Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Bell's Christmas Ale | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
81
good
514 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Bell's Christmas AleBell's Christmas Ale
BEER INFO

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

Style: Scottish Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BierFan on 11-06-2008

BEER STATS
Reviews:
514
Ratings:
1,669
Avg:
3.58
pDev:
23.18%
 
 
Wants:
54
Gots:
278
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 514 | Ratings: 1,669
Reviews by Maerzen:
Photo of Maerzen
3.07/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm really torn on how to review this beer. First of all, it's very good and I've really enjoyed drinking it. However, it doesn't have any qualities that I would usually associate with a Christmas Ale. In fact, I'm noticing on the description at the top of this page that someone as listed it as a Scottish Ale. hmm. It reminds me a bit of a light Marzen.

A - It pours a nice copper color with good foam and some lacing.

S - Nice hints of malt. However, no spice at all.

T - A very nice scottish ale. Too bad it's supposed to be a Christmas Ale.

M - This is actually the best attribute of this beer. Nice creamy feel.

D - This beer is very drinkable. However, it would not be what I was expecting or wanted if I were ordering a Christmas Ale.

 747 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.32/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Man I love a little cheer from the north country,I didnt know they grew hops back in the home state,ya learn somethin new everyday.Poured into a standard pint glass a hazed lighter amber/copper with a nice frothy 1/2 finger white head that left broken lace as it never fully settled.Wow love the aromas,a mix of full sweet malt and spicey hop,with even a hint of winter-like spice to it wich I dont think it has.Toasty and warm up front with some brown sugar and caramel sweetness,and again I get a hint of Xmas spice,a big herbal racey hop finish ends nicely.Wow this beer is rated pretty low but hot damn I love it,another gem from K-zoo.

 640 characters

Photo of CNoj012
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a hazy orange amber color with a one finger off white head that recedes to a microfilm layer fairly quickly and leaves behind patches of lacing.

Smell is sweet dark fruit, caramel, nuttiness and bready malts. Very sweet smelling overall.

Taste is the same, but less sweet than the smell suggests. Also less complex, almost boring.

Feel is medium bodied and smooth.

Overall a decent beer. Not something i'd pay for again, but I wouldn't turn one down either.

 477 characters

Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.26/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours into my New Glarus Uff-da Bock Nonic (one of my favorite pieces of glassware) a slightly murky cinnamon with a thick but shortlived beige head.

Aroma: More hoppy than I would have expected. Primarily citrus hops. Mellow maltiness of biscuits and caramel. Very little spice, if any...

Taste: Yep...no spice. Toasty beady malts and a little oatmeal. No peat to speak of. Finishes with a hint of orange and touches of leafy bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Very light, too light...are they allowed to call a beer a Christmas ale if it is like this?

Drinkability: Very drinkable but not exciting or exceptional in any way. I guess I'm being unfair because I expect more from Bell's. There isn't anything wrong with this beer. It just isn't what I look for in a Christmas beer.

 786 characters

Photo of DanGeo
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of tectactoe
3.51/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a middle of the road copper color with reasonable clarity and a slightly off-white, small head that dissipates quick and doesn't leave much lacing to speak of. The aroma was hard to pick up on, at first I wasn't getting much of anything. I let it warm a little bit and started picking up some apple slices with peppery overtones, along with some other kitchen spices that were difficult to identify. Taste is crisp and full of spices, nutmeg and cinnamon being the most noticeable, along with the pepper flavor that rides the full wave. Some leafy bitterness at the end leaves you with an overall dry finish.

This beer is okay, nothing special. I'm glad I tried it, but there are many Christmas-time seasonal beers I'd choose over this one. Still worth a shot, though.

 775 characters

Photo of t2grogan
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of brownbeer
3.46/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours amber with a pillowy tan head.

Toffeeish malt, a bit of fruity, powdered candy comes to mind. Earthy hops in the background, but overall too subdued.

A nuttiness up front with fruity yeast notes. It sort of tastes like a fairly generic amber ale at times, finishes with an interesting bitterness.

Not bad, but also not a standout in any way.

 350 characters

Photo of wesbrownyeah
3.58/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bell's Christmas Ale, Scottish Ale style with 5.4% alcohol. Poured into a pint glass with a mild vigor.

A- Dark caramel color with a slight off white head that falls to a rim and froth, lacing is decent with strands holding on for dear life.

S- Scents of sweet pine sap, sugary malts, and a slight citrusy hop nose appear on first breath. Caramel and chocolate appear after the nose gets its second helping.

