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

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BA SCORE
3.58/5
Good
1,759 Ratings
BEER INFO

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

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.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
-
Reviews:
541
Ratings:
1,759
pDev:
12.85%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
58
Gots:
302
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,759 |  Reviews: 541
Photo of BenHoppy
3.99/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ruby red color with some cinnamon, nutmeg flavoring scotch ale. A slow sipper that should be shared over A fire with snow falling during the holidays. This 7.5 version better than 5.5% abv

 190 characters

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

Photo of MeIquiades
3.79/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of aclockworkchris
4.19/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
2.3/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.25

Nice cloudy copper body, looks pretty thick, with auburn head that fades to a ring. The nose has a horrible, nasty, intolerable herbal note similar to crushed cilantro, absolute turn-off, I hate this. There is some warm malt behind it, but that initial herbal chalky note is too bad for me to investigate more. The taste has even more of this unfortunate element, but this time it even overshadows anything else. Another review calling it Scotch Tape flavor is also an appropriate description. Just awful. The body is fine, I guess; again, too much nasty flavor going on to tell.
I hope this is some flaw of my palate and Bell's isn't subjecting everyone to this thing. This is just like Flying Monkey's Chocolate Manifesto beer; that herbal, chalky, cilantro, nasty flavor might not be the strongest thing here, but just like a tack in your heel steals all of your attention even if you're in a room full of Victoria's Secret models, this stole my attention in a bad, bad way.

 977 characters

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

Photo of bbtkd
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bell's Christmas Ale, 7.5% ABV. Pours dark brown with one finger off-white head. Nose is...not much, some vague sweetness. Taste is roast malt, some tartness, some sweetness, and a moderate bitter close. Excellent mouthfeel, overall excellent.

 247 characters

Photo of JuicesFlowing
4.21/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a balloon glass.

The beer is opaque dark cinnamon amber color with a thick soapy cream colored head that doesn’t recede and leaves thick bands of sudsy lacing. The aroma is of toasted grains, buttery malts, toffee, caramel, and light dried cherry notes. The taste is a combination of toffee/caramel and bitter/tart cherry fruitiness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and dry.

Overall, this is excellent and exactly how I like my Christmas ales.

 459 characters

Photo of JustLikeMyDad
2.99/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

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

Photo of cdwil
3.52/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of n2492004
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of SeymourDunn
4.31/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

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

Photo of sethcroisant
4.21/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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 leprechaunandfatman
4.23/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of AColtonOfBeer
3.98/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Eammon1920
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of bret717
4.08/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Look- Dark, dark brown; fluffy 2 finger tan head; leaves some spotty lacing

Aroma- fairly weak nose on this, but i do get a little dark bread and toffee. As it warms I'm getting a little nuttiness as well

Taste- really explodes with vanilla, toffee, rich breadiness, brown sugar and just a hint of bitterness at the end

Feel- medium bodied and creamy texture

Overall- Great Scotch Ale with a weak aroma being it's only shortcoming. However, the flavor more than makes up for it making this an excellent sipper perfect for colder weather.

Side note- This beer is listed as 5.4% alcohol, but my bottle says 7.5%.

 615 characters

Photo of a77cj7
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Zach136
3.74/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of rodbeermunch
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Kind of a dark copper presentation with 1/3" off white head. Aroma of malt, brown, red up in here.

Taste, malty. Not quite winter warmer, not quite scotch ale, but somewhere in between. Mild bitterness, no real hop flavor though. Earthy. Tobacco. A little bit of holiday spice. Low carbonation but not a problem. Sticky caramel. A lot of brown and crystal malt, this one I can't figure out who I would recommend it to. Its middling ya know?

 453 characters

Photo of GreatHammerhead
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12 oz. bottle packaged 10/24/16 poured into a pint glass.

Look: Hazy copper coloration with some suspended sediment and an off-white two finger head. Decent head retention.

Smell: Not much going on here, mostly just malts.

Taste: Malts, grapefruit rind and some light hop bitterness.

Feel: Medium body with light to moderate carbonation.

Overall: Not bad, just kind of bland.

 394 characters

Photo of VILJ
3.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

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