Leaves Of Grass Series V: Song Of The Open Road
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store

Leaves Of Grass Series V: Song Of The Open RoadLeaves Of Grass Series V: Song Of The Open Road
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Winter Warmer
3.94 | pDev: 9.39%
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Michigan, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Leaves Of Grass Series V: Song Of The Open RoadLeaves Of Grass Series V: Song Of The Open Road
Notes: The fifth of 7 beers celebrating a literary classic, and one of our favorites, Leaves of Grass, by Walt Whitman. A sipper that is nice and malty with notes of baked bread, brown sugar and dark fruit. A perfect winter companion to help keep you warm and toasty.
Reviews: 30 | Ratings: 73 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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bluejacket74 from Ohio

3.84/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle, packaged 01/10/2020. Served in a snifter, the beer pours a reddish/burnt orange color with about an inch tan head that stuck around a while. Also some noticeable floaties with a decent amount of lacing. Aroma is nice, the brew smells like dark fruit, dark bread, caramel and brown sugar. I think the taste is similar to the aroma, but there's also the addition of some earthy/herbal hops, grassy and candied orange flavors. Nice lingering bitterness in the finish, hoppier than I expected for a winter warmer. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's smooth and has a good amount of carbonation. I thought it was a solid overall brew, worth picking up. Just bought some this morning so there's still some on the shelves in some areas. $1.99 for a single bottle.

Nov 03, 2020
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Storm_Rryder from Iowa

4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Malty and thick with lots of floating bits ! A bit bitter, maybe like a black IPA? I like it so far, will revisit after drinking more of it.
2nd one, still like it, love the "thickness" of it. I do taste the brown sugar, feels like molasses :-) Good stuff to drink slowly.

Sep 22, 2020
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crazyspicychef from Pennsylvania

2.93/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a murky copper brown.
Thin off white head fell fast.
Smells of malt, toffee, hay and hops.
To me it has more of an American Barleywine taste going on.
A touch of warm alcohol notes, and a bit of hop tongue burn.
A bit hoppier for a winter warmer than I was hoping, but it's Bell's.
All of the ingredients seem to get lost in each other.
Not bad, not my favorite "Winter" offering.

Jul 26, 2020
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DrDemento456 from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pick this up as of late sucks because I missed number 4. Thankfully still plenty of carbonation actually a crap ton making way for 1/4 inch of frothy tan head. Smells of caramelized bread sweet sugars mild fudge and some hoppy bitterness. Taste of typical old ale fanfare some bitter hops it's like tobacco touch of caramel a smooth finish. Reminds me of old jubilation. Body is quite smooth obituary and medium to heavy. overall quite a good beard nothing really spectacular just a really smooth high-gravity old ale.

Jul 23, 2020
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buschbeer from Ohio

3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 FL OZ bottle
Served in a pint glass

This beer pours a deep rust color with copper highlights. Chunk of yeast are visible. It is topped with an inch of tan head that leaves spotty lacing.

The smell is caramel, cocoa, chocolate.

The taste is caramelized sugar, roasted malt, baking chocolate, and black coffee. It has some bitterness.

Medium bodied with a smooth mouthfeel

I'm just happy this wasn't an overspiced winter warmer. I can see this being good on a cold winter night. It happens to be a hot summer night currently though.

Jul 12, 2020
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q33jeff from New Jersey

3.77/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5


Bottle to snifter. What better time for a Winter Warmer than the scalding heat of July. Kind of joking, but still a welcome change up from the AAL/APA/IPA/Belgian White norms. Bottle date 01/02/2020.

LOOK: dark copper amber color, looks like a touch of haziness, but tough to see in this darker shade. Maize-ish Beige head. One of the more interesting head colors. Excellent retention.
AROMA: Gingerbread, fig newtons, red grape, allspice, brown sugar.
TASTE: dried apples, bread, baking soda. Not nearly as enticing as the Aroma.
FEEL: medium body, good carbonation.

interesting brew. some great points, but there are better winter warmers out there.


Jul 02, 2020
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Ahypercube from California

4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

I'm a little late with this one, since it's no longer winter, butI just found it, so sue me.

