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

BA SCORE
81
good
1,714 Ratings
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
Ratings:
1,714
Reviews:
531
Avg:
3.58
pDev:
12.85%
 
 
Wants:
56
Gots:
287
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,714 |  Reviews: 531
Photo of Jeeb
3.52/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of cgpatton
3.52/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of Kraty1
3.52/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of Shockey
3.52/5  rDev -1.7%

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 MNAle
3.51/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark amber, somewhat hazy with solid carbonation visible. 3/4-inch off-white to tan head, receding moderately leaving splotchy lacing. Malty aroma, fruits, a bit of bread, nutty, anticipates a sweet taste. Thick feel. Mild initial taste, sticky, a bit sweet, subtle earthiness. Middle and finish remain as with the initial taste with a finish that clings to the mouth and tongue. Hardly any bittering evident. Moderately sweet finish. A bit simple in all aspects. Easy to drink, pleasant, enjoyable in its own right. If you read the brewer's web site description of this beer, it is hitting exactly what the brewer intended, so comparing it against spicy holiday beers or high ABV winter warmers in unfair. Their focus on all (or nearly all) local ingredients from malts to hops is laudable. Nonetheless, as pleasant and drinkable as this beer is, I like a bit more complexity in malty beers.

 892 characters

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

A: Pours a very hazy (almost cloudy) dark copper in color with some orange and ruby red highlights, moderate amounts of visible carbonation, and moderate amounts of small visible yeast particles in suspension. The beer has a two finger tall creamy beige head that slowly reduces to an even thin film covering the entire surface of the beer with a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Overall, there is a rather light aroma to this beer with some light notes of toasted bready malts, spices, dark fruits, and yeast.

T: There is a moderate amount of maltiness to this beer - some caramel, some toasted, and just a hint of peat smoked malts.There are some lighter hints of spices and dark fruits in there as well, giving it a touch of sweetness upfront. There is a light to moderate amount of citrus/orange peel hops that contribute some light bitterness that lingers. Just a touch of yeastiness to the overall flavor as well.

M: Light to medium bodied with slightly more than moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Not really what I expected, a little light in smell and taste for what I expect in the style - I expected something a little less generic from Bell's. Overall the flavor is pretty well balanced and enjoyable. Easy to drink because it is ind of generic.

 1,326 characters

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

Batch #10022.
Initial pours little sweet toasty caramel aroma. Moves to a more neutral ale yeast fragrance in a bit.
Nice looking. Full off-white head covers a amber slightly cloudy body with lots of bubbles rising from the bottom of SN Tulip glass.
Surprisingly light in flavor as with aroma. Malt based with slight drying in the end. Low overall sweetness. Slight hop taste on the edges with aides in the drying too. Somewhat dry on the extended finish.
Carbonation seems a bit high for style but it would take away that good looking head too (trade-off I guess). Moderate body.
This is okay. Better than bad versions, but not as interesting as good versions.
Bell's interesting. Some many exceptional beers, and quite a few every day drinkers that could be a notch up. All in all though one of the best brewery's in this fair country.

 839 characters

Photo of manfromanotherplace
3.51/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pretty disappointing considering the style and the brewers, i expected much better. Also considering the much better examples of the style that are readily available this is again a bit of a disappointment. Looks weak, smell isnt bad but weaker tones of toffee and vanilla, taste is light with a bizarre finish not typical of a good Scottish ale, also don't see what is at all "christmas" related with this beer.

 412 characters

Photo of nrbw23
3.51/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a cloudy orangish brown color with a light orange colored head. Retention is decent and the lacing is excellent.

S- Smells malty, touch of smoke, citrus hops and some dark fruits.

T- Overall, pretty malty with some bready and fruity notes. Touch of hops gives it a nice dry finish.

M- Low carbonation and light to medium in body.

D- Easy drinker for sure. Different compared to most brews of the season.

 416 characters

Photo of BigTuna1066
3.51/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of GruvisHops
3.51/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Let's get one thing out on the table, right now. I don't see how "Scotch" fits anywhere in the description of this ale. I just had to get that off of my chest before I went any further.

A: A 12 oz. brown bottle with a most uninspired Christmas tree in the middle of what appears to be a field of wheat or barley on the front label. Seriously, that tree should have been taken out of its misery years ago. It pours a deep orange with a nice 1/2" of slightly orange, creamy white head that leaves some wonderful lace. Very hazy with a great deal of yeast particulate floating around. This is the only part about this beer that I really like. It actually screams Christmas to me, but this is the only part that screams. It certainly looks nothing like a "scotch ale" as described on the back label.

S: The nose is not very strong, but Christmasy enough; mostly cinnamon spice with a hint of caramel and orange peel in the background. It's OK, just not big enough to compete with the big boys.

T: This beer took some serious warming and swirling before I actually started to enjoy the taste. A heavy dose of Munich malt comes through in the flavor profile. Once again, caramel (just a touch), cinnamon and orange peel lie in the background. I'm still sticking with my original score, but I really did enjoy the flavor after about 45 minutes.

M: The mouthfeel is medium and very smooth.

D: Although certainly not at all what I think Bell's is capable of, it's still a very drinkable beer.

Notes: see first paragraph.

 1,517 characters

Photo of t2grogan
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

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

Photo of bpfrush
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of SPRichard
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of dcbeers
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of ltdantheman
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of DCHritz
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of Mtooman
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of wander4
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Ryanm1
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bell's makes some quality beers, unfortunately this one does fall into that category. This was poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Transparent Copper color with little to no head/carbonation. Looks and taste is on par with a yuengling lager except more bitter. The ibu on this beer is on the high side exceptionally hoppy coming in at 80 as if it were an IPA. Slight Christmas spices, can't pick out a distinct one though. A Christmas session beer.

 457 characters

Photo of azorie
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of Griffith
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of RickS95
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks like the standard issue winter beer. It's a brownish, copperish orange, just dark enough to be slightly opaque.

It's differnt than other winter beers in that there are no spices evident in the nose. You pick up some hops and that's all. Not a bad smell, just not much of it.

The taste is pleasant. Malts and hops hit the palate, and it's got a fruity sweetness to it.

The mouthfeel is complex due to the hoppy bitterness and the fruity sweetness. The two feelings feed off each other giving a crisp feeling.

This goes down well. The fruity flavors make each drink worth it. The moderate alcohol mean you can have several.

 631 characters

Bell's Christmas Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.58 out of 5 based on 1,714 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.