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

very good
317 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 317 | Ratings: 426
Photo of danielharper
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark black color, slight reddish hue at the bottom, moderately-sized brown head that sticks around. Head is rich and creamy. Nice presentation.

Smell: Smells almost like a nitro stout. Dry malty aromatics, slight notes of chocolate.

Taste: Nice rye flavor up front with a significant chocolate malt presence on the backend. Slightly astringent finish, dry aftertaste. A bit cloying.

Mouthfeel: Moderate thickness, slightly chewy.

Drinkability: A rye stout is an interesting concept, and this is good, but it's not quite up to the standards of most Bell's beer. Definitely worth a try for fans of Bell's or those who love rye, but a bit lacking for my palate.

 676 characters

Photo of afausser
3.94/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: pours with a very minuscule head that disappears quickly. A hazy, dark coca-cola shade of brown (though purple-tinged) with soda-like carbonation bubbles--though much fewer of them than in soda, and more slow-moving as it calms down. Little to no lacing.

S. Rye, chocolate, and strawberries are big in the nose, as well as a hint of lemon and slight grass while its still cold. As it warms, bitter and smoky, and then dark candy hints come out as well as sour cherries.

T. Heavy rye bread, black pepper, burnt cocoa, earth, smoke, and coffee, as well as a slight hint of brandy. The carbonation brings out slight spice and crisp apples. As it warms, hints of anise, caramel, brown sugar, cherries, and molasses present themselves, presenting quite a complex brew.. Very nice.

M. Sparkling, hot carbonation and heat make the heavy notes pop out. The carbonation, while a good vehicle for the taste, is a little frustrating at first. Flattens out quite a bit as it warms, which ends up being slightly disappointing. A little balance would be nice.

D decently drinkable, smooth, a little heavy though and will fill you up.

 1,127 characters

Photo of Slatetank
4.14/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at Cobblestone's on 1/6/10. Served chilled in a pint.

A - A very dark brown w/ caramel brown highlights. A practically opaque clarity w/ very thin pale tan head. The bead is pin sized and barely any lace clings

S - A dark roasted coffee and mild cocoa nose w/ spice and subtle caramel scents. The vanilla aroma from the malt is prominent w/ mellow breadiness in the nose

M - A full roasted texture w/ mild nutty and dry toasted feel w/ rye spice accent. There is moderate carbonation and a creaminess w/ mildly sweet finish

T - A very tasty stout - it has a light dry start w/ coffee and caramel creeping in w/ pretty substantial rye flavor. A hint of smoke is noted which accents the dark malts well and has a gentle vanilla taste from caramel malt in the finish

D - This is a seriously tasty stout - Bell's is a master w/ so many great tasting stouts. This is one of the best they make as the rye addition is not overdone, just enough to compliment the caramel and dark malt flavor. The smokiness adds complexity-truly drinkable

 1,053 characters

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

Dark brown with an off white head. Pretty good retention with occasional agitation. Pleasant sweet caramel scent along with vanilla and a little cocoa. Flavor is a little more dry and bitter with a lot more dark malt character. Nice roasted flavors, with a balance between coffee, chocolate, bread and a little sourness. Rye adds a welcome earthy touch. Finish is long but fairly dry.
Mouthfeel is well-carbonated. Though it looked a little thin coming out of the bottle, it had a good full-bodied feel to it.

Overall, this is a pretty enjoyable stout with any glaring weaknesses and is very drinkable.

 603 characters

Photo of BDLbrewster
4.06/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark opaque rusty brown color with a small quickly fleeting head that leaves some bunches of lacing.

This smells dirty, cherry and roasted coffee beans. Some burnt notes, kind of smells like a lawnmower bag full of grass that was cut an hour or two ago, almost composting.

The taste is much more mellow than I expected, sweet roasty, chocolaty malts are light and not overdone, no burnt taste at all. The rye helps to lighten this one up and provides a small bite that I didn't really expect. This tastes like a mild porter more that a stout. I also get cappuccino and maybe even vanilla in there as well. Very nice.

The mouthfeel is nice and airy while retaining some light viscosity. Ample carbonation and luxurious feeling on the tongue.

Overall, I initially questioned this brew. I was so wrong and will never, ever question a brew from Bells again. High drinkability, very manageable ABV and tastes great.

 924 characters

Photo of mothman
4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an English pint glass.

