Christmas Ale (-2016) | Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store

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1,759 Ratings

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Michigan, United States

Style: Scottish Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
The basic inspiration for Bell's Christmas Ale was to create a sessionable holiday beer, using locally grown malt, which would stand apart from the array of spiced winter warmers that are typically introduced this time of year. In contrast to many other seasonals, Christmas Ale doesn't contain any spices: all of the dry, toasted notes & subtle toffee flavors come from the Michigan-grown barley, custom malted by Briess Malting, while a blend of hops from Michigan & the Pacific Northwest lend earthy, herbal aromas

Added by BierFan on 11-06-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,759 |  Reviews: 541
Photo of Wjohare
1/5  rDev -72.1%

Photo of spoonhawk
1/5  rDev -72.1%

Photo of KISSFR33K
1/5  rDev -72.1%

Photo of cmentpond112
1.29/5  rDev -64%
look: 5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.25

Well, I love the holidays, so I gave this a 5 for looks. Smell, taste, feel?! Hello?! How is this a Christmas Ale if it does not smell, taste, nor feel like scotch tape?! It would most definitely be an improvement. Perhaps Bell's should consult 3M the next time they want to brew a batch of this stuff. If I don't feel the same kind of elation I feel when I am tearing the wrapping paper of a new Lionel train or Castle Grayskull while I drink a beer, then that beer has no business being called a Christmas Ale! Oh well, Bell's will probably just change the name of this to Holiday Ale anyway.

 601 characters

Photo of ZPB
1.5/5  rDev -58.1%

Photo of DrQuantum
1.53/5  rDev -57.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

I was shocked actually, having picked up this six pack as something one of our local grocery stores had added to their lineup. Never before have I had a Bell's product that I wish I could return. How they think they can call this a "Scottish Ale" is beyond my ability to comprehend. Don't buy it thinking you'll get the rich, full bodied, malty ale you expect when you see that label attached to a beer. At best this is a brown ale, but I'm not inclined to be so kind as even to give it that label. The mouth feel is exceptionally thin, and the flavor is what I can only describe as "meh". Awful. Really very disappointed that I shelled out $10 for something no better than a mass-marketed brown ale.

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Photo of ChainChompsky
2/5  rDev -44.1%

Photo of pizzaman23
2/5  rDev -44.1%

Photo of MikieV
2/5  rDev -44.1%

Photo of CityofBals
2/5  rDev -44.1%

Photo of DrBobPierce
2/5  rDev -44.1%

Photo of Shilt
2/5  rDev -44.1%

Photo of MatthewBair
2/5  rDev -44.1%

Photo of Kyrojack
2/5  rDev -44.1%

Photo of Mitchster
2.01/5  rDev -43.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

$1.99 for a single at Jack's. "A malt driven scotch ale, made with 100% Michigan grown barley and a blend of Pacific Northwest and Michigan hops".

Pours to a hazy deep chestnut with red highlights. Forms a modest creamy off yellow head with good retention and lacing. Carbonation is kinda mild. The aroma is of dark fruity malts, a touch of floral soap, and when swirled, a faint perfume of jasmine and saffron on a base of souring milk. Mouthfeel is smooth at first, then takes on a stinging fruity quality. Begins with a touch of dark fruit like rotting apples and cherries, then is overloaded with this funky soap/floral character. This is followed by a moderately strong hop bitterness, burning PVC, toast and a hop extract finish. Despite it's quoted 5.4% ABV, there are alot of higher alcohols which give it a harsh, aggressive quality.

Don't care for this one. It is not very enjoyable, and doesn't resemble a Scotch ale in the slightest. I will have a hard time finishing this 12oz bottle.

Addendum: The more I drink this beer, the more I am convinced it is poison. It has this terrible acrid/chemical burn in the back of the throat long after you've drank it...something I have not experienced with even the worst swill.

 1,232 characters

Photo of Marraybay
2.09/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Look: Amber; +1 fingers of head

Smell: Non-descript

Taste: Desparately looking for some malt, but too me it's more tart upfront, followed by
moderate citrus bitterness. Nothing at all in the way of spice or sweetness.

Feel: See smell.

Overall: Inadvertantly bought an extra bottle of this unfortunately; Pretty disappointing
as a holiday beer or anything else for that matter. Not really getting this one in terms
of what Bell was trying-hoping to deliver. The extra bottle I have will be used for simmering
sausages or dogs. Not drinkable.

 551 characters

Photo of Frothboss
2.1/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A - Pours a light brown color with light brown head about two fingers high

S - Very light hop and malt, not much smell to it.

T - Tastes kind of neutral, nothing really jumping out at me, light hop on the back of tongue. very light malt taste but didnt notice at first sip.

M - this one coasts all the way down. Light, kind of thick but it might just be to cold. It would probably loosen up a bit if it warmed up.

D - Good one to serve to my family or friends who is not into craft beers. Almost reminds of Budweiser select. Wont be buying it again....might even be in my fridge till next christmas! LOL!!

 611 characters

Photo of Joemark
2.12/5  rDev -40.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Very disappointed in this beer.
Pours a nice lookin amber. All downhill from that point on. Scent is dull, and taste is light and unimpressive. I'm a big fan of winter/christmas beers for their robust scents, and complex flavors. This beer falls short in all aspects, as far as what I look for in a winter seasonal ale. Oh well, off to the next

 345 characters

Photo of JakeFeuerbach
2.16/5  rDev -39.7%

Photo of hops4me
2.18/5  rDev -39.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a cloudy amber. I expected a little darker for a Scotch Ale. The smell was very faint. Sweet bready aroma and some yeast in there as well. The taste was nothing like I expected. Not the usual raisins and figs you expect. Actually, it wasn't much of anything. The mouthfeel was far too light for the style. Not a good beer and I will not be buying again. Big dissapointment.

 379 characters

Photo of NSXAG
2.25/5  rDev -37.2%

Photo of cheribom
2.25/5  rDev -37.2%

Photo of Achoo_Bacca
2.25/5  rDev -37.2%

Photo of Crosling
2.25/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Amber colored brew. Balanced but unpleasant nose, with hints of biscuit from the malt as well as some grapefruit and lemon from the hops. Flavor is very light, lacking complexity and depth. Nothing even close to a wee heavy. How is this beer not an amber ale?

 259 characters

Photo of Ricklikesmibeer
2.25/5  rDev -37.2%

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Christmas Ale (-2016) from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 3.58 out of 5 with 1,759 ratings