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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 364 | Ratings: 536
Photo of Contagion
3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It pours a nice golden amber color. Light passes through, but there is some haziness to it. A quarter inch white foamy head formed, but it faded quickly to a ring around the edge of the glass. There is some very minimal lacing. .

The smell starts off with a yeast scent that is quickly overcome with a strong sweet fruit scent. Citrus, pear mix to form a kind of pineapple smell. There is a touch of spicy hops to it. The flavor echoes the scent. A fruit flavor of pear and grapes. There is a nice touch of coriander and cloves. A slight grassiness rounds out the flavor. For having such a high ABV, you can't taste the alcohol.

This is a medium bodied beer with strong carbonation. There is a slight creaminess to it that coats the mouth.

I enjoyed this beer. I don't know that I would drink too many of them in one sitting, but I could see enjoying one or two with friends. I think this is definitely a good outdoor beer, sitting on the porch or around a campfire.

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

Hazy golden, with ascending bubbles and a frothy initial head that fades to a ring.

Smells of spices, fruits, and banana.

Light fruits, butterscotch, banana, and a bit of hop spice in the flavor. Alcohol well hidden.

Light mouthfeel, bubbly carbonation.

Doesn't live up to the expectation cultivated by Bell's hopslam or stouts, but was solidly enjoyable.

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

Pours a deep, dark golden color, with a good three inches of fluffy white head. Good traditional tripel aromas of white pepper, Belgian yeast and some light lemony citrus. Nicely carbonated, this beer is sweet, crisp, malty, nicely hopped with just a bit of drying alcohol coming through in the end. A very good example of the style.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
3.96/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear straw yellow with an average white head - not inspiring, but appearance isn't everything with beer. Fortunately, the rich, fruity, slightly yeasty and slightly sweet aroma promises much better. Flavor is fruity and yeasty, a bit sweet, a bit bitter, with just a touch of butterscotch. Flavor is quite smooth and fairly tingly.

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

Appearance is golden honey in color, nice clarity, 1 finger head with textbook lace. I must have left the yeast in the bottle.
Aromas are nice triple notes... Sweet Pils malt, Belgian yeast/spice, mild clove and citrus.
Tastes as it smells, nice sweet finish but still a good balance, abv is hidden very well.
Mouthfeel is medium body and medium+ carbonation.
Very nice rep of triple style, I would seek this one again.

Thanks to kstrickler for the trade!

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

Pours a hazy golden yellow with a small head that leaves nice lacing.

Smells like banana's also kinda funky and sour.

The taste is tangy, hoppy and fruity, mostly banana.

Mouthfeel is lighter than I expected and has high carbonation.

Drinkability is pretty high, the alcohol is masked very well.

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Photo of portia99
3.43/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle (batch 9400) received as an extra in a trade with drink1121. Thanks Caleb! Poured into a Dogfish Head signature glass.

A - Pours a clear orange gold...not a hint of head on this tripel. A down the center pour yields only some fizzy bubbles that can barely muster a micro collar around the edge of the glass. Not totally unexpected given the alcohol level, but still noticeable in the total absence of a cap. For a "sparkling" ale, there isn't much activity...nothing makes me think champagne in this.

S - Lightly fruity with a good amount of spice, cloves especially, bandaids, higher alcohols, coriander. Not much else, and the strength of the aromas are on the very light side of things. Really have to agitate this and get right into the glass to pick anything up here.

T - Nothing too exciting here. Pretty much follows the aroma with the subdued nature of the flavors. Get some nice Belgian yeasty spiciness, cloves especially and phenolic flavors. Very soft malt component, a touch sweet, a bit of breadiness...very mild.

M - Medium bodied...slightly thinner than I'd expect out of a tripel tho. Carbonation is also adequate, but a bit on the low side for the style. Nothing special.

D - Flavors are very light for a tripel...typically I expect things to be a bit more intense. This is very easy drinking...too easy drinking for a tripel. Can't believe this is 9%. This is Belgian in style, but definitely not up to true Belgian examples.

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Photo of kevinjosephlee
3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a glass

A: A beautiful golden color, however the head definitely left something to be desired. Almost no retention and no lacing to speak of.

S: Good phenolic spiciness and fruity esters. Banana and clove similar to a hefeweizen.

T: A blend of spicy and fruity flavors. I cannot pick out the hops contribution and the malt is also subtle.

M: A medium body with a nice dry finish, with a mild/moderate bitterness that lingers. Great balance. Effervescent and tingly like a sparkling wine.

Notes: I really enjoy this beer. I am glad that I got a six-pack. I would like to say that a beer with this high of gravity that goes down as nicely as this one could be a problem.

