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

very good
537 Ratings
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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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Ratings: 537 |  Reviews: 364
Photo of RonfromJersey
4.17/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Secret Santa 2004 - #3

Cloudy, hazy light orange body, of course loaded with speeding bubbles. Rising above the rim is a free flowing foam top which resembles porous french vanilla ice cream. Light lacing.

Very pleasant fruity nose. Apricots, a bit of peach.

Splashes across the tongue with an initial sweetness which is fruity, not malty. Hops balance it off quickly so that it's nice and never invokes the "cloying" word. The hops do their work and exit the stage before a final full fruity finish.

Mouthfeel is quite surprising: sparkling yes, but a nice touch of creaminess too. Not overly prickly as some might assume from the name. Also surprising to me is how easy this triple drinks.

The bottle implies that this could be a champagne substitute. While I'm not sure about that, it's certainly worthy of toasting. Not one of the Bell's beers that gets a lot of notice out this way, but one worth sampling.

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Photo of Tballz420
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew is a slightly hazy, golden colored brew, with some suspended yeast bits. Nice foam off-white head. The scent is lemony, with light fruits and malt. Sweet matl front, with fruit and candy. Subtle bitter hop. A light spicyness. Full creamy mouth. Overall a pretty standard tripel

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

Heavy sediment visible through the brown glass bottle. Pours with a gigantic head, several inches at first. Heavy yeast sediment in the glass, with a foamy off-white head that lingers long. Smells of alcohol, with woody earthy flavors, yeasty with slight clove and other spice smells. Taste is also very earthy and woody, like it was barrel aged, very dry on the pallette, too. Body is very effervescent, much like champagne. Taste is very complex and delicious, a great belgian-style brew from the midwest.

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Photo of carln26
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a pilsner glass (Thanks Zac!!!)
OK, BA has this labeled as a Tripel. I’m not sure I would agree that this is the style. That’s probably why it doesn’t score better than it did on the site. Bright gold color with a thick, creamy white head. A thick foamy lace drapes down the side of the glass with every sip. Bright fruity aroma. Almost a citrus grapefruit character. This carries over to the taste, along with almost a champagne astringency. Very bright, almost tart. The champagne character in the flavor becomes more evident later in the beer. It has a rich almost velvety mouth feel in front with the astringency on the back. Very drinkable. This would be a great warm weather beer. It would also be a good beer to use to convert a wine drinker.

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Photo of nogoodreason
3.63/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy polished gold, constant carbonation with a big fizzy head. Orange rinds (no doubt it's spiced with orange peel) and a dried lime hop presence. Initially, semi-tart, spicey and very crisp rounding to a sweet orange glaze. For a little while orangey, creamy sweetness is overpowering, tasting a bit like an orange-glazed bundt cake. After a bit it backs off and a clean sweetness takes it place with the orangey aspects being part of the finish.

Almost one-dimensional in it's sweetness, though I'd love to see how it develops.

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Photo of adams82
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle.

Poured a translucent, hazy, golden with a nice fluffy white head that recessed to a medium film after a few minutes. Floaties danced among the bubbles rushing towards the surface. Sediment also rested on the bottom of the glass.

A spicy, floral and caramel scent, none of which overwhelmed each other.

A good taste, spicy and fruity to start, finishes yeasty and mildly malty. It leaves a very warm feeling on the way down, nice during the winter months. The balance could be a little more cohesive.

A dry, yet creamy, mouthfeel, mild carbonation, very smooth after it warms just for a bit. Nice!

The taste is a slight bit unbalanced, but not too bad. The warming qualities of this beer make it very welcoming in the cold Michigan winter climate. Let it warm a bit and quaff away!

My first Triple, so I'm not too familiar with the style, but it looks very attractive and has some nice characteristics that make it a nice winter alternative to my regular stouts. I'll check it out again, as it has a limited availability, another nice offering from Kalamazoo Brewing!

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Photo of CortexBomb
3.26/5  rDev -14.7%
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.

