photo of quasimoto
3.43/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Its deep brown/black w/ mohogany highlights and some what of a nice head.

S - It has a lot of chocolate with that rye crispness, of a crackerish aroma to it. Clean, some alcohol. Maybe a little plum, definitly bready.

T - Starts off rather simple but then melds into a nice smooth choco/roasted flavor w/ some bready type mocha flavor. Finishes kinda muddy w/ a paperish flavor.

M - Smooth all the way through, but it is rather creamy. No off sensations on the tounge.

D - definitly a good beer. The rye is a nice twist.

 538 characters

Photo of wcudwight
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Mucho Gracias to Dertbert.
Looks like maple syrup. Thin fizzy head that leaves faster than a donut at a Weight Watchers meeting.
Lot's of milk and lactos in the nose. Some chocolate and mild coffee aroma. No rye.
Taste is good and smooooth. Again I get milk chocolate and sweet coffee. The rye lingers in the background, but is noticable. The more I drink this beer and think about it; the background is a good place for the rye. The rye adds a nice complexity to the sweetness of this beer.
Mouthfeel is a little thin for a stout but not bad.
Overall a good and drinkable beer from Bell's. Kalamazoo is such a good brewery I have high expectations when I crack open a Bell's and this beer lived up to those expectations.

 726 characters

Photo of thelagerheads
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I don't mean to demean old Rye here because he is packed in an awful prettty wrapper that looks like artwork from one of the great master painter's works but he is pretty ho-hum as far as Bell's and other stouts go. A nice rich and muddy flavor that does nothing to separate itself from the standard quality stout. Don't get me wrong, I like it like it, I just don't LOVE it like it. So let's just be friends Rye. No no you can't touch my bulging biceps or my washboard stomach Rye. No Rye we can't have a sleepover. Rye don't make me call the beer police. RYEEE!

 563 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Burnt pecan brown with generous reddish gold highlights. In fact, with sunlight behind the glass, it's just possible to determine that Rye Stout isn't opaque. A heavily creamy crown of toasted tan foam sits atop the beer and is beginning to lay down a thick layer of barely broken lace. A quality stout look through and through.

Ditto for the nose. I'm a little disappointed that I can't identify rye in the aroma, but I imagine it would take a huge amount of that grain to overcome the roasted barley, and that the beer wouldn't taste very good as a result. Along with black coffee and bittersweet chocolate, I think I can pick out a little spiciness that I'll happily attribute to rye malt.

Once I get over the fact that this isn't a huge, meaty, mouth-filling stout, I'll be fine (color rarely lies). Actually, I'm having a hard time getting over that initial disappointment because, even though I have no problem with a lighter than average stout, I need more flavor and more flavor linger than has been provided. I blame the body.

The flavor profile is a study in subtlety. Cocoa and weak coffee are still in the lead with very little evidence of spicy rye. I'd like to see more barley malt and much more rye malt. Neutrality reigns in terms of bitter versus sweet, another characteristic that keeps my excitement at a relatively low ebb. This is clearly good beer, but just as clearly, it could be so much better than it is.

The body is along the lines of an American porter. Nothing to sneeze at, but certainly not worthy of a Bell's stout. I know that Larry had the challenge of trying to distinguish the '10 Stouts of November' from one another several years ago, but at least 50% more heft would be welcome here. Although the 6.7% ABV is unnoticed on the palate, it effectively keeps the beer out of sessionable range.

Rye Stout has to be classified at a letdown, in large part because I've come to recognize the brilliance of Bell's beer and have very high expectations whenever I crack one open. If I read the tea leaves correctly, Rye Stout is a one time only re-release to pay homage to an old friend of the brewery. That's fine by me since I'd rather drink the other Bell's stouts, but I'm still glad that I was able to make its aquaintance today.

 2,277 characters

Photo of scott
4.48/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A very unexpectantly drinkable brew reminiscent of a cola, sans the syrupy/oversweetened ick. Think a crisper Guinness with a less expressive hop finish. Very good stuff.
Pours like an Imperial, dark and a creamy tannish head that quickly dissolves to almost no significant lacing. Gorgeous amber highlights to the backdrop of a very wet oil slick.
I'd love to know what I'm smelling, but nothing stands out to give an empirical expression. Only, that it smells good. A verk weak coffee note to note.
Again, nothing absolute or grandstanding, but it tastes damn good. Slightly nutty, minor spice, moderately malty...
A nice little one-two punch of carbonation with a hint of sugar to kiss you good night.
I'd buy this again tomorrow if the stuff wasn't such a high commodity and so damned hard to find. So, yes, it is quite drinkable.

 839 characters

Photo of plaid75
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep dark black hue with a one finger creamy tan head. There was good retention and sticky lacing.

The smell featured a mildly spicy and very biscuity toasted malt aroma. A very unique rye aroma.

The taste was ultra smooth with a very doughy and mildly spicy element. The rye imparts an amazing rich flavor.

The mouthfeel was full and chewy.

Overall an excellent stout. The rye adds an added dimension to this stout. Absoultely delicious.

 459 characters

Photo of ppoitras
4.27/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle obtained via trade with CRJMellor. Thanks for the opportunity... "The Batch ID that you entered '7235', is a Bell's Rye Stout. Your Bell's Rye Stout was packaged on February 9, 2006."

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed 1/2" brown head over the cloudy, barely translucent dark brown brew. Head holds on well, with average to good lacing. Aroma is hearty dark grains, almost some smoke in there, very nice. Taste is sweet dark malts as well, reminds me of a milk stout, which is always cool. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both very good, smoothness and coffee bitterness keeping the sweetness in check well. Wouldn't mind seeing more of these Bell's Stouts out this way, for sure.

 702 characters

Photo of DaveFL1976
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this at the Bell's bar and cafe in Kalamazoo. It's a really cool place and I'd recommend you checking it out if you're ever in the area. Unfortunately, this wasn't my favorite beer.
It looks nice enough. A dark, dark brown with a frothy tan head. Smell was pretty nice, too. Dry baker's chocolate, roasty grains, a bit of coffee. But the taste wasn't as smooth as I thought it could have been. A bit too dry and not as well balanced as I would have hoped. Decent medium mouthfeel, though.

 495 characters

Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.48/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap at Maduro.

Opaque brown with an interesting aroma of chicory, highly acidic coffee, burnt rye toast, bitter chocolate, cream, and tea leaves. Taste is almost smoky from the rye with an sour quality from the coffee flavors. Tea leave hop finish with well roasted dark malt base. Feel is thick and very dry, an odd combination. Heavy body. Twangy from the coffee and chicory at certain points as well. Not very drinkable for me. I just am not too excited about these flavors. I don’t think they blend or balance well.

 526 characters

Photo of Derek
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I picked this up in Michigan. Bottle is numbered 7235, packaged on February 9, 2006.

A: Black; pours with a little tan head; verly little retention or lace.

S: Dark chocolate, dark rye bread, brown sugar, slight roasted acidity. Aroma isn't very intense, but it's pleasant & has some depth.

T: Very roasty, but not burnt. Dark rye bread, nut, coffee, grainy, raisin, caramel. Bitterness is fairly smooth, with a slightly sharp finish. Very slight hint of acidity (mainly in finish).

M: Moderate body, carbonation is slightly higher than moderate.

D: Good drinkability.

 583 characters

Bell's Rye Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Beer rating: 3.89 out of 5 with 426 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.