Christmas Ale (2017-)
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store

Christmas Ale (2017-)Christmas Ale (2017-)
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From:
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
 
Michigan, United States
Style:
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy
Ranked #81
ABV:
7.5%
Score:
88
Ranked #15,730
Avg:
3.91 | pDev: 7.93%
Reviews:
115
Ratings:
213
Status:
Active
Rated:
Jan 28, 2023
Added:
Nov 09, 2017
Wants:
  6
Gots:
  50
SCORE
88
Very Good
Christmas Ale (2017-)Christmas Ale (2017-)
Notes: This traditional Scotch Ale is rich and malty with notes of caramel and a warm finish. Certain to make any occasion festive, or at least a bit more bearable. Enjoy with the company of friends and family.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
 
Rated: 3.92 by sbuck from New Mexico

Jan 28, 2023
 
Rated: 4.53 by Juderose62 from Maryland

Jan 22, 2023
Photo of FrMatthewLC
Reviewed by FrMatthewLC from Canada (NS)

4.59/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
This is a solid Scotch Ale for a moderate price that I wish was available all year (I even bought 2 6-packs to keep for a January-February).

Dark brown with a moderate head. Flavor comes out with solid malt and hops that goes down smooth.
Jan 14, 2023
 
Rated: 3.79 by DDiFran from Ohio

Jan 02, 2023
 
Rated: 4.31 by Arttooo

Dec 29, 2022
Photo of BitteNochEinWeissbier
Reviewed by BitteNochEinWeissbier from Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
Glass: Nonic Imperial Pint
ABV: 7.5%
IBU: 30
Temp: 47.7 F


Look:
Dark mahogany brown with ruby highlights. Very fizzy and thin light tan head quickly dissipates to a few small islands. No lacing is visible.

Aroma:
Very malty - lots of toasted malts. Toasted caramel. Tofee. Brown sugar. A touch of candied fruits. Also notes of nuts such as hazel nuts. A vague earthy note and light spices can be detected in the background.

Taste:
Follows the nose but with the earthy notes somewhat more prominent. Later in the sip the spiciness increases and things dry slightly. The sip finishes a bit dry and earthy, with the malts present but more in the background. The alcohol is well hidden.

Feel:
Viscous and a bit sticky. Very slight warmth from the alcohol. The body is medium.

Overall:
A solid Scottish Ale that makes a decent Winter Warmer. This a straightforward, non-complex brew that you can just enjoy and not think about. A good beer to have when hanging out with friends or family when it is cold outside.
Dec 26, 2022
 
Rated: 3.25 by Dovers from Wisconsin

Dec 26, 2022
Photo of Martin194
Reviewed by Martin194 from Iowa

4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Look: Deep brown-red with a tan head that dissipated quickly.

Smell: Roasted malts, dark fruits, alcohol, some hops.

Taste: Follows nose, pleasant bittersweet blend (leans to the sweet side of bittersweet).

Feel: Normal carbonation, medium-full body. Leaves a warm, dry mouthfeel.

Overall: I really enjoyed it!
Dec 26, 2022
Photo of Shiredave
Reviewed by Shiredave from New York

4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
10-26-2022 package date.
Pretty glass- bright, clear garnet brown color under a firm, creamy tan head that stuck around as a cap of tight foam and spatters of lace.
The aroma is less than - ripe fruit and brown sugar but no big blast of sweet malt and only hints of smoked grain.
Flavors pull this out for me - rich, grain porridge flavors - oats and rye, dark caramel malt character hits the Winter Warmer mark as a little alcohol heat mixes with the dark grain and hop bitterness on the back end.
Body is a heavy medium after it warms a bit making it a quaff-er or a sipper depending on your mood.
No stinkin' spices or coco nibs just a solid Scotch Ale WW just shy of a Wee Heavy.
Dec 25, 2022
 
Rated: 3.66 by sbradley41 from Pennsylvania

Dec 24, 2022
Photo of Chickenhawk9932
Reviewed by Chickenhawk9932 from Pennsylvania

4.23/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
Pours a dark amber with a tan head.

toast, roasted nuts, fermented fruit, fresh yeasty bread in the nose.

Malty, toasted bread, roasted nuts, fruity - reminiscent of fruit cake. A deliscious scotch ale subtle and complex.
Dec 24, 2022
 
Rated: 4.09 by nsarris

Dec 23, 2022
Photo of Beginner2
Reviewed by Beginner2 from Illinois

3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25
Somehow this malt-head missed this and its pre-2017 rendition. Glad to connect this Christmas and with some special significance during a blizzard. (Bells being more in the Snow Belt than Chicago.) Also as a cross-beverage experiment after shoveling, I warmed-up with a single malt Scotch and -- after a few touches to the lips followed by snorts -- kept it near while drinking this Bells. It was a good exercise in thinking about how brewed barley changes with distilling. (While I used to drink scotch, I find ales more interesting.)

2017+ Looks ruby enough to be barely above average. Smells are mostly malt, but so is the style. Tastes are balanced, no hints of syrup. Scrubs my tongue.

I give very good Overall Hugs as a send-off to Bells under its new ownership and for recognition what Bells did for four decades to lead craft brewing. Cheers !
Dec 22, 2022
 
Rated: 4.5 by duglius from Texas

Dec 22, 2022
Photo of chitoryu12
Reviewed by chitoryu12 from Florida

3.72/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75
Look: Mildly opaque dark amber. One finger of off-white head that dissipates in a minute.

Smell: Sweet malty dough.

Taste: Malty with a mild earthy hop flavor, mostly devoid of bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Thick and chewy with slightly high carbonation.

