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

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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: 324 | Ratings: 1,769
Photo of BeerDawgs
3.94/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Yellow pilsner color, with little clarity and very nice foam and lace retention left on the glass.

S - Grassy/malt grains. Some bitter hops in there as well

T - A big malty pale/golden ale. A touch of bitter hops to balance it out. Grapefruit. Easy to drink

M - High carbonation. Oily and slick.

O - An enjoyable golden ale for sure. Will seek it out again

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Photo of 451beer
4.35/5  rDev +15.7%
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 rodlavers
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Picked up at a bottle shop/bar in Carolina Beach, NC, and enjoyed at the Marriott across the street. Poured into a hotel-issue glass tumbler.

Appearance is really light, yellow golden, translucent. Nothing spectacular, reminiscent of a bmc beer, but with a much better head, which is very white, about a finger which recedes with some cling.

Smells like dandelions, grass, and hops.

Flavors are similar, with rye. Sweet, resinous, hoppy, and light.

Feel is smooth up front and slightly bitter on the end.

Overall Smitten is an excellent surprise. I found it delicious and enjoyable, and will certainly seek it out again. Cheers.

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Photo of PattyMelt
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A-amber, thin white head.
S- orange zest. Maybe some lemon or grapefruit? Slight hoppyness.
T- piney hoppy taste w/ orange zest on the back. Still think there's grapefruit in there but can't pinpoint it.
M- Light to mid-bodied.
O- Pretty decent, but nothing to scream about. A good beer, though.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A golden body with great head and lace on top of a piney hop aroma with a good amount of rye that is picked up (that bready smell it can sometimes give off). Smooth, almost creamy, easy to drink, not bland or boring but not the most exciting beer. A floral hoppy taste, along with citric, is balanced with a hint of sweetness and the rye smoothes things out while giving it a tad spiciness and crispness in the finish. Can't complain with relaxing with this beer.

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
3.86/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Dogfish Head IPA glass. The pour is hazy orange-gold with a big fluffy white head and lots and lots of floaties. Not surprising since Bell's probably doesn't even filter their coffee. Like they say on their bumper stickers ``If God had wanted us to filter our beer, He wouldn't have given us livers.'' The nose is very bright (best way to describe it) with hops, floral notes, some lemon and cardamon, and definitely some rye.

The feel is crisp and firm and the beer has a light-medium body. The flavor is quite spicy, in part from the hops and in part from the rye. A sharp biscuity grainy flavor meets the palate first. This is quickly followed up as the rye and hops combine to give the beer a sharp, spicy, bitter little bite. The finish is nice and dry and a lingering flavor of allspice and lemon is left in the mouth.

This is a really nice take on an American Pale Ale. It has the hops and spiciness of an APA and the graininess, drinkability, and refreshing qualities of a wheat beer. It would make a terrific summer beer.

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Photo of rlee1390
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A-Clear bright orange, not much carbonation, one finger head that doesn't last long.

S-Rye spicyness, malt, citrus hops and slight grassy notes.

T-Light and refreshing. Nice rye spicyness. Balanced out with mild citrus hops.

M-Light, not much carbonation, some hop resins even.

O-An easy drinking spring beer, however adding more rye or hops would give the beer slightly more flavor, which it needs.

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Photo of jjanega08
3.92/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

11711 PKGD
01/18/13 A

A= Pours a nice hazy orangy yellow color with a nice looking two fingers of head on it that holds great retention and lacing on the side of the glass.

S= The smell is excellent with a nice hop bite and a little rye spice buried in it. The rye in this one is nice and subtle. Sometimes too much rye can give it an oily aroma but this is great.

T= The taste is a awesome hop punch with great citrus hops smoothed over by some nice spicy dirty rye. It works perfectly with the hop profile. Again not over done with the spicy rye.

M= A nice smooth mouth.

O= This is a great beer. Offers a smooth transition from winter to spring. I don't know if this is seasonal or what but I like this baby. A nice smooth sipper with great flavors.

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Photo of ribby
4.28/5  rDev +13.8%
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 DAllspaw
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

forget the rye,I don't get it at all. what I got is a very well balanced and bright Saison like pale ale with. pale color, great lacing and a mouthfeel which belies its color, more body than expected.

don't get caught up in the style, just drink it. a very nice beer, will take this over Oberon as a better spring offering from bells.

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Photo of punky796
3.44/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Buffalo Wild Wings.

A - Poured a cloudy amber-orange, with about a finger of head when served. BWW's laser-etching helped keep the head alive. Impressive lacing.

S - Very hoppy smell, as expected from Bell's, fruity, with some wildflowers thrown in.

