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

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Bell's Christmas AleBell's Christmas Ale
BA SCORE
3.58/5
Good
1,746 Ratings
Bell's Christmas AleBell's Christmas Ale
BEER INFO

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

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BierFan on 11-06-2008

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#38,989
Reviews:
538
Ratings:
1,746
pDev:
12.85%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
58
Gots:
295
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,746 |  Reviews: 538
Photo of Tripel_Threat
3.73/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A Christmastime tradition. Had this one served every which way. Spiced and malty/bready aroma leads to a flavor of dark fruits, plum, raisin, bread, and warm spice. Some sips are reminiscent of mulled wine. Very fitting as a Christmas ale, my second favorite Christmas ale behind Great Lakes.

 294 characters

Photo of Roguer
3.55/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.25

Murky and active; nut brown; off white head with good retention.

Surprising amount of hops on the nose: fair bit of pine, and touches of citrus and herbal notes. Deeper, one finds the prunes and caramel expected from a Scotch ale. Notes of maple and honey round it out.

Flavor is unsurprising given the aroma: dry and grainy, with noticeable hop character. Caramel malt backbone, but this overall comes across more as a hoppy New World Oktoberfest than any Scotch ale.

Dry up front, but a sticky wet finish. Smooth and clean.

This is actually a very nice, enjoyable brew ... if you're not expecting a Scotch ale.

 616 characters

Photo of srw
3.4/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of PackenGreen
3.72/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of _Adam_
4.01/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Cluker
3.1/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of Aisha
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Squire123
3.9/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance is like dark amber honey with whitish cap and good lacing.

Aroma is toffee malt, some spice (hops I believe) and something vinous. Not a table wine sort of thing, more sherry like and reminiscent of the homemade muscadine wine of my youth.

Taste is rich toffee malt with spicy hints. Again the vinous quality is there but not intrusive. Rather like a buttress holding up the malt wall. Hops are lightly present and noticed more in the finish and lingering aftertaste. Not a complex flavor but a good one that seems to keep things neatly in balance. A Winter Warmer deriving it's spice from hops as it were. There is also a bit of nuttiness in the aftertaste which I presume is malt driven.

Texture is silky rich in a medium way, not heavy but certainly not a light weight.

Similar to Bell's Brown but this Christmas Ale is more balanced and nuanced. I like what I can only describe as the vinous touch because it adds a dimension which isn't a competing or overriding flavor. This is a well thought out brew without the gobsmacking wallop of heavy flavors or head whacking of high ABV. I must say my first impression was not a Scottish Ale, at least as I understand them, but a more refined version of something like Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale.

 1,277 characters

Photo of nwhittin
3.4/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of crob3888
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Casey3236
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Beer Store Malvern. I'm generally not a fan of spiced beers: don't really do the Christmas or pumpkin beers, so keep that in mind with my review. A kind of week Scottish ale with some winter spice, I expect more from Bells than just a Christmas beer for the sake of offering one but that was the impression I had of this.

 331 characters

Photo of WDJersey
3.48/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of MargotDarko
3.69/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

I was a bit disappointed by this one. It looked and smelled quite nice but a little boring. It was easy to drink and inoffensive. It just had nothing interesting going on. Like others have said, it also did not really seem like a Scottish ale.

 243 characters

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.

 708 characters

Photo of dudd
3.38/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Marzen_Fan
3.39/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Griffin2
3.44/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.
L - Pours a hazy dark brown with a slight tanish white head.
S - Smells of malt and toffee.
T - Tastes like the smell, of toffee.
F - Medium feel with medium carbonation.
O - Pretty nice drinking beer. Not overpowering with spices like a lot of holiday beers.

 305 characters

Photo of Beejay
3.59/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Medium brown in color with a large light tan head on top.

S: Malty with toffee and bread notes.

T: Bread, toffee, and a touch floral with a nice long linger. Perhaps a little herbal in the finish.

M: Medium in body with a smooth feel, and moderate carbonation.

O: Overall pretty good. Not sure what about this particularly says Christmas.. But F- it. It's beer.

 374 characters

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

Photo of Jcarriglio
3.59/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of ajreds11
3.85/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of kinggimp
3.54/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Beerboe
3.21/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Picked a 6-pack up on sale because I love Scotch Ales and it was from Bell's! The guy at the liquor store noted it has low alcohol content for a Christmas Ale, but I hoped it would make up for that with more flavor.

Drank some and couldn't taste much Scotch flavor in it. After a while I decided it's a nice Amber ale, nothing more. Disappointing but it makes a good mixer for other over-spiced Christmas beers, one of which I currently have, so there's that. It's not bad by itself, and very drinkable, contrary to what one very odd reviewer below said. Its just not a Scotch Ale as far as I'm concerned.

 611 characters

Photo of dcotom
3.56/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

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

Bell's Christmas Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Beer rating: 3.58 out of 5 with 1,746 ratings
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