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Photo of sulldaddy
3.63/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The first of the brews I got from the Secret Santa score! Thanks Mentor!
I am drinking the brew at room temp in a tulip/chalice. The brew pours a very nice bright orangish gold color that is slightly hazy with some yeast sediment. There are numerous rising bubble streams floating towards the surface. A bleached white fluffy head foams up 3 cm easily and releases a sweet fruity aroma. I get some floral hops mixing with orange citrusy scents and a bit of apricot and white grape. The first sip reveals very light body with fizzy carbonation. The flavor is mild up front and is light and fruity just like the nose. I find orange and apricot mixing with some banana yeast charabters and a bit of biscuitiness. The beer is smooth and lite, very easy to drink. Reminisicient of champagne, just like the bottle states.

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Photo of necoadam
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

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Photo of Skidz
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a light, glassy gold and sits a hazy golden amber with a large, billowing white head that provides nice lacings all around.

Smells of fruity esters, sweet and tart apples and fresh cider with hints of cinnamon. Light doughy aroma with toasted edges. Carmel laden with freshly picked herbs and spices envelop the sides of the nose.

Tastes lightly sweet upfront, an empty void of malty flavors. Spiciness engages the sides of the toungue and dries with an alcoholic presence. Faint caramely flavors swirl around and coat the mouth with a dough-like stickiness and yeasts dry the mouth upon swallowing. Lingering peppery flavors stick to the toungue.

Good feel to this one, not entirely smooth nor crisp, but finds a happy medium. Carbonation delivers well inside the medium-full body.

Easy to handle and well contructed. Bottle is soon diminished, leaving my glass with a bit more color than it started with.

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Photo of budgood1
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours out a slightly hazy and chunky golden colour...lots of carbonation makes my glass look like a perpetual snow globe...pretty cool. nice thick and tight snow white head. plentiful lace. aroma of cookie dough, vanilla, spice, yeast and alcohol. smells delicious. tripel in taste...sweet and candy like...maybe dairy queen should develop a blizzard this flavour! slight hints of fruitiness...doughy and spicy...with a subtle alcohol warming presence. there is a good deal of hopping present...adding to the liquid decadence. body is fullish and the mouthfeel silky smooth. finishes both sweet and a bit peppery...alcohol lingering. this is a fine "american tripel". i'm still a relative novice on the tripel style, but i liked this one. drinkability is frightening; after three of four of these treats one might find themselves seeing "tripel".

thanks go out to feloniousmonk for providing me a bottle of this fine bell's offering!

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Photo of walleye
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured cloudy golden with a medium size head with a lot of floaties. aroma, citrus, malty.alcohol,yeasts , flavor sour grapefruit, yeast, as the description says tart alcolol burn, fruity. not to bad. bells does it again. I am glad that bells is so easy to get.

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Photo of Rastacouere
3.38/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Golden sunny day body. Head is limited to a thin film from the beginning. Very floral aroma, grassy with notes of honey, lemon, grapefruit. You’d almost think this is a well hopped pilsner and you’d be right weren’t it for the very yeasty counterpart. Saazy taste, floral and orangey. Creamy lemonbite, slight mineral tones. Foamy mouthfeel with fitting effervescence. The comfortable texture and nice fruit/yeast development make it pretty good and there’s certainly a good amount of balancing hops together with a slight tart presence, but don’t expect anything spectacular. Thanks Jeff.

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Photo of ken3c
3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thick bubbly head. Light golden color with a steady stream of bubbles.

Fruity and spicy smell with a hint of flower smell.

Fruity and spicy up front with a flowery finish. I like both tastes but they don't seem to mix well on my palate.

Mouthfeel is bubbly and very champagne-like.

I really liked everything about this beer except the most important part: The taste. I'm looking forward to trying this beer again to see I can learn to enjoy the taste better.

I drank the yeasty sediment separately and liked the taste much better. It was spicier and less flowery. I'll try rolling the next one before opening but I'm sure it will adversely effect the mouthfeel and appearance.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.15/5  rDev +8.6%
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...

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Photo of blitheringidiot
4.33/5  rDev +13.4%
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.

