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

Bell's Sparkling AleBell's Sparkling Ale
Liked This Beer
3.81 w/ 537 ratings
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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 537 |  Reviews: 364
Photo of mikeys01
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 12oz bottle. Poured into my glass a light golden color, somewhat hazy, and whitecapped with a fine thick white head that sticks around for quite some time. Aromas of yeast and bread rising, with a hint of spice and alcohol in the nose as well. Taste is absolutely delicious, complex, and very drinkable for a tripel, even an "American" tripel as Bell's calls it. Starts out sweet and bready-malty at first then roils into a complex blend of hop bitterness, tangly spice, and hints of orchard peach and lemon. Finish is nicely dry and just a bit sour, with a nice hint of warmth. Very drinkable stuff, wish I had more than this one bottle....

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Photo of Morris729
4.4/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy golden color with noticeable flakes of sediment floating throughout the beer. Nose is quite sweet with aromas of candied sugar, fruity yeasts, and a bit of Belgian spice. Light to medium in body with a very fine carbonation that is a bit zesty and spritzy in nature. As with the aroma, the taste starts off sweet with flavors of cane sugar and apricots followed by some citrus fruit and sweet malt. Next comes a good deal of spiciness with notes of coriander, clove, white pepper, and some vanilla extract towards the end. To me, this was sort of like Duvel with a good dose of extra sugar added—pretty darn tasty. Thanks to faernt for the sample!

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Photo of putnam
4.47/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a misleading and confusing name for this beer. It has nothing to do with the original "sparkling ale" style originated in Australia. Shame on Kalamazoo Brewing Co.!

Foggy orange in color with a brief, white dome of creamy suds. The aromas are an enticing blend of toast, butter and orange marmalade. On the palate it is pleasantly bitter - from beginning to end - and drenched with flavors of peach skins, root vegetables, orange peel, and noble tannins. Cutting edge, bitterly hopped Belgian-style Triple and one of the best Bell's beers of any style.

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Photo of LuckySevens82
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of 99bottles
3.82/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I saw some bottles of this and after I came home and found out it was a tripel, I figured I had to see how theirs is. Why not call it a tripel? I was very confused, thinking it was some beer-champagne hybrid. Sparkling? Kinda. I'm pretty sure mine is 'aged' in the sense its been on a shelf awhile, but its in the dark, it's taken care of and that's quite alright with me.
The beer pours a nice cloud of gold tinted with orange. A crispy little head kind of pops out into a inch or so, but goes away. I don't know what is 'sparkling' about this. It has suspended particles of spice and probably sediment, but it's the strangest thing I've ever seen. They are suspended in place, as if the beer was jello. Hold it up, shake it, they just stick there. Cool, but weird.
It smells really nice. Very esteric, very phenolic. Lemony yeast and reminiscence of hefeweizens woft from it, then the powerful alcohol catches up and gives a little punch in the nose.
The taste is nice. Now I see the sparkle. It has an evervescence somewhat unbecoming of a tripel. It's very similar IMO to golden monkey, except with more spice and tingle. Banana, of course, and pear, lots of bready yeast.
The mouth on this guy is perfect. Slick and alcoholic, but with enough carbonation to make it go down easy. Leaves small coating when swallowed, but really very nice.
Drinkability? Good for a tripel. I'd have another. I just may as the bottom of this one is pretty clumped up with junk and I think my other one won't last. Very good overall. I definitely reccomend it.

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Photo of stirgy
4.07/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I came to this beer after an Expedition Stout and it’s the difference between night and day (well almost - their nearly as strong!) This poured a pale, hazy dull gold color and was topped off with a white cream like head of foam. Nice light and spicy aroma of grainy fruits. Good blend of dry spiciness and sweet malts. Yeasty, with an assertive sour tang in the finish. I love the spiciness in this beer – it blends together perfectly with the dryness that the alcohol creates. Lemony and peppery. This is a refreshing Trippel. Strong and sweet, sour, citric and dry – all at once. I’ve had better examples, but this is very nice overall.

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

orange tinted hazy gold in color. big frothy white head. aggresive carbonation machine-guns CO2 to the top. spicy clove and clean biscuty aroma. medium bodied, lively and crisp on the tounge. loads of pale malt flavors with an earthy biscuity undertow. big hit of belgian spiciness (corriander? orange peel?) in the middle followed by an assertive saaz type hop bite. then things get strange. there is a subtle but lingering bitterness that is not really pleasant as you finish your sip. seems weird. i've never tasted this before. sort of brings the beer down a notch. still enjoyable once you get past it. could pass for duvel if things didn't get funky at the end. regardless, a solid american tripel.

