Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store

Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
American Pale Ale (APA)
Ranked #2,014
Ranked #37,362
3.7 | pDev: 11.62%
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Michigan, United States
Notes: Drawn from one of our oldest recipes, Smitten Ale began as part of a series of rye beers at our Eccentric Café. The combination of sharp citrus & resinous flavors from the hops with the earthy, rustic overtones of the rye malt contribution yield an interesting take on the American Pale Ale.
Reviews: 347 | Ratings: 1,838 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of jadpsu
4.02/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

LOOK: Pours clear and bright with an orange tint. Great looking slightly off white tight head that has solid retention and sticky side g
lass lace.
AROMA: What is written on the label captures my own thoughts. Bitter citrus notes, resinous hop aromas and earthy overtones.
TASTE: Citrus of lemon, earthy overtones with some bread malts.
Well balanced with a drying finish.

 374 characters

Photo of superwho24
4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I didn’t get a lot of head. Cloudy with a lot (lot) of particles floating around. Look, aroma, and taste all have a touch of honey. Amazing mouthfeel. Smooth, moderately creamy

 178 characters

Photo of Danieljm
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle has package date 5/9/19. Poured into glass. Color is a bright orange with a very nice pure white head which disappears quick quickly but leave nice lacing on the glass. First glance appears some orange peal is added as some small bits are visible and float to the top. Smell is of some light malts, sweetness and some hops although slight considering it's dry hopped. Taste was of a pale ale, nice refreshing, nice and balanced. No overriding hops tasted, but some citrus notes on the backside. Mouthfeel is a typical pale ale so a bit thin. Overall this is a great drinkable beer to be enjoyed on a lazy afternoon on the back deck with friends with a baseball game in the background.

 699 characters

Photo of GuyFawkes
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From old, undated notes. Poured from the bottle.

Murky orange color.

Nice white head; strong lace.

Hint of smoke, grain & citrus in the nose.

Medium mouthfeel.

Bitter marijuana flavor with a hint of smoke. Pretty good.

 228 characters

Photo of SB2017
4.17/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Solid, long lingering head / powerfully hoppy aromas thanks to dry-hopping / lighter in flavor than expected. Mild malts, gentle hopping, and a crisp clean finish make this a completely crushable yet enjoyable APA. Nice.

 220 characters

Photo of Beaver13
3.52/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Packaged 5/17/19. Pours hazy golden orange with big floaties and a big fluffy white head that retains well and leaves little lacing.

The aroma is sweet honey malt and rye.

The flavor is sweet honey malt and rye with a floral bitter finish. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, a decent APA.

 346 characters

Photo of hman43
3.72/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Look: It pours golden with a white head that has good head retention and tight beading.

Smell: It has rye aromas with citrus and resinous notes.

Taste: It has a combination of citrus and rye. There is also a low note of mint.

Feel: It has a medium body with moderate bitterness.

Overall, a pleasant drinking beer with an interesting combination of rye and mint.

 369 characters

Photo of Nass
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I do notice a bottled on date. The pour is orange. The aroma is rather mild for a pale ale. The taste is some citrus, slight floral with a hint of bitterness that lingers on the finish, very well made. B

 203 characters

Photo of nicholas2121
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smitten brewed by Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store, with an ABV 6.00% This American Pale Ale pours out of a 12oz glass bottle into a pint beer glass. The color is a nice deep amber color with a small white head. There is also a nice amount of lacing to this brew, it sticks to the side of the glass well. The smell is Sweetness mixed with mirror hop bitterness. There is also a nice amount of earthy grains and malts in the smell of this brew. So far this is a nice inviting brew. Now for the taste, it is Bold with flavors. There is a strong, an bold amount of hop bitterness mixed with mirror citrus sweetness. There is also a nice amount earthy grains and malts mixed in the taste as well. I can't get over how smooth this brew goes down. There is nothing overpowering about this brew, it has a super nice balance to it. The body of Smitten is a solid medium. This brew would go nice on a warm day, or with lunch. The mouth feel is Bold, Rich, Clean, Hoppy, Smooth, and Refreshing. Overall I am going to give Smitten a soild 4 out of 5. I would definitely look this brew up again giving the opportunity to. Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store, did a super nice job with this brew.

 1,212 characters

Photo of Humanusfermentum
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Hazy, yellow-orange pour with a LOT of floaty bits. Initial 1-finger foamy to creamy head dissipates to a creamy, active ring that keeps the nose and flavor profile alive throughout. Lots of sticky lacing. Nose is fairly mild, earthy malt with a hint of citrus. Good balance in taste. Underlying, solid, spicy rye malt with some grapefruitiness and a very mild hint of pine. A little resinous. Soft bitter, a bit of sweetness, and some pepperyness in the finish. Medium bodied and quite dry. Nice.

