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

very good
310 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: 310 | Ratings: 1,724
Photo of Dravin
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Duvel tulip. Bottled on date of 01/20/16 A.

Look -- 2 fingers of white head atop a clear pale amber body. The lacing is decent but the overall head retention is somewhat lacking.

Smell -- Moderate resin with hints of grapefruit, a little malt sweetness is pulling through as is a very light touch of rye spiciness.

Taste -- As the nose but the rye character is coming through better here as a sourness makes itself known and the spicy character of the rye comes forward more.

Feel -- Moderate carbonation and lightish body is in the wheel house for a pale ale, though on the lighter side of that range. It's a fairly crisp beer.

Overall -- I wish the rye character came through a little more prominently, I feel like it's partially buried underneath the hops. Still, it's a tasty beer and the ABV of the peer and the crispness of it is a good combination for a spring seasonal and makes a good compliment to the warming weather.

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

The beer pours out into a Duvel glass a nice dark golden amber color with an ivory head that soo recedes to an island and thin film of foam on the liquid. Sipping leaves a few legs and small patches of lacing.

The aromas include some malt, some rye and some herbal hops.

The flavors include some light malt with a touch of sweetness, some rye, and some herbal hops and a touch of background bitterness.

The mouthfeel is on the light side of medium bodied and has a nice light crispness from the persistent carbonation. The finish begins about midway through as the sweetness fades into some light rye bread mingled with hop bitterness. This then fades away into dryness as everything leaves and the dryness invites another sip.

On the whole this is a quite nice offering from Bell's that I'll be happy to have again and will be looking to find more of soon and over the next few years. It's definitely a keeper. Even though some may not consider it to be world class it's light, clean, crisp and refreshing. A great beer to announce the coming of Spring and for the first cookout of the year. I suspect that even some of my friends who think they don't like beer might find this one enjoyable.

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Photo of MJSFS
3.96/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottled dated 1/15/16 into a pint glass L: hazy golden color with two fingers of a pillowy head and tons of fine suspended particles A: pine and hop resin T: strong piney pale ale, not getting much rye M: crisp, carbonated, and dry O: really good pale ale and definitely worth a try

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Photo of 88caprice
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A deep golden color with some honey hues. One-finger head settles to a thin foam layer on top with some lacing. Smells crisp and hoppy with grapefruit characteristics. Taste is also crisp with a hop-forward bitterness. A malty backbone peeks through briefly, ending with a bitter-tart cracker finish. This brew is refreshing and bites the tongue a little, but also feels thick and smooth without being heavy.

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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!

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Photo of MUTINY
3.78/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Quick review. Pours clear (& fitting) gold with 3/4" fluffy white head that dissipates quickly. Retention & lacing are poor. Smells primarily floral with bready malt & a hint of citrus. Palate is similar, with more focus on the malt - actually achieving a fine balance. Feel is a bit crisp, properly carbonated & altogether refreshing.

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Photo of Tilley4
3.86/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Uber crushable.... Light and delicious... The rye brings a spiciness to the dance that really shines... Crisp and clean... Loving this seasonal from Bells.... Terrific beer for spring... I will purchase this multiple times while it's still available,..

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Photo of NateDyk47
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: medium golden color with a couple fingers of white head
Smell: mostly citrus here
Taste: sharp, tangy citrus, rye, hint of malt
Feel: medium body, medium/high carbonation

Haven't had many rye beers, but I'm a big fan of this one. I'll be having it again.

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Photo of Catracho5
4.21/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

16 ounce can poured into a pint glass

A: Pours a golden orange with a bright white head, head was creamy and full but only lasted a few minutes, lots of lacing, hazy, average amount of carbonation.

A: Citrus, orange, hint of grapefruit, rye comes through pretty strong, malts, smells pretty good.