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Photo of BeerResearcher
4.44/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle. No freshness date.
A smell of fresh squeezed apples is noticed at first pour. Clovey spices, oranges and floral hops spring into action. A hint of alcohol lingers in the background.
Sweet caramel flavors, biscuity malt and the taste of fresh baked bread lay the foundation for the taste of fresh whole hop flowers and citrusy bitterness. A proper dash of cloves, peppery spices and coriander flavors compliment the overall glass. I was expecting more of a Champaign-like effervescence, and was relieved that it was more like what I had hoped for. Nice Beer!
Thanks Feloniousmonk!

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Photo of beergeek279
4.45/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in the 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. The color is golden, with a nice white head with good retention. The smell is a honey sweetness. The taste is honey sweet, with a very fruity, floral character to it, and no really noticable alcohol. Mouthfeel was average. As for drinkability, could have several of these.

This is honestly amongst the best tripels I've ever had. A nice floral sweetness with only a slight yeasty character makes this a great beer, and one I'll hope to have again in the future.

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Photo of nomad
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

In a chalice this beer is a shimmering light orange, with just about no head on top. Shows a small amount of carbonation, especially for the style, but does show thin and wide lacing on the glass.

Smells of a light honey, dried flowers, rose hips, and dry and bitter spikes of floral hops. A zesty yet moderate body of scents.

For taste, its body is of chewy flavors similar to oats and wheat paired with some hop punch, the most hops I've evered experienced in a triple. These settle into a minty zing with a floral sense, balanced by a very light sweet tinge, like a blonde and floral honey. Also has some subtle bits of apple and pear, finishing with a mouth-warming angelic hum of alcohol, and a yeasty bread wash pasting the tongue.

Complex but a bit too much hoppy bitterness for the style, in my opinion, and this Styrian-sort of wallop further underscores the bready and yeasty tones a bit too much in the lingering finish.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.35/5  rDev +14.2%
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.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.41/5  rDev +15.7%
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 jreitman
4.42/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A quite outstanding brew. Was not expecting a belgian style ale, but was happily surprised to find one in the bottle. The aroma of candi sugar and tropical fruit was a wonder to behold. The flavor was nicely balanced between sweet chewy malt and acidic grapefruit flavors. An obscenely well crafted brew and a pure joy to drink. Could easily make this a session beer if it weren't for the high alcohol as it is incredibly easy to drink.

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

I bought this brew for New Years not really knowing it was a abbey tripel or what to expect. As soon as I opened it, bubbles formed in the bottle neck. On a careful pour I got an inch of liquid brew and one massive head. I let it sit as the hazy amber gold settled back to liquid from the bottom up. The head was white fluffy, lace sticks around all glass long. The aroma of flower, hop, and citrus. The taste was lemon-lime citrus, hop, slight malt backed by a soft (but noticed) hint of alcohol. The mouth is left tart. I should of bought more for the cellar. I agree, the sweetness of this 2003 had not developed yet. But a good brew of bubbly to be had, Happy New Year!

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

When I initially picked up this beer @ the store and saw Abbey Tripel, I thought a poweful albeit flatter beer. Sorry that is just my impression of Abbey Tripels. Boy was I wrong after tasting the craft brew. Like other reviews have noted this beer pours smooth and hazy which gives the beer a velvet like head.

Smell is very yeasty almost hefe weizen like, detect aromas of orange marmalade on white toast.

Taste is great, it is like drinking a hefe weizen with a powerful kick at the end. I sense a good deal of carbonation that I normally don't detect in other Tripels. It is a combination of champagne and ale.

Like this beer a lot, but frown a drinking too many, given the high alcohol content.

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Photo of beerluvr
4.67/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a plain white head that settles over a cloudy orangey/amber liquid. Some very slight sulfury notes in the nose that are whisked away by a nice fruity-yeasty aroma. The taste...oh the taste, it's a stunning mix of Belgian candi sugar, tropical fruits, sweet chewy malts, bitter hops and alcohol. You can actually taste each individual flavor component here, ultra-complex and delicious! It finishes as awesome as it began: kick-ass bitter, fruity and potent. Another Bell's winner here! Oh how I wish I lived where these beers are availiable locally :o)

Thanks CRJMellor!

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Photo of Gusler
4.12/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a muzzy light yellow-orange color with a pythonic sized head that is brilliant white in color with the texture creamy and the lace a heavy blanket to keep the glass covered. Hint of lemon-lime, crisp and fresh to the senses, sweet at the back with the start malt laden and mild in its sweetness, the top moderate in its feel. Finish is rigorous in its acidity and the hop titillating in their spiciness, quite dry and somewhat tart aftertaste, a quite tasty brew.

