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

Bell's Christmas AleBell's Christmas Ale
1,714 Ratings
Bell's Christmas AleBell's Christmas Ale

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

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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,714 |  Reviews: 531
Photo of Skurasky
3.64/5  rDev +2%

Photo of mooseo
3.65/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.65/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aroma light caramel, malt, earthy, floral, nuttiness & herbal. Taste slight nuttiness, malt, caramel, bread, faint lemon & floral. Nice!

137 characters

Photo of dorianmarley
3.65/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is golden red, light head, nice lacing.

Nose is sweet malt with a nice dose of fresh hops; unique for a Christmas ale.

Taste is sweet malt with bitter hops. Defined maple flavor, with a biscuit finish. The flavors are hardy, fitting for cold months, but lacks the zest or spice usually associated with holiday cheer.

Mouthfeel is smooth with mild carbonation; refreshing.

Overall, not a bad Bell's brew, but it is not what I would look to first on a cold, Holiday night.

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Photo of MorganStout
3.65/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of cnally
3.65/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ho ho ho.

A really massive head on this one, untamed and ridiculously huge, off-white in color. The beer itself is a cloudy brown amber.

Spicy, sweet aroma, with nutmeg and cinnamon.

The flavor begins a bit bitter, but melds into a creamy malt, with a nutty, almond and walnut taste. Finishes sweet and malty.

Creamy mouthfeel with a great level of carbonation.

Could I drink this by the yule log? Yep. Could I drink it at Christmas dinner? Sure. It is balanced enough yet completely underwhelming? Oh yeah. That is a bit of an endorsement.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.65/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-Tap at Monk's

A- Bell's Christmas is a medium dark amber color with some burnt gold hazed within. This one is bordering on light copper. Much lighter than what I was expecting for a scotch ale. A nice white cap that left hardly anything resembling lace.

S- The smell is of a light Scottish ale that really does not resemble a Christmas ale at all. While there is a light (and Im being generous there) spicing the beer label is a bit misleading. Caramel with some light fruit.

T- I kinda like this. It's not a Christmas ale, and it's not really a scotch ale. While it leans towards the latter, it's kind of a light version with a bit of roast some caramel, vanilla and some nuts in the background. The spices are light and don't scream holiday time, it's something different that I cant put into words. a bit of cinnamon and a taste of faded hops.

M,D- A light scotch ale, not very roasty, above light bodied with medium carb, leaves a small crispness on the buds but goes down smooth. Not spicy at all, it wont overwhelm anything. Easy drinking and small alcohol. This is good, it's just not memorable.

 1,109 characters

Photo of jkrich
3.65/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle with no freshness date; number 8803 stamped on back label.

The pour revealed a murky, amber color (quite similar to Bell's amber)with some slight brownish red highlights. The head was off-white and short-lived with light lacing.

The sweetness of the malt is prevalent in the aroma along with a spicy aroma of hops.

The ale is surprisingly light given the aroma. The malty sweetness attacks the palate and leaves a slight candy aftertaste (though not cloying) with a slight metallic twang. Tastes more like an amber style ale than a scotch ale.

This one is moderately carbonated with a good malty sweetness on the tongue and also refreshing mouthfeel for this style.

Not a hugely complex ale like most holiday season products, but its flavors keep it interesting and with a 5.4 % ABV you could drink several at one time. Bell's always offer something interesting and unexpected (think about their winter white ale - a wit style ale usually ubiquitous in the summer).

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Photo of soulfly1492
3.65/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aroma: Hoppy upfront. Pine. Some sweet malts, corn, mild phenols, wheat and spices.

Appearance: Amber brown, just a bit cloudy. ours a tall off-white head. Tons of lacing. Great retention.

Flavor: Tons of malt. Munich, caramel, sweet honey. Nice crisp bitter hops. Lots of honey in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Mild carbonation. Light and creamy. Overall a bit drying.

Overall: Pretty good, but I expect the best from Bell's. Nice malt flavor, and hops to balance out the mix.

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Photo of Roxie_B
3.65/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks: Translucent amber with rich copper highlights. Straw colored head.
Smell: Apricot, pear, and red apple. Sweet and fruity. Cloves.
Taste: Clove and nutmeg upfront. Transitions to dry pear and red apple.
Mouthfeel: Medium light body and sprightly carbonation.

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Photo of kshankar
3.65/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a color with a white head. Layer of foam recedes to a cap..which stays the whole way down.

Aroma is bready malts, hops, and some spice from the hops as well. Pretty good combination

Taste is malts balanced with the spicy hop flavor. Bready. I like it.

Mouthfeel...medium bodied, a bit of a creamy texture, finishes clean.

I'd say all of that makes for a pretty drinkable beer.

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Photo of DeltaGolfSierra
3.65/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Color is dark amber with an orange tint. Initially the pour was clear, but some cloudiness came from the final pour off the bottom of the bottle. The full dense head is long lasting. Scents are like a nice fruit cocktail with ripe pear and peach. The taste is nicely balanced between caramel/bready malt flavors and floral/grassy hop flavors. A bitterness in the finish really comes through. Not very complex or intensely flavored, but enjoyable.

 446 characters

Photo of VncentLIFE
3.65/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours like a Christmas Ale. a mix of orange and red. orange-red crayon. decently thick head.

Smell is candy sweet. Hints of peppermints, gingerbread cookies, and caramels. smells like a holiday dessert spread in a bottle.

