Serve in Thistle


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RATINGS: 631   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.19/5   SEASONAL: Autumn   EST. CALORIES: 165   ABV: 5.5%
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 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
popery (1741) - San Francisco, California, USA - AUG 16, 2009
A good but fairly bland Scotch Ale. Thereís nothing particularly wrong with this beer, but it also fails to provide much excitement. The beer pours a murky medium amber with a spattering of particulates and a medium head/lacing. The aroma is subdued. Thereís light caramelized malt with touches of spice and apricots/apple. The flavor is similar and similarly fails to provide any really interesting notes. A Scotch Ale needs more punch than this one provides for me to find enjoyment. This beer tastes more like a watered down Scotch Ale. Itís not bad, just fairly bland and middle-of-the-road for the style.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
awiseman01 (469) - Indianapolis, Indiana, USA - AUG 11, 2009
Batch 8802, bottled OCT 2008. Saw a random lone bottle on the shelf and thought Iíd give it a try. Pours murky, dark orange with apparent sediment and little off white head. Smells like semi-sweet malt and some earthy tones. Taste is bitter carbo malt, some dirty earth (whatever dirty earth tastes like) and a slight hint of scotch. A little heavy on carbonation and a little too dry, bitter...but overall not bad. Definitely not the style for a cookout, but I didnít want to save it ítill winter.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Dickinsonbeer (5075) - Hoboken, New Jersey, USA - AUG 8, 2009
12 oz bottle. Poured most of it but left some sediment in the bottle- still tons of tiny yeasty chunks floating through a dull amber with low carb, and a thinning head- and very spoty lace. Aroma is a flatt dull caramel malt,ligth toffee, slight earth, low fruity esters, and some ligth citrus and herbal hops with a light spruce character. Flavor is a dull caramel malt, toffee, light paper oxidation, dry medium burnt toast, and a dry papery finish. ok.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
jbuzz (778) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 7, 2009
Nice dry beer, not as full bodied as other Scotch ales i have tried. Small fruit and nutmeg.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
MrChopin (3810) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - AUG 3, 2009
Hazy amber/nut-brown, small beige head. Sweet, candyish caramel malt rules the nose. Same in the flavor, a little more malt and less candy. Moderate, oddly carbonated body, short finish. Pretty bland stuff.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 8/20
shigadeyo (3387) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - JUL 30, 2009
UPDATED: NOV 17, 2009
Batch 8803 ~ Packaged on October 27, 2008

12/10/2008 and 12/21/2008: Bellís Christmas Ale pours a cloudy, orange/copper color (similar to caramelized sugar) with an average off-white to ivory-colored head forming. There really isnít much aroma at all at first, but as it warms some toast, soft caramel malt, brown sugar, and citrus around the edge starts to come out. The flavor is grainy with some toasty/roasty malt and slight coffee (think cheap and nutty) becoming noticeable. This beer is quite DRY throughout along with some clementine peel bitterness. It has a medium-light body, dry mouthfeel, and is somewhat difficult to get down. Overall the flavor is very weak and disapponting. This beer is nowhere near being a Scotch Ale in any way. It may be able to pass as a Dark Lager or mediocre Amber Ale at best. This is one of the most disappointing Bellís beers that I have ever had to this point!

12 fl. oz. bottles. Rating #167 for this beer. Score: 5/3/5/2/8 = 2.3
. . . . . . . . . .

Batch 8803 ~ Packaged on October 27, 2008

11/17/2009: Bellís Christmas Ale... Well, it has been nearly a year later now and this beer tastes exactly as it did before. It definitely hasnít improved any. It is just as disappointing as before. Overall, this is my least favorite Bellís beer by quite a large margin.

12 fl. oz. bottle. Score: 5/3/6/3/8 = 2.5

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
FROTHINGSLOSH (5768) - GREENSBURG, Pennsylvania, USA - MAY 17, 2009
Sampled from a 12 oz brown bottle this beer poured a bright orange-amber color with a large tan head. The aroma was malty, sweet, toasty, nutty and fruity. The flavor was sweet with strong notes of caramel and fruity hops. There was a nutty, toasty middle with a touch of sweet nutmeg. The finish was long with caramel and nutmeg lingering. Excellent.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
xnoxhatex (1305) - Grand Rapids/Chicago, Michigan, USA - APR 21, 2009
Bottle thanks to 17thfloor. Clear amber with creamy, medium beige head. Aroma is apple juice like, sweeter, yeast, light cinnamon. Sweeter, apple flavor, cinnamon, slight bitterness, some grass and only the slightest peet but I have to search for it. Medium, well carbonated body. Interesting, but different, sweeter.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Birdiebeagle (958) - Perkasie, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 14, 2009
Bottle Pours a hazy amber with a good off white head. The head is creamy and lasting. It looks awesome. Pretty good lacing also. Has a sweet aroma of fruits, caramel, and cinnimon. Has good carbination and mouthfeel. The flavor is good not too sweet and spicy. Very well blended and a medium body. Apretty good finish. This is a tasty beer. A step away from the normal.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
sthlm (1260) - Duluth, Minnesota, USA - APR 8, 2009
[Bottle] Pours reddish-amber with an ok khaki head that leaves good lacing. The aroma is quite sweet--fruity, with golden delicious apple, plum and pear mostly. Some unpleasant vegetal notes also appeared as it warmed. The taste yields a good dose of hops when cold, followed by quite a bit of barley. Bitterness is restrained, and the shift between malt and hops is sharp. Decent mouthfeel, but hardly any finish to speak of. Pretty simple in the taste, and not an overly remarkable beer in any respect.

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