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

Sparkling AleSparkling Ale
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3.83 | pDev: 11.75%
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Michigan, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Sparkling AleSparkling Ale
Reviews: 364 | Ratings: 537 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by TheLongBeachBum:
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TheLongBeachBum from California

4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: A 12 ounce bottle with the generic Bell’s style label. A large letter ‘S’ is surrounded by Hops and Barley Malt. The obverse label holds no clues to what is inside, but the reverse label describes this as an American Triple and correlates it with a “glass of the bubbly”. No strength or best before date listed.

Appearance: Gorgeous golden body with tangerine flashes when lit from behind. Streamers rise to contribute to the underside of the pugnacious fluffy and uneven white head that readily forms, and appears to want to leap out of the glass onto the end of your nose. Constant delicate swirling retains a decent looking head, but it collapses without attention. Solid levels of conditioning in this one. Has a viscous look when slowly swirled.

Nose: Bread like toasted malts and spicy hops with some light citric fruits in the back end. As this warms the spicy fruits and peppery hops really break though in the latter third. Strong and invasive, this one is not shy when it comes to tickling the nasal passage.

Taste: Toasted malts and bready wheat influences quickly build to a spicy bitter hop-soaked middle. Bitter lemons and a black peppers and a longer lingering spicy hoppy finish rasps the tongue and leaves a bitter tingle for some time.

Mouthfeel: Solid feel, with a long lingering warming finish on the gullet. Powerful feel that like Snickers, satisfies.

Drinkability: Not exactly one for wolfing down, but one that will accompany you easily for a long time, and even through a meal. I partnered this with some Sharp English Cheddar and it was robust enough to handle it.

Overall: A very nice drink and a damn fine offering. Westmalle-ian at times.

Wow, Thanks to BigHuge for this Tripel-tastic Beer – Recommended.

Feb 02, 2004
More User Reviews:
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blitheringidiot from Pennsylvania

4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Rather plain, yet, curious label. Poured slowly into me golden trimmed pilsner to reveal a champagne like golden bright clear effervescent non-stop carbonation packed bubble appearance. A rush under a tightly packed 2” white froth. The bubbles are non-stop! An amazing pour, as usual for BELL’S. What makes this a perfect pour is the way that the carbonation eruption continually recycles the suspended particles for a spectacle show. If there were a 5.5 out of 5, this would grab that brass ring. Might add, excellent head retention.

Extricated scents thru the thick rock solid tight head are reminiscent of a Belgian yeast spice met with delectable Bryer’s Vanilla ice cream malts.

First swigs: Malty cookie dough. Spiced in the vein of cinnamon & egg nog, blending to an aftertaste of vanilla extract. Quite complex flavor with the awl-kee-hawl well hidden, until warmed. Then, the awl-kee-hawl slips out. Ephemeral hardly noticeable nutmeg aftertaste.

Light to medium bodied brew.

Last swigs: An American Triple? Part of a mixed case, purchased for $58 from the Beeryard with a great selection! Quite unlike other BELL’S. A unique spicey, contemplative offering. After reviewing their site after my review, it's a December offering only, as per website. 8.2% ABV, an American Tripel, trappist & Belgian yeast. Highly recommended.

Beer is good. Happy beering.

Aug 14, 2004
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Frosty80 from Michigan

4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Color: clear and golden

Smell: standard fruitiness and spiciness typical of the style. spiciness is dominate and balanced with light fruitiness.

Taste: spicy and fruity notes with just a hint of alcohol. meduim bitterness in finish, which is dry and slightly yeasty.

Mouthfeel: light-med body. moderate carbonation.