T - Hops again. Lots of them. Next comes the rye, which didn't really show up in the smell for me, but I like. Who knows, I might have confused the hops and the rye a little bit, making for less hops than I perceived, but they go together nicely. The wildfloweryness of it transforms into a kind of honey taste. An interesting combination.

M - Pretty smooth, with medium carbonation, but with relatively heavy thickness. Nice.

O - Generally wouldn't be my type of beer considering it's hop-heaviness, but Bell's does it well.

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

I picked up a six pack of Bell's Smitten Golden Rye Ale a couple weeks ago for $8.99 at Meijers. I'm always down to try a new beer from Bell's and when I saw this at the grocery store I knew I had to pick some up and give it a try, so lets see how it goes. Bottled on 1/14/2012. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A- The label looks ok, but it's a little plain and it isn't too eye catching. It poured a nice golden yellow color that took on a darker golden hue when held to the light with two and a half fingers worth of fluffy white head that died down to a thick ring that stayed till the end and left lots of sticky rings of lacing behind. This is a good looking beer, I have no complaints at all.

S- The aroma starts off with a higher amount of medium sweetness that had a slight honey aroma to it and it was followed by lots of rye aromas that imparted a pretty nice spicy aroma. After that comes the hops which have a slight earthy aroma and a pretty big floral hops aroma that blend nicely with the spicy rye aromas. This beer had a good aroma the spicy rye and floral hops went together nicely.

T- The taste seems to be fairly similar to the aroma and it starts off with a medium amount of sweetness followed by some light biscuit malt flavors followed by a medium amount of rye that imparts some nice spicy rye flavors. Up next comes a medium amount of hops that impart a light earthy and a medium flavor hops flavor that went nicely with the spicy rye. On the finish there's a higher amount of medium bitterness with a spicy rye and floral hops aftertaste. This was a nice tasting beer. the flavors were pretty well balanced, but they didn't really pop like they did in the aroma.

M- Fairly smooth, a little refreshing, crisp, slight creamy, on the thicker side of being medium bodied, with a nice amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel was nice, but I think it would help the drinkability, if it was a little thinner to go with the crisp mouthfeel.

Overall I thought this was a nice beer and an above average example of the style, this beer had good balance and the spicy rye flavors went nicely with the floral hop profile. This beer had ok drinkability, it was fairly smooth and the flavors held my attention, but it was a little filling so I think two would be enough for me, but I might be inclined to drink a few of these on a nice warm spring day. What I liked the most about this beer was the appearance and aroma, they were both good and pretty true to style. What I liked the least about this beer was the mouthfeel, it was decent, but it was a little to thick and too filling for my liking. I would buy this beer again when it gets warmer, it seems like it would be a nice and refreshing warm weather beer, I would recommend this to people who like rye beers. All in all I was satisfied with this beer, but I think it would be more fitting if they released this beer in the late spring/ early summer, it just seems like this beer would be good for that time of the year. This is a nice rye beer but I think I would rather have a Founders Reds Rye or any of the Short's Rye beers instead, but this one wasn't bad by any means. This was another solid offering from Bell's, keep up the good work guys.

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Photo of GossageBrewery
3.52/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured this Rye Beer from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Poured a clear, orange/golden color- produced an average white head, nice retention and left ample lacing on the glass. The aroma contained spicy rye, caramel and floral hops. Medium bodied, a foundation of sweet caramel, spicy rye and citric hops. Overall, this is an excellent session beer, very easy to drink- average to above average example of the style.

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

A bit thinner than I would have expected for a rye beer. But it's a nice earthy presentation overall. Inky and earthen tones are there on the end. Fairly full carbonation. A hearty drinker, even though it's on the lighter side of most rye beers you get out there.

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Photo of corby112
3.51/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 1/24/13

Pours a slightly cloudy, pale golden orange color with a half finger frothy white head that quickly settles into a lasting ring. Sporadic streaks of soapy lacing left behind.

Spicy, faint floral hop aroma with some earthy resin and sweet citrus countered by pale malt and bready yeast. Somewhat bland really with not much of a rye presence. Just some spicy, grassy hops followed by bread, biscuit and subtle light fruit notes.

Full bodied and much more interesting than expected. The nose is pretty boring but it's actually complex, well balanced and flavorful. Crisp spicy hop bite up front gives off some dry bitterness with resinous oils, grass and pine needle flavor. Some peppery rye, but like the nose, it's not a dominant flavor. Nicely balanced by yeast, light fruit notes and a pale malt backbone. Hints of bread, biscuit and cracker round things out in the dry finish. Not a great beer but it's refreshing and easy to drink with nice hop flavor.

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Photo of droomyster
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden body with lots of yeast suspended and swirling around, with a small white head with decent retention. Aromas of honey and grain with slight hints of flowers and pineapple. Taste is consistent with the aromas and extremely well balanced in the malt to hop ratio, and finishes dry with a flavor of orange pith. It's worth trying if you don't mind chewing yeast.

