Bell Ringer | RJ Rockers Brewing Company

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181 Reviews
Bell RingerBell Ringer

Brewed by:
RJ Rockers Brewing Company
South Carolina, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our high gravity offering weighs in at 8.5% ABV and is delightfully loaded with malt and hops. This is an ale worthy of your sturdiest goblet or most treasured stein. Ring it!

Added by mikesgroove on 08-16-2007

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Reviews: 181 | Ratings: 458
Photo of Sammy
3.62/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Rather ordinary beer, though yes lots of hops, and malt, not so well integrated. OK drinkability to get the hops, a better malting would improve drinkability. little coconut.Doug’s bottle. Ordinary for the style. Decent sized retained head on hazey golden body.Some lace.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.92/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a murky honey brown with a 1 inch foamy orange-khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of citrus fruit, citrus zest, brown sugar, and malt. Taste is of candied citrus zest, brown sugar, and toasted malt. There is a mild hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and easy to drink.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.48/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Found this to be quite good. The pour is a really nice looking copper color. The head is a decent yellowish white about a half inch tall. The lacing left behind is good too. The taste is soft and hoppy. The aroma is a little sweet with some hops and malt in the mix. The mouthfeel is smooth too, good carbonation and medium bodied. The abv coming in at 8.5 is pretty well hidden in this brew. Enjoyable beer!

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Photo of metter98
3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is hazy golden yellow in color and poured into a snifter glass with a two finger high off white head that has excellent retention properties and consistently left a small head covering the surface.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of booze and malts in the nose; these are similar to a barleywine but not as pronounced.
T: The taste is a bit sweet and has flavors of fruit and malts along with hints of caramel and oak.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied and smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation and leaves some warmth from the alcohol in the finish.
O: This beer is not too difficult to drink considering the strength; the alcohol is noticeable but doesn’t detract from the taste. It’s a real guzzler coming out of the bottle so you need to pour it carefully so you don’t get a glassful of head.

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Photo of brentk56
3.98/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy apricot nectar color with a modest head that leaves plenty of dribs and drabs of lace

Smell: Biscuity malt with caramel tones; rather understated

Taste: Opens with a brown sugar and caramel flavor that adds a bit of biscuity spice cake and a hint of pine; after the swallow, the mellow sweet tones dominate, with the piney bitterness aspect held in check to the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: More of an English barleywine than an ESB, maybe an English Strong Ale; nicely balanced with understated hops, although the beer was brewed on 2/24/09 and it is now October

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Photo of kojevergas
2.8/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a conical Guinness pint glass in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are average. Acquired as part of the RJ Rockers variety box - which I purchased at Hi Time Liquor in Costa Mesa, California.

Served refrigerator cold.

A: Pours a one finger head of light fluffy cream, decent thickness, and good retention for the ABV. Colour is a semitransparent dark amber-copper. No yeast particles are visible. Nothing unique or special here.

Sm: Cream, toasted malt, butterscotch (diacetyl?), and dark malts. A moderate strength aroma. Not especially appealing, but generally inviting I suppose.

T: Clean malts with butterscotch atop - quite a pleasant addition. Nice amber hops are scarce but present. Cream. Mildly dark malts form the foundation. A simply built but enjoyable brew. Balanced and built decently. Lacks complexity or subtlety, but it's pleasant to drink.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with some cream. A touch overcarbonated, likely a byproduct of mass production. Thick enough. I find it too smooth.

Dr: Drinkable but unremarkable. Fans of the style will enjoy it but it's nothing to write home about. Hides its ABV well. I wouldn't have it again, but I don't regret purchasing it. Might be better on draught or even nitro.

A poor candidate for aging. Might pair well with gloucester.


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Photo of zeff80
3.97/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, golden orange color with a long-lasting, one-finger, tan, bubbly head of foam. It left some sudsy trails of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled very floral with strong citrus notes. There was a burnt toast maltiness in the nose, too.

T - This really hits you with spicy hops on the first sip. It had sweet caramel and honey flavors to balance the hop bitterness.

M - It was crisp and sharp with a dry finish. A medium-bodied ale.

D - This doesn't really seem like an ESB. The color seemed too light. It really reminds me of a strong ale. That being said it is still a very tasty brew that may defy styles.

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Photo of Thorpe429
2.96/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

From the bottle at SAVOR 2011. Served in a goblet.

Pours a medium copper color with a small white head. Sparse lacing on the way down. The nose brings some caramel malt and quite a bit of booze. Lightly-sweet bread in the background. The flavor has a bit of booze with some fairly-strong caramel notes. Sugary malt throughout. Medium body with a bitter and slightly-dry finish. Odd beer. Never came together.

