Sparkleberry | Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store

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BA SCORE
3.69/5
Good
86 Ratings
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BEER INFO

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

Style: Fruit / Vegetable Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Sparkleberry is an American interpretation of a Belgian Tripel brewed with raspberries.

Slightly tart, dry and spicy, it was originally brewed for release at Kalamazoo Pride in 2013, the same year it won a Bronze Medal at the Great American Beer Festival.

It has returned every year since drawing incredible praise at other Pride events, beer festivals and at our Pub.

Sparkleberry is a celebration of diversity and will debut in cans for wider distribution in June, 2018. Sparkle on.

Added by SerialTicker on 07-08-2013

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#32,129
Reviews:
18
Ratings:
86
pDev:
9.21%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
0
Gots:
7
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 86 |  Reviews: 18
Photo of BB1313
3.45/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Canned on 5/18/18. 16oz can poured into a tulip. Pours maroon with ruby red hues; creamy pinkish-purple head that falls leaving great thick retention and sticky frothy lacing. The aromas have some subtle hints of raspberry along with some vanilla. Even some cocoa and chocolate in the mix. Malts are there. The yeasts are hard to pick up in the aroma department. The flavors have some raspberries up front. More vanilla and cocoa in the mix. It's not too sweet or tart. Solid malt backbone. The yeasts are there, but don't dominate. Some alcohol flavors in the finish, but it's not hot or boozy at all. It's not that syrupy either. Mouthfeel is very nice. It's full-bodied with moderate to active carbonation. It's very fluffy, creamy, smooth and dangerously drinkable.

This is an interesting brew. It doesn't come off as a Tripel at all, but it's a pretty solid fruit beer. It's starts off a little rough around the edges, but everything comes together the more you get into it. I might not love it, but it's enjoyable and fun to drink.

 1,038 characters

Photo of TreyIsWilson
3.85/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours ruby red with a two finger light pink head. Good amount of soapy lacing.

S - Aroma is raspberry and light Belgian esters.

T - The taste is sweet and tart raspberry, Belgian yeast, white pepper and light earthy hops.

M - Medium body with medium carbonation. Soft mouthfeel with a crisp finish.

O - This is a pretty nice fruited Tripel. The raspberry dominates the flavor with the Belgian notes being very subtle.

 425 characters

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

Photo of trygelski1
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of morimech
3.72/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Looks interesting with its red hue. Nice head with plenty of lacing. Aroma or raspberry jam and Belgian yeast esters. But the flavor is just not there. Tastes like a boring blonde ale with a hint of raspberry. Slightly sweet but not cloying. Medium body and nicely carbonated.

 277 characters

Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.81/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Tasted in a Rastal Teku from a one pint can on June 26, 2018. Originally brewed for release at Kalamazoo Pride in 2013. An American interpretation of a Belgian Tripel, Sparkleberry Ale is Sparkling Ale brewed with raspberries. Slightly tart, dry and spicy with a fruity aroma, Sparkleberry won a Bronze Medal at the 2013 Great American Beer Festival.

 351 characters

Photo of HardyA
3.89/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of krome
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of avalon07
3.67/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L: Poured from a tallboy can to a goblet. Had a reddish color and a thick, cloudy consistency. There was a thin, off white, creamy head that quickly dissipated. Not a whole lot of lacing.

S: An odd aroma of raspberry, Belgian-style yeast, and some other mild berry notes.

T: Tasted of a little bit of the Belgian-style yeast, a strange metallic / acidic flavor (hard to explain), a bit of the advertised raspberries, and an assortment of other berries (cranberry?). Kind of an unfocused mess of a flavor. The raspberry doesn't really shine as it should. There's an odd harshness to the taste.

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

O: This is one of those beers that could've been better. Not bad, but there are better examples of fruit beer out there.

 783 characters

Photo of kkazemi
3.96/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of MattyG85
4.3/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of jkblr
3.83/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

16oz canned 5/18/18 (37 days ago) poured into a crooked stem snulip at fridge temp 9% ABV. The beer pours mostly bright, red amber in color with blush tinted head. The head recedes to a thin ring. The aroma is sweet raspberry jam on top of a very subtle Belgian yeast note. The taste is more raspberry notes of sweet and tart. The yeast comes through in the middle, with a dryish raspberry finish. The mouthfeel is medium to thin bodied and adequately carbonated. Overall, very good fruit/vegetable beer. There is just a hint of the tripel, if anyone was put off by that. Nothing earth shattering, but worth a try.

 623 characters

Photo of Beejay
3.87/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Red in color with a light pink head.

S: Slightly acidic with tart raspeberry.

T: Raspberry jam, with a touch of tartness and a bit of earthiness in the finish. Light Belgian character in the finish.

M: Medium with a touch of syrup. carbonation is higher, but not effervescent.

O: Overall pretty tasty. Not sure if I'd be a repeat customer, but good.

