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

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503 Reviews
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Bell's Christmas AleBell's Christmas Ale
BEER INFO

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

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:
503
Ratings:
1,636
Avg:
3.58
pDev:
23.18%
 
 
Wants:
50
Gots:
260
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 503 | Ratings: 1,636
Photo of DrDemento456
4.31/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Out of all the on tap offerings today this one was the best!

A - Looks to be a deep color amber with a nice bit of foam and the best lacing on the sides of my glass. Great presentation!

S - Smells faint but I can get cinnamon and nutmeg with some hops and malts.

T - Very good! I can pick up the cinnamon, maybe some all spice, and nutmeg but also a mild cherry tone. Tastes awesome!

M - Very light to medium bodied. Was able to finish the sample pretty quick.

D - I don't remember it being this great out of the bottle but it sure impressed me on tap! Great flavor and surprisingly smooth low ABV scotch ale!

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.71/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a rusty, ruby amber with bright copper highlights. Great two finger head after the pour that recedes to a lovely thick skin of foam that lastst the whole twelve ounces. Great bubbling too. Very faint note of spices in the nose that add a nuancing glaze to the dry tasted malt nose. Toasted whole grain bread starts the taste,then a some spearminty hops come in the middle. The finish is a spicey herbal note. Hints of cardamon and even a little cinnamon play with the minty hops and bready malts. Pretty hoppy for a Scottish ale. Bready and grist in mouthfeel. Good mix of flavor, hough I don't think it falls under the Scottish ale category.

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Photo of Immortale25
3.03/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a Dogfish signature snifter. Label says packaged on 10/13/11.

A- Pours a medium copper color with a 1/2 inch head that retains a bit and fades into an 1/8 inch head with considerable lacing.

S- Has a glassy, metallic smell with some sweet spiciness.

T- Tastes clean and balanced but there's not a lot of flavor. Weak hops and only a bit stronger malts give way to very mild spice notes. Almost tastes like a lager.

M- Medium-high carbonation with a mouthfeel that seems too thin considering the color of the beer.

O- What is it with Bells' winter seasonals being so unexciting? This and Winter White Ale are both not bad, just boring.

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Photo of DrJay
2.27/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Hazed copper colour with a fluffy, light beige cap that really lasted. Dense head of fine bubbles, streaky lacing. Musty aroma up front, then a bit of lemon and herbal hops. Malt was hiding in the background, a bit biscuity. Dry yeast smell. Moderate bitterness that lingered into the finish. Yeasty, bready flavour followed by herbal hops and a spiciness that was just short of acrid. Sort of fruity too. Herbal character lingered, along with a bit of lemon. Medium bodied with creamy carbonation, but had a weird dryness in the finish. Drinkability wasn't great, but I was able to finish it without too much trouble. This one was all over the place and didn't come together at all. I'm a big fan of Bell's and enjoy many a Christmas beer at this time of year, but this didn't work for me.

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Photo of avalon07
3.58/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an amber color and a mostly clear consistency. There was a big, foamy, long-lasting head. Very good lacing.

S: A very subdued aroma of malt, caramel and hops.

T: Pretty much tastes like it smells: Malt and caramel up front with a slight hoppiness in the finish. Not a very dynamic or memorable flavor, but not terrible either.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a dry finish. Medium-bodied.

D: Bell's has done better work, but this isn't a wholly undrinkable beer.

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Photo of sweemzander
3.4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint. Batch #9422

(A)- Pours a clear red amber that produced a white head with good retention. Some lacing present.

(S)- A lightly sweet honey & spice with a toffee nuttiness to it.

(T)- A light sweetness with honey & nuts with a light spicyness. Has a very generic corn-husk flavor to its profile.

(M)- Good balance and carbonation level with a simple, but good feel to it. Straightforward.

(D)- Good, but was expecting something more than this. A great session beer, but definitely not what I thought this would be. Didnt think this was a scotch ale until I looked it up. . . definitely doesnt smell or taste as such :/

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Photo of rfgetz
3.82/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazed coppery brown color with decent cap of khaki head. Scent brings forward a mix of sweet carmel malts, roasted nuts, citrusy hops and some prune/fig like qualities. Taste starts with the citrusy hops, followed by a 50/50 mix of sweet malts and roasted nuts, the back end features the lingering notes of dark dried fruits. Medium bodied, slightly high in carbonation. A decent beer, but the strange mix can overpower the palate - akin to a very hoppy brown ale in my opinion.

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Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: 1 inch head, high carbonation, orange-brown in color, hazy

Smell: cherry, bread, dark fruit, and holiday spice

Taste: earthy pale malt malt, cherry, bread, dark fruit, and holiday spice

Mouthfeel: medium body, sweet with slight earthy bitterness especially at the end, high carbonation

Overall: A bit more pale than I would have expected and I got more winter warmer here than Scottish ale. That said I like the spice combination. A good not great beer that I would get a six pack of each holiday if it were available here.

