Smitten Golden Rye Ale | Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store

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Smitten Golden Rye AleSmitten Golden Rye Ale
Smitten Golden Rye AleSmitten Golden Rye Ale

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Michigan, United States

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.

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 334 | Ratings: 1,796
Photo of Golfbeer
4.71/5  rDev +28%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I picked up a 6-pack of this beer the other day at Franklin Fine Wine in Royal Oak. I have never had a Bell's beer I didn't like, so I figured this one would be a good choice. And it was. I like just about any craft beer, but this is one of my favorites of the month. It had great flavor. A nice hearty flavor, but not bitter and not too filling. This is a great beer. I encourage you not to run to the store and buy them all, because I'd like to have them all for myself.

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Photo of busternuggz
4.71/5  rDev +28%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Center poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass. Bottle date of 1-18-13.

Beautiful golden/straw color with a puffy, finely bubbled head. Leaves a thick ring of sudsy lace.

Big, sharp, bright aromas of bitter orange, spicy rye, fresh grass, grapefruit zest. A little bit of grainy bread. Very nice, full and inviting.

Lively rye malt leads in to nice bitter grapefruit and orange zest, rye spice, bitter grassiness. Hop forward but very well balanced. Finishes dry with a long, pleasantly bitter herbal/rye aftertaste. Harmonious, bright, and very clean. Manages to be both intense and very drinkable at the same time. This beer is beautifully made.

Crisp, light texture, very smooth, ends clean and dry. Fades out with subtlety and leaves you wanting more.

This beer is immaculate. Superbly crafted, amazing balance, straightforward and clean with a nice complexity. This beer is about everything I could want from an American pale ale. My favorite beer this year so far, hands down.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.66/5  rDev +26.6%
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.


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Photo of carlborch
4.55/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a brilliant golden-tan with a significant amount of minuscule flocculates - almost hazy. Produces a creamy, thick, 2 inch off-white head. Poured a second carefully and "candled" - stopped pouring when the flocculates reached the neck. The ale does have a slight haze! Beautiful, fresh citrus and hoppy nose. Bright, clean, spicy palate that lingers. Totally moreish. Perceptively sessionable, although the 6% ABV may be a concern. Develops a very nice Belgian lace. Forward bitter notes with lingering malt and woody-earthy notes! Poured a third . . .

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Photo of woodychandler
4.52/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Once more, The CANQuest (tm) trumps an initial bottle review. I am reluctant to change my scores, but I reserve the right to do so if circumstances dictate. This one came from The Fridge, but now I realize that the last petal is "She loves me not." #TheOldLady and I are kaput as she does not want to be anything more than platonic friends and I have enough friends at this point. I am open to change if she changes her position, but I do not see it happening. Boo hoo.

From the CAN: "An Ameri[CAN] Rye Pale Ale, with wonderfully bitter citrus notes, resinous hop flavors and earthy overtones. Love is a sure thing."; "Unpasteurized [-] Unfiltered [-] Best Kept Refrigerated".

The loud Crack! inspired a full-on, inverted Glug, never mind that it came in a pounder CAN! This created two fingers of billowy, fluffy, tawny that fell like a souffle in an oven when the door is slammed shut. Color was a hazy-cloudy Yellow-Gold (SRM = 4 - 5), but it straddled the line between all of the above. Nose held a light black pepper spiciness with a moderate sweetness, like honey, but not precisely. Mouthfeel was medium. The taste was nothing like the nose! Here, the spiciness of the rye was assertive as hell, with a minty black pepper flavor attacking my palate before giving over to a lemon/grapefruit citrusiness. Finish was dry, as you might expect from its inherent spiciness. I would certainly drink a CAN of this again.

I picked this up during my latest foray to Mari's 6-Pak 'n' Mor in Reading and have been awaiting the right moment to open it. I believe the flower of the label to be a daisy and that last petal represents "She loves me" as it applies to my Old Lady, a kitten with whom I am smitten.

From the bottle: "With wonderfully bitter citrus notes, resinous hop flavors and earthy overtones, this interesting take on the American Pale Ale doesn't leave a lot of room to wonder if you'll love it."