T: Like the nose, get a hit of citrus like flavors, a mix of semi-sweet orange and grapefruit peel bitterness, rye spice, moderate amount of bitterness, then finish is spicy rye and grapefruit peel dryness, aftertaste is of grapefruit peel and rye, very tasty.

M: Medium bodied mouthfeel with a dry finish.

O: I really enjoyed this, grapefruit peel, orange and rye are well balanced. This is very drinkable and I was surprised by how good it is, definitely going to keep this one on the radar when it comes back around.

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

Bell's Brewery, Inc. "Smitten"
12 oz brown glass bottle, "PKGD 01/03/16"... 25 days young

Bell's Smitten Golden Rye Ale" pours a slightly hazy golden body beneath a frothy head of white that slowly settles leaving remarkable lacing behind. As you progress through the glass the head drops, yet it always maintains a full, creamy surface covering.

As you raise the glass to your lips you can smell the rye amidst resinous and gently citrusy hops. It's malty overall; and the rye is grainy but not quite like barley, and a touch peppery and earthy.

As it crosses your tongue you can feel the malt, and a gentle zest of carbonation. It's medium-bodied and moderately carbonated.

The flavor brings more citrusy hops to the party, balancing out the surprising richness of the malt. It's grainy, and slightly sweetish, but anchored by a very firm bitterness that brings it to a dry conclusion, peppered (no pun intended) by the spiciness of the rye. It lingers gently and then steadily fades away.

The balance is surprising (and welcome!) as many rye beers tend to become brash, but that's not the case here at all. It's smooth with just enough zip in the spiciness of the rye to accentuate the malt and give it character. Beautiful and really nicely done.

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Photo of BeerWithMike
2.59/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Sampled last night on 12/20/15. Comes in a 12 ounce bottle with "PKGD: 01/27/14" on back of label. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured in to a "EMPYREAN BREWING CO. FALLEN ANGEL SWEET STOUT" pint glass.

Pours a hazy deep golden-yellow in color with a good 3-finger foamy white head. lots of lacing was seen when sipped that stuck to the sides of the glass when sipped. Aroma is mostly of floral pale hops and citrus zest. Pretty much is said for the taste with some pepper spice also. Bitter hoppy finish that lasted much more than I like. Took a while to drink it, wasn't a drain pour though. Medium-bodied with good carbonation. Really not my style of brew as it was like a bitter IPA.

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Photo of Raime
3.91/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smitten Rye by Bells.

Ahhh yesssss...Favorite Michigan Brewer doing a rye IPA..what in the hell could possibly go wrong?..we shall find out.

Look - Clear amber with a two finger off-white head that sticks around throughout the drink. The carbonation is certainly on high with this one, so let us hope it does not become problematic in the near future. The head is holding up very well keeping control over the atmosphere and ensuring its dominance over the inter-beerinary top of the galaxy here. The lacing is spotty though certainly there. 4.5.

Smell - Grapefruit pith followed by a large does of the typical IPA malt. The rye bread isn't very defined in this aspect so the smell is going to suffer here a bit..3.5.

Taste - The hops on this one are so unbelievably clean that it is just stupid. Stupid in the best sense I can possibly mean it. I remember having rye beers in my early advocating days and not caring for them but after all that jazz I realize these are easily the most balanced in the IPA bunch. Hoppiness up front and Rye breads in the backhalf.4.

Feel - For whatever the reason the head doesn't want to follow much into the feel and instead dissolves upon hitting the tongue before you can get a true judgement on its effects. Still medium bodied with moderate carbonation. 3.5.

Overall - While the taste is certainly there, the other aspects simply do no live up to it. Saddening this was a very balanced brew. I could feel the heavy caloric intake hitting my stomach ( not that I'm worried, at 6'1-6'2, 158-162ish pounds). Ahhhh...this is a tough one to give an overall taste is a key player....tell ya what....I'll go with a.....well hold on ya wanker. These guys are certainly made as a meal in a glass. So. 4.