Notes: nothing spectacular, but a great interpretation of a tripel

Nov 19, 2009
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LuckySevens82 from Florida

3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle.
Pours a champaign color with a nice ivory head. This is one carbonated brew, the head lingers because of it. It looks kind of like ginger ale.
Smell is of ripe fruits and light malts.
Taste is very complex as I would expect a tripel to be. The flavor is dominated by sweet malts, hints of banana, plum and peaches. I think I detected a bit of a bubblegum flavor, which is a little odd for the style in my opinion. Hops are present, and nicely balance out the brew.
This one has a great mouthfeel, the carbonation is nice and leads to a nice, dry, finish.
While this one was interesting, I don't think I could drink too many of them. This was a little bit sweeter than I like a tripel as well. Still a solid offering from a solid brewerey.

Apr 25, 2004
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harlanhu28 from Arizona

4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at Plaza in Tucson AZ... When poured there is quite a good amount of carbonation.. Poured a very clear golden left a 1 1/2 finger head, that cleared quickly.. I will say I am not fond of the style but here we go..

The flavors of fruit were noticed and the tinge of high alcohol was present, but overall quite enjoyable.. I will definitely purchase again..

Jan 22, 2010
WOLFGANG from South Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +11%

Jul 05, 2013
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GRG1313 from California

3.54/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Aug 16, 2015
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Zorro from California

4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled due to BIGsBIF and the kindness of BeerBeing.

Poured in to the tulip this is a clear apricot to amber colored beer with an OK white head.

Smell is sweet and spicy with a good stiff whiff of coriander. The aroma of honeysuckle and black pepper is very strong in this one. Fruitiness isn't very strong here, mostly plum; this is very much a spice heavy smelling beer.

Taste is dry spicy herbal and sharply bitter in the first taste. After the initial taste sweetness makes an appearance but never gets sweet. The main flavors here are the spices and the very strong herbal hops. Spices are almost exclusively coriander and black pepper. This beer is best summed up as Strongly herbal.

Mouthfeel is good.

While I like this it probably will annoy some drinkers. That strong herbal bitterness could get annoying after a while or under the wrong circumstances. I like it so I did bump the drinkability up a little bit.

Sep 23, 2006
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theminutemen from Missouri

3.25/5  rDev -15.1%

Jul 25, 2012
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necoadam from Connecticut

4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured out a hazy orange/golden color with a nice head that settled down after a while.

Smell consisted of a good dose of citrus aromas, mostly oranges and some spices. Mostly pepper, but perhaps a hint of ginger might be in there as well.

Taste was good. Peaches and oranges start out, then some malts and lemon bitterness kicks in toward the beginning and middle. Finished with some hops and some spices. This brew is very yeasty, even though I didn't pour the sediment yeast into the bottle. It does add a good texture to this beer. It says " glass of bubbly" on the back label, and they're not that far off either.

Mouthfeel was good. Carbonation was on the low end, but enough to make you realize that there's some in there. It let the flavors take over this beer which I liked to see. Feels on the fluffy side as well.

This beer is like the movie "Fight Club." You really have to wrap your mind around it to understand. And once you do, you'll understand what this beer is all about.

Many thanks to feloniousmonk for this beer! This one hit the spot really good.

Dec 10, 2004
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hughesm4 from Ohio

3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a light brown color with quite a bit of sediment floating in the beer. Smells malty with a little fruity sweetness. The taste was initially very malty. As the beer warmed I got a little bit of a citrus aftertaste. It leaves a very yeasty sweet taste in the mouth after the drink. Goes down very well and is a very good tripel.

Aug 21, 2009
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Mdog from Minnesota

3.57/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Gold, yeast particles, but no head-weird!

Smell: Yeasty, some fruit and a little alcohol.

Taste: Sweet is the main takeaway for me. Not overly sweet, as it seems somewhat balanced. A kind of yeasty taste and maybe a little grape or pear flavor. The alcohol is hidden.

Drinkability: I could have a couple of these.

The ratings I gave aren't the greatest, but this was a pretty decent beer. I like it better than Victory's Golden Monkey, but it's a step down from some other tripels I've had. The strange thing was the lack of head on this beer. But the taste and mouthfeel were fine despite the appearance.