I allowed the beer to flow freely from the bottle until the foaming head threatened to pass over the lip of the glass. I easily had two fingers of French Vanilla-colored head with not only great retention, but as it fell, it was creating great lacing in its wake. Color was a cloudy orangish-yellow, like freshly squeezed grapefruit juice. The nose was to die for! It had the black pepper of the rye along with a very earthy scent, like digging in the garden. Mouthfeel was medium and the black pepper flavor was immediately evident on the tongue. It combined nicely with the grapefruit flavor of the hops. This is an APA?!? Wow! The finish was dry, especially with that lingering flavor of freshly-turned soil. I would have this again real soon, hopefully to share with the Old Lady.

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Photo of megamick
4.5/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Honey colored, hoppy, citrus flavored 2 fingered head in a snifter was good for me. Rye is very understated, but Enjoyed immensely & would highly recommend!

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Photo of TallTomD
4.48/5  rDev +21.7%
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...

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Photo of MasterfulIdiot
4.45/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a riedel tulip glass.

Appearance is semi-transparent golden with tons of bubbles. Nice thick off-white head has really good staying power and leaves sheets and sheets of lace.

Aroma is mostly citrus hops, with some spicy/grainy rye underneath. Actually this is really incredibly citrusy - smells like there's orange juice in there!

Taste follows the nose. Mega- citrusy, with some nice rye spiciness underneath. Really nice mix of flavors and really well-balanced. It's actually amazing how much citrusy/floral hop flavor there is without being over-the-top or overpowering the rye. There's some nice subtle creamy malt sweetness backing everything up. Really really nice - relatively unassuming, but wonderfully flavorful!

Mouthfeel is also really great. Moderately thick and creamy with tons of prickly carbonation to cut through it. Perfect match for the flavor, and just feels wonderful in your mouth.

Really great overall - I could drink this every day. Super great hop flavors and really well balanced!

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Photo of Florida_SC_Trojan
4.44/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love this beer and brewery. I wish this was a year round beer for this brewery. A true good representation of a rye beer. Beautiful golden hazy color with good retention. Floral with a spicy rye finish, another very drinkable beer. Not alot of depth but a great initial flavor that is very easy to drink.

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Photo of 1mrbeer
4.43/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Saw this today at Meijer and decided to pick up a 6 pack.Sure am glad I did.Poured into a pilsner glass about 1 inch of head that faded but left nice lacing.Has nice hop aroma and flavor but you can also detect some spiciness from the rye.I REALLY like this.Well done,Bell's!

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Photo of dzerri
4.41/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.75

Just having my first one of these, very nice, let it sit and pour it and let it sit, the flavors really work for me, the bitterness and dryness and ryeness are very well-done and enjoyably present. The rye malt flavor, along with the yeast properties, knocks you right out and up. . combines well with music and weed and lesser and better beer. this is so good. a great gold pale ale. A revelation. reminds me ova ok dry-hopped blonde ale, but really good. notes of pbr. strong affinity.

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Photo of shand
4.37/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Smitten pours out a hazy orange color with a nicely retaining head. The aroma is nice and rye-forward, with light malts and hopping. The taste, again, is rye forward, but it doesn't smack you upside the head with spiciness. The rye is also brilliantly matched by an APA-level of bright citrus hops. The mouthfeel is light and moderately carbonated, and the drinkability is exceptional. Bell's Smitten is an excellent rye beer, one of the best I've had. It provides an insanely delicious level of balance that keeps me coming back for more.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
4.36/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Type: 12 oz bottle
Glass: Pint
From: Plum Market in Ann Arbor
Price: $9 a 6 pack

Appearance: a deep hazy yellowish orange. almost opaque. lots of floating sediment and extremely bubbly. a very small head that left behind a lacing on the edges. I think its a good looking beer

Smell: very faint hops, earthy mostly but maybe a touch of citrus. some rye and breadiness but nothing to strong. I wish it was more aromatic as the smells are kind of dull

Taste: hops, earthy with a touch of citrus. not overpowering but certainly there. followed by rye and breadiness. The rye ends up being pretty strong. ends with rye but is slightly bitter finish

Mouthfeel: crisp, due to the high carbonation, and light. ends slightly bitter but it is refreshing.

Overall: I am impressed by this one. not overly complex, just nicely balanced and well done. certainly would be happy to have one of these when I am in the mood for a pale or just a refreshing beer. I hope its around for the summer. I would like to crack a Red's Rye open and see how it goes. I think I have to give the edge to Founders but this isn't fair behind.