Pours hardly any light tan head at all. Remains a ring for the duration of the beer. Color is a dark bark brown, near black.

Aroma: At first, I get a lot of cocoa, then some sweet malts come in, some toffee and caramel. A nice roasted flavor to it. A hint of rye as well. The aroma is amazing. I simply love it.

Taste: Cocoa, grassy hops, roasted malt profile, caramel and some toffee. Some nice rye notes. I thought that the roasted part of this beer would not suit me, but I this beer is growing on me quickly.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy, and roasted. It has a decent amount of carbonation, despite the little head. It is also a little dry. Medium to full bodied beer. Ends roasted and dry.

Overall, I really enjoyed this beer on top of all the roasted malt characteristics. It is pretty easy drinking. The cocoa in the aroma is awesome. I am glad that they brought this one back.

 922 characters

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

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Review #600- by chance. I drank all the good stuff for X-mas and new yrs I guess...and missed out on a good 100+ reviews this yr as well.

A- Body is a dark, very hazy, nearly opaque cola color that pours with an approximately 1 finger cream colored head.

S-Nose is somewhat mild and the highlight is roasted malt and rye. A molasses sweetness can also be detected in the nose.

T- Mild flavors upfront consisting of rye bread and sweet malt. The finish is prominently roasted malt with a hint of molasses-like sweetness. What lingers is yeasty rye bread and a hint of roasted dark malt.

M- High carbonation and medium weight body. Overall the feel good: smooth, bready, and silky.

D- This is a solid offering from bell's. The rye brings a nice bready quality to the stout as well as accentuates the roasted malt and barley characteristics of the brew. Bell's offers a solid lineup-but I still have not found a Bell's brew that really WOWs me.

 987 characters

Photo of gatornation
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a dark black cherry color with a quick dissipating head it does have some clinging sticky lacing..the smell was toffee and fig some caramel and rye..the taste was rye and spice with chocolate and some roasted coffee this is one good stout that may be overlooked..i like the addition of rye to this style..its sweet and robust a well balanced stout that is highly drinkable from a brewery that puts out lots of stouts..another fine one from bells

 451 characters

Photo of jampics2
4.07/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. I've been on a rye kick lately, this has been a staple in the mix.

Black beer. Nice head almost instantly vanishes.

Smells of roasted malt, spicey rye, and hops.

Rye spice sits well with a nice roasted malt with a good amount of hop bitterness. Nothing is overwhelming, nice balance.

This is good but a bit thin for me. Tasty beer overall, though, should be a Bells staple for every winter.

 408 characters

Photo of PretzelCity
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Have to thank Grumpy for sending me this one off of my wants list. Poured a deep reddish brown with a thin white head. Chocolate and lightly roasted malts in the nose with a touch of rye. Taste was nice and simple. Chocolate, roasted malts and some rye all perfectly balanced, each flavor complimenting the next. Although the head wasn't too impressive the carbonation was present in the mouthfeel, which added nicely to the beer. Very smooth and super drinkable, medium to full body, this beer doesn't try to overwhelm you with flavors, it just uses each flavor extremely well. I really enjoyed this beer, I had high hopes and it did not disappoint. Hope to get more soon.

 673 characters

Photo of dbossman
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark walnut coloring with a bit of redish tint; a thin head that dissipates quickly; good lacing
S: Roasted malts; earthy with subtle chocolate aromas; not a ton going on here; simple but pleasant
T: Malty with a chewy breadiness; dark chocolate flavors rest on the back of the tongue; very rich and thick bready quality; subtle coffee taste as well; yummy rye and a bit spicy
F: Pretty chewy and thick like a good stout should be
D: Very drinkable and delicious; alcohol is well masked and this is quite drinkable

 517 characters

Photo of Pedro07
3.82/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Never tried this stuff before and for a couple years it looked like it dissapeared. Found it at Siciliano's and had to try it.

A- Pous a very inky black, with just a slight hint of bolor coming through on the edges. Only a fine layer of foam forms on top, and quickly dissipates.

S- Roasted barley and coffee hits the nostrils immediatly. There is a little cocoa in the nose, along with dark toasted breadiness. Not too bad of a fragrance but I wish it was stronger.

T- I can immediatly taste toasted dark bread and rye, it's not very strong, but it is immediatly noticeable. Very smooth despite the rye kick which is balanced nicely. Nothing is too overpowering here or cloyingly sweet. It's a well balanced stout.

