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Bell's Smitten Golden Rye Ale | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
85
very good
307 Reviews
THE BROS
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Bell's Smitten Golden Rye AleBell's Smitten Golden Rye Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Michigan, United States | website

Style: Rye Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by Biggness on 06-14-2008

BEER STATS
Reviews:
307
Ratings:
1,687
Avg:
3.76
pDev:
11.7%
 
 
Wants:
34
Gots:
320
For Trade:
3
User Reviews
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first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 307 | Ratings: 1,687
Reviews by BedetheVenerable:
Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.81/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz brown pop top with nice label. Bottled 1/14/13. Glad Bell's finally went to the straighforward date-stamping, rather than the old code system. The old system wasn't bad, but in the days before smart phones, you wouldn't know how fresh the beer was until after you'd bought it. Into a 16oz nonic pint.

Appearance: Rich gold brew, with tons of flaky sediment in suspension, both from my sloppy pour and (I'm assuming?) copious dry-hopping. Nice sticky eggshell cap with good retention.

Smell: Citrus-and-pine hops, along with a rustic earthy quality (is that from the rye, maybe, I haven't really learned to pick out rye in a beer yet?). Straightforward, but pleasant.

Taste: Big fruity (though not as citrusy as I was led to expect from the description) and bitter earthy/piney hop notes, supported with a dry, slightly peppery graininess. Very light notes of fruity yeast in the background? This is fairly balanced, with a slight advantage going to the hops. Not a lot of depth, but pleasant flavors, and a firm, relatively clean hop finish. I'd estimate somewhere between 35-45 IBUs if I had to take a shot at it.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and just shy of feeling like 6% abv...quite drinkable.

Overall: Smitten is a really tasty APA. It definitely belongs in this category, and not that of American IPA, which is where I anticipated it belonging at first whiff. APA isn't a style I purchase all that often, but this one's interesting, and quite drinkable. However, with most of Bell's offerings going for $9-11 around here, this probably won't be something I'd pick up again, largely because of the price. Nonetheless, if APA is your thing, this one's worth checking out for its nice flavors, balance, and drinkability.

B = 84-85

 1,753 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of jwc215
3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Packaged on 01/13/15:

Pours slightly hazed golden. A thin lasting white head leaves lacing.

The smell is floral, slightly citric, bready. A hint of minty rye comes through.

The taste is floral, piney, citric, bitter, with a touch of sweetened bread to balance it. There is a subtle hint of minty/spicy rye in the dry finish.

It is light-bodied, a bit fizzy. Crisp.

An easy-drinking, balanced refreshing pale ale with a subtle hint of rye.

 444 characters

Photo of Tripel_Threat
3.81/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle to pilsner glass. Color is liquid gold, with two fingers of white rocky head that settles to one finger, still rocky, with sticky lacing. Lots of solid streams of carbonation. Aroma is sweet tea, rye malt, and light citrus notes. Taste is that of a crisp, clean rye ale with a slight grapefruit bite. Refreshing. A little high on the ABV for me to be a summer afternoon session ale, but otherwise would be perfect mowing or barbeque ale.

 456 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.15/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

this is dessert island beer for me. not quite as addicting as my go to, the one claw from westbrook, but this is one of the best pale rye session beers in the country, and deserves a lot more credit than it gets. give some credit to context, i had a freezing cold can of this on a hot afternoon in old san juan, so i may have romanticized it a little in my mind, but my palate loved this to the last drop. golden in color, neither clear nor cloudy, and quite rich looking under its inch of bone white head. more like a tripel than a pale in the glass, something regal and special about it. it smells awesome too, that pale rye malt all the way, with almost no other grain character at all interfering. its high rye for sure, but no crystal or wheat or anything to weigh it down, so its clean. it also has a great hop nose, citra maybe, i get lemon zest and straw, summery and bright. the taste matches the nose perfectly, but is just so dynamic and well proportioned. the hops end up being flavorful but also delicate, more bitterness seems to come from the rye and its attendant spice character than from the hops themselves, although the light citrus notes and floral vibe is a nice compliment. the rye leads the way, which i think is so uncommon, especially in pale beer like this, they just let that malt shine, and shine it does. i could drink 20 of these, and wish it were regularly available in colorado. another example of bells doing their best work in their more simple beer, a theory i have maintained for years. this is one of the best rye beers on the market for my money!

 1,585 characters

Photo of oberon
3.46/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Pours into a standard pint a clear light to medium golden with a great looking sticky over one finger white head that lift multiple rings of broken lace as it settled into a frothy mass.Aromas were just mild with a sharp note of rye over top of light citric hops,again pretty light.Flavors have some decent citric hops and sharp rye notes but they end ebruptly and nothing really lingers.There is some earthiness that comes into play but the flavors seem to die out pretty quickly after a good start.Not one of the better rye ales I have had but it's not horrible by any means.