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Photo of oberon
4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Its to bad I cant find RJ Rockers stuff around here anymore, I think they make some quality stuff.Poured into a pint glass a clear amber/bronze with a well defined 1/2 finger white head atop,it held very well for a long time.Aromas are a mix of sweet malty caramel and sweetish dough,with a shot of piney hop that comes out more as it warms along with more present alcohol.Love the complexities on the palate,its quite toasty and warming with a big amount of caramel and sweet breadiness,there is a nice shot of piney hop in the finish.Its warming and basically a double ESB in my mind,a little light in the feel, but I really liked this beer.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.02/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

RJ Rockers Brewing Co. "Bell Ringer"
12 oz. brown glass bottle, on 21 July 2015
$1.99 @ Cost Plus World Market

Without a doubt, Bell Ringer is my favorite beer from RJ Rockers.

It delivers a deep amber-copper body with golden highlights beneath a creamy head of 'vanilla'-white. Unfortunately, especially for a beer of this girth, the head falls rather quickly. How that can happen with so much dextrin and hop behind it I don't know, except that there is a good deal of alcohol behind it as well (8.5% abv).

The aroma is rich with caramelish and doughy sweet malt, and some fresh, gently grassy, floral, spicy, and leafy hops slip through as well. Once warmed, a whiff of alcohol becomes evident as well. (I wonder if the spiciness is alcohol or hops?)

The flavor is as the aroma suggests, but less sweet as it has more hop character to it. It's initially caramelish, lightly toasty, and bready and doughy, but then the hops step up towards the middle, lending it a balancing spiciness (or is that alcohol), grassiness, leafiness, and herbacious quality. A solid bitterness anchors it, and it finishes drying as the sweet malt slowly erodes and the herbal and spicy hops become more prominent. A spritz of alcohol eventually brings it to complete dryness, and the lingering earthy/herbal hop notes beg you to take another sip. It even becomes a bit minty. If there's a fault here, apart from the spritz of alcohol, it's that it's just too damned balanced. It's got a big and blocky, sticky maltiness on one side, and a big and blocky bitterness and hop flavor on the other. They overlap midway, and then all balance out. It's just too easy and too perfect. Maybe a little bit of leaning either here or there would give it a little more interest.

The mouthfeel is full, but smooth with a rich, dextrinous body and restrained, fine-bubbled carbonation.

Drinkability is only hindered by minor notes of alcohol.

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Photo of mactrail
3.31/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sweet and spicy ale.

Looks nice in the glass with handsome dark amber color and lacing up the sides. Like a Belgian golden ale but without the Belgian flavors. Interesting nose of sawdust. Tastes quite strong. some butterscotch in the ample malt. Kind of harsh in the back of the throat. Pine pitch. Long bitter aftertaste.

This seems like a mongrel of no particular style, which would be ok if it had more pleasing flavors. But it is warming and would make a decent sipping ale if only there was some gingerbread to go with it.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.71/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Blurry ochre that comes close to caramel brown in the center of the glass and brightens to tangerine at the edges. I love this color and I love unfiltered beer. The khaki colored crown is equally impressive and it looks like the glass will be absolutely slathered with crusty lace.

The aroma is subdued. There isn't much hoppiness, nor is there an abundance of malt. Rockers doesn't publish the hop bill and I can't even come close to making an educated guess after the sniff test. Looks like there's some work to be done on the palate. As is often the case, warming opens things up just enough for the next highest score to be granted.

Although Bell Ringer is decent beer, it isn't an especially well-crafted version. Since South Carolina recently Popped The Cap and this is most likely one of RJRBC's first attempts at a DIPA, I'll cut them some slack. Having said that, the problems aren't so significant that they can't be fixed by doubling the hop load.

The malt tastes primarily pale with a helping hand from something slightly more toasted. Sweetness isn't excessive and bitterness isn't either. The flavor profile is reminiscent of sugar cookies drizzled with melted caramel and orange icing. Ease of drinkability is up there, but a little attitude, a little alpha acid raspiness, is sorely needed.

As the beer is consumed, the drinking vessel becomes a beautiful sight to behold. Monet would most likely weep with joy at the impressionistic splendor of a lace-encrusted glass of partially consumed DIPA. The mouthfeel is medium for the style and is impressively glassy smooth.

Bell Ringer has the outlines of a quality DIPA down pat. Now the Rockers boys need to fill in the center with loads of lupulin goodness. Words of wisdom for the day: shortage or no shortage, hoppy beer gotta be hoppy. Word to your brewer.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.4/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear, amber body with a small, fine, white head.

Smell: Crystal malt scent with a trace of toastiness and various restrained hop notes.

Taste: There's a pop of sweet, toasty, caramel-coated maltiness upfront followed by a hoppy (though not overly hoppy) blend of hop-related flavors: pine, florals, and citrus. Medium bitterness present, which leaves you left with a bittersweet finish at the end.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-low carbonation.