M- Good body to this one, rather mouthcoating but not too "syrupy". Some of the super stouts today can be killer, this one is a nice session beer.

D- Quite good, I could have several of these over the course of a night. Very balanced and I'm quite pleased to discover it.

 997 characters

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

Bell's Rye Stout, poured ontap into a pint glass. A very dark brownish black with an off white head and just a bit of lace.

Aroma is of chocolate malt, espresso, rye. Very bready and inviting.

Taste consists of alot of stout flavors. Roasted malt, chocolate and a nice helping of peppery rye spiciness. Everything works together quite well.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and fairly smooth.

Rather fair drinkability. Big and flavorful, this beer is worthy of a good session in the winter months.

 493 characters

Photo of wnh
4.35/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a very dark chestnut brown, opaque but for a little light coming in around the edges, with a large, foamy light tan head.

Very roasty nose, leaning primarily toward a spicy, crusty rye bread aroma--bread that is almost but not quite burnt. Just a touch of malty sweetness underneath, with a mineral-like note reminiscent of a dry Irish-style stout. A light, fruity aroma from the yeast comes through as the beer warms.

Smooth and somewhat bready on the palate, turning sweet in the middle with milk chocolate and caramel before finishing quite abruptly. Fades back into the spicy, crust breadiness, but nowhere nearly as strong as the nose suggests. There's a slight roasty bite on the swallow which quickly fades into a smooth creaminess.

Medium bodied and quite soft; very quaffable. The rye seems to work well with this beer. Whereas most rye beers seem to be hoppier expressions where the hops overpower the rye, here the rye has a chance to express itself. Well done, Bell's.

 1,030 characters

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

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass. Batch number 9370, packaged on September 29th.

Thin tan head,but it has decent retention. The body is pretty much black. Only a little bit of brown shines through the edges of the glass. Chocolatey sweet flavors combo nicely with the rye. Bit of a smokey quality to this. Really rich and luxurious stuff. Once again, Bell's has made an outstanding stout.

 404 characters

Photo of champ103
3.53/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nearly opaque black. Some brown around the edges. A small beige head forms, and sticks around as a small cap. Light lace.
S: Light roasted malt and some chocolate. Some odd oily hops. I am not really getting any rye in the nose.
T: Follows the nose. Light roasted and chocolate malt. Overly hopped for the style IMO. Not much spicy or fruity character that I can tell from the rye.
M/D: A medium to full body. Creamy and smooth. Not hard to drink. I can quaff a few with no problem.

Not bad, an average stout. I was not sure what to expect with a rye stout, but there is not much rye from what I can detect. It is still worth a try.

 644 characters

Photo of cameraman
4.5/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer is poured a black to brown color, with a small tan to light caramel colored head on top. The deep chocolate and coffee aromas come out at first scent. There is a slight fragrance of dark bread and rye to finish each scent. The dark malt dominates the palate at the beginning with chocolate and dark bread roll across the palate. There is a hint of coffee as well. It finishes with a touch of rye sharpness and a mild pine flavor that lingers shortly, then fading away. The feel is hearty, a milky texture at the start then gradually thinning, leaving a medium dryness. This is a very drinkable stout, a pleasing color, strong aroma and flavor, along with the rich feel, make this a beer to crave each taste.

 716 characters

Photo of mgbickel
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. Formed a single finger light tan head that dissipated quickly...minimal lacing present. The body is a rich deep brown with mahogany edges.

Smokey and earthy on the nose. Roasted malts/grains also present.

Burnt grains and malts come through on the tongue first. A little coffee like in the middle and finishes with a very slight hop touch.

The mouth feel is medium and creamy with very little carbonation.

This is a very drinkable stout...a little on the light side, but that makes it easy to throw a few back!

 540 characters

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.46/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from a sixer purchased in Detroit in December 2009. The beer is nearly opaque, dark burnt reddish brown, thin tan foam. The aroma is NICE! Roasted malts, chocolate, a nice dose of rye, just brilliant. The taste is no slouch either, roasted but not overly bitter, some rye spiciness that contrasts the dark malts, possibly some wheat but it's hard to tell through all the other rich flavors. Thick and creamy mouthfeel, maybe some oatmeal was added? Seems like Bell's pulled all stops on this one, outstanding and delicious. Needs to be a standard beer.

