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

very good
316 Reviews
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Smitten Golden Rye AleSmitten Golden Rye Ale

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
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.

Added by Biggness on 06-14-2008

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Reviews: 316 | Ratings: 1,748
Photo of SaltofOH
3.82/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle dated 1/16/17. DFH Tulip.

A: pours a dark gold with tons of haze and sentiment. One finger frothy white head and little visible carbonation. This is an appropriate time to note that I love the bottle cap on this, with its single petaled daisy. Lacing is great.

S: smells like a hoppy pale ale, alright. There is a smell there that I used to attribute to hops that now I can properly identify as rye. I wouldn't call it spicy, per se, but I would say it smells like rye. Not really a fruity hop nose at all; floral and grainy rye with an underlying sweetness.

T: arrives dry, but bready. There is an underlying citrusy fruitiness and a solid malt backbone. Hoppiness pervades the entire experience. There is a lingering bitterness that I can only attribute to the rye.

M: solidly medium bodied with more carbonation than the appearance lets on; ale fluffiness.

O: I generally don't like rye beers, but I wanted to give this a try, and I'm glad I did. It is a hoppy new-age pale ale with a distinctly rye character and fuller body than most others. I like it, though I am more partial to the more traditional style pale ales. Probably the easiest drinking rye beer I've had.

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Photo of Tuck_leepulin
4.19/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass, bottled 01/10/2017. Pours a clear, deep golden with 1/2 finger of head. Smell is citrus and pine notes with baked bread. Taste is a balance between spicy rye notes and citrus hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium with a lingering dryness in the finish. This is a fantastic pale ale where the rye gives a good level of complexity but doesn't overwhelm.

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Photo of ajm5108
3.93/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Semi-opaque golden hue, thinner head and decent carbonation. Aroma has lots of spicey rye malt with a little bit of grassy hops underneath. Taste is similar but a more pronounced hop bitterness, medium pine to compliment the rye. Pretty straightforward but well done.

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Photo of Red5StandingBy
3.78/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 12oz bottle into Stange Glass. Bottled on January 2nd 2017.

L: Pale straw gold with particulate. Two finger white head with good retention and some spotted lacing.

S: Citrus and floral hops with some pine presence. Notes of rye bread as well.

T: Follows the nose closer however the Pine presence is a little more pronounced. Well balanced, the rye malt is delectable. Really tasty and the tastiest Rye Beer I have ever had.

F: Light bodied, crisp with the typical rye prickly feeling on the tongue.

O: I was excited to try this because I love Bell's and I haven't had a lot of Rye Beers and it was really excellent.

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Photo of bft1
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice, easy to drink APA. Pleasant mix of citrus, pine hoppiness. A bit sharp but not too sharp. Have not been a big fan of the 'spring' type beers in the past but really like this one...

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Photo of Squire123
3.79/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Attractive clear, amber gold color with fine bead white cap and good lacing.

Aroma is less hop forward than I would've thought given the brewer's description. Some light floral and citrus with a pine hit. What's surprising though is the yeasty rye bread scent which is rather nice.

Taste is body forward if that makes any sense. Floral and citrus hop hit is even less than in the nose. Pine spikes up though like a tall fir right on the edge of treeline in a high altitude Alpine meadow. Malt (rye?) is apparent on entry and lasts all the way to the finish. It's in the finish and moreso in the aftertaste the hops emerge with a piney edge lingering in the aftertaste.

Full texture, or at least it feels that way. Somewhat creamy as well.

Overall it's a bit puzzling. A full bodied brew that doesn't taste particularly full, floral and citrus hops covered by some sort of shadow (that tall fir perhaps) and a promising rye presence that sorta stops at the finish. I know all this sounds negative which would be unfair to what is a well crafted brew. Just seems like it revs the engine loudly then moves off slowly. Cheeseburger brew but not really sharp enough for a bacon cheeseburger.

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Photo of AZBeerDude72
4.09/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light hazy gold with solid head and mild lacing. Smells of citrus, sweet floral, and malt. The taste is very nice, I get sweet honey upfront with zesty citrus and some bitter hops. The feel is mild but full flavor, this is a great hoppy beer with a sweetness that just gives it a unique blend. I really liked it, it had a good mix that kept me wanting more.

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Photo of bmeehan
3.52/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

You get your hoppiness you'd expect from a pale ale and a nice sweetness you'd look for in a summer beer. The hoppiness dominates, but it's very smooth overall and is a nice beer to sip slowly. All in all, good stuff.