 498 characters

Photo of dcajero
4.29/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Dark yellow to orange, slightly cloudy. Head thins out quickly but clings to the glass. Smells mostly grapefruit with maybe some melon in there as well. Taste has more grapefruit, especially on the back of the nose with pine as well. Good carbonation feels crisp but also has a slight heaviness.

 299 characters

Photo of jkblr
3.81/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle PKG 05/10/2019 (16 days ago) poured into a snifter at fridge temp 6% ABV. The beer pours hazy orange amber in color with a high volume of tiny snow globe floaties. The head is off white in color and recedes to fat ring leaving some lacing. The aroma is bright citrus, pine and spicy rye. The taste is earthy rye at first with moderate to high bitterness coming through in the middle revealing resinous flavors of citrus and pine. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, adequately carbonated and mostly dry in the finish. There is some hop oil stickiness. Overall, very good. Earthy and bitter in a good way.

 620 characters

Photo of TallTomD
4.48/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a delicious summer beer. Not overly hoppy, but enough to enjoy. Good aroma, but not as citrusy as you might expect. Really good flavor! I bought a 6 pack, went back a week later and bought another 6 pack, then I went back a week later and told the clerk I wanted every 6 pack he had in stock. He looked at me like I was crazy, so I reassured him I was serious. I went home with 3 cases of delicious beer that day and drank it all summer. I've never seen it again since...

 486 characters

Photo of Quackershnoc
3.43/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: tons of chunky sediment…I mean there is a lot floating around in there; very active carbonation which sustains almost two fingers of thick, white head; a kind of golden, orange color, darker at the top/lighter at the bottom

Aroma: fairly mild all around; citrus, hops, and rye to start; there is some malty goodness coming through; a little bit floral

Taste: a nice lemon-orange start; moves into some good malt, caramel, bready notes in the middle; finishes with a slight hop kick and a big rye bite and pepper; aftertaste is mostly rye and pepper way in the back of the throat

Mouthfeel: probably my favorite part of the beer; creamy, almost fluffy; bright carbonation

Overall Impression: I like this infinitely more than Ruthless Rye from SN, but I guess rye beers just aren’t my thing…well, Founders-Red’s Rye I remember being pretty good; this is a decent beer, but that big peppery aftertaste I just do not care for; the beer itself has some very nice things going on…I dunno, not bad but not great

From notes taken on 4/24/2013

 1,061 characters

Photo of Brenden
3.72/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Notes are from 7/2013 and 3/2014.

L: Smitten is a very pale, bright straw color with just the slightest haze to it. The pure head is light and creamy with moderately strong stick leaving good lacing on the way.
S: There's a mix of grains and honey sweetness initially on the nose before a little rye spiciness kicks in. Otherwise it's pretty grassy, almost but not quite herbal, with a light hint of citrus zest.
T: Honey and spiciness come up front on the tongue before some earthiness, leaf, and floral notes take over. Light hops / rye spiciness persists in the middle, which also goes a little coppery before finishing with a bit of pith.
F: This beer is as light-bodied as one would expect beer's but not thin. Perhaps a little dryer than I might think but in a way that works very well. Rye, hops, and a touch of alcohol add up to an overall semi-dry feel from start to finish.

 885 characters

Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.93/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was poured into a nonic pint glass. The appearance was a hazy golden yellow to orange color with a quickly dissipating one finger white foamy head that left some stringy messy lacing. The smell had a sharp sweet citrus to piney and grassy hops over top of a light spicy rye malt. The taste was balanced between the spicy rye malt and light citrus bittering hops. There’s a lingering bitter sharp citrus aftertaste and leads to a decent sweet finish. On the palate, this one sat about a light to medium on the body with a fairly decent sessionability about it. The carbonation was there and good for its style and has a nice lingering bitter to sweet citrus sharpness rolling over my tongue. Overall, I say, either an APA or a Rye Beer, whatever, let’s call it a very well done blend. I’d definitely have it again.

