Bell's Sparkling Ale | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

very good
364 Reviews
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Bell's Sparkling AleBell's Sparkling Ale

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

Style: Tripel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-13-2002

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Reviews: 364 | Ratings: 536
Photo of Sammy
4.02/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very initial foamy, aroma of strong yeast and alcohol. Blondish yellow and whitish head. Easy full mouthfeel without heaviness-could be quickly drunk. Cirtus, and fruit sweet. Very little tartness, and of the cheery type. A real American version of a Belgian, very fresh with no skunkiness or mouldy yeast.I don't think I've met a triple I don't like, and this is no exception.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.92/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to GRG1313 for sharing this one at his tasting.

Bottle # 277/1499. Batch # 11471.

Pours a clear orange with a foamy white head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, honey, fruit, and yeast aromas. Taste is much the same with honey and spice flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that smells slightly better than it tastes in my opinion.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured out as a nice slightly hazy golden color with a thin white head on top. The retention is thin and scattered. The lacing is minimal. The smell of the beer is bready, sweet and has a subtle spice note on the nose. The taste of the beer is sweet upfront and has a dry fruity spice finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a bit of an oily feel to it. The carbonation was pretty high but should be for the style. Overall it was a pretty good brew, I was glad to see it on draft in my area.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An imensely rich beer that is easy to under-estimate. A beauty to the sight: Almost bubbly carbonation and fluffy white foamstand. Very bready, doughy, yeasty, and fruity to the nose. Flavors are much like sugar-cookie dough with lots of citrus (lemon) flavors. Reminescent of a chardonay or champaign in its flavors, textures, and sweetness. Active and vibrant against the toung with a mildly fizzy texture. Finishes warm and sweet with a bit of a fusal hotness. Aftertaste is bite-ey and a bit harsh, but fair for a belgian-like beer. Good stuff.

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Photo of brentk56
3.18/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a hazy golden color with a modest head that drops to a ringlet without leaving much lace

Smell: A hint of pineapple and some sugar, but a lot of bandaid phenols and a bit of fusel alcohol

Taste: Opens doughy but fruit flavors quickly develop in a mango direction by mid-palate; becomes peppery and pithy in the middle; after the swallow, the alcohol and bandaid flavors appear and detract from the finish; metallic aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate to high carbonation

Drinkability: Chalk this one up as another domestic failure to pull off a Belgian tripel; for some reason this style gives our better brewers fits

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Unclemattie: Poured a cloudy yellow with a large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of fruity ester with some sweet malt. Taste is a mix between some interesting fruity ester, some sweet malt which may include some wheat. Full body with some great carbonation but some light alcoholic phenol which were not too upfront. While I really enjoyed this beer I thought it lacked some complexity and subtlety.

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Photo of zeff80
3.92/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a golden orange color with a small, white, soapy head that left a little lace. There was also a good deal of sediment at the bottom.

S - It smelled of orange, yeast and clove.

T - It tasted very yeasty. Nice orange flavors. It had a light maltiness.

M - It was very sharp and bubbly. It had a warm alcohol presence. It was a light to medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very good beer. A nice interpretation of a Belgian ale.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.23/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a tulip on Thanksgiving Day 2009. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a fairly clear light golden color with a fairly large off white head and a good amount of lacing as it goes down. Nose brings a fair amount of Belgian spice and hints of fruit, as well as a bit of sweet bread. Taste adds in a bit of sugar, although it is mostly dry. The earthy spice and fruit flavors are present, but faint. Feel is light and airy, with good carbonation. Drinkability is decent, but isn't much compared to many of the Belgian versions of the style.

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Photo of oberon
4.12/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No longer my favorite beer this is still one of the best of style in my book, a very good tripel.Its a bit candy sweet and fruity but it goes down oh so smooth with just enough drying herbal hop profile in the finish.Its big time drinkable and a great beer.

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Photo of mothman
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 8204

Poured into new belgium globe glass.

Color is a bright yellow gold. Thin white head that leaves some decent lace rings.

The aroma is very fruity. There is some orange and citrus zest. I also picked up a bread aroma.

Taste is very bready, along with the same citrus notes from the smell.

Mouthfeel is bitter but goes down clean. When I looked up my batch on Bell's, it said it was 9% abv, which is apparent in the mouthfeel.