Drinkability: A fine, tasty brew, but those of you seeking a really punchy hop character or a coma-inducing level of hop bitterness will be left disappointed and full of rage. Instead of a double IPA it's more like a one-and-a-half IPA.

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Photo of chinchill
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle served in a pint glass. No indication of beer style on the label. Were it just a bit less sweet, I'd guess DIPA.

A - Pours a hazy orange-amber color with a modest tan head that has great retention and leaves some lacing.

S - Has a sweet and fruity (spicy citrus) aroma with the high ABV fairly well hidden. Sweet malt base.

T - Sweet and malty up front with hints of orange hard candy. Plenty of hops in there too, athough more might be better given the heavy sweetness. Rather than balancing nicely, the sweetness and bitterness seem to battle each other with the early dominance of sweetness eventually losing out to hop bitterness in the bittersweet finish. Alcohol is hidden except in a slight warming sensation and a very mild tongue burn.

M: Full body with very good carbonation. Sticky. No ill effects of the alcohol.

O: A bold and flavorful beer that is reminiscent of Bell's Hopslam, albeit much sweeter and less finely crafted. In fact, my main reservation about this beer is that it seemed a bit roughly put together, like a very good homebrew. Some of that impression comes from the high levels of both sweetness and bitterness, with the bitter losing out until the aftertaste. It also lacks the complexity of a world class brew. Still, as a local brew it is about about half the price of Hopslam. Worth a try, for sure.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.5/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow, so I finally made my way into Terry's Tap Room( review coming) today and found that they had this on tap. I had heard that rockers was putting out some high gravity stuff now, but had not actually seen any yet. Boy was I shocked when I walked in on this one! What do I order, well the answer to that is pretty damn obvious now isn't it!

A - Poured a nice hazy amber color. Not really dark , pretty average color. Nice two inch plus head was visible on the top, and really hung around for the entire session. Good side glass lace and some decent carbonation streaming up from the bottom throughout.

S - Aroma was very nice. No hint of alcohol at all. Good balance between bitter citrus hops and a piney sort of aroma. Decent amount of sugar in the back as well. Definatly balanced and not a hop bomb, but hoppy none the less.

T - Wow, so damn smooth and non bitter. This was easily the most sessionable double ipa I have ever tasted in my life. It was rediculous with how smooth and balanced it was. Not a touch of alcohol was present, just straight up good brew, Nice amount of caramel sugar mixed in with an orange peel and fresh grass hoppiness. Really well done and well rounded taste.

M - Awesome, super smooth and silky. This was really a treat. Great carbonation led to a good feel on the tongue. Ultra smooth drinker, dont think they could have nailed this one better for smoothness. My favorite beer brewed in the upstate by far.

D - I could drink this all night long. Could not even tell there was a kick to it. I would love to have this on tap in my fridge.

Overall this was just great. I cannot say enough good things about this. It was well crafted, awesome to drink and just a fantastic beer, anyone who wants to try, a growler is on its way I would be happy to send it!!

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Photo of Slatetank
3.38/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I picked up a bottle of this at Outlet Liquors in Rehobeth Beach DE. Poured chilled into a goblet.

A - A light tea shade of amber w/ bone white 1/2 inch cap which provides well clinging lace and mildly hazed appearance

S - A caramel and bready malt nose w/ dry toasty aromas, mild roasted malt w/ grainy tinge

M - A slightly spicy feel w/ moderately high carbonation and very roasted dry nutty textures w/ mild astringent and alcohol notes in the finish

T - A mix of roasted barley and mild piney hops combine and diverge as an alcohol flavor comes forward. The flavor gets dry and stays very roasted throughout w/ a generally sweet malt flavor

D - The beer is drinkable, but it's not ringing any bells for me. The drinkability is standard, I could take it or leave it

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Photo of Jason
3.97/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle, no freshness date.

Hazed copper color with a good amount of foamy suds and good head retention from that as well. Smells fruity, hoppy and faintly buttery with a clean ester alcohol in back. Smooth with a medium to full body and slightly prickly carbonation. Underlying breath of alcohol with each sip. Hint of caramel within the maltiness yet there is more of a dry bready and toasted biscuit flavor. Hops come across with a balancing bitterness and a semi-pungent orange-mint combo flavor. Finishes a little bitter and dry.

I really do love strong ales like this where there is some balance and still drinkable. A thumbs up!

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Photo of woodychandler
3.61/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The Friendly Greek Bottle Shop has really turned me onto this brewery's beers. I am finding them to be really worthwhile, especially at their price point.