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Photo of faernt
4.11/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been collecting this beer for three years. I'm simultaneously reviewing beer purchased in January of 2002, December 2002, and November 2003. Over the past two days I drank them in order from oldest to youngest.
They have color in common. The oldest is slightly darker than the others but generally they are all the color of honey. The oldest has beautiful lace which sticks to the glass in consecutive rings. It's a sweet sticky beer but the December 2002 is even sweeter with its lace similar. The 2003 has light lace and the sweetness has not yet appeared. The 2003 is almost still in pieces with the hops still bitter and the sweetness not yet appearing in the malt. The 2003 is so young that it tastes like a different recipe. I have some in reserve to taste later to see what happens.
This beer makes reserving examples of annual bottlings worthwhile.

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Photo of Brent
3.21/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was a bit let down by this beer. The aroma was very nice - quite spicy with orange, coriander and clove - along the lines of a spiced-up witbier. Not a lot the aroma translated into the flavor. Up front a quick hit of some yeast fruit, and then the flavor washed out. The middle was rather flavorless, and the finish was a nondescript bitterness. The label noted that it was an "American tripel" - I guess this is like the "American wheat" interpretations - bland and without soul.

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Photo of clvand0
3.31/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I don't know what I was expecting when I picked this beer up, but it wasn't what I was expecting. Pours an orange color with a large head and leaves a little lacing on the glass - lots of floaty stuff. The aroma is mostly citrus and yeast - not too strong. The flavor is big. Be prepared. The citrus and the yeast pack a strong punch when you taste it. There are also some spices in the flavor. The alcohol is very evident in the taste, but blends pretty well. The drinkability isn't as high as I would like, but it's a pretty decent beer once you get used to it. Very unique.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy light golden yellow color, medium white head bubbly head appears, fades somewhat quickly to a thickly foamed ring around the edge and a firm skim on top. Good sticky lacing of every kind, sheets, spots, and strings. Complexing aroma of spice and crispness, solid waft of clove, underlaying tones of minerals/medicinal yeast, and citrus peels. Wheat malts standout with light hops in parts of the back, and alcoholic warmth smolders through. Taste is crispy and malty with a quick citrusy start, sweet and candyish, subdued clove and spicy medicinal yeast bring forward a popping mouthfeel of zip but doesn't last, jumping quickly to the finish with a dry and light peppery end. Feel is of a solid medium body and a nice easy carbonation which makes for smooth drinking. Smoothes out even more as it warms. A fine Triple style, but surprisingly mild for Bell's.

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Photo of CRJMellor
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours syrupy to golden yellow/orange color with a thick effervescent head. Slightly hazy.
Classic Belgian triple aroma, "cough syrupy", grass, malt and other subtle spice aromas
Tastes sweet with cloves, orange peel ?

Alcohol is present to style but not too much. Finshes pretty dry.
(Note to self: More than two of these and call a cab !)

An overall very nice beer and nice part of Bell's lineup.
Have also had it on draft before and it was even better.

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Photo of granger10
4.19/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A beautiful pour here. Orangish gold and cloudy in appearance. Large head that was sticky and foamy. Intense amounts of bubbles rising to the top with a good amount of yeast floating around. I could look at this all day long. I couldn't get too much from the nose of this beer, kind of champagne in smell. But the taste hit you like a bag of bricks! A sweet precense hit my tongue first followed immediately by a citrusy and tarty fruit taste. Hoppiness is at the end but not really that noticeable. Strong flavors of yeast and peppery spices finish up this complex and well made brew from Kalamazoo. I must get this one again.

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Photo of AtLagerHeads
4.18/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a big beer. The look is very cloudy light amber just full of chunky particles of yeast. The head rises enormously in lusty display of ivory foam and retains for a minute before shrinking back and remaining as a quarter inch of lacing engine. This has great gobs of sticky lace that spots the glass with gusto. Plenty of carbonation at the start.

The nose is yeasty and a bit small for the look. There is malt to be sure along with fruit and some subtle spice notes. Alcohol also plays into the mix and this comes through in the taste with a great warming sense. The flavor is mostly of fruit and malt with nice yeast notes and spice. The alcohol is subdued here as the flavor of the malt and yeast is BIG. The mouthfeel is full, creamy, and smooth. The drinkability suffers from the bigness of this brew; big and sweet, big alcohol, and big fullness.

A really lovely brew from the folks at Bell's.

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Photo of Sudmissle
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer could be called "Son of" Bell's Third Coast Old Ale. It has a syrupy, sticky mouthfeel and a bubbly carbonated character. The alcohol is apparent, but the overall flavor of the beer is strong enough not to let the alcohol dominate. Not what I would call a session beer, because it is heavy in flavor and alcohol content, but it is a good beer to have when you are in the mood for just one.

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Bell's Sparkling Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Beer rating: 64.6% out of 100 with 537 ratings
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