Le Contrabassiste | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

BA SCORE
83
good
117 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
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BEER INFO

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

Style: Bière de Garde

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by corby112 on 06-08-2010

BEER STATS
Ratings:
117
Reviews:
14
Avg:
3.63
pDev:
9.92%
 
 
Wants:
2
Gots:
3
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 117 |  Reviews: 14
Reviews by jampics2:
Photo of jampics2
4.18/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Night Town during Cleveland Beer Week. The entire Bell's Jazz Series was featured for the first time ever in Ohio.

The color is a dark copper and amber with hints of caramel, almost reminiscent of the color of the finish on the wood a double bass would be traditionally stained to. How appropriate! The beer has a beautiful off-white head, let's call it the cap on the bassist's head. And it doesn't fly off during the solo - instead, it has great retention and some wonderful clinging lace. Probably the most appealing were it not for the somewhat filtered, clear appearance this has, especially when compared to the other two in the series.

The smell is primarily malty, with a touch of toast and even some roast. There's also a subtle touch of smoke, but not enough to add but a touch of depth. It doesn't carry over to the taste, so fear not if you're not into smoky beers. The caramel and toffee from the malt are joined by a few distinct yeasty esters, which add a caramel-covered prune and raisin note to the mix. The nose could be more expressive, but it has nice depth and the slight chocolate roast is a welcome addition. More notable noble hops and yeast esters would move this a few rungs up the ladder.

Wow, what a great malt complexity going on here. The low end is in effect, hitting the bridge between caramel and a great chocolate roast while plucking some silky toffee strings. Just a hint of smoke adds depth without any notable real distractions. The hops are there but quickly fleet as the roast takes over. There are some yeasty esters giving some nice dark fruit - black cherries and raisins. Almost like a French brown ale if there ever could be such a thing. Sacrebleu! Perhaps a roasty Scottish ale would make a better comparison? Je sacre par Dieu, Américaine.

The mouthfeel is crisp with perhaps just a bit too much carbonation. The body is significant enough to handle it though, and any less carbonation would probably make the medium body seem a bit on the heavy side. The beer finishes with some lingering sweetness, but it doesn't come close to the toothsome tastes of the Pianiste. I liked this beer more than the other two in the series as I felt the malt bill was more in line with the better examples of Bière de Garde I've been fortunate enough to try. This is worth seeking out, but maybe I'm partial as I've always been enamored with its namesake. I just wanted to play an instrument I could carry home on the bus without having to sit up front next to the tuba kid.

 2,522 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of bsp77
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Number three (of three) in the French Jazz series - The Bruin

Serving glass: Poured from tap into small goblet.

Appearance: Rich, hazy mahogany with off-white head.

Smell: Plum, toffee, slightly smoky.

Taste: Smoky, sweet caramel and toffee. Some dark fruit and cherry. With the yeast (while present) pushed mostly to the background, this seems more like a Scotch Ale.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, full body, smooth but just a touch cloying.

Drinkability: The strongest in alcohol and flavor of the three Biere de Gardes, but the slightly cloying body means that I prefer Le Pianiste. Still quite good.

 607 characters

Photo of deebo
3.42/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap as part of Bells tap takeover at bulldog uptown in mold
A-served in tulip this one has just a hint of filmy tan head. Reddish brown and pretty clear
S-lightly smoked malt, hints of fruity yeast
T-the smoky quality of the malt is there but definitely not overpowering. Some black peppery spiciness, hints of yeast with a long tingly bitter finish
M-high carbonation, medium bodied, bitter with a lingering finish
O-a decent brew but a bit off in its combination of flavor and mouthfeel.

 496 characters

Photo of Mantooth
3.25/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of JIMTRK16
4/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of chuckgietzen
3/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of Gonzoillini
4/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of Kegatron
3.81/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of beergorrilla
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Jordanmtate
3.51/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of deakin
3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Photo of jduprey007
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of acostuhhh
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Moses_Malone
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of VeganUndead
4.01/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of KevinGordon
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of Flip_Smash
3.82/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of dsaylor
4/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of Rod_J
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of chrisbokmuller
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of tommy5
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of vrbulldog22
4/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of buschbeer
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of DrBier
3.71/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of DMarlinJ
4.05/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Definitely reminiscent of a Farmhouse ale. Great smell. Not much head. Found it on tap at local restaurant. Sour and tart note in taste. Herbal and floral flavor and smell but I could not really identify them. Changed as it warmed and got a bit too sour for me but overall it was a nice pre-dinner offering. Maybe the best Farmhouse style I have liked, not generally a big fan of the style but I would try others based on this one.

 438 characters

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Le Contrabassiste from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.63 out of 5 based on 117 ratings.
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