Overall, this is a very delicious belgium treat. I love bell's and I love this beer. It is over a year old, but it tastes pretty fresh to me.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.33/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy, golden-orange body topped by a full frothy white head that eventually receeds to an 1/8" creamy surface covering. The thin head holds exceptionally well (buoyed by carbonation) and leaves some very nice lace. The aroma is fruity, yeasty, and sweet with cookie dough. The body is light/medium with a very fine and lightly effervescent carbonation that leaves it quite creamy in the mouth. The flavor starts lightly tangy and fruity (citrus), then becomes quite creamy in the mouth as it warms & CO2 breaks out of solution enhancing the sweet bready malt. Alcohol, peppery notes and a firm bitterness burst forth... then gently receed with a lingering sweet & fruity (cherries, berries, orange) maltiness in an exceptionally long finish. Quite impressive. Clearly a little bit on the wild side, but also unique. Clearly not a pale ale - definitely a tripel.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.62/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Acquired from raznug, courtesy of the Under 100 III BIF 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 light gold color, with a thin white head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains Belgian yeast, light caramelized malts, honey, some fruit, some spices and a bit of hops.

T: The taste starts out bready with a strong flavor of Belgian yeast and a hearty but not too heavy malt character. Then some sweet flavors of honey, spices and fruit quickly follow. The hops presence is mild but brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: A little tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, it's a solid beer but there are better ones within the style.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Ugh. Pours a copper, chunk-filled body with a small, wispy white head.

Smell: Some malts, of course, but the bulk of the aroma is made up of coriander, orange peel, yeast, and fruity banana esters.

Taste: Maltiness with a jarring candi sugar sweetness. Plenty of banana, and to a lesser degree, pear, along with sharp hints of coriander, orange peel, pepper, and sour yeast. A dash of mineral water. Finishes with a lingering sugary-spiciness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation. Slight stickiness to the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: No thanks. Cloying and somewhat of a chore to finish the single bottle.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep amber-gold with a veritable blizzard of yeast suspended within. This may be the yeastiest beer that I've seen yet. My usual pour resulted in a mess on the beer coaster as I was unable to keep the head from overflowing the glass. The rich cream-colored cap is massive and is super stiff. It deflates exceedingly slowly and manages to leave quite a bit of chunky lace behind.

The nose is impressively aromatic. It's Belgian yeast funky and is nicely fruity. On the palate, the beer is sweet, spicy and citrus fruity all at once. There's plenty of candi sugar and loads of yeastiness as well. All of Sparking Ale's various flavor elements work well together. It's a bold beer, yet a well integrated one.

For a tripel, it's amazing how well-masked the alcohol is. The body/mouthfeel is full and lightly syrupy, but is an unqualified success because it's lightened considerably by the generous, yet far from manic, amount of carbonation. This beer is just about as gulpable as it's possible for an 8.2%'er to be.

Tripels aren't my favorite style, but I must admit that they're growing on me. I would put this one at the top of my list along with Great Lakes Anniversary Ale. I'd have to have them side by side to pick an absolute favorite, but both are excellent domestic versions. Bell's Sparkling Ale is a fine beer and I recommend it heartily to those who have even a passing interest in the style.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The pour was very nice. Rich light amber in color with a light cloudiness to it. A good sized head of white came up over the top and settled down nicely into a small layer of foam across the top. carbonation could be seen streaming up from the bottom of the glass.

The aroma was very nice and very complex. Light grain in the base and then a blast of sour notes coming through. Very, very nice. Light apples, pears, peaches, hints of anise and lovely earthy notes coming throughout. THe flavor was clean, crisp, sharp. Alcohol was totally hidden here beneath of blanket of nice fruit and light spices. Smooth finish here left a subtle tartness in the mouth and a really nice light grain flavor and a hint of green apples. Smooth mellow carbonation and a really fine finish,

Overall for a triple, this was fantastically drinkable. No hints of alcohol at all and really just amazingly complex. I would love to try this one on tap as I heard it is mind blowing. This is one that needs to be sought out!

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Photo of russpowell
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an effervescent bronze with a pinky of cream colored head. Viscous notes, along with minimal head retention & lacing

S: Orchard fruit, grainyness, & pineapple

T: Peaches, pineapple, honey, boozey grain & a kiss of estery yeast & mushroom like funk. Honey, pears, wet grain with some booze warmth once warm. Finishes grainy with honey, pineapple, passion fruit & kiss of lemon

MF: Medium bodied, light carbonation & sryuppy notes, plus warming sensations as this warms

Drinks pretty easy for the ABV & style, doesn't quite pull together for greatness. Booze warmth & syruppyness slow me down more than normal for the style

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Photo of billab914
3.89/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a perfect pint glass.

Poured a light golden color with a bright bubbly head that disappeared completely quickly. No lacing on my glass.

Aroma is spicy with some fruit and yeast flavors.