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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 RoyalT
4.15/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – This is a beautiful Abbey Tripel. The body is that hazy, creamy orange and is full of sediment. The head came up fairly nicely as well.

Smell – This is my kind of Tripel. The yeast is light and bready, and the spices are big and deep. Coriander is my favorite spice for this style, and this one has it in spades. I can also pick up just the right hint of alcohol.

Taste – The alcohol came out a bit on the mediciney side but mixed well with the fine spices. The combination is huge though and overpowers the yeast and fruit notes.

Mouthfeel – The alcohol presence was a little more pronounced than I care for, but the carbonation was fluffy and right on for the style. This was a solid medium-bodied and fun to hold in between the cheeks.

Drinkability – Ah, a big Abbey Tripel. My preferences for this style seem to run a bit on the exotic side, but I enjoyed this one very much.

Comments – Thanks to feloniousmonk for sending this beauty shop out my way.

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

After browsing this beer several times I always passed it by based on the label. Sparkling ale? Only after reading the fine print did I see that it was a Belgian. Pours a lightly cloudy dark golden color with a medium thin off-white head. Thin lacing. The aroma is a nice concoction of spice, malt and a little sweet fruit. Medium-bodied with a strong wheat character and flavors of malt, citrus and spice. Some alcohol is evident at times too. The finish is rather short and leaves a lingering yeast taste. This is a pretty good beer but doesn’t compete with the better Belgians out there, especially considering the price.

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Photo of winomark
3.08/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Beautiful medium gold with a very thick bone white head. Very vigorous carbonation. Herbal notes dominate, with some good malt and (wheat?) tones. Lots of tropical esters; bananas and stone fruits. Mild hop herbiness subtle in the finish. Light mouthfeel, but fairly flavorful and slightly sweet. IMO, a good interpretation of a tripel style ale. Not a fave of mine, but worth a try.

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Photo of silenius
4/5  rDev +4.7%
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. . . .

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Photo of Loki
3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled from 12oz bottle.

Appearance: cloudy, golden honey color. Lots of suspended particles, HUGE head.

Smell: malty, belgian yeast, cottony vanilla sents

Taste: Biscuity, dry malt; hints of oak, bitter orange peel

Mouthfeel: dry, slightly carbonated, slightly puckering

Drinkability: Good, unique, hides the alcohol well

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Photo of lackenhauser
3.82/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a somewhat hazy golden color with a nice tight head that remained for the most part down the glass.Nice aroma-somewhat floral,fruity.Malty flavor-tart with a slight residual sweetness.Has the typical Belgian "wang" to it.Full mouthfeel-leaves you with a mild puckering.Decent beer-quite enjoyable.

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Photo of UncleJimbo
4.23/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz amber bottle, capped, no date.

This abbey style ale poured a hazy, golden color with creamy, fluffy, slightly off-white foam that persisted, clung to the glass, and coated the glass. The smell was a nice, strong fruity, vinous, faintly sweet aroma with some Belgian malt notes. The taste was tangy and vinous and lightly malty with moderate hoppiness and an astringent, dry finish. The mouthfeel was dry and crisp and sparkling. The body was medium with strong carbonation. Overall it was clean, and it was slightly warming. This was a nice, crisp "tripel".

Thanks to at least 3 BAs who sent me this one (feloniousmonk, MJR, WVbeergeek); it was worth the wait as perhaps it improves with age.

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Photo of aracauna
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ok, what a relief. I was trying to figure out just what the hell was going on with this one. I was expecting a lighter refreshing summer type ale, and what I got wasn't fitting into my expectations. My bottle was very fresh as the yeast poured in as a cloud instead of chunks. Very cloudy medium gold with a thick white head that sticks to the sides of the glass. Pineapple and banana and a good bit of spice in the arome. Lightly sweet malt flavor is a bit of a letdown after the aroma, but still tasty. The name is appropriate given the plentiful and constant streams of tiny bubbles.

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Bell's Sparkling Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.82 out of 5 based on 537 ratings.
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