Pours with a somewhat hazy body, just a tad lighter in color than its predecessor, "To a Locomotive in Winter" but with the same cola brown glow.

This one produces aromas of dark chocolate, fudge, dried cherries, honey, molasses, prunes, leather, tobacco, darkly toasted multigrain bread, walnut, hazelnut, almond, and turbinado sugar.

Decadent and refined, this is a real treat. Definitely a sipper; comes off as a toasty bready cola with hints of dried fruit and nuts. Not as sweet on the palate as the nose.

Not too heavy, but not an amazing texture. Definitely a sipper.

Another great beer from this series. Glad I got a chance to try. Cheers!

May 03, 2020
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NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

4.09/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bell's Brewery, Inc. "Leaves Of Grass Series V: Song Of The Open Road"
12 fl. oz. brown glass bottle, "PKG 01/10/2020 PRN 27946". Sampled on 04/23/2020.
$2.99 @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ

Notes via stream of consciousness: It's poured a murky brown with chestnut colored highlights when held to the light. The head is a finger's width of khaki colored foam. There's plenty of malt in the aroma with notes of chocolate cookies, fudge, caramel, toasted bread, and brown sugar. There's a smear of hops to it as well, and some minor fruitiness. It's quite welcoming. On to the taste, it's much more chocolatey than I thought it would be. It's quite malty and bready with some tastiness to it. Nuttiness follows, as do the more sugary notes. A very firm bitterness balances it lower and brings it to an abrupt stop as some earthy and spicy hop notes arise. Some sweet sugary notes linger but they have to go toe to toe with the bitterness. It lingers like that for a moment and then fades, leaving only a bit of raisin-like fruitiness and spritz of alcohol behind. In the mouth it's medium-full in body, and crisp. I'm quite pleased with this apart from the haziness. It's richly malty but balanced in the end, and fairly complex.
Review #7,000

Apr 23, 2020
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Alieniloquium from Florida

3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle. Deep amber. Smells of nutty malts and toffee. Aggressive grassy hops. Tastes much the same. Strong toffee and caramel. Strong hop bitterness. Slick mouthfeel and medium heavy. They captured the English malt profile very nicely. Surprisingly bittered, though. It's about as good as I expected a winter warmer to be. Which is to say that I liked having it once, but I'd be surprised if I went for it again.

Apr 19, 2020
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Red5StandingBy from Maryland

3.99/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Seidel Mug. Bottled on January 10th 2020.

L: Murky brown in color, half finger tan head has average retention.

S: Dark fruit and caramel like notes are strong.

T: More malty than dark fruit on the tongue, rich flavors, a touch earthy.

F: Medium-full body, crisp, lingering fruit flavor.

O: Quite good.

Apr 18, 2020
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twage04 from North Carolina

4.02/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark copper with medium carbonation. Aroma is a little malt with baking spices. Taste is much the same. Not overly spiced but still something to sip through with some booze and malt present.

Apr 02, 2020
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TreyIsWilson from Michigan

3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark reddish brown with a two finger creamy off white head. Nice amount of soapy lacing.

S - Aroma is rye, toffee, caramel malts and baked brown bread.

T - The taste starts with strong rye upfront followed by caramel malts, candied orange peel, brown bread and a light bitter finish.

M - Medium body with medium carbonation. Creamy mouthfeel with a soft dry finish.

O - Pretty tasty winer warmer. The flavors are had to pinpoint, but tasty nonetheless.

Apr 02, 2020
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ovaltine from Indiana

4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a ruby-tinged mahogany color that is the slightest bit hazy. The nose is full of malty toffee notes, and there’s a significant stone fruit aroma as well, and some rye bread. Wow.

The rye bread flavor is up front, and leads to the toffee notes, with the stone fruit flavors at the back end of the taste. The taste is more than a little spicy, which fits for this brawny winter warmer.

Bell’s doesn’t hesitate to stretch boundaries, and this is another example of their prowess. Absolutely love this.