Taste is tangy with some fruit and spiciness. The Belgian yeast also plays a large part in the flavor.

Mouthfeel is on the lighter side with above average carbonation.

Drinkability is good, for the alcohol content and amount of flavors going on in this one it is pretty drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.24/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a Dogfish shaped pint glass.

Like fine champagne... Anyway, this stuff pours a clear sunset golden-brass topped by a finger of off-white foam. The nose comprises biscuit, light banana peel, light green apple skin, and a touch of spicy yeast. The taste brings in more of the same, with the biscuit and a less-spicy version of the yeast taking full control. Every now and again, some chlorophyll-laden flowers peek their heads in to make sure things are going okay. What diligent babysitters (he says sarcastically). The body is a lithe medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a dry finish. Overall, not all that reflective of a tripel, nor all that sparkling. It's not a bad beer, but one I just don't see drinking all that much of in the future.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.65/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

32 oz. swing top growler.

The beer is mostly transparent, just slightly hazy. Orange hued with nearly an inch of white head that recedes to a thin layer after a few moments, leaving some decent lacing on the glass. The aroma offers malt, yeast, spice, ripe oranges, hops. The flavor is not up to par with the authentic Belgian tripels. I appreciate that it has a different hop character and is not necessarily trying to replicate something Belgian, however, Bell's Sparkling Ale lacks the delectable quality found in the upper tier examples of the style. Yeast character is lacking. Malt presence is there, but could certainly be more robust and present. Middle class in the style, yet solid and worth a try.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.87/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured with a big, white head that slowly dissipated away. The nose was spicy, redolent with pepper. Warming, the nose became yeasty and musty. The color was a sort of orangish-yellow, with flecks of yeast swimming throughout. The mouthfeel was almost creamy with a taste of yeasty spiciness on the palate. The finish was both citrusy and chocolaty, like one of those milk chocolate oranges. I enjoyed it, but the high ABV makes me hesitant to mark drinkability as good.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.41/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Mesmorizing glowing golden orange amber hue with a fluffy growing massive white head leaves thick patches of lacing so good evenly dispersed. Aroma: Herbal clove combo with the funky yeast characteristic that every Bell's brew has, a warming sweetness but no acohol ridden nose. Taste: Excellent ties everything together so well, seems farmhouse funkyness of peppery spices and then the bread yeast characteristics, with an herbal clove and underlying fruit sensation this is good stuff. Mouthfeel: Fluffy very right on the mark for carbonation spritzy but still holds together some great texture awesome. Drinkability: Dangerous I could chill with these all day but a bigger beer means beware, so good clean well made triple awesome one of the better American brewed versions.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very slightly clouded gold with a minimal white head. Very dough-forward nose. Spices are there, but not as strong. Much more of the spice on the flavor as it really kicks on that first sip and stays throughout. Feel is about typical I would say. This is a pretty easy drinking tripel, even though the level of spice character is high. Decent.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.43/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured on tap into a tulip glass at Churchkey DC.

A creamy one finger head is produced, with a very bronze colored crystal clear body. While drinking there is some creamy lacing, but the most noticeable thing is how insanely carbonated this beer looks for a tripel. Lots of carbonation.

Nose has some mild malt, a little yeast and spice, kind of a dry sense, but not much really going on.

Palate upon tasting is sharply carbonated with sweet Belgian candy sense, but very crisp. This is slightly gaseous, even perhaps some hop bite strangely.

Overall for a tripel this is not what I look for. It's an enjoyable beer but I probably wont be wanting to try this again anytime soon. I prefer some creamyness.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.42/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A huge, thick effervescent white head crowns a hazy orange color. Some yeast still floats around, then settles at the bottom of the glass. Aroma is sharp, fresh, and lively , full of citrus, (lemon, orange)and spices. The name gives no indication of style, but it's clear , before tasting ,even, that they're going for something in a Belgian style, something close to Duvel, maybe.
Taste is divine, with great hop spark alive on the tongue. Yeast comes in big on the palate, and a large amount of sweetness, too. When I first tried this beer last June, I noted :"Did the sugar truck back up into the vat, and dump it's load?" I don't know if it's me, or if it's this batch, but I'm not turned off by the sweet factor, which isn't as strong.
In the middle, more fruitiness comes through, peach, apricot, but sugar is still strong . Light in body and texture, but full of flavor, and bursting with playful hops. "Sparkling" is the appropriate name for this ale, and Bell's has crafted the best Duvel imitation I've ever tasted, from Belgium, the U.S., or anywhere else in the Universe.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.02/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

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Bell's Sparkling Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.82 out of 5 based on 536 ratings.
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