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RATINGS: 583   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.17   SEASONAL: Autumn   EST. CALORIES: 174   ABV: 5.8%
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The basic inspiration for Bellís Christmas Ale was to create a sessionable holiday beer, using locally grown malt, which would stand apart from the array of spiced winter warmers that are typically introduced this time of year. In contrast to many other seasonals, Christmas Ale doesnít contain any spices: all of the dry, toasted notes & subtle toffee flavors come from the 100% Michigan-grown barley, custom malted by Briess Malting, while a blend of hops from Michigan & the Pacific Northwest lend earthy, herbal aromas. At 5.5% ABV, it stands as a smooth, highly drinkable beer intended to complement holiday menus, not overshadow them.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
hubermi12 (14) - - FEB 7, 2014
I love this beer. Most Christmas ales have too many spices and are overpowering. This is the best christmas ale because of the great flavor. it just tastes like Christmas

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
Howlader (593) - - FEB 6, 2014
On draught at Churchkey in Washington DC. 4oz taster. Kind of a dull beer.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 14/20
alliance100 (585) - Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA - JAN 29, 2014
12oz bottle - pours a medium amber. Some spice aromas with herbal hops. Taste is slightly sweet , herbal hop bitterness and some faint woody spice notes. Overall not bad.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Ibrew2or3 (6767) - Tempe, Arizona, USA - JAN 25, 2014
12oz bottle pours with a deep copper body that has small floaties everywhere and supports a lasting tan head of foam. The aroma offers up apple, cantaloupe and winter spices. The taste starts off with a mix of spices and red apples and then it picks up a dash of roasted malts. Right around the edge of the flavor are mild mango and cantaloupe notes. This is on the spicy side with its winter like spices but fruity sweetness, malts and some mild roasted maltiness creates some balance.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
commonshawn (314) - - JAN 18, 2014
Tap. Pint. Light red, small head. Aroma is subtle for a Xmas ale. Has some typical spice flavors, but muted. Finish is ok.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
koleminer20 (535) - Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA - JAN 11, 2014
12 oz bottle. It's surprising to see a Christmas Ale that is classified as a Scotch Ale, so it should be interesting. The pour is ruby-ish just about see through. There is a light head that fades to a film and leaves no lace. The aroma is kind of bland there is a little malt, some light spice and perhaps a hint of caramel. The flavor is much of the same. The mouth feel is definitely thin, and the flavors linger a little bit, but not long ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 14/20
DCLawyer (1358) - Falls Church, Virginia, USA - DEC 30, 2013
Bottle->snifter. Lite amber with small tan head. Caramel malt, bread, some spice and earth notes. Very thin and weak. No idea why they named this Christmas Ale.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 11/20
subsonic (82) - Pataskala, Ohio, USA - DEC 27, 2013
"pours a burnt orange with some cloudiness with a nice creamy head. The aroma consists of orange, citron, pine and malt. The taste is full but dry malt balanced with hops bitterness and some dry hop fruit. Lots of subtle esthers carry on to make the taste last. The mouthfeel is light but creamy and is drinkable brew."

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Chad9976 (1126) - Albany, New York, USA - DEC 25, 2013
I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. It was bottled on 11/4/13 and cost $2.89 ($0.24 per ounce).

Appearance: Nearly opaque shade of rusty orange/burnt umber. Pours to a rather large, khaki, frothy head which laces and retains well.

Smell: Sweet, orange and orange sherbet-like scent. Otherwise, nose is muted.

Taste: Iím not really sure whatís the deal with Bellís Christmas Ale. Currently, the brewery doesnít describe it as a Scotch Ale, though that seems to be what it was classified as in previous releases. Itís possible the recipe has been changed over time and doesnít conform to that style anymore, which is fine. I donít care much for styles anyway, but thereís definitely something to be said for marketing and expectations, and as a Christmas beer, this really isnít what I expect with something bearing that name.

Whatís ironic is the beer touts the fact itís brewed with 100% Michigan-grown barley, yet the hops seem to be the star of the show. Bright, orange citrusy hops are prominent from beginning to end. Not especially bitter, though, which makes it very drinker-friendly. The malt base is slightly sweet with notes of caramel, but is mostly a general bready-like composure. The palette here is not that complex, and delivers the same few flavors over and over. Despite a slight tanginess to the taste, the beer at least tastes pretty good overall with no flaws or off-putting features. I can honestly recommend it, but as a standard amber-like ale and not as a Christmas beer.

Drinkability: While Bellís Christmas Ale doesnít seem to work as a holiday brew, it does deliver as advertised as being a "sessionable" beer. The mouthfeel is cold, thin, rather tepid, but extremely smooth. Itís even refreshing for a moment as it crosses the tongue. At 5.5% ABV itís a nice medium-bodied beer, that could theoretically be sessioned, but one serving is probably enough for most drinkers.

   AROMA 3/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Criz (66) - - DEC 24, 2013
There are much better Christmas beers available. Pretty bland offering from Bells.

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