Mar 22, 2020
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Brutaltruth from Ohio

4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the 12 oz bottle and enjoyed in a snifter. This fine brew pours
a nice medium dark mahogany with a touch of chill haze and a nice
head of off white foam that settles to a thick ring, thin light clumping
pool, and shows nice subtle lacing. Nose of herbal and pine hop notes
with toast and breaded malts with subtle faint fruit notes. Flavors follow
and lightly expand on the nose with a nice toast and biscuit malt layered with
brown sugars and herbal and zesty hops with a touch of pine. Subtle dark
fruit of raisin and berry notes are present more with warmth as well as
herbal notes. Nice mouth feel; medium body, moderately crisp for a winter
warmer, medium light carbonation, and a bitter hop finish with herbal
notes and ending moderately dry.

Overall, a very nice little brew with surprising nuances.


Mar 21, 2020
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garymuchow from Minnesota

4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I got this pretty early when it arrived, but for whatever reason have delayed a review. I hope the hops have not faded too much as it was a feature of this beer.
Nice malty aroma with a toasty quality. (Hops seem to have faded some here from when fresher).
Nice dense tan head. Nice color with a darker amber towards brown with lots of red.
Wonderful rich taste with the hops still here in both taste and a nice finishing flavor with some bitterness. Still some toast in the flavor but it isn't primary. Just blending with the other flavors.
Nice feel with rounds out the 8.5% abv. Soft carbonation helps with the smoothness.
Not overly complex but certainly contains a nice winter warmer quality of malty richness, buffering bitterness and soft and moderately heavy feel.
Nicely done.
Goes well with the exploration of the benefits of getting out on the road and exploring this wonderful country.

Mar 15, 2020
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BEERchitect from Kentucky

3.39/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Playing a symphony of flavors for the tastebuds, Bell's Whitman literary series hits the road with a Winter Warmer with a spicier, hoppier edge.

Leaves of Grass, V: Song of the Open Road pours with a deep garnet color before crowning with a dense sepia creme. Its spicy scent doesn't just stop at the potpourri of Christmas-type spices, its shares a woodsy, grassy, peppery and citrusy hop kick. Its generous sweetness is a mix of brown sugar, sorghum, caramel and toast.

The spices rise to match the strength of malt as the ale nestles onto the middle palate. Cinnamon, fennel and mint characteristics do more than just balance the sweetness but shifts the taste into a spicy and bitter grip on the tastebuds that demands the most attention. Woodsy, grassy and bitter with citrus peels, the hops further exacerbate the spice notes and in nearly irritating to the tastebuds.

Medium full in body, the dry and resinous nature of the beer facilitates dryness while the ale finishes malty-dry and with a lacquer-like pepper bite that lingers unnecessarily long and strongly biting.

Mar 02, 2020
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beergoot from Colorado

3.41/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Semi-cloudy, hazy brown-orange body; very thick and creamy head. Sweet and malty nose; a touch of caramel and fig newton; bready. Burnt caramel flavor; acrid bitterness. Heavy body; spongy and toasty.

Eh, okay, but certainly raw in character...

Feb 27, 2020
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MNAle from Minnesota

3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Aroma is weak, but a bit funky. Touches of sweet bready malts in the aroma, but it is hard to pick up too many nuances, since it is not a strong aroma. Perhaps I needed to let it warm more, but it came out of my refrigerator at 44° F, and I let it stand for 5+ minutes, maybe 10.

Brown/ruby, slightly translucent to clear with visible bubbles rising to a light tan, thick and bubbly head. The head recedes moderately quickly, but leaves a thick wall of lacing.

Taste retains the funkiness from the aroma and adds slightly sweet caramel and bread. Roasty. A bitterness begins shortly after the initial taste and continues through the middle and into the aftertaste, growing a bit in intensity. The bitterness remains in the aftertaste, resulting in the next sip starting off with the bitter hops at the beginning. It seems to be higher than the claimed 35 IBU to my palate. In fact, for this style, I consider that to be a bit of a negative. The alcohol is well hidden, but becomes obvious half way through (not in the taste, but in the effect).

The body is moderately thick and the feel is smooth.

A nice, but not great, winter warmer. Compared to the best winter warmers I've had, it could use more rich maltiness, spiciness, and less bittering.