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

smitten golden rye ale is pretty bold. less citrus than an ipa with a more bitter finish. it smells hoppy and crisp. the look of this beer is cloudy and golden with small chunks suspended like fruit in jello. this isnt a bad beer at all pretty full flavored. id drink it again.

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Photo of SerialTicker
3.96/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at Green Dot Stables in Detroit, Michigan. $3 for a 12oz mug. Gimme!

Appearance: A beautiful golden color with a tiny head. The lacing's patchy and not that great, but the appearance surely isn't what matters most.

Smell: I tried, tried, and tried some more to get aromas out, and for some reason I didn't get that many, but they were more than pleasant. Rye, floral aromas, some sweetness, maybe like a honey... very inviting.

Taste/feel: Great stuff. I've only had about three or four rye beers in my life, and this one tastes different than most... but I think that's a good thing. The sweetness of this beer is something I'm not used to, because ryes generally seem more bitter to me. The floral notes with the sweetness and, really, light rye makes this a super tasty beer. The rye doesn't come out very strong, but a good beer's a good beer.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.96/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I picked this up at Giant in the mix-a-six cooler enjoyed chilled from a willybecker.

The color is slightly darker golden with light amber accent with mild haze and thick pale cream of about 2.5 fingers and retention is very good with lace stickage on the glass. The smell is nice with some floral hop elements and mild nutty and grainy malt in the nose with slight citrus in the hop aroma with light orange rind and grapefruit tinged nose. The feel is very good with moderate bitterness and mild sweetness with slight husky grain presence midway through with semi-dry and moderately astringent aspect toward the end with spicy and gently acidic quality in the finish

The taset is pleasant with citrus peel hop flavor and gentle earthy malt with slight grassy taste from the hops w/ light tannic element which seems like a tea-like hop astringency with toasted maltiness in the back end. Overall a pretty tasty rye w/ nice balance and plenty of hop flavor which is almost a Rye IPA in terms of perceived bitterness with fresh taste and dry feel that brings you back for more.

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Photo of busternuggz
4.71/5  rDev +25.3%
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 shand
4.37/5  rDev +16.2%
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 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.

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Photo of wspscott
3.47/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle in Sam Adams glass
bottled on 1/15/13

A: A careful pour still ended up with a lot of yeast floaties, is this a different yeast from Two Hearted because I don't remember this much yeast in the glass. Topped with a 1 finger bright white head that leaves lots of lace.
S: Smells bright and citrusy
T: A definite citrus hop along with a dryness that I associate with rye combined with what I think is a yeast driven fruitiness.
M: Crisp and highly carbonated, if a little lighter in body would make a great lawnmower beer.
O: In the end, I think this is a very good beer, but I am not sure how often I will buy it. I think I would always prefer two hearted over this especially since this is 6%. If this was a 4.5 - 5% beer, this would end up in the fridge more often. Like it, don't love it, but worth trying.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.99/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Thanks to Momar42 for the 12 oz bottle! Poured into a nonic pint glass.

A: Pours a golden orange color with a ton of yeast particles floating around. The head is a two finger white shade. Both texturing and retention are pretty damn good, and the lacing left by the receding head is quite attractive as well. Pretty face, ugly body, let's split the difference here.

S: I do notice a bit of rye to it, along side some piny, herbal hops. The hop profile seems to fit the rye malt quite well. It becomes a bit maltier as it warms up, and grows a biscuity component as well. Aromatically, it could be a little less muted.

T: One thing that lets me down right from the onset is the lack of distinctive character to it. It starts and finishes with a combination of earthy, spicy malts and piny hops. After a while, the finish will develop a grassy hop quality to it that I enjoy somewhat. This really is the type of beer more conducive to simple drinking than actual reviewing...

M: Rougher than I like, which is exasperated by the coarse yet strong carbonation and fuller body. The back end is quite clean and crisp; so maybe this would be good in the summer time?

O: Not bad - but I'm certainly not smitten with it. It's too sharp in feel for its nondescript flavor profile.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
2.99/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Bells Smitten Golden Rye Ale

Pours a honey gold color with a white head and a bit of lace. Large chunks of yeast or proteins are hanging in suspension. Aroma of clean maltyness, some floral and sweet fresh doughy bread. In the taste, bready malt sweetness balanced by a citrusy hop character and a bit of grainy rye. Mild bitterness with notes of grapefruit. Medium bodied with a chalky finish. Overall, this was an ok beer but a little disappointed. This ale could use some cleaning up.

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Smitten Golden Rye Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.76 out of 5 based on 1,769 ratings.
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