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

BA SCORE
85
very good
1,786 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Smitten Golden Rye AleSmitten Golden Rye Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Michigan, United States
bellsbeer.com

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
Ratings:
1,786
Reviews:
330
Avg:
3.76
pDev:
11.7%
 
 
Wants:
38
Gots:
363
For Trade:
3
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 1,786 |  Reviews: 330
Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An easy drinking ale. Prevalent but not edgey rye flavour, a decent pale ale level of IBU. Good drinkability. Floral. Cloudy golden colour with a good lasting head. A bit above average mouthfeel. Bottle from February 2012, thanks Steve.Rich, satisfying.

 253 characters

Photo of Texasfan549
3.25/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of kylehay2004
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of jaydoc
4.04/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.4/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Packaged 1/22/15.

Pours a murky honey orange with a foamy tan head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Tiny particles of sediment are seen floating around in the beer after the pour. Smell is of malt, grain, rye, earth, black tea, and slight herbal hop aromas. Taste is much the same with grain, spicy rye, earth, and herbal hop flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of rye and hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer that is drinkable, but the rye and herbal hop aspects mix together give this one a fairly assertive bitterness that make it a bit of a chore to drink in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle.

 802 characters

Photo of spycow
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

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 kjkinsey
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of t0rin0
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of nmann08
3.25/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.14/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Photo of metter98
3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is relatively clear yellow in color and has a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles on the surface, a collar around the edge of the glass, and lots of lacing down the sides.
S: Light to moderate aromas of citrusy hops are present in the nose along with notes of rye.
T: The taste starts out with some flavors of orange citrus but quickly transitions to a light to moderate amount of spicy rye flavors that continue to linger through the finish.
M: It feels just about medium-bodied and somewhat crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I liked the citrusy notes in this rye beer as they added complexity to the taste and helped take some of the edge of the spicy flavors, making this beer more drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

 871 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.73/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Smitten- what a clever name for a beer that is down to earth, charismatic, and a real beauty to look upon. Yea, maybe I have a little crush on this honey rye.

Smitten opens with a bright and cheery straw color with just enough of a haze to create a vale that gently breaks up the light. A light and foamy head caps the beer with persistence and clingy lace. Though a pale ale, the beer takes on lager-like appearances.

The lightly kilned barley makes way for a grainy-sweet scent that's accompanied by a kiss of floral honey tones. Spicy to the nose, that background husky rye and grassy, citrusy hop notes deliver the scent from the grain and balance the sweetness at the same time.

Thin caramel sweetness greets the front of the mouth, light enough to allow the earthy and flowery taste of honey to make equal impact. At the same time, the zingy spice of rye tingles the tongue with the grainy, peppery, spicy tone of the steely adjunct. The rye balance to the sweetness links up seamlessly to the citrusy hops at middle palate and then the sharp yet clean grassy bitterness that finishes the beer. It's overall balance is even-keel with the taste of malt that evades much of the sweetness from malt.

The beer's short-lived sweetness is whisked away, favoring a dry malt bready texture that's light, airy, and highly refreshing. The rye spice pangs on the tongue with the heated sensation of fresh cracked peppercorn. But the beer delves into a dry finish with mild alcohol warmth and clean hop bitterness.

Smitten pits its supple sweetness against raw spicy notes for balance that shows both its seduction and its boldness.

 1,631 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.25/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Served on-draught into a plastic cup at the Elephant and Castle in the Crowne Plaza, Chicago on St. Patrick's Day. Reviewed from notes. Complimentary with my room (which, incidentally, was also complimentary with priority club points). I had high expectations given the brewery.

A: Pours a one finger head of white colour. Fair cream. Decent thickness. Nice retention. Body colour is a nontransparent murky peach. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Generally appealing for the style.

Sm: Floral hops, rye grain, milky citrus, and light grass. A mild strength aroma. Generally appealing. No yeast character or alcohol is detectable.

T: Floral hops, rye grain, and milky citrus - with some buried orange notes. Nicely grassy. A bit of yeasty character. Clove. Pale malts. Balanced but simple. Lacks subtlety and complexity.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Pretty good carbonation. Lightly crisp. Decent presence on the palate.

Dr: Drinkable and enjoyable, but not great. I do like it, but I'm not impressed. I could take down a sixer of this with ease, but the quality just isn't high enough to warrant purchasing again. It's a solid offering from Bell's for what it is.

High C+ (Borderline B-)

 1,205 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: The first pout created a huge head but subsequent pours were more as expected, bringing a hazy amber head to settle on top of the honey colored liquid

Smell: Lemony and grassy, with a biscuity undertone

Taste: Biscuity malt brings a hint of sweetness, but the hops and the rye take over rather quickly; lemon, grass and a spicy/peppery character emerge; very bitter, after the swallow, with a rather metallic edge to the bitterness; dry finish, as would be expected from a rye beer

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate to high carbonation

Overall: An interesting twist but I am not a fan of the flavor profile here, particularly in the metallic edge

 665 characters

Photo of oline73
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Served in a snifter at Churchkey.

Pours an orangish amber with a layer of off white head. The nose is abut weird. I'm getting rye and some citrus but there is also a slight medicinal quality. The taste is better. Rye spice teams up with citrus peel hops. The malt backbone is quite nice. Quite enjoyable but not spectacular.

 325 characters

Photo of emerge077
3.82/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

3rd bottle of the sixer thus far, it's fairly unique, and more of a Rye IPA imho.

Pale orange yellow, murky with suspended sediment, billowing white foam and concentric halos of spindly lace in the glass. Lasting head retention, looks rustic like a saison, and the first whiff lent to this impression.

Complex aromatic combination of hops, rye, and yeast, sort of rustic and herbal, mildly grainy.

Firm herbal bitterness, floral, lemon rind, rye and pale malt, lingering dandelion bitterness. Light bodied and a little bit thin, would be quenching on a hot summer day for sure. Hope to revisit in warmer months.

 617 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of zeff80
3.93/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, bubbly, orange color with a one-finger, white head of foam. It left thin rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of spicy rye bread with some caramel.

T - Some toffee and caramel sweetness. A very subtle spiciness.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale.

O - This was really tasty. I wished that I had another one as soon as I finished the first.

 394 characters

Photo of dmorgan310
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of largadeer
3.33/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

12 ounce bottle into signature pint glass, bottled on 1/14/2013. Pours very cloudy golden amber color with a nice 1-2 finger dense white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass. Aromas of orange zest, grapefruit, lemon, pine, floral, spicy rye, grass, bread, and light herbal. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity. Taste of orange, grapefruit, lemon, pine, spicy rye, bread, toast, floral, grass, and light herbal. Fair amount of piney bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, pine, floral, rye spiciness, bread, toast, and grass on the finish for a bit. Very nice flavor balance of hop/malt, with good complexity; zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, lightly sticky, and crisp mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with nearly zero warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very nice rye pale ale! Nice balance of hop/malt flavors with good complexity; and extremely smooth to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,089 characters

Photo of mothman
3.25/5  rDev -13.6%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Smitten Golden Rye Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.76 out of 5 based on 1,786 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.