Overall: Not very standout but nice for a relaxation beer.
Dec 19, 2022
Photo of AZgman
Reviewed by AZgman from Arizona

4.29/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
This is not what I expected. I thought it would be heavy and spicy... instead it is silky and smooth with no spice to speak of. It tastes of caramel yet it is not too sweet. It is a dichotomy of flavors and is truly unique. Very nicely done Bells!
Dec 17, 2022
 
Rated: 3.94 by StoutAtTheDevil from Alabama

Dec 14, 2022
 
Rated: 3.98 by TreyJ88

Dec 10, 2022
Photo of Wasatch
Reviewed by Wasatch from Colorado

4.37/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
12 oz. Bottle
PKG: 10/12/2022

Poured into a tulip a very nice translucent dark brown color, very nice carbonation, with a very nice thick/creamy one-finger plus off-white head, with a pretty nice medium-size oil slick, which also leaves some pretty nice sticky lacing behind. The nose is pretty nice, malty, hoppy, cherries, with some licorice and vanilla. The taste is very nice, malty, hoppy, cherries, with a pretty nice touch of licorice and vanilla, pretty nice sweetness. Medium body, ABV hidden pretty nicely, with a dry/bitter finish. Overall, a pretty tasty beer. Nice to see it around here.
Dec 10, 2022
 
Rated: 4.18 by FredTetusky1952 from Michigan

Dec 08, 2022
 
Rated: 4.06 by Shan-man from New Jersey

Dec 07, 2022
 
Rated: 4.11 by RalphStanley34 from French Polynesia

Nov 30, 2022
 
Rated: 3.85 by foundersasap from Michigan

Nov 30, 2022
 
Rated: 4.25 by Manthon from Pennsylvania

Nov 28, 2022
 
Rated: 4.25 by seakayak from Massachusetts

Nov 26, 2022
Photo of Brutaltruth
Reviewed by Brutaltruth from Ohio

4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
From the 12 oz bottle in a snifter. This classic pours a dark ruby tinged
brown with a nice head of khaki foam that settles to a thick ring, thin layer, and
sports some light lacing. Nose of toasted malts, chocolate, herbal hops, and subtle
cherry hints. Flavors surpass with a fine presentation of toasted malts, light breaded
malts, subtle chocolate, faint cherry, and herbal hops to round it out. Nice mouth
feel; medium body, medium light carbonation, and a sweet balanced finish.

Overall, a SOLID brew

Cheers
Nov 17, 2022
 
Rated: 4 by CoasterGuy from Pennsylvania

Nov 16, 2022
Photo of bigdeuce
Reviewed by bigdeuce from Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
Pours an opaque blackish/red color with a huge 3 finger head. Scents of peat, cinnamon and slightly burnt chocolate shine through. Great lacing down the glass. Taste is smooth as silk, with some slight chocolate taste and twangy hops. Exceptionally balanced. The hops round out this malt bomb incredibly well. I am particularly keen of this style so take my review with a grain of salt. I just can’t afford Scotch Ales any more and haven’t had one in a while but this is a damn good stab at the style by some great brewers at Bell’s.
Nov 02, 2022
 
Rated: 3.5 by MonkeyPilates from Minnesota

Feb 12, 2022
 
Rated: 3.93 by SeymourDunn from Wisconsin

Feb 08, 2022
 
Rated: 3.69 by Mavigo from Michigan

Feb 07, 2022
 
Rated: 4.03 by golf4collet from West Virginia

Feb 04, 2022
 
Rated: 3.84 by Tiernan from Texas

Feb 01, 2022
 
Rated: 3.71 by TMoney2591 from Illinois

Jan 19, 2022
Photo of russpowell
Reviewed by russpowell from Arkansas

4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Pours an effervescent hazel with a thumb+ of sandy colored head. Good head retention & lacing

S: Toffee, brown bread

T: Follows the nose, dryness, a little bit of woody & leafy hops up front, slight smokey/peaty notes as well. Peatyness, brown sugar & toffee assert as this warms, along with a little dryness & leafy hops. Finishes dry, a little peaty, with caramel & leafy hops

MF: Medium body, low carbonation

Solid Scotch Ale. I like a little more body & depth of flavor in mine, solid drinkability, none the less
Jan 08, 2022
 
Rated: 3.79 by Sludgeman from District of Columbia

Jan 08, 2022
Photo of secondtooth
Reviewed by secondtooth from Indiana

3.87/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
APPEARANCE: Clean ruby, with a nice khaki head and lines of lace.

NOSE: Toffee and caramel malty.

TASTE: Sweetly malty, with caramel and fruitcake. Smooth and easy to drink with a deceptive 7.5%. Rich but worth a taste. Well done, Bell’s!
Jan 02, 2022
 
Rated: 4.1 by Hoptometrist from Ohio

Jan 02, 2022
Photo of MNAle
Reviewed by MNAle from Minnesota

3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
Clear ruby red with active carbonation below a ½ inch off white head. The head retention is short with little lacing until I tip the glass.

Fairly weak aroma but a pleasant one. Fruity and malty, almost a fruit jam sweetness.

The taste is as foreshadowed by the aroma: fruit and sweet malts. Some spiciness in the middle, along with a mild bittering. The finish also develops a bit of an earthy flavor. While I would not describe this beer's flavor as complex by any means, it does have enough going on to keep it interesting.

The body is medium, if a bit thin for the style (for the style, not objectively thin). The mouth feel is easy and mild.

Overall, a pleasant drinking holiday beer. Probably too quaffable for its ABV. Not the best Scotch Ale, but a good beer for this time of year.
Dec 31, 2021
 
Rated: 3.88 by Rub_This_BBQ from Massachusetts

Dec 30, 2021
Christmas Ale (2017-) from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 328 ratings