Sparkleberry
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store

SparkleberrySparkleberry
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Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
Fruit and Field Beer
Ranked #229
ABV:
9%
Score:
84
Ranked #39,110
Avg:
3.7 | pDev: 11.89%
Reviews:
36
Ratings:
137
From:
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
 
Michigan, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  1
Gots
  14
SCORE
84
Good
SparkleberrySparkleberry
Notes: 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.
Reviews: 36 | Ratings: 137 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by GRPunk:
Photo of GRPunk
GRPunk from Michigan

3.84/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bell's Sparkle Berry
16 oz. can ($3.70 from Copper Vine) pkgd 051719, poured into a Bell's Nonic pint

A- The body is a clean, deep red-pink that shows moderate carbonation. The head is pinkish and a bubbly 1/2 finger before it settles to a light film. Bubbles continually break the surface. Light rings and spots are left on the glass.

S- A mix of sugary sweet and tart. Lots of raspberry. Seems pretty natural, like a raspberry juice cocktail. Some underlying bready malts are apparent. You really have to dig for any hint of booze. Almost sherbet-like.

T- All sorts of raspberry. It starts sweet and melds into a really (pleasantly) tart finish. It really doesn't change much from start to finish. If you like raspberries, and I do, this beer's for you. It almost loses the "beer" quality, but not quite.

M- Lots of carbonation. Very tart and dry finish, just short of puckering. The ABV is well hidden. Medium body overall.

O- Brewed for "K-zoo Pride," Bell's can be proud of this brew. Super fruity, sweet and tart. A pint is probably the right serving. This would have been a gateway type of beer for me some 25 years ago. Just short of too fruity (dangerously close at the end of a pint). Good warm weather, thirst quencher.

A- 3.75 S-4 T-3.5 M-4 O-3.75

Jun 09, 2019
More User Reviews:
Photo of DarkLordScott
DarkLordScott from Wisconsin

2.47/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

16 ounce can, also stamped 060121.

Pours light red, with moderate carbonation and a fresh, light raspberry aroma. There is a light head which leaves some lacing. Taste is mildly bitter; not tart, sour or sweet but bitter with a raspberry finish. Mouthfeel is light, medium bodied and clean. Very little sweetness comes to the front in my tasting. This does not carry as a 9%.

Sep 20, 2021
Photo of craigbelly
craigbelly from Iowa

3.79/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Sep 18, 2019
Photo of DMarlinJ
DMarlinJ from Michigan

4.21/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Jun 22, 2019
Photo of MikeWard
MikeWard from Pennsylvania

3.79/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

16oz can into a pint glass. Canned 5/17/19, so 2 weeks old.

Nice burgundy colored body. Small streams of carbonation fail to replenish an initially decent pinkish bubbly head, which quickly dissipates to a ring and faint covering. No lacing.

Strong aroma of raspberries.

Tastes like alcoholic raspberry juice. There is a pleasant warming of the throat from the 9.0 abv. Nice balance between sweet and tart. The problem here is the raspberry taste comes off quite artificial.

Mouth between medium and full. Finish is that artificial raspberry taste with a little warmth.

Overall, if you love fruit beers, you'll probably like this one. That artificial raspberry and high abv make this a one and done for me. It's brewed for Kalamazoo Pride, so a good cause there.

May 31, 2019
Photo of MonDak_Joe1953
MonDak_Joe1953 from Minnesota

3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

16oz can. Stamped on can bottom is packaging date of '060121'. Shelf life is give as '6 Months'.
Red berry colored, slightly cloudy body. Big pinkish head upon pouring recedes to a thin partial cap. Leaves a good coverage of lacing on the non-drinking side of the glass.
Aroma is raspberry with a background of Belgian yeast.
Taste is slightly tart with the raspberry flavor, and has a Belgian yeast base. Has a sweet side.
Medium mouth feel. Good carbonation.
Pleasant drinking ale, mostly presented with the raspberry and a little tripel type base.