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

Drinking one now. Pours a light coppery color.... decent head...light lacing. Taste grows on you after a few swigs. The rye taste starts off unusual but I am becoming a fan of this. Bell's scores again!

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Photo of Ciocanelu
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Slightly hazy, dark golden color with slightly off-white foam. Aroma is quite malty but there is also a nice, citrusy hoppiness and some caramel. Taste is also malty with a caramel hint, slightly spicy and finishes with bitter grapefruit and earthy hop notes. Medium body and carbonation. Overall it"s a good pale ale with a classic hop profile and slightly spicy rye malt.

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Photo of OhioLimoncello
3.77/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Very reminiscent of Ithaca's Flower Power, this golden rye ale holds it's own.
Aromatic citrus and floral tones are prevalent, and the rye malt backbone creates a nice balance. Wish the finish was as sweet as Ithaca's, but it's not. Nice Springtime / early summer beer.

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Photo of JustLikeMyDad
2.61/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Pours a dark gold, almost brown color, with a moderate foam head in a semi-aggressive pour that lingers for a short time, sits thin on the beer.

From the bottle it smelled of a basic malt beer, but upon pour heavy notes of hops.and citrus like orange peels.

Tastes bitter like the smell indicated of hops, has some citrus notes, subtle under the hop flavor.

Drinks smooth, mild carbonation, , almost has a bite to it.

Overall, not something I much car for in taste, the hot summer day makes it feel and taste good when it's cold. Can enjoy, but not to my taste.

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Photo of jopezu
4.25/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

pours a hazy golden amber with a medium head that poofs. nose; yeasty bread, resinous hops, & floral citrus. taste; bready malt, bitter citrus rind, lemon, astringent rye, grassy hops, bitter pine, & light clove. the rye definitely shows up big on the end with a very dry, peppery, & "seed bitter" bite that sticks around long afterward. medium carbonation & a medium+ creamy mouthfeel. botanical, dry, resinous, spicy... if you want to see what rye is like in a beer, this apa features it front and center.

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Photo of wuthrichj15
4.14/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A solid brew by Bells pours a copper color with a nice head. Smells of citrus and rye. Has a nice hoppy balance but you still get that nice ale taste. I will definitely be drinking some more.

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Photo of drdiesel9483
3.67/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Cloudy Copper color with a lasting white head. Citrus rye scent. Slight citrus with a different tang and slight rye tent. Medium body with quite a bit of carbonation. Alright beer. I got it for cheap and it was worth being cheap.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.51/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

This one pours a nice dark amber/honey colored body, an SRM of about 5, and a 1/2 finger of head that stays gelatinous for ages. Opacity is about 80%.

Aromas of rye malts, leafy greens, some juicy orange fruit.

In your face without being too extreme. The finish is hard to contend with, though. It starts with a robust rye body, morphing into a textured graininess with tree bark, ending on a very sharp and fuzzy pine and mint note. It's a mismatch all the way through but somehow it seems to still be drinkable. I'd tone down the finish a bit though.

Feel is crispy and snowy, tons of busy carbonation that roughs up the palate quite quickly. The finish is drying and bitter, leaving a starch behind on the tongue. Not a fan of that.

Overall I can see how people would go nuts over this, but it's not my type of beer. It's mild but still too intense, and that rough mint/pine finish just destroys it.

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Photo of Wer34truh
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Pours a smallish beer, with a clear light amber color.

Smell is quite light, but reminiscent of a India Pale Ale, with some distinct bitter hops and some citrus.

This is more of a summer ale than it is a rye beer. The drinkability is at the forefront. The rye is present, but it takes the backseat to the bitter citrus of this brew.

I don't love this beer, but I've had a lot of summer beers from breweries I love, and a lot of them have been disappointments - this is not. I could, and I hope I will, drink a lot of this on warm summer days.

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Photo of Sparty21
4.17/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy orange with a surprisingly citrus flavor with and underlayer of hops. The beer has a great head with an orangeish amber color. There is some slight spicy notes which leave a clove-like flavor and aroma.

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Photo of HensonJ3
3.63/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

hazy orange color. Similar look and smell to an IPA. Citrus, hops, and other spicey flavors are apparent in this beer as well. Would order again but only because of the seasonality.

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Photo of m_hall
3.84/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pour from a 12oz bottle into a nonic pint. Pours just slightly hazy amber-gold, topped by a fluffy two-finger tall white head. This falls slowly to a nice cap with good retention, leaving quite a bit of lacing.