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Photo of HarpuaCritz
4.36/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Golden with moderate head that dissapates slowly into a lacy white collar. Subtle nose with notes of grass and slight fruitiness. Medium bodied with nice complexity. Starts off slightly sweet and fruity and transitions to bready, then earthy almost woody hop notes. Well balanced and easily drinkable. Yum.

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Photo of 451beer
4.35/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This has become one of my favorites. I'm surprised to not see it rated higher. I have drank allot if the top beers. Heady, pliny, zombie , to name a few and loved all of them and think this should be ranked up there with the rest. Must be my love of rye beers. They are definitely under rated

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Photo of Chiefy770
4.35/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 Fluid Ounce Bottle
Bottled on January 12th, 2015
Reviewed on February 13th, 2015
Served in a Kölsch

Clean looking gold body. An average foamy white head formed, collapsed, and left a great amount of sticky white lacing throughout. Plenty of bubbles circulating throughout the body.

Tons of citrus. Floral undertones. Subtle notes of pepper and bread.

A blend of floral and citric hops hit the tongue first. Spiced rye followed the hops, mellowing things out a bit. A rather strong hit of citrus lingers in the finish. Medium/light body. Moderate carbonation.

Great hop-heavy rye. It’s bitter but goes down easily. All around a great brew.

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Photo of SerialHiker
4.35/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a lovely deep golden orange…80% opacity, there’s tons of sediment floating about…just off white head formed nice, thick and settled to a thin layer…livens up a bit when I swirl it around…(4/5)

Smell: I could smell the floral hops as soon as I began to pour…from the glass, I’m getting rye malt, perfume, floral hops…very flowery, almost like daisy petals up close…all that with a hint of bitterness and maybe a dash of yeast…I wouldn’t call it strong, but it’s aromatic…pleasant, inviting, fresh, light…(4/5)

Taste: Hmm, this is no ordinary beer…it’s bitter, sour, floral…there’s some lemon/orange peel…there’s some pale malts, some earthy bitterness…there’s a nice bit of peppery/rye bite that I’ve been digging lately…tons of flavor…it’s light, it’s zesty, it’s interesting...(4.5/5)

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body…there’s a good amount of life and carbonation to this brew…it fluffs up creating a cloud of citrus/floral bitterness that is more refreshing than off putting…refreshing and crisp…finishes noticeably dry…fantastic! (4.5/5)

Overall: This is a superior brew…the flavor is unique and distinct…Bell’s took the “APA” concept on a journey, got a bit guidance from a magical liopleurodon and ultimately found candy mountain with this one…it’s super good, zesty, lively, refreshing, but there’s a touch of sour that I actually like…the peppery/rye flavored brews have taken over for me as the choice seasonal, I’m gonna be on the look out for more of these in the future…I could drink this flavor all night and now am curious how this is out of a tap, I really need to make a trip to Kalamazoo…total score, I’m definitely picking up another sixer for later…(4.5/5)

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Photo of ordybill
4.34/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass.
Aroma- Has a nice citrus and hop smell.
Appearance- The beer pours a clear yellow and has a small white head.
Taste- Has a nice blend of citrus, hop and rye.
Palate- This is a medium-bodied beer with moderate carbonation. It has a crisp fairly dry finish.
Overall- Bell's has once again formulated a very nice brew. I recommend everyone give it a try.

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Photo of neenerzig
4.31/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured out of a 12 oz bottle into my pint glass, this beer pours a slightly hazy/cloudy, but mainly clear, medium golden color with a nice, fluffy white head about 1/2 to 2/3 inch thick when first poured. Has lots and lots of streams of little bubbles rising to the top of the glass. the head eventually settles to a solid 1/4 inch thick and has excellent retention down to the last sip retention, along with good lacing. Aromas of grassy, herbal, citrus hop notes and a nice rye presence upfront, followed by some bready malt notes. Has a good herbal, slightly grassy, earthy, citrus hop flavor upfront that gives way to the rye flavor that is rounded out with toasted bready malt sweetness. Good balance of flavors here. The hop bitterness and rye bitterness are certainly the dominant flavor profile here, but the toasted bready malt sweetness is not overpowered by the bitterness. It has a really nice balance! Has a crisp, yet quite smooth and frothy, almost creamy, medium to full bodied mouthful with moderate carbonation and a dry finish. Quite easy to drink in the way well crafted beer ought to be. An excellent offering here that is well worth a try.