 824 characters

Photo of descobar
3.79/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz can packaged at the end of 1/2017.
Smell: Resiny, floral, mango and tropical fruit combines with spicy peppery notes. A little bready. Faint oxidation is detected after a few sips.
Look: Pours into IPA glass deep golden color with a 1" frothy off-white head with good retention. some lacing was observed. just about perfect clarity.
Taste: light malty/bready flavors with pronounced spiciness (from rye) and significant earthy hop bitterness (well past PA levels...)
Feel: body is medium light to medium with moderate carbonation. texture is somewhere between oily and creamy and subdued astringency makes a late appearance. Finishes long and dry with a persistent bitterness. Overall: Normally one of my favorite Rye IPA (that’s what it is, really) but this one is showing slight signs of oxidation about a month before the stated shelf life (on the can)

 864 characters

Photo of pandaslap
3.97/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Lightly bitter with a soft resinous won't find an abundance or complexity of flavor, but a great mouthfeel.
Drinkable, but properly strong.
All told, a wonderful way to bring in the spring, and I'm super happy when I find it on tap. .
Thanks, Bells!

 269 characters

Photo of EMV
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Dogfish Head tulip

L: Hazy medium golden pour. Some cloudy sediment. 2 fingers of foamy white head. Solid lacing.

S: Hops and rye... sharp and spicy.

T/F: Grains up front... giving way to a sharp and peppery hop profile. Good rye presence, mixed with some pine and resinous character. A bit spicy... tangy and tasty. Medium in body with good carbonation. Bitter finish which adds to the drinkability.

O: A fine rye style IPA from Bell's. A seasonal favorite, and always a crowd pleaser.

 539 characters

Photo of MikeWard
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle into a pint glass.bottled 1/10/17, so about 4 months old.

pale golden yellow body, lots of small floating particulates. Good foamy white head leaving nice lacing.

slightly bitter flavor, with a little sharp sourness from the rye.

a little under medium on the mouth, bitter on the finish. There is also an odd watery feel to it.

Overall, an okay beer. quite drinkable, methinks would be very good on a hot day.

 427 characters

Photo of HorseheadsHophead
3.79/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours out a clear gold that surprisingly looks hazy amber in the glass. Topped by a creamy off white head that boasts excellent retention and lacing.
In the aroma, I get floral and grassy hops, lemon, earth, orange slice candy, caramel malt, toast, and some peppery spice from the rye, but leaning more toward green peppers or pink peppercorns.
Lots of green and yellow peppers up front, a bit of spiciness but leaning toward the fruitier aspects. The lightly pepperiness of the rye blends well the malt and citrusy and herbal hops. You get the green and yellow pepper, leaning toward chive, with a juicy lemon and orange aspect. There's a biscuity sweet malt backbone, but it's more subdued the aroma would lead one to think. The orange and lemon juiciness meld perfectly with the peppery spice and they balance each other. Finishes lightly dry with a lingering grassy taste.
The mouthfeel is surprisingly full and coating. The heavier side of medium, but well carbonated enough to flow smoothly.
This is quite the surp-rye-se. (Heh) It's a well balanced beer with that rye to make things more interesting.

 1,117 characters

Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.66/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Smitten Golden Rye Ale has a medium, off-white head, a hazy, orange-gold, highly carbonated appearance, with some glass lacing. Aroma is of spiced, white bread, yeast, sourdough, and grass. Taste is of spicy, white bread, sugar, grassy, strong hop bitterness, and some bread crust. Mouthfeel is medium and slick. Smitten finishes dry.


 340 characters

Photo of Magerbrew
3.43/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Ok summer beers are back on the shelf. This one hits first with a grassy floral taste, but not overly hopped. Its actually pretty delicate in terms of hops. I like this one. Good "campfire after fishing" beer

 208 characters

Photo of tillmac62
3.82/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

BOD 1/10/17. Light amber pour with suspended particulate matter. Outstanding head volume and retention. World class lacing.

Very good nose of light citrus (orange, with a touch of lemon) over a slightly bready base. Rye is present but not pronounced. Very light floral hop presence.

Medium bodied with a smooth texture that has some oily aspects. The carbonation / body balance is quite outstanding. The middle provides a nice effervescent burst while the finish delivers a finely bubbled ride.

The flavor profile is very good but lacks the complexity necessary for outstanding status. It begins with touch of rye then flows to a subtly sweet middle where orange takes over. Mid palate sweetness is bready more than biscuit. Bitterness rises from the middle on and achieves a mild status. Spruce is the dominate bitterness sensation with pine and zest being mere hints. Rye spiciness gives the bitterness its primary characteristic by shifting the pine and zest into spruce. A true rye flavor never develops. The finish is a slow slightly sweet and bitter fade with orange making another appearance.

 1,116 characters

Photo of Guppy314
3.74/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From a bottle, pours as clear yellow with a thin white head. Aromas are subtle with hops and an indistinct citrus. Crisp hops with a spicy twang is forefront with a sweet grassy malt. Good carbonation, crisp refreshing... nice Summer beer.

 241 characters

Smitten from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 1838 ratings