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Photo of Bighuge
3.53/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Murky looking bronze. Thin beige head. Lacing clings nicely. Aroma is real herbal and nutty. Also fruity. It's smells like a fruitcake. On the palate, there is a very interesting blend of berries, nuts and rum. Again, I'm reminded of Christmas fruit and nut breads. Pretty dry finish. Medium bodied and moderately carbonated. Most interesting scotch ale I've had. Pretty decent.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.53/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle opened on 11.29.12

A - Pours a cloudy light brown with a one inch tan head with good retention.

S - Malts, orange peel and some toast.

T - Spice, Orange peel, and mild malts.

D - Good carbonation and a mediumb body.

O - Mild all-around - meh. Needs more in one direction or the other.

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Photo of Bung
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Suprisingly light amber pour. Disapating off white head. Some malt, raisin aromas, but more piney/citrus hops than would be expected for the style. Tastes similarly. Finish hop bitter clean. Overall, pretty drinkable, but I would classify this as somewhere between a pale and a scotch ale. I expected more with this style being one I've taken a liking to and Bell's usually producing quality in the traditionally stronger flavored/abv styles. Bell's still has it's standouts, but many of their low gravity style beers are becoming rather mainstream.

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Photo of drpimento
3.49/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Welll, interesting. Poured with a nice, white, foamy, frothy head and lotsa lace. Color is a very clear medium-to-dark amber. Aroma is malty. Flavor is more hoppy than what I'd expect. Body is thinner also than what I'd expect; ditto carbonation being almost spritzy. Not a bad beer in general, but as a scotch ale, not as much. Still, a good beer and easy drinking. Could be a session beer especially if you're not too demanding of allegiance to style.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.94/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a bottle at Cloverleaf in Royal Oak, not wanting to commit to a 6-pack until I tried one first. The beer sort of light colored for a scotch ale, darkish yellow with a 2-finger head. The smell is malty with a little, very little, hops fruitiness. The taste is toasted and malty, with a really nice fruit after-taste. I could drink quite a few more of these just for the after-taste, so good. I'm getting a 6-pack before Christmas, and recommend the same to everyone else.

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Photo of glid02
3.78/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Last year's version purchased from Brawley's in Charlotte quite a while back.

Pours a chestnut brown color with a 1.5-finger tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of lightly toasted caramel malts with hints of nondescript fruit.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Caramel and toasted malt flavors up front carry through to a sweet ending. As the beer warms very slight fruit flavors enter into things but they're not as intense as the aroma would indicate and they take a backseat to the malts. Not a whole lot of complexity here but everything's done well.

Mouthfeel is good. There's a nice thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I had no problem finishing the bottle and could have another.

Overall this is a solid low ABV scotch ale. Worth a shot.

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Photo of trxxpaxxs
3.92/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to wintbs379 for this bottle.

A: Pours a really nice amber hue with about a half finger of bone white head that fades into a think halo along the top of the beer. There is very little lacing as it drinks.

S: The nose of this beer seems really complicated. I'm getting notes of malt, berry, and mild spice. There may also be a touch of citrus in there as well.

T: The flavors of the beer follow the nose. I get some malty sweetness, some hints of berry, a touch of spice, and just a little bit of lemon peel. It's really pleasant.

M: Light bodied beer. Sweetness right up front, a bit chewy, and it finishes thick.

O: This is one of the best Scotch Ales I've had, and definitely one of the better Christmas Ales on the market. I'd drink this beer again.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a 10 oz pint glass

Appearance – The beer is served a reddish amber color with a nice one finger off white head. The head has a good level of retention giving a quite nice level of lacing.

Smell – The nose is overall quite light. It consists of a light bready smell mixed with some light citrus and brown sugar.

Taste – A bready and malty flavor greets the tongue. A decent sweetness is upfront being of a caramel and brown sugar flavor. Dark fruit flavors then come to the taste more toward the middle. While the dark fruit comes to the taste, the sugary tastes dwindling a bit. Some flavors of a smoky nature soon come to the tongue more toward the end and are accompanied by a light spice as well as some bitter citrus. These flavors, in the end, leave a malty but hop and sweet balanced flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel –The body of the brew was on the thicker and creamier side for a brew of only 5.5 % abv. The carbonation level was on the slightly lower side, but very close to average. The combo of the thicker body and medium carbonation made it a bit of a slower drinker, but not too slow where it wasn't still refreshing and to where all the spice and sweet flavors lost their draw. Quite nicely done.

Overall – A great drinking Christmas ale with a good flavor and mouthfeel.

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Photo of champ103
3.18/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear amber/red color. A two finger white head forms at first, but recedes in a second. A watery film of lace is left behind.
S: Dank hops, sweet malt, and a metallic aroma.
T: Some watery and thin hops. Sweet caramel malt. Not bad, but nothing out of the ordinary.
M/D: A medium body and carbonation. A little bit in the thin side, but fairly smooth. Easy enough to drink. I will put a few away this holiday season.