From the bottle: "Handcrafted. Every Beer. Every Drop. Every Time."; "Our high gravity offering weighs in at 8.5%abv and is delightfully loaded with malt and hops. This is an ale worthy of your sturdiest goblet or most treasured stein. Ring it!"

A goblet, eh? That sounds like a challenge! I have not broken out a goblet in a while, but I am happy to take up the goblet gauntlet. Holy Heavy Foam, Batman! My goblet may have proven stronger than their Strong Ale, but I backed off and allowed it to settle some before proceeding. I have to admit, though, that the density of the head was phenomenal, creating a mound of dense, rocky, light-tan head with excellent retention. Nose was rich with caramel and toffee notes as well as a decent alcohol burn that tickled my nostrils. Color was a cloudy orangish-amber (SRM = > 9, < 13). Mouthfeel seemed to be on the thin side and man, it brought the heat right from the outset! This would have been illegal to make and sell in South Carolina up until recently and they seem to be making up for lost time. I hold with my initial assessment about it being rich and malty sweet, but I was not getting much in terms of hops. My goblet was ringed with dense lacing as I drank. Phew! Finish kept up the heat, then slowly reduced to near candy-like sweetness. One of these will be plenty, thanks.

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Photo of tdm168
3.56/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - dark amber with a faint orange hue that has a big, thick, dense, off white head that has great retention

S - bread, plum, figs, alcohol, cherry, medicine

T - plum, cherry, bread, faint pine, faint herbal hops, dark fruit, alcohol, faintly medicinal

M - a bit crisp, medium bodied, warm, a little overcarbonated

This is a rather complex and flavorful beer, but unfortunately there are a few off flavors in my opinion. The cherry in both the nose and taste are a bit medicinal which over power the bready malts and nice dark alefruits. There's a nice underlying hop character which lends a little balance. Overall, not a bad beer, but a bit of a more balanced flavor would really make this an awesome ale. As it stands it's worth a try, but I'll probably avoid it in the future.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

RJ Rockers Brewing Company, Spartanburg, South Carolina.
Bell Ringer, Handcrafted. Every Beer, Every Drop, Every Time.

What style is this? I don't know, I'm plunging on in.

Amber hued and utterly opaque, 1/4 " head, lasting, off-white, good-looking.

Aroma: sweet and malty, fruity and funky. Definitely some Belgian yeast action happening here. Lovely.

Tasting it: ah, nice. Not too anything, this ale, warm, smooth, and tasty. High in alcohol, I bet. 8.5 %. Just enough hops, and plenty of malt goodness, mixed with Belgian yeast funky freshness. A little bit of bitter gives some great texture and play on the palate. Excellent complexity, many layers of fun in here.

Let's go ahead and look at the label copy: "Our high gravity offering weighs in at 8.5% abv and is delightfully loaded with malt and hops. This is an ale worthy of you sturdies goblet or most treasured stein. Ring it!"

Still no word on the style, or what actual ingredients or processes are involved. Ah, well, we can only let our tastebuds be our guide. And this is delicious stuff.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.48/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a wine glass. Beer is copper with a tiny white head, some lacing, low carbonation, looks fine.

Boozy and mildly vanilla and oaky in the nose. Some caramel and sweet malt too.

Beer is strong, hot, and boozy, some sweetness and caramel. The beer is sweet throughout with a moderate bitterness at the back of the mouth. Strong throughout. Not great but not bad either.

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Photo of tempest
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a variety pack from State Line in Maryland. Appeared a clear light brown with a short off-tan head. Interesting, it tastes like a sort of English strong ale as this beer is pretty hoppy for an ESB. It also is missing out on the traditional creamy candy yeast character of British beer. Still, there's a tasty caramel and toffee malt followed by a rush of earthy, grassy hops. Very tasty and worth a try.

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Photo of Gavage
3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a hazy orange color with a short 1/2" head.

Smell: caramel and some light citrus are all you can detect.

Taste: toffee, some fruity sweetness, light grapefruit, a hint of honey and some earthiness. Bitterness is mild and there is a bread-like quality to this beer. Alcohol is mildly noticeable.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Smooth throughout with a lingering aftertaste.

Drinkability: a nice beer that is a bit of a slow sipper, but a few of these could be consumed in a session.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to blutt59 for sharing this bottle. This is my first beer from the great state of South Carolina.

The beer pours an orange-amber color with a white head. The aroma is very malty with caramel and toffee notes. The flavor is lots of caramel malt but not too much else. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to UncleJimbo for this brew.

Pours a pretty nice hazy golden orange color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger creamy off-white head, with some nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some nice hop notes, and some citrus. The taste is malty, hoppy, slightly sweet, bitter, nice citrus note. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a pretty tasty brew, nicely done.

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Bell Ringer from RJ Rockers Brewing Company
3.7 out of 5 based on 458 ratings.
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