T-M- Dull flavors upfront of tangy citrus mostly lemon and tangerine, this is followed by a destinct dark oak backbone with alcoholic undertones. Medium to light bodied with a slick and watery finish.

Overall not bad and not so solid... Could use more malty charactor for the style but a hell of a quafter... cheers!

 728 characters

Photo of GameOfBeers
3.92/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.26/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Found this lurking in the cellar. '08 Release. Pours into my glass a nice red/orange hue with good clarity and an inch of khaki foam on top of the brew. Sticky lacing moves into aromas of caramelized grains. Earthy accents with a bit of spice. Plums and dark fruits mix in with bread. Mellow herbal hops.

First sip brings solid crisp malts upfront with some caramel sweetness and toasted accents. Earthy spice flavors meld in with some plums, dark fruits as it flows down. Herbal hops sneak in with some bitterness on the finish. Somewhat one dimensional to me.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with good carbonation. Nice and malty overall. Still the flavor is just a bit too mild for me and I guess I'm not personally a big Scotch Ale fan. I was happy to sample it but it doesn't make me want to grab another. If you're a malt lover check it out.

 844 characters

Photo of DaftPatrick
2.5/5  rDev -30.2%

Photo of csmartin6
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of warnerry
3.73/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 10/13/11

A - Pours a slightly cloudy amber/copper with one finger of dense tan head. Head has great retention and leaves nice lacig all down the glass.

S - Sweet malts, a bit of spice and some fruity aromas. Smell is subtle but interesting.

T - Slightly sweet malt up front, some piney hops I didn't pick up in the aroma, and some spices that provide a dry finish. Not sure what makes this a Scotch ale, but this is a pretty enjoyable brew.

M - Medium mouthfeel with a dry finish.

O - A pretty good brew overall, but not something I would seek out in the future.

 575 characters

Photo of WuAnquo1
3/5  rDev -16.2%

Photo of therealJAYZ
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Wolvmar
3.84/5  rDev +7.3%

Photo of elwatt2
3.88/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of smptenor
4.79/5  rDev +33.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is a beautiful brown to red color with a finger length head. Smell- I can smell beautiful types of fruit, some honey, some wheat. Just a beautiful smell I really love the smell of this beer. Taste- So I have to be honest. I am from Cleveland Ohio and I am going to college in Michigan and very upset because Great Lakes Brewing Company's Christmas ale just came out in Cleveland and I can't get it in Michigan so I saw this at the store and said I'd give it a try not expecting much. I'm shocked. It's great! It starts with a hoppy like honey taste and finishes with a beautifully smooth yet strong cinnamon taste. I think it competes hard with Great Lakes Christmas Ale the only thing I don't like as much about it as it is only 5.5 abv and Great lakes is 7.5% abv. Other than that I'm loving this beer. This is my second beer by Bell's and I'm loving this brewer. Mouth feel- the moth feel is exactly what it should be for this type of beer. I is easy to drink and smooth but has a perfect amount of carbonation. This beer is great and makes being away from my hometown of Cleveland and away from my Great Lakes Christmas Ale a little bit easier. Just a Great Beer. A Must Try! Just to say though I think my rating might be a bit higher because it totally surpassed my expectations.

 1,295 characters

Photo of mverity
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of Namarsha82
4/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of iemailjack
3/5  rDev -16.2%

Photo of BuckeyeSlim
4/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of Billolick
3.78/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle-Packaged 11-4-13

Pours hazed medium amber, typical medium khaki head, lasting nicely. leaves a thicker film, some low sheeting and nice looking strands of fine lacing.

Warm malty nose.

Smooth and tasty, nicely malted up beer. Notes of maple, caramel, vanilla and malty goodness.

Nothing special going on here. Worth a try if ya like da malt. Not overly sweet, with some muted hops drying out the rear.

 422 characters

Photo of mrquartetman
3.63/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark coppery color with a decent head that dissipated fairly quickly.

S - Malty aroma with some caramel

T - Malty, as it should be, with a subdued sweetness. Nicely balanced. It isn't quite as complex as some of the heavier Scotch Ales.

M - A pleasing feel, not too thin, not too dense.

D - A very drinkable winter, though not as "strong" as most winter warmers

I expected more of this beer. I liked it, but hoped for a good, chewy, strong winter warmer Scotch ale. It's not quite that.

 495 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Bell's Christmas Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.58 out of 5 based on 1,669 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!

    Subscribe