I wouldnt even describe the taste as caramelized sugar, its pure candied sugar. It feels like I just ate a caramel. I have never had anything like it. The grains feel dry, but still I feel candy everywhere. Hops are non-existent. Very malty and sweet. Im not real sure about how I feel about it. I like the interplay between dry grain and candied sugars, but not really a drinkable beer. I like it sips in place of a dessert wine.

It still leaves your mouth coated with a candy coated smoothness.

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Photo of beerphan
3.65/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle -> american pint
CODE: 10027

Pours a clear burnt copper with bright orange highlights. A small delicate head quickly disappears and deposits only a few dots of lace. Carbonation show up big on the pour, then retreats to a steady stream of bubbles of all sizes.

Nose: Light caramel, some herbal funk

Medium semi creamy almost slick mouthfeel. A full on blast of malt sweetness with candy caramel and sticky toffee. Some deep biscuit tones battle the caramels. A medium bitterness tips the sweet scales slightly and finishes the brew semi-dry and sticky sweet.

Another quality Bells offerering, not your typical spiced Christmas Ale brewed with locally grown ingredients, kudus Bells.

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Photo of Giggy
3.66/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Not a typical Christmas seasonal. I've tried this one every winter over the last few years. Taste changes from year to year.

Appearance: Red/Brown tint, slightly cloudy

Smell: Toasted sweet caramel malts

Taste: Roasted malts with a delicate citrus overtone

Mouthfeel: Spritzy and light in body

Drinkability: Sweet with a crisp finish

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Photo of skyroof_hilltop
3.66/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of yemenmocha
3.66/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light amber color with generous sized white frothy head. Nose is on the lighter side but clearly bready and grainy. Palate is mostly toasty flavors, perhaps with some dry twigs in there too. Hops have some light spicing to round it out so the malt isn't terribly sweet. Overall finishes toasty again, perhaps biscuity.

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Photo of clager
3.66/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Photo of tdm168
3.67/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - dark amber with a quarter of an inch of thick, soft, white, pillowy head that has great retention

S - caramel, a bit grainy, bread, baked apples

T - baked apples, faint caramel, a bit bitter in the finish; the flavor here is dominated by fruity esters

M - crisp, medium bodied

This is a rather "run of the mill" beer. There isn't much to it. It's all esters and caramel malt. This isn't bad, but I certainly won't buy it again.

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Photo of tommy5
3.67/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of ThomasMetal75
3.67/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A- Straight down the middle of the glass, the Christmas Ale pours a very thick tan, cream colored head. 3 fingered head. Rocky. The body of the beer is a hazy copper, red, maroon color. Pretty dark overall.

S- Big, bready, malt note. This is an all malt beer. It has a resinous hop smell that is quite pronounced. But at the same time, it's got toasted notes of toffee and of grains. The smell reminds me of the Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale. The Christmas Ale has some citrus going on, such as orange peels, mangoes, pineapple and grapefruit. I get pine and leather as well. It's overall a rich, sweet malt, grainy and toasted, with an IPA nose on it.

T- It is a lot like the Celebration Ale. This is not as heavy in your face, "Here's an IPA, recognize me". It won't slap you around in the hops. But it will give a hop head what he needs. It's got a lot of red ale quality. It quite toasted and grainy. You get toffee and a caramel sweetness. You do get some of the typical spices that are used in fruit breads. Even some kind of gingerbread-ish flavor is detected as well. That's light. The holiday type spices are not heavy enough to overpower the beer at all. The hoppiness has a oily, resinous, dank quality to it. The hops were more bitter on smell than taste. Had a leathery taste to the hops as well. It finishes pretty dry like an IPA does. I also detect a light biscuity note and some sweet molasses.

M- The body is on the medium side, more towards mild. It's pretty crisp, clean, and it is refreshing. It's only slightly sticky sweet. It is making me smack my lips. It's also a little bit chewy like a big red wine. It drinks like a red ale meets an IPA meets the Celebration Ale.

Overall, this beer gets a B+, and an 85/100 from me. If you like the sweet grainy notes, toffee and molasses, and a hoppy beer, this one is for you! The beer is fairly dry, so it's gone before you realize it. I'd say get some. It's pretty awesome!

 1,945 characters

Photo of cbcrunch
3.67/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of bushwack
3.67/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of couchsitta
3.67/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of BlackBelt5112203
3.67/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle poured into a nonic pint glass at cellar temperature.

L – Medium amber color with a 1.5-finger bubbly, cream-colored head. Pretty good retention and some nice lacing. Lots of yeasty floaters make the beer appear murky.

S – Lots of caramel malt, some nutty and toasted malt, and some earthy and faintly smoky aromas, too. There may be some very faint orange hops in here, as well.

T – Sweet caramel malt up front giving way to toasted, nutty malt and some earthiness. Possibly a presence of bitter citrus hops can be appreciated at the finish.

F – Medium-bodied with good carbonation, a sticky and somewhat creamy mouthfeel, and a toasted and slightly bitter finish.

O – This is a pretty good beer. It just seems a little watered down, especially for a Christmas beer. I think it would do well with some more of that sweet caramelized malt and definitely some more smoky and earthy aromas and flavors. Still, this is a tasty and very drinkable beer. Even when Bell’s misses, they don’t miss by much.

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Bell's Christmas Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Beer rating: 3.57 out of 5 with 1,714 ratings
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