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Photo of kbeals
3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a slightly cloudy bight golden color. Reminds me of a pilsner. A finger of white, fizzy head remains for a while, reducing down eventually to a thin layer. Good lacing to go with good head retention.

S- Bananas, orange, peach, other subtle fruit smells. A bit spicy, but not nearly as much as I was expecting.

T- Once again, fruit flavors dominate, especially the banana and citrus. A bit buttery also, sadly none of the spices seem to show up. A bit boozy as well as the beer warms.

M- Light bodied and well carbonated. Has a prickly mouthfeel to it.

D- Very drinkable, the 9% ABV barely shows itself except for in the flavor just a bit. I could easily drink a couple of these (12 oz'ers)

Bell's said this an American Tripel, so I wonder if that is why there is a lack of spiciness. I usually expect spices at the forefront in a Tripel, but it was not to be in this brew. Still, a very solid brew.

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Photo of pzrhsau
4.14/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On tap at the Brickskeller in DC
Appearance: Nice bright golden color with lines of bubbles dancing in the glass. Decent finger measure of head.
Smell: Has a slight malt and hop aroma combined with a subtle sweetness/fruitiness.
Taste: The bubbles really dance on your tongue and deliver a nice fruity orangish flavor coupled with nice undertones of hops and malt. Slightly sweet but very clean.
Drinkability and Mouthfeel: The carbonation is what this beer was about to me. It is very crisp and clean. This beer really has a stunning appearance.

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Photo of THORN
4.19/5  rDev +9.7%
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.

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Photo of weasbri
4.4/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pale gold color. Average head with a little lacing on the glass.
Yeasty, sweet aroma. Definitely throws me into a Belgian state of mind.
Very fruity, very sweet taste. There is a little bit of peppery bite, but the orange sweetness tends to dominate. Smooth going down too.
Wish I could be more descriptive, but getting over a minor cold is killing me. Even so, my senses were awoken by this beer. Very good.

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

Bottle part of a mix six that I picked up recently. Apparently this was pretty limited in Minnesota so I'm glad to get a chance to try it.

Pours a golden color with a copper tint into a pint glass. A white cap sits atop the beer with decent retention but a serious lack of lacing.

The nose is very Belgian and fruity. Pears, mostly. Deep maltiness is the base and focal point.

Tastes fruity, with pears and apples. Nice sweet maltiness along with a crisp carbonation lets you know why this is called "Sparkling Ale." A decent tasting tripel.

Mouthfeel, as stated before, is crisp and highly carbonated. Otherwise, smooth and creamy. Lighter than a true Belgian Tripel, which is possibly why they call this an "American Tripel." Drinkability is good.

Overall, while a decent enough beer, it's just not my thing. I don't think I'll be seeking this out again, as this isn't one of Bell's best beers.

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Photo of Sallerj
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is crystal clear and pale orange with no head. It has a phenolic aroma with a little underlying honey and green fruit. It tastes like red apple with spicy phenols and esters, and a light, effervescent body. It's funky for a tripel, more saison-like. I always check the ABV before choosing my drinkability score. I literally just said out loud "Damn! Nine Percent?"

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Photo of techfed87
3.23/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a thick, white head.

Smells distinctly like that of Oberon Ale, which Bells makes in the summer.

Taste is sharp and concentrated, with deep malty overtones. The carbonation is high, and adds to the overall mouth feel of the beer.

A definitely unique beer, although not my first choice.

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Photo of kegger22
4.12/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bell's Sparkling Ale was a clear amber color with a one finger, white head that quickly faded to a collar.

The aroma was ripened pears.

The taste followed through with ripe pears and lots of candy-like sweetness. A very slight bitter note to the after taste.

The mouth feel was medium bodied, a little oily with good carbonation.

Drinkability was pretty good, although the 9.00 ABV might make me a little leery.

Not La Fin du Monde, but still a tasty and satisfying beer.

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Photo of CampusCrew
4.26/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: zero head retention, suprised for a belgian and especially calling it sparkling. golden pale complexion

smell: hint of clove, typical belgian yeast.

taste: tons of clove, sublte bananna, some other fruits too.

mouthfeel: not as combonated as I thought

drinkability: nice beer, not bad for american belgian

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Photo of ocelot2500
3.82/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden with a small, white, fizzy head that leaves little to no lacing.

Smells of apple, pears, and some yeasty spice.

Tastes of a nice subtle fruit flavor with a spice in the background. Malt sweetness is predominant, with a touch of clove and yeast to spice everything up.

