Serve in Thistle


on tap

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RATINGS: 627   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.19   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 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
That1Guy (2061) - Greeley, Colorado, USA - DEC 28, 2008
Crushed with Jakebra. Its aight. Take this and Backwoods Bastard, absolutely no contest, but Id drink her again.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
jrob21 (2935) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - DEC 28, 2008
Bottle back from Greensboro at Christmas. Scotch is not my first impression of this guy but hey, I am not categorizing these things. Pours a pretty looking deep ruby red color with an offwhite head that lasts for a bit. Aroma of cherry and caramel malt. Finish is a bit bitter and hoppy. Flavor is mainly grain and caramel sweetness. The grain is more on the toasted side. Some red fruit, cherry, in there as well. After the toasted grain though everything else is a bit of an afterthought.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
michael-pollack (4960) - King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 28, 2008
12oz. Bottle: Aroma of caramel, malts, toasting, slight maple syrup, grains, cereal, slight fruit, and a hint of noble hops. Poured orange/amber with a hint of copper in color and a large, dense, creamy, beige head that diminished but lasted throughout. Cloudy. Lightly sparkling. Full of medium and large-sized particles throughout. Excellent lacing. Flavor is light to medium sweet and lightly bitter. Tastes of malts, grains, caramel, hops, water, minerals, and some yeast. Light to medium body. Slightly sticky, dry texture. Average carbonation. Sweet, grain, and hops finish is dry. How is this a Scotch Ale???

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 11/20
DietPepsican (1533) - @ $13.99, Iowa, USA - DEC 28, 2008
UPDATED: DEC 29, 2008 amber reddish pour with a small off white head. Aroma is malt and spice. Flavor has more malt...and a bit of spice. nothing really to pick up from this one. Rather flat finish with not much going on. Mehhhhh.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
JaBier (5616) - Capital City, Ohio, USA - DEC 27, 2008
12oz bottle. Clear amber in color with a minimal head. Funky aroma with lots of malt. Malty flavor with some spice and a nice hop finish. Better than I expected based upon what others told me.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
BigBeer45 (1336) - Michigan, USA - DEC 27, 2008
Bottle, pours a medium red-amber with some orange and bronze hues, produced an off-white head that deflated after a moment to a skin cover and ring, there are some small floaties swirling in the glass, left generous lacing on the glass, has toasted and roasted malt aromas with malt sweetness, there are hop leaf and citrus aromas to along with faint caramel and a mixture of light and dark fruits, I did not detect any peat or smoke aromas, flavor is the same as the aromas, this ale has more hops then the typical Scotch Ale, leaves a little hop bite on the palate at the finish. This beer does not look like the typical Scotch Ale, it is light colored, this was an ok beer but disappointing because I was expecting a Scotch Ale with all of the heavy dark caramel and deep malt flavors.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
CelticBrew (912) - The Crystal Coast, North Carolina, USA - DEC 26, 2008
Pour from 12 ox bottle was a hazy orange amber with a ton of fine carbonation bubbles. Decent two inch off white head that falls slowly. Aroma of bittersweet maltiness, hint of smoky peat moss and fresh resin pine hoppiness. Flavour was very much the sharp bitter, then sweet maltiness. A decent Bells beer, however I was expecting more from them in this beer. A drinkable, tasty beer, however it is un-remarkable, IMO.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
WakeandBake (549) - Greenville, Michigan, USA - DEC 26, 2008
Bottle.Pours kind a rusty/copper color with one finger offwhite head. Aroma is complex as it warms pretty much all malt caramel cereal hints of roasted nuts and tiny hints at some smoke.Flavor is all over the place but in a good way an earthy balance between sweet and dry caramel cinnamon vanilla honey cereal nutmeg many aromas and flavors going on here but nothong that dominates. Thinner on the mouthfeel than I had expected but very drinkable. I will buy this again next year.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
tsetlock (66) - Hartland Twp, Michigan, USA - DEC 26, 2008
An interesting version of the holiday style. Pours a deep amber ale with minimal head. The smell of sweetness that is hard to find, layered with some more recoginizable caramel flavors. The body is medium, not too heavy, and opens up with some fruityness, followed by a little scotch flavor. Finishes with a bit of yeast spiciness, minimal aftertaste, and is really easy to drink.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
auerbrau (3182) - Peace Dale, Rhode Island, USA - DEC 24, 2008
UPDATED: DEC 5, 2009 On tap at the Michigan House Cafe. Light malt, toasted cumin, and faint mediterranean cafe dusting in the aroma. Soft, soft, soft. Pours a light caramel copper, clearish, with a rim in off-white. Flavor develops a soft, soapy malt, lubricated by a confused mingle of spice and almonds. Christmas-like in a Potpourri kind of way. Seems dryish, but really holds a tooth of sweetness way out into the finish which doesnt really develop any strong hoppy balance. Malt is just not strong enough to make this a good example or an interesting beer and the muddled house yeast and spice character is somewhat off-putting.

12oz Bottle, purchased at Warehouse Liquor - Duluth, MN. The last time I had this beer, it was during its first