Feb 25, 2020
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dfillius from Iowa

3.81/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This has all the metallic notes of an amber/red, most of the nuttiness of a brown ale, and brightness in the nose of a Pilsner or pale ale. I usually hate the first but love the second and third in that list, but the metallic amber nature really adds to this one rather than detracts! A solid beer and thanks to @warnerry for the share, much appreciated.

Feb 25, 2020
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jzeilinger from Pennsylvania

4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Deep ruby color with thick creamy off white colored lacing hanging on top with not going down. Carbonation is nice and steady and overall nice clarity with the beer.

S - Nice toasted caramel aroma and bread crust.

T - Toasted caramel sweetness, bread crust, baked bread, some dark fruit, and ends with a lingering piney bite with sweet toasted caramel malt base underneath.

M - Thick and silky.

O - A really enjoyable sipper on a cold night and better than the current score of (86).

Feb 16, 2020
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Sweasty from Texas

3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Really loving the Leaves of Grass series. Poured this into a tulip. Beer pours a dark caramel, with two fingers of khaki colored head. Head settles to a ring. Plenty of lacing left on the glass.

Malt-centric on the nose. Plenty of brown bread notes hit first.A bit of dark fruit present as well. A bit of sweet fig is there as well. A light touch of warming spices come through as it warms up.

Much like the nose, the taste is malt forward. Toasted bread notes hit first. More brown bread notes as well. Light brown sugar and warming spices hit midway. Some dark fruit notes present as well. Fig notes become a bit stronger as it warms. The finish is drying with a lingering dark caramel quality.

The beer has a nice medium body, if a bit light. Plenty of carbonation.

Overall this is a tasty brew. It's not an over the top winter warmer. It hits pretty much all the things I expect in this style. It's a nice sipper to warm the bones on a cold winters night.

Feb 14, 2020
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russpowell from Arkansas

3.63/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours an effervescent chestnut with one finger if tan head. Below average head retention

S: Brown bread, a little figgyness once warm

T: Brown bread, grainy bitterness, & a little brown sugar up front. Faint fig notes, brown sugar & grainy bitterness as this warm, a kiss of booze as well. Finishes with Brown sugar sweetness, some grainy bitterness, just a little fig & raisin

MF: Medium body, fairly firm carbonation

Got better as this warmed, still has a little bit of a rough edge, hopefully aging helps

Feb 12, 2020
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BB1313 from Ohio

3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 1/10/20. 12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours a murky amber/dark copper with ruby red hues; fluffy khaki head that falls leaving great retention and sticky lacing. The aromas are malt forward. Dark fruits come through along with some hints of cherry. There's a nice amount of caramel and cocoa as well. The flavors are nice. Lots of sticky caramel. More toffee. More dark fruits. Some raisins and cherries. Some brown sugar. Some orange, grapefruit and citrus in the mix. Low bitterness with a subtle sweetness. Nice strong malt backbone. Finishes with a subtle warmth, but it's not hot or boozy at all. Mouthfeel is full-bodied with moderate carbonation. It's slick, slightly spritzy, smooth and dangerously drinkable.

This is a nice "winter warmer". It's not super flashy, but it's not supposed to be. Nice sticky and warm flavors. It's really fitting for the colder weather. The craftsmanship is on point. It's very enjoyable and fun to drink. Well done. I really like it.

Feb 11, 2020
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oberon from North Carolina

3.81/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured a rich deep amber/brown with a thinner light beige head that was gone pretty quickly,nice rich color but a minimal head.Big brown sugar and bready notes in the nose,it has an almost spiced element to it.Bready malts are the backbone of the beer with brown sugar,caramel,and nuttiness lingering into the finish,there is a dark fruit note that becomes bigger as it warms.Haven't seen to many winter warmers this year,nice to have this one,although not great...In my opinion.

Feb 10, 2020
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Nass from Florida

3.68/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

The pour is murky brown in the snifter glass. The taste is malt, black cherries, prune, molasses, & spice. In addition to, the 8.5% abv is well hidden. Overall, not a bad winter warmer beer at all. Cheers! B

Feb 09, 2020
Leaves Of Grass Series V: Song Of The Open Road from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 73 ratings