 564 characters

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

Poured from the bottle a deep dark brown with one finger of light tan head.

Aroma of roasted malts, berries, rye, cocoa, and a hint of coffee.

The taste is on the subdued side with roasted malts, berries, cocoa, and some rye to the finish.

Medium bodied, creamy, and lightly carbonated.

A very sessionable stout from Bell's. Not great, but very solid.

 355 characters

Photo of Daniellobo
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice stout, a bit short on the rye expectations but rather pleasing nevertheless, and with an enticing finish.

Presentation: 16 oz draft offering. Menu only notes that it is the special rotating tap. Served on a Bell´s pint shaker glass.

A - Black with deep brown edges, short head (little room left for it on this serving) with good retention and lacing.

S - Very faint, subdued roasted malt, a tad of a fruity note.

T - Roasted malt, a bit of a sour distant note including dark fruit, that turns into a faint sweet coating. Little rye perceived but flavors overall works well.

M - Medium body with soft but adequate carbonation, and a gentle and smooth finish that includes a touch of a crispy note in the texture.

D - Rather drinkable. Goes a bit over the average with a nice and enticing finish that emerges half-way through.

Notes: Maybe not outstanding, and surely for my liking I would be expecting a far more assertive rye profile, and still leves me wondering what a stout like that would be like. Here it works on a rather subtle, and balanced side, giving a decent and fairly likeable stout.

 1,111 characters

Photo of samie85
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. Consumed an hour ago.

A- Pours a very deep mahogany with a quickly dissipating one finger head.

S- Spicy rye and a hint of bitter chocolate malt. way.

T- The first thing I taste is smooth chocolate malt with some spicy rye notes. The alcohol comes out after it warms significantly, but not in an unpleasant way.

M- Really pretty smooth. It's medium bodied with low carbonation.

D- Pretty easy drinking considering it's close to 7%. It was interesting in that I haven't had a ton of beers with a rye component. I'll be sure to try others and probably come back to this one.

 600 characters

Photo of brownbeer
4.35/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep mahogany pour with a frothy, tan head.

Nose is spicy with rye bread and coffee coming forth.

Body is full and smooth, rich with spice and chocolate finishing with a dusty dryness.

A very solid winter stout. I can't really find much wrong with this.

 256 characters

Photo of Metalmonk
3.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an exceptionally dark chocolate brown, though not black. Head isn't very substantial, lessening to a paper-thin lily pad on the surface crowned by dirty white foam.

Just the kind of thing I don't wish for in my stout aromas: mineral. Perhaps this is actually the rye, but whatever it is, it's not letting much else get through. Very mild hints of cocoa far back, nutty roasted coffee beans too, also slight. Not very exciting.

But the flavor intrigues. While the rye component is obvious, offering a kind of sharp, somewhat spicy slap to the taste buds, its kept in check by a chocolate bon-bon sweetness that provides balance and some depth. Chocolate hangs around in the finish, as does an earthy/grainy element.

Despite some tingly carbonation, there's a silkiness to the texture that I like. Maybe it's on the thinner side than expected or wanted, but it goes down with exceptional smoothness. This element grew on me as the glass emptied.

Despite a lackluster nose, this ultimately emerges as an enjoyable, drinkable stout, given a bit of a twist thanks to the rye. Not a huge wallop of godliness, but certainly not a purchase to be sad about (that poor thing on the label must not have had enough money to purchase a bottle. Cheer up you!).

 1,258 characters

Photo of Buebie
3.99/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up this lovely from bb8189

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into my surly pub glass. Off the pour it appear flat, but then out of left field a solid 1'' head forms up. Light brown in color, is the head, quickly receding to leave a thin coating and thicker collar of retention.
Color is mostly black with redish brown hues at the edges of the glass.

Aroma of any typical stout, bitter chocolate grain, mild coffee, some great malt backing and just a small snap of rye.

Mouthfeel is phenominal! Much thicker then expected, quite creamy actually with some very mild carbonation working its way through the thick almost syrup like creamy thick feel.
Taste is also quite good. A touch more sweetness then most stouts. Rye breadyness brings a touch of spice to the table and also plenty of malt here. Bitter chocolate grain taste and a little bit of smoky charred flavors. Its bready all right and damn good.

Drinkability is great and leaves me desireing more then this one bottle.

 985 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

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