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

very good
426 Ratings
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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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 426 |  Reviews: 317
Photo of alexgash
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

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Photo of veggiemafia
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
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).

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Photo of PeatReek
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
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)

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Photo of blitheringidiot
3.88/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of quasimoto
3.43/5  rDev -11.6%
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.

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Photo of wcudwight
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

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Photo of thelagerheads
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
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!

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

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Photo of scott
4.48/5  rDev +15.5%
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.

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Photo of plaid75
4.35/5  rDev +12.1%
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.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.27/5  rDev +10.1%
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.

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Photo of DaveFL1976
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.48/5  rDev -10.3%
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.

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Photo of Derek
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

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Photo of beerphan
3.47/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle -> goblet
batch #7235

Pours a shiny black with a one inch caramel brown head, which disappears rather quick. Light falling lace.

Smells of bread, coffee and some sweet malts.

Light coffee and sweet tangy malt. Crisp.

Mouthfeel is silky thin for a stout.

This a very drinkable stout, just not to my personal preferences.

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Photo of blackie
3.56/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

appearance: The beer is given to me in a Bell's tumbler by the barkeep with at 1" dark mocha head that recedes to leave a nice layer behind. The beer is a deep, dark brown in color.

smell: The aroma is of subdued medium roast coffee, bitter chocolate, and a low hop presence.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is on the lower end of the medium range, and the body somewhere around medium, maybe lower. Seems a little thin and fizzy for a stout.

taste: On the tongue are moderate flavors of roasted malt and cocoa with a medium level of sweetness and just a hint of rye. The hop flavor is light and carries with it a moderate bitterness that comes through in the finish and lingers with some roasted coffee bean flavors. Not much depth.

drinkability: easy enough

on tap at Maduro with dirtylou

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Photo of cproioi
3.23/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a black body with a tan head. Can't really tell through the body too see what the carbonation looks like. The smell and taste are largely of roasted malts giving it a coffeeish aroma and then in the back was the smell and taste of rye bread. The beer was very creamy and easily drunk.

The beer paried up fairly nicely to a broubon chocolate ball. So with that it seems that semi-sweet chocolate would be a nice pair with the beer.

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Photo of HimerMan
3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

bottle poured into my Delirium Tremens glass.

Nice pour - dark brown/black, like coke, with a very similar head of a light brown/tan.

Smell - faint chocolate and malts.

Taste - again, faint chocolate, malts and a light rye taste with a medium cream and a sour after taste.

Overall, interesting beer with a very different taste than I expected. A bit on the sour side of stouts, with a changing flavor of malts and a sour-mash rye taste.

Worth a try, it was worth the 6-pack I bought, and I am looking forward to drinking another one.


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Photo of SethB2
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A - Deep brown with an OK head, oatmeal in color. Beer pours a bit thin for a stout. Maybe I'm just used the the RISs.

S - Coffee and lots of it. Not as bready as many stouts, but it smells decent. I don't get a really big malt kick, however.

T - Nice. I really like Rye beers. This beer is sweet, almost like a Milk Stout, and that sweetness carries a lot longer than I expected. Coffee starts it out, wanes, but comes back strong at the finish.

M - Again, another Rye characteristic (to me) is the smooth mouthfeel. This one is not different. Feels nice across the tongue and goes down easy.

D - Another good beer from Bell's. Someone tell Larry to ship to California already.

Thanks to BA JeffKrenner.

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Photo of sopor
4.36/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep cola-molasses brown with a very thin and short-lived tan head. Very little light shows through, just a hint of brown on the edges.

WOW! Very malty and complex aroma, with hints of chocolate, sweet malt like malted milk balls, dry roasty and nutty malt, all tied together with a hint of spice that must be from the rye, but I'm not sure... Best smelling beer I've had the pleasure of quaffing to date.

Flavor is lighter than expected with such a strong aroma. However, it is just as complex, though accenting the bitter roastiness and rye spiciness, which are a wonderful combination! The hit together at first contact of beer to tongue, and wash away to allow the hints of malted milk, chocolate, and nuts to come through. A hop bittering is barely detectible, either so light or of a variety that they blend well.

The mouthfeel is oilly, but not thick, and not heavy, just very slick. To me, too slick, but not way too slick. I would like to see the rye mashed differently to avoid extra slickness, as something this oilly can't be "refreshing" to me. Carbonation is low. On it's own, not a bad thing, however, some additional CO2 could have helped break up the body a bit.

Despite a slight shortcoming in the mouthfeel (IMO), this beer is very tasty, and combined with such a complex, mind-blowing and amazing aroma, is a pleasure to drink. I wish I had picked up more than one bottle!

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Available at Vintage Estates in Boardman, OH...appears a dark caramel brown near black with a nice tan head leaves even thick bands of lacing with each sip from my saturated pint. Aromatics contain creamy doughy chocolate with a hint of Irish cream coffee, evident spicy rye in all it's grainy herbally goodness. Flavor has a slight vinous feel to it quality soft chocolate notes streak across the palate with mellow herbal hop layers and subtle spicy rye finish characteristic unfiltered doughy Bell's touch as well. Mouthfeel is medium to fuller bodied low key gentle carbonation silky smooth going down great brew. Drinkablity...I love all stouts outta Kalamazoo another reason to love Bell's brewing I could definitely enjoy a few of these.

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Photo of frazbri
4.74/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bell's Rye Stout poured black with just a hint of light penetrating the edges, topped by a short, creamy, light tan head and good lacing. Aroma was a mixture of chocolate, almonds, cherries, and capuccino. The initial flavor was sweet and fruity followed by chocolate, a slight citric tinge, and enough bitterness to balance. Body had a full, rich texture with medium carbonation and a dry finish.

I find Bell's Rye Stout to be an exceptionally drinkable stout. You won't be overpowered. Hops play a supporting role here. The rye is just part of the ensemble. I really enjoy this stout!

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Photo of Bierguy5
3.37/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle. Pours a dark brown to black color, with some ruby edges. Thin tan head disappears immediately. Aroma is certainly rye, roasty, and slightly sour. Milk chocolate flavor gives way to some roasty flavors, cream, rye bread and sour milk. There is also some earthy yeasty flavors present as well. Low carbonation with a decent mouthfeel. This is not one of my favorite stouts from Bell's. Interesting experiment, however this one does not suit me well.

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

From Bell's General Store behind the Eccentric Cafe in Kalamazoo - May 1st 2006. The Batch ID '7235', was packaged on February 9, 2006.

Is that guy on the label the same person that used to be profiled on the older style Kalamazoo Stout label? Larry’s long time adage, “Art on the inside, art on the outside" provides external cue to the details of brewing unique brews such as the Rye Stout.

Pours black, with garnet glints. one fingered head in the New Belgium 0.4 L rastal sniffer. Unmistakable aroma of rye with high lovibond crystal malts and dark roasted malts. A prune like tartness that I find typical of Bell's yeasts emerges with warming. A little chocolate blends with prunes to soften the rye sourness. Excellent mouthfeel with dextrins and dark roasted malts dominating a weaker than expected bitterness. The rye kicks up the body. Finishes is dry, and tart.

Very nice Rye Stout wish I had tried it on tap.

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Bell's Rye Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.88 out of 5 based on 426 ratings.
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