Overall, pretty bland, but not bad. Just kind of neutral, but simple enough to be a good one to share at a holiday get together. Though far from a Scottish or Christmas Ale in any sense.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.48/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz single, batch 8802 - always nice to see a new bells release

appearance: poured into a hopleaf tulip, murky and muddy amber body, light beige head with very minimal retention

smell: light malty aromas, a touch of nut and a touch of grain.

taste: This beer just doesnt do much of anything for me...it has some traces of promise but falls pretty damn flat. There is a festively spiced hop profile and a light earthy malt base but it certainly isnt your fathers scotch ale and it just doesnt have much flavor at all

mouthfeel: smooth, medium-light

drinkability: fine

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.49/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle. Bottled 30 October 2015. Can't believe I've never seen this one before.
4.5/3.5/3.5/3.25/3.25
A: Gorgeous ruby red. Almost glowing. Beautiful with a half-finger of head. Pellucid and lovely.
S: It smells like artificial cherry. Cheerwine or cough syrup. How strange!
T: Weird beer. It's...syrupy strange. Malty, but the fruit (cherry) character is the strange bit. Otherwise, spruce and freshy hops, with a lightly spritely citrus-hop aftertaste to temper the thick sweetness.
M: Herbal-fizzy mouthfeel, slightly sticky endtaste. A bit chewy. Caramel malt.
O: I hate to say, but I don't love it. It's a bit weird, muddled. Thickish and sort of syrupy.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.05/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip. Batch # 9422 (October 21, 2009).

Thanks to Sweemzander for hooking up two bottles of the Holiday spirit!

A - This pours a beautiful clear amber orange color with a two-finger off-white head. Very dense and creamy looking. Great retention and some thick lacing on the glass.

S - The mellow aroma smells of light malts and a refined honey sweetness. A little bit of brown sugar pokes out. There is also this overarching mango, fruity nose. Very fruity. No hops in the aroma.

T - Smooth mellow malts with an underlying honey sweetness. The fruitiness is there but goes to the back burner. Up front is a delicate hop flavor that's a bit floral and all subtle.

M - Very creamy and smooth in the mouth, it's medium-bodied with a light dry but crisp finish. Well balanced.

D - Not all that Christmas-y but it is darn good. A mellow and smooth beer with a little crisp bite to the end that smells, looks, and tastes good.

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Photo of ZAP
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not a scottish ale...more of a floral pale ale with a nice candy sweet maltiness...

A-Burnt orange...substantial creamy off white head

S-Hopes shine through...floral/herbal characteristics..

T-More of a candy like maltiness to the taste with earthy/floral hop notes..

D-Nice drinkable beer but there are a lot like that. If I want a Holiday Beer from Bell's I'd rather reach for an Expedition...scratch off the label and write HOLIDAY BEER in black market to appease myself. As a beer this is decent. As a Holiday special beer it is a disappointment. I'll rate it as a beer...an APA..

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Photo of xnicknj
3.37/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

on tap at devils den

Pours a clouded auburn with a solid white head. Fades to film which disappears rather quickly, leaving hardly any lacing.

Some malty peat and chocolate in the nose, with notes of breadiness as well.

Begins with citrusy hops and pine, followed by notes of chocolate and bitterness. Slight smoke and leather with some caramel malt. Finishes a little dry with some bread crust and lightly roasted malt.

Thinner medium body, higher carbonation, a little chewy. Drinks okay, but I really wasn't impressed with the flavor and pretty much wanted to be through with this to get to something better.

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Photo of Suds
3.13/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a hazy copper color with a tall white head. It has a notable amount of carbonation...more than necessary, really. The aroma is initially faint, although a distant herbal hop smell presents itself after the brew warms. The taste is mostly dry, with a resiny and slightly astringent character. It has a pale malt flavor, along with some wood and hops. It's not as malty as it could be, and the exceeding dryness could use something to balance it. Hops come forth more and more through the experience. It's okay, but a bit of a let down.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
3.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Comes out of the bottle clear and coppery with a thick and persistent off-white head. Aroma is malty and slightly fruity and spicy. Malty flavor has spicy undertone, mainly cloves and cinnamon and a fruity touch. Texture is strongly tingly and fairly smooth.

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Photo of Durge
3.84/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beauty from the Ohoove cellars looks cloudy rust colored with a decent off-white head and solid lacing. The aroma has a big earthy malt, maybe peat and allspice and banana clove. Very nice. The first taste brings a ton of carbonation with bright grassy hops and light toffee malt. It's mid to light bodied. The hop bites the tip of the tongue with just a hint of clove. It's very angry with tiny bubbles. I get some apple mash and a bit of belly warmth. Overall a good if unspectacular brew but also not evident of any traditional holiday characteristics. Drinkable enough, just wish it tasted as good as it smelled.

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Bell's Christmas Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.58 out of 5 based on 1,636 ratings.
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