 577 characters

Photo of tectactoe
3.6/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a somewhat hazy, golden-yellow color, some light amber highlights when held up to the light. A soapy and foamy white head forms and settles at about a quarter-inch where it sits atop the beer for a surprisingly long time. The nose has a very crispy and sharp stature, almost clean and lager-like with mild grains and dryness, most likely from the rye. The hops have an earthy, dirty, and musty appearance, maybe just a bit floral and rosey. All in all, the nose is a little quieter than I would have liked. Even upon letting this warm up a little bit, it never really hits your nostrils that hard and the rye isn't as powerful as I'd hoped for.

The taste has an initial bitter spike from the hops, which retain their musty, earthy, and floral characther. Coupled with the high level of carbonation, Smitten cuts the tongue sharply and feels very crispy and refreshing. This is drinking almost more like a lager than an ale. Some dry rye and bread comes out about midway through and rides into the aftertaste which actually becomes dominated by heavy rye, along with a light bitterness. Some clean yeast flavors on the very tail end, but not really enough to combat the rye. I'm very pleased to see the rye make a big appearance, even if it isn't until nearly the end of the sip. Better late than never, I guess, although I still wish it held a larger stance in the aroma. Medium body with pretty heavy carbonation.

A crispy, tasty, and refreshing ale that feels almost more like a lager. Nice helping of rye, though it would've been nice if it were more "up front" with it. Drinkability is great, but I could see this one getting old fairly quickly. Still a solid choice, though, but there are better rye beers out there.

 1,729 characters

Photo of t2grogan
3/5  rDev -20.2%

Photo of Marklaker
3.37/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Photo of GameOfBeers
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Andnkuhn
4.12/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of danthehopslamman
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of SD-Alefan
4.14/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a quite hazy gold with a dense white head that leaves lots of lacing.
Great aroma with hints of citrus and spice, pine, candied fruit and dark bread.
I dig the taste. Pine and citrus up front with hints of spice and a lingering bitter, resinous bite.
Great mouthfeel, smooth and almost creamy.
Thoroughly enjoyable beer.

 326 characters

Photo of DaftPatrick
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of Kappakoosh
3/5  rDev -20.2%

Photo of warnerry
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle #336 of 508

A - Pours a clear pale copper with one finger or so of off-white head. Head has decent retention but leaves only small spots of lacing.

S - Quite a bit of malt in the aroma. A faint spiciness, but really much going here.

T- Nice spicy rye up front, along with some floral hops. Malt becomes very prominent in the middle. Finishes with a bit of bitterness and spice. Pretty nice, if not the most complex taste around.

M - Mouthfeel is slightly watery in the middle, but finishes nice and dry.

O - Pretty good beer with a nice rye presence, but otherwise nothing really sticks out. Enjoyable, but not sure this warranted being in the 750 series.

 667 characters

Photo of DWolf
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of Wolvmar
4.05/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Gets mixed reviews but one of my favorites. A beer that grows on you; at least that was my experience.

102 characters

Photo of BuckeyeSlim
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of Guinnsslvr
4.25/5  rDev +13%

Photo of tigg924
4.2/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

In my opinion, what Bells does as well as any brewery is take ordinary styles and perfects them. They make super clean and tasty offerings of styles that I would not be as excited to drink a six pack of. Smitten is no exception. The beer tastes somewhat leafy, very citrusy, and has a touch of spice from the rye. Not the most complex brew, but wow is this juicy and drinkable. This is one that I will certainly revisit.

 425 characters

Photo of Torey
3/5  rDev -20.2%

Photo of Jstewart6
3.09/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

My 2nd beer from Bell's and my 2nd let down. The label to me explains how it tastes. As a kid we would dare each other to break the stem of a dandelion and lick the white stuff....this beer taste like that. Very bitter and immediately after sipping I feel my sinuses clear. The after taste taste like a generic beer to me.

 322 characters

Photo of lostandwandering
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of sculls65
3/5  rDev -20.2%

Photo of bsp77
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Cloudy orange with moderate stark white head and minimal lacing.

Smell: Sharp citrus, almost like orange zest and lemon rind. Some breadiness. Much of the aroma dies off after a few minutes, and it just smells bitter and dry.

Taste: Bready backbone, with strong juicy hop citrus overtones of orange and lemon. Some earthy, floral and spicy notes on the finish. Quite bitter.

Feel: Medium body with moderate carbonation. Very dry finish.

Overall: This is a very good hybrid of an American Blonde Ale and IPA, with some rye flourishes. Refreshing and crisp.

 626 characters

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Bell's Smitten Golden Rye Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
85 out of 100 based on 307 ratings.
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