Aroma is very IPA/APA-like, lots of citrus from the hops (lemon, tangerine.) Light spicy notes, rather clove-like, are also present, presumably from the rye in the mash-bill.

Flavors come in with strong (but not overwhelming) pine-y hops supported by a sweet malt foundation. the bitterness lingers throughout the palate, leading to a fairly long finish with earthy notes and just a trace of spice.

Mouthfeel is a bit bigger than I was expecting, just slightly creamy, though a brisk carbonation helps keeps this one nicely drinkable. Alcohol is 6%, keeping this one in a nice session-able range,

Overall, this is a good, if not great pale ale. A good solid summertime sip, and should pair nicely with a wide range of foods given the control on the hops. However I did find myself wishing the rye was a bit more assertive; as it stands you'd really have to be looking to notice it.

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Photo of THSdrummer
3.82/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours orange with an over-so-slight haze. Medium-thin, foamy white head. Fair retention and good lacing left behind. Spicy rye, and pine hop aromas. Taste has a little bit of rye spice, with more pine and resin hop notes behind. Mouth feel is carbonated, and medium-thin consistency. Overall, a lovely warm-weather beer.

Served in a 12oz snifter.

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Photo of BethanyB
3.73/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Look: One of of the largest heads of froth I've beheld, and being ecru in color, it looks somewhat like tapioca pudding. The bubbly body is clear, and pale gold in color.

Smell: The aroma is surprisingly malty. The spice one would expect from a rye is virtually undetectable. The hop aromas are fresh and grassy, with just a hint of citrus. While the hops are nice, overall, it's a humdrum, light bouquet.

Taste:,The rye is also next to absent from the taste, although a bit of spice gives a slight pick-me-up to the finish. What we really have here, in my opinion, is a highly drinkable, yet fairly basic pale ale. The balance leans toward the ritz cracker-like malt, but tangy lemongrass hops make a strong impression as well. The bitterness is little more than mild.

Mouthfeel:,The mouthfeel could be a bit more crisp--there is a creaminess which seems more suited towards a beer with greater complexity. Medium-high carbonation, however, helps to lighten things up.

Overall, this is a tasty, solid session beer, but not at all a stand-out. The absence of rye is a clear disappointment.

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Photo of Alan_Bats
3.41/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.25

L- light honey color with a thick, 1 finger, white head. Nice coloring for a "golden" ale, sticks to the glass nicely
S- citrus hops dominate the aroma, a little malt comes through and the rye is slightly detectable
T- hops less dominating than the aroma suggests but this causes an overall lack of flavor. Rye flavor is nice which I like for a rye beer but the taste does not linger long. A decent roasty malt backbone is there right after the initial rye flavor. The hop bitterness I expect just isn't there.
F- medium bodied, nice mouth feel.
O- the beer has nice rye flavor but falls a little short on the other components. I don't necessarily crave more hop flavor, in fact, the lack of hop bitterness is a little refreshing, but the hoppy flavor profile isn't substituted with enough flavor.

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Photo of GrumpyGas
3.23/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

16 oz draft pour into a pint glass is a hazy dark straw color upon which floats a disappearing cream colored head.
A citrus aroma emanates accompanied by resiny hops with a hint of rye.
Citrus doesn't carry over into the flavor, but the malt-hop-rye balance is nice.
Mouthfeel is medium, leaning heavy, with minimal carbonation. Neither the hops, citrus, rye, or carbonation cut through. Any one of them would lighten up the feel. Advertised "sharp citrus" would be better.
Overall it's drinkable, given the push for HOPS, (which I endure), but not too high on the list.

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Photo of DaverCS
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a slightly clear orange color with plenty of carbonation, ample lacing, and 1 finger of a fluffy white head.

Aroma reminds of SNPA; however, a rye/ freshly cut wheat characteristic is much more prevalent. Rather tame aroma. Definitely some dry and bitter citrus -- nothing tropical.

Taste reminds me of an American wheat beer mixed with a pale ale. Solid malt backbone, citrus peel and pith, rye, pine, and a moderate amount of dry bitterness that tickles and lingers on the forefront of the tongue.

Overall, the beer is decent: not great, but not bad. Won't buy again because there are many better pale ales and wheat beers out there. I see this pairing well with bacon fried Brussel sprouts, Parmesan, and a balsamic drizzle. It gets a 76.5/100.

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Smitten Golden Rye Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.76 out of 5 based on 1,748 ratings.
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