Dec 05, 2007
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bpfrush from Wisconsin

4/5  rDev +4.4%

Nov 14, 2011
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CortexBomb from Michigan

3.26/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours out golden yellow with a generous white head on top, nose has hints of grapes and the vague rememberence of spice, but it's not strong by any stretch.

Flavour is heavy on yeast, some spicy peppery tinge around the edges, a lemon aspect, and the rememberence of caramel while the hops provide character (an off citrus twang) This brew is much better once it has warmed up. The first time I had it I was extremely unimpressed, the second bottle was much better though, not elite trippel by any stretch, but at least deserving of slightly above average marks and the potential to be bought again.

Mouthfeel...nothing to say really. It's not bad, but it doesn't stand out either. There isn't a ton of carbonation, which I was expecting from a sparkling ale, and it isn't particularly "full" like a champagne or anything like that. Pretty dead on average, as was the drinkability.

Dec 19, 2004
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rct828 from Virginia

3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Feb 04, 2012
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ppoitras from Massachusetts

4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle obtained via trade with CRJMellor. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1" off-white head above slightly cloudy (if I could decant with any talent, there wouldn't be any little floaties, but alas) warmly golden brew. Head laces well. Aroma is yeasty and grainy, smells similar to a weizen to me. The taste initally leads me to again notice the similarities to a weizen, until the alcohol makes its presence known. Mouthfeel and drinkability are excellent for the style.

This seems like an odd duck tripel to me, not based on the Belgain-style malts that I usually associate with the style. But variety is the spice of life, I guess, and this one was an enjoyable brew. Experimentation is always welcome. Not always appreciated, but always welcome...

Aug 23, 2004
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ScottyC from Florida

4.14/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Yellowish-orange color with a natural light haze.

Aroma: Citrusy with oranges, lemons, and grapefruit.

Taste: Mild and slightly fruity. Has a tangy little bite at the end which lingers and kind of makes your mouth water. This little bite is the main attraction of the beer. The alcohol does come through in the taste a bit.

Drinkability: That biting aftertaste keeps you coming back for more. Overall very drinkable. However, with a slightly higher alcohol content, you'll be feeling it more after just one than your average beer.

Feb 22, 2009
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silenius from Illinois

4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a clear glowing bright gold with a large champagne-like head. Very little bit of carbonation appearing as bubbles in the glass. Some yeasty floaties lurk toward the bottom of the glass.

Smells sweet with some cinnamon/nutmeg/clove spices coming in with a touch of hops spicing. A little apple cider in there as well.

Taste is amazingly big for such a light colored beer. Thick sweet candy and maple syrup. Some stinging clove and hop spice on the end.

Mouthfeel is thick, creamy, and syrupy. There was some carbonation bite on the end.

This may get a little cloying during the second bottle, so drinkability suffers.

On a side note, I usually don't like the lighter Bell's offerings, but this is the lightest I have had and I like it. I feel the alcohol flush after just one (empty stomach?) There must be some non-linear relationship between color and flavor in Bell's beers. I must investigate further. . . .

Jun 26, 2004
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THORN from Minnesota

4.19/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 Fl. Oz. bottle poured into Westmalle Goblet. Served 4% F.
A: Honey brown. Pours thin head that quickly reduces to a round clump of bubbles that covers most of surface area except about 1/4 inch around rim. Many CO2 trails release from bottom of Goblet.
S: Banana, pears, and waffles.
T: Lightly toasted malts, bananas, and waffle. Crisp citrus and pears.
D: Tastes like a decent trip, but is carbonated. Very interesting blend. Fairly large in body, but accented with forward mouth-feel.

Feb 19, 2010
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beveragecaptain from New Jersey

3.41/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle. Bell's Sparkling Ale has a hazy yellowish brown color with lots of floating chunks. The beer is topped with an inch of dense foam. Bitter orange peel aroma along with strange yeast smells. This beer smells disconcertingly similar to the beers in the Wheat series. The flavor is very bitter, which is odd for the style. Bready malt. Some hop flavors, but they are in the background. The finish is yeasty and weird. A decent stab at a tripel, but there are some extra off flavors that nearly ruin the beer for me.