Mouthfeel is medium-full with a creamy amount of carbonation.

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Photo of yemenmocha
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours golden with very slight haze, nicely capped by a white foamy layer. Nose has some interesting lighter fruits such as apple or maybe pear, and bread dough. Palate reveals some alcohol warmth and sweet candied flavors. Finish is sweet and alcoholic.

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Photo of wesl56
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

my local store just got this in, i love bells so i picked it up without question

a belgen tripel... not really familiar with these, the only comparison i have is La Fin Du Monde...

pours a very light golden, but also pale/cloudy with a tiny white head that just barely hangs around, smells all kinds of ripe fruit, with a hint of clove and ginger

taste is very similar to lfdm, but a tad lighter, and with more carbonation... also seems to have much more of an aftertaste of spice, clove, cinnamon

very similar to champagne in flavor, but quite a bit heavier and not nearly as carbonated... not really my style of beer, but i much more prefer this to champagne, so i would possibly go for one of these again on special occasions

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Photo of younger35
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a sixer of this from some random liquor store in Bolingbrook IL while there on business. They didn't have much of a selection and I was lucky to find this. Drank from my hotel's generic tumbler.

Appearance- Pours a crystal clear honey orange with a fairly small white head that dissipates fairly quickly. Odd considering the amount of bubbles that permeate the beer. A thin cap and collar do stick around though and even a tiny bit of lacing.
Smell- Fairly sweet smelling with a big yeasty nose. I'd have NO problem picking this out as a Tripel. I guess I'd describe it as somewhat fruity but not really the fruits you'd guess looking at the color. They are somewhat dark with a raisin like quality. Maybe a bit of caramel but the yeast is really the winner here.
Taste- Not as intense as I thought it would be after smelling the beer as it's actually fairly nice. Starts very yeasty with a fairly fruity side as there is a bit of apricot and orange. Slightly spicy with a white pepper and faint clove aspect. The beer is slightly sweet but thankfully not an overbearing sweetness. A Belgium candy type sugar is apparent and fairly nice.
Mouthfeel- Medium body that is lightly creamy and honestly not as vibrant and 'sparkly' as the name would suggest.
Drinkability- Not bad. Again, not the biggest of Tripel fans but this is decent and not overly sweet. It's pretty damned yeasty though and dangerously drinkable considering the alcohol is nonexistent. Not bad, not bad at all.

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Photo of Brettster
3.91/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this at a microbrew fest. This pours a light golden color with lots of carbonation. Smells quite citrussy with hints of hop. This had a very crisp mouthfeel with a citrus bite. Tasted a little fruity but not too much. Tastes very good, easy to drink. Hard to believe it is 9%.

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Photo of Reagan1984
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

In Florida for my cousin's wedding. Hit a local store to pick up a few beers for the weekend. Frankly had never heard of Bell's Sparkling so I figured I'd try it.

Even more exciting, I had no idea what style it was.

I did look after drinking about a ¼ of the beer. It was fairly obvious that it was a Belgian style right out of the shoot, but I wouldn't have guessed Tripel.. (a bit too sweet)

Poured with a pillow bright white head that settled to a foamy cap. Bright golden color with perfect clarity and a great deal of carbonation. Almost looks like a bright brass champagne. Some light lacing.

Aroma is of sweet candied sugar, with yeasty notes all around. A little spice.

Flavor is very much of candied sugar, and pale malt. Slight rubber flavor that pops in with the bitterness towards the end. Yeasty flavors, slight banana perhaps and a touch of white pepper.

Medium/Light body with just a pin prick of carbonation. Strange how little carbonation you feel, vs. what is visible.

Nicely drinkable, but the sweetness slows you a bit. Too sweet for a tripel as far as I'm concerned. Not bad, but I'll stick with Tripel Karmeliet if I'm in the mood for a Tripel. And if I'm in the mood for a Bell's I'll pick something else.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter glass.

Appearance is a fairly clear golden yellow with lots of bubbles and a one finger white foamy head that dissipated quickly leaving a small cap.

Smell is of yeast with citrus and hops. Some of the malt is there as well.

Taste is mildly sweet and citric up front with hints of lemon and banana. Some yeast and malt in the middle and very little hop bitterness if any. The alcohol appears to be pretty well hidden.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with plentiful carbonation. Certainly lives up to the name "sparkling ale". A nice crisp and dry finish.

Drinkability is pretty good! It goes down easy and while not having a tremendously complex flavor it still tastes pretty good. I'm sure there are better examples of the style but its still pretty good and I'd have it again. Maybe only a couple at a time as I feel the alcohol could sneak up on you.

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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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