 362 characters

Photo of shivtim
3.83/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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

look: Slightly hazy ruby. Pinkish fluffy head that mostly sticks around.
smell: As advertised, some yeasty tripel and a good bit of raspberry.
taste: Much like the nose. Not a great beer but very enjoyable and quite good.

 221 characters

Photo of kojevergas
2.58/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

CAN:

"Raspberry Belgian-Style Ale." "Tripel." 9.0% ABV. "Shelf life - 6 Months."

Rather sweet but also warm, doubling down on Belgian malt sweetness and raspberry. I don't get much traditional tripel flavour here, and it's certainly too sweet, but it's drinkable in spite of its flaws. Raspberry doesn't seem all that genuine. Not particularly well balanced.

I'd give this a pass in future, but it's not awful when regarded as a fruit beer instead of a tripel proper. In any case, it's easily one of my least favourite Bell's beers.

C- (2.58) / BELOW AVERAGE

 563 characters

Photo of GuyFawkes
3.9/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Canned 5/18/18; drank 6/22/18 @ the Yarchives.

Cloudy purple/red appearance.

A violent pour yielded a nice, noisy pink head; frothy lace.

Raspberry, honeyed wheat & faint menthol notes in the nose.

Medium mouthfeel.

Raspberry & dry wheat flavors up front; clove & faint booze heat notes on the finish.

Interesting, if a bit "off". It hits enough good notes that I'd have another.

 391 characters

Photo of Danielr26
3.35/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of mamaraza
4.07/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of mattmarka1
3.4/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

Nice for summer, but nothing truly "special" in my opinion.

59 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.45/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

In true 1998 fashion, Bell's Brewery is out to claim the segment of the beer drinking populous that wants to hip and cool with craft beer but really wants the taste of wine coolers.

Half ruby and half mauve, Sparkleberry pours with a short and spritzy froth that swirls with candied fruit aromas. Leading with raspberries, the succulence of fruit is radiant with berry punch and little else. Creamy, sweet and candied, the early palate is chocked full of jam, pastry and jolly rancher.

Fruit juices splash against the middle palate washing it completely with fruit sugars that amplify the character of raspberry, cranberry, redcurrant, marionberry and boysenberry to the level of heavily fruited squeeze boxes most suitable for a four year old. But a late palate of hop bitterness serves as a tepid attempt to balance the beer while mostly serving as a distraction from the fruit.

A hint of spice, a creamy and light vinous tone of the underlying Belgian styled ale isn't nearly enough to contend with the fruit. If the term "chicks dig it" still applies to society then I'm sure this beer will find its audience soon enough.

 1,129 characters

Photo of LeftHanded666
3.97/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

16 ounce can into chalice, canned on 5/18/2018. Pours slightly hazy/cloudy ruby red/orange color with a 1 finger fairly dense and fluffy light pink head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of big juicy/tart/tangy raspberries, fruit skin/seeds, lemon, peach, plum, pear, melon, red apple, red grape, peppercorn, clove, light banana, cracker, candi sugar, biscuit, herbal, floral, grass, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of raspberries, fruity/spicy yeast, sugar/pale malt, and light-moderate earthy hop notes; with great strength. Taste of big juicy/tart/tangy raspberries, fruit skin/seeds, lemon, peach, plum, pear, melon, red apple, red grape, peppercorn, clove, light banana, cracker, candi sugar, biscuit, herbal, floral, grass, and yeast earthiness. Light-moderate peppery yeast spiciness, herbal/grassy bitterness, and fruit tang/tartness on the finish. Lingering notes of juicy/tart/tangy raspberries, fruit skin/seeds, lemon, peach, plum, pear, melon, red apple, red grape, peppercorn, clove, light banana, cracker, candi sugar, biscuit, herbal, floral, grass, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Great complexity, robustness, and balance of raspberries, fruity/spicy yeast, sugar/pale malt, and light-moderate earthy hop flavors; with a great malt/bitter/spiciness and fruit tartness balance; with zero puckering/astringent flavors after the finish. Light-moderate increasing dryness from bitter/spiciness and tart/tangy fruit. Medium-high carbonation and medium body; with a very smooth, moderately crisp, and bready/grainy/tangy/tannic balanced mouthfeel that is great. Minimal warming alcohol for 9%. Overall this is an excellent fruited tripel style. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of raspberries, fruity/spicy yeast, sugar/pale malt, and light-moderate earthy hop flavors; very smooth, crisp, and easy to drink, with the modestly bitter/spicy/carbonated/drying finish. Great balance of authentic jammy berry flavors, with a spot on Belgian Tripel profile of yeast/malts. Very well attenuated and not overly sweet/heavy for the ABV. A very enjoyable and well made offering as expected.

 2,317 characters

Photo of Sauced4life
3.74/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

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Sparkleberry from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 3.69 out of 5 with 86 ratings