Jan 28, 2006
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LordAdmNelson from Ohio

3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A nice clear golden color with some white head that leaves little lacing. Smell is largely of some belgian yeast, a bit of clove, and some pale malt notes. A bit of fruit there too. Taste follows suit, with some bigger hop notes than I expected--some grass and leafy-ness. It's good, just more suited to the BSPA category than Tripel (not fruity enough, IMO). Decent MF, a little lacking in the creamy/filling department, could have used a bit more carbonation. This one, however, really wins on the drinkability, easy drinker with well-masked ABV. Good stuff, just not my favorite from Bell's.

May 04, 2010
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drabmuh from Maryland

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

On tap at Churchkey, beer is served in a snifter. Beer is yellow, clear with nearly no head. Some lacing, low retention.

Aroma is a little yeasty and sweet.

Beer is medium to light in body, a little yeasty, grainy, I'm shocked that this beer is 9%. Amazing. Hides it well, good finish, not too dry. I'd have this again.

Feb 02, 2012
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BeerFMAndy from Wisconsin

4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Triple Karmeliet tulip. 9% ABV, No batch # on back.

Thanks to Sweemzander for this tasty beer!

A - The sparkling ale certainly is sparkling! It's clarity is brilliant. You can see right through the golden yellow beer. Unfortunately the head is a bit weak despite a tall pour. One finger, white, and decently retained, it left some lace on the glass.

S - The nose is full of the tripel aroma. Belgian yeast with fruits hint of citrus lemon and light banana. Hops give the nose a spice blast and crispness while the malts back everything up with subtly.

T - The flavor is packed with nuances. Light lemony citrus carries through the flavor while the Belgian yeast gives off some low fruit notes. The pale malts reside towards the back while the hops are rather forward, adding a nice level of spice.

M - Medium-bodied and crisp but smooth with a well-balanced higher level of carbonation which reinforces the name of the beer. Very easy going with a medium dry finish and a lasting aftertaste of spice.

D - This is one tripel I could have glass after glass of. Very well brewed and supremely enjoyable.

Jan 17, 2010
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Southernbrew from Georgia

4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a lovely golden orange with a nice big, soft head.

The aroma is lovely. Nice citrusy fruits, doughy yeast and a bit of spice. This reminds me of Duvel.

Medium-full body, lots of lively carbonation. Some sweetness and yeast up front move into a nice soft, sweet fruits. Leaves a pleasant fruity and Belgian sugary sweetness.

This stuff, frankly, goes down like water. I look at my glass and find it empty. The alcohol is completely unnoticed until you finish, when you are left with a feeling of complete calmness.

Awesome beer. If I want a Belgian, I want a Belgian pale and man, this hits the spot. Another thanks to Feloniousmonk for this one!

Mar 10, 2005
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sweemzander from Illinois

2.87/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle poured into a tulip. There should be a batch # printed on the back of this like all Bell's beers, but this one does not have one.

(A)- Pours a clear golden orange to yellow color that produced lackluster head formation, in fact, there was none, just some white bubbles even after a rather vigorous pour. Sparkling ale? Doesnt look like there is much carbonation in this.

(S)- Bits of banana, pear, mango, & a flower-like clay & yeast presence.

(T)- Very similar to the smell, but with a musky & weird metallic finish. Yeasty.

(M)- Ok, so yes there is carbonation in this, but definitely not on par for the style, let alone a "sparkling" level.

(D)- Kind of a bland beer actually. It has some flavors & smells that fits into the style, but overall a disappointing representation of what makes a great Tripel. Not one of Bell's best efforts.

Jan 17, 2010
Sparkling Ale from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 537 ratings