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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a teku)
Bottled 1/18/13
A- This beer has a hazy golden yellow body with lots of hops jetsam suspended while big bubbles push their way to the surface. The thin snow white head sticks to the glass and soon forms a thick ring.

S- The green British hops have a bright pungent woody herbal quality to them with a fresh pale malt note that is a bit dry coming through as it warms.

T- The green pungent hops have a British hop character and a papery quality to them. There is a full spicy hop or rye character in the finish. An earthy rye note comes through as the dry finish opens a bit. The woody herbal hops pungent flavor lingers in the aftertaste but it is never overly bitter.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a scrubbing fizz that cuts into the hop flavor until it dies back a bit.

O- The great hop flavor and nice rye support is full and tasty but it is dry enough and light enough in the body that it is very drinkable as a session beer.

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Photo of pbechtel
4.29/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a burnt orange with a little head and lacing. Very smooth - the right mixture of citrus and hops. I believe this beer would serve as a good introduction to American IPAs to a newer drinker...Overall a great experience!

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Photo of kickbundler
4.29/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The bottle is dated 01/04/15 and was decanted to a standard pint glass. This beer pours a slightly hazy gold with a small head. A small amount of head lasts throughout with quite a lot of lacing left behind. The aroma is subtle with a nice malt and piney smell. The taste is nicely crisp and refreshing. The hop bitterness is not overwhelming and the aftertaste is clean with just a touch of lingering bitterness that fades quickly. The presence of rye is not obvious in this beer. Overall this is an extremely drinkable beer.

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Photo of ribby
4.28/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

There is a lot of stuff in the bottle, but with semicareful decanting pours mostly clear amber. Well carbonated and pours with a foamy head. This is pretty hoppy, and the rye seems to add some spiciness. Still, the hoppiness does not seem to be as over the top as in All Day IPA, but I sense a head to head tasting coming up. The carbonation and hoppiness combine for a solid mouthfeel. Overall, this goes down very easily, perhaps sessionable by taste, despite ABV = 6.

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Photo of GRPunk
4.27/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle (batch #11,695 date 1/14/13) poured into an imperial pint glass.

A- It had a hazy, golden body with moderate carbonation. The 1-1/2 finger, off-white head settles out to a nice, foamy, film. It left behind some awesome lace.

S- It's definitely a rye beer, though kind of delicate at first. Fresh, citrus hops might even give off some herbal tones. Everything about the aroma suggests that it's quite fresh.

T- Nicely balanced. A solid dose of rye mixed with grainy malts and citrus and slightly herbal hops. Really refreshing as rye beers go.

M- Medium-to-full bodied. Moderately carbonated. Slight hop/rye bite. Very pleasant.

O- I like it. It's a little more delicate take on a rye PA than its local counterparts from Founders and Arcadia. It's also a bit more drinkable in a "yeah, I'll have another" sort of way (which I might just do after typing this). It makes me want a fat Reuben sandwich right about now. I could see this as a really nice spring/summer brew.

As I've heard there could be a looming price rise/switch to a four-pack on Red's Rye, this could be a different, but totally suitable, replacement.

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Photo of wvsabbath
4.27/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Golden yellow/light tan, nice 1 inch foamy head, plenty of sticky lacing.

Smell - Nice grapefruit hops, rye, orange, lemon, spices, A little barnyard/saision like funk.

Taste - Big grapefruit hop kick at first sip. Lots of orange, lemon, pineapple and Rye! Pale malts add a bready/farmhouse flavor. Some added spices give it a pepperish flavor also. Decnt amount of bitter but the sweetness of the floral hops and sugars balance it out alot.

MOuthfeel - Hops coat the tounge at first, Then the rye comes in along with some spices at balance out the bitterness. Palate gets alot of rye and bitter hops. The finish is bitter, peppery and malty.

Overall - Very tasty, easy to enjoy, and plenty of rye. Think sierra nevadas ruthless rye made a big enough impression that bells had to bottle this one. Very solid, not to bitter, not to pale malt forward, great balance, a must try for rye fans.

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Smitten Golden Rye Ale from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 3.68 out of 5 with 1,796 ratings