Jul 23, 2021
Photo of VoodooBear
VoodooBear from Puerto Rico

3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Presentation: 16 oz. can with the canning date printed on the bottom. Served in a tulip glass.

Appearance: The pink, one finger head stays around for a bit and leaves behind a lot of lacing that covers the entire
glass. It's an absolutely stunning, crystal clear, bright ruby color.

Smell: There's a fruity raspberry aroma with a slight medicinal note right after. 

Taste: Pretty much the same as the nose; it starts with soft raspberry at first but a quite strong, medicinal flavor follows and stays around until the end.

Mouthfeel: It's light and refreshing with a smooth, high carbonation crispness.

Overall: Deceptively light and easy to drink for the hefty 9% ABV it carries. That said, it's just a good, middle of the road beer.

Jun 17, 2021
Photo of FrancisM12
FrancisM12 from New Jersey

3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Sep 11, 2021
Photo of Vylo
Vylo from New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Aug 06, 2020
Photo of EMV
EMV from Pennsylvania

3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a pounder can into a Dogfish Head tulip

L: Nearly clear magenta pour with thick pink tinged head.

S: Raspberry and fruit. Not much tripel.

T.F: Strong raspberry... fruity and semi-sweet up front. Some berry tartness... modest yeast/tripel character, but rather dominated by the raspberry. Medium bodied... ABV hidden. Raspberry and a bit of spice at the finish.

O: Tasty enough... a little on the sweet side, but still interesting. Won't be a favorite but glad I got to try it. More of a fruit beer than a tripel.

Oct 21, 2019
Photo of khargro2
khargro2 from Tennessee

3.52/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Jul 13, 2019
Photo of HardyA34
HardyA34 from Michigan

3.98/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aug 28, 2020
Photo of BEERMILER12
BEERMILER12 from Maine

4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at McGillicuddy’s

Sep 26, 2019
Photo of Sparky44
Sparky44 from Illinois

3.74/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Oct 11, 2020
Photo of JamieDuncan
JamieDuncan from Maryland

3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Sep 04, 2019
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy from Georgia

2.43/5  rDev -34.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

16 ounce can - $4.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a richly hued, reddish-pink body with a slim, thin, pink-tinged head.

Smell: Boozy, fusel alcohol wafts with a smear of faux raspberry jam.

Taste: As with the aroma, fairly unpleasantly medicinal with its raspberry flavor, and, you really hope they aren't using proper fruits and purees, as it'd be all for naught, given it comes across as being rather artificial tasting, like a glug of Mad Dog 20/20. Sweet, boozy, unenjoyable.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus. Medium-light.

Overall: About as appealing and endearing as vocal fry.

Aug 02, 2018
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect from Kentucky

3.45/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

Jun 16, 2018
Photo of sphmiel
sphmiel from Missouri

3.71/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Described as a raspberry tripped, it came in a tulip from draught at iTap CWE. Amber, rapidly fading white head, sweet raspberry aroma. Very effervescent/sparkling, full berry taste. Alcohol is well hidden an interesting take on the style. The name describes it perfectly.

Oct 22, 2016
Photo of tone77
tone77 from Pennsylvania

3.56/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 16 oz. can. Has a purple/pinkish color with a 1 inch head. Smell is tart raspberries. Taste is the same as the aroma, alcohol is well hidden. Feels medium/full bodied in the mouth and overall is a decent beer, but I really got none of the characteristics of a Belgian Trippel, as the can states. I would have liked some Belgian yeast flavors, especially the spices.

Sep 24, 2019
Photo of shivtim
shivtim from Georgia

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

Jun 24, 2018
Photo of waltonc
waltonc from California

4.25/5  rDev +14.9%

Oct 14, 2013
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szmnnl99 from Michigan

3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Sep 04, 2015
Photo of paulish
paulish from New York

3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Jul 12, 2019
Photo of morimech
morimech from Minnesota

3.72/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Jul 09, 2018
Photo of tykechandler
tykechandler from Kentucky

4.25/5  rDev +14.9%

Jun 30, 2014
Sparkleberry from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 137 ratings