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

Nice looking, golden color with big creamy head and smells of rye and hops. A citrusy pale ale with a good balance of malts and rye in the mix, a very refreshing, crisp ale!

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Photo of puboflyons
3.09/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle dated 01/13/15. Sampled on July 4, 2015 so it is a bit old.

The pour is a hazy yellow color under a tremendous, long lasting white head.

A bit of toasted pale malts in the aroma and peat moss but the hop character seems subdued, probably due more to the age of the bottle. Grassy notes too.

Medium body.

The taste is more malt forward than anything and any hop character has faded away. Although it does end on the biter side so that is something.

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Photo of JJKBeerLvr
3.6/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into pint glass in June 2015.

Appearance: Light golden with almost white head. Head is very thick and sticks to the glass.

Smell: Slight pepper and citrus aroma, like grapefruits. Also get some hops aromas, but the citrus aroma dominate the others.

Taste: Nice mix of citrus, hops, and pepper flavors.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied.

Nice Rye Ale. It had more flavor any body than I expected. Nice surprise.

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

Enjoyed from the tall boy can in a pint glass, this pale ale pours a clear gold with a nice white head of foam that dissipates to a solid 1/4 inch layer of foam with great lacing. Nose of spicy rye, caramel malts, and sticky resinous hops. Flavors follow the nose with lightly sweet honey and caramel notes that quickly fade to s spicy rye flavor followed by sticky bittering hops. Aftertaste features bitter rye and hop notes that is lifted by a smooth lightly cream and highly carbonated ale that gives it a lively mouth feel. Interesting, but not for the malt lovers out there. The bitterness lingers long to say the least. We are usually a fan of Bell's.....this is rather lack luster for them.

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Photo of Grant_Satterthwaite
4.03/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pretty basic honestly, I was expecting just a bit more. It was essentially a basic amber ale which isn't bad, it just wasn't as exciting as I'd hoped. I would probably get it again, it's a good summer beer but it isn't anything to necessarily write home about.

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Photo of CincyBrewTull
3.4/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Smitten pours a lively golden hue with a large creamy white head. It smells piney and tastes much the same, There are some straw and rye notes with the pine.

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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.

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Photo of UPMD_Bill
3.66/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

All I got out of this one was the pine resin smell/taste. I must be missing something, because I didn't get any of the citrus notes, or tell much of a difference being a rye ale.

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

Not generally the style I prefer but defiantly worth the dollar a pint my corner store is selling them for. Much better than the predecessor Winter White Ale.

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Photo of EmGM
3.36/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Look: clear golden
Smell: citrus, rye malt
Taste: sweet malts, citrus, a little grassy
Aftertaste: a bit bitter but a lighter bitter because of the citrus tones
Overall: it's okay...not really anything terribly special but it's pretty good

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Photo of importedfromdet
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Very interesting to look, golden color with lots of particulate, making a statement!

Smell is very basic, with the wheat coming through.

Taste comes in, with floral notes to start, and hops fading in to round it out. Not complex, but very good to sip. Notes of citrus throughout, though very slight. Balanced.

Definitely a pale ale finish and mouthfeel, which is what I enjoy. Taste of citrus as well.

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

Poured on tap in 16 oz glass at local yacht club. Well balanced with a nice, mild hop character and light malt back bone. Goes well with a range of food but interesting enough to drink on its own. Would not seek out but happy to drink again.

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

Tasty Rye Pale Ale.
Pours light clear amber from 16 oz can into a Bells pint glass. 3/4 head from semi aggressive pour. Nice carbonation bubbles originate from the bottom for the duration of the taste test. Very light crisp nose with just a touch of rye. A very light crisp hop profile with a nice malt balance. A light (there's that word again) mouth feel that's not overly bitter. Overall a solid beer. Even at 6% I'd call this sessionable. Not bad Larry.

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Smitten Golden Rye Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.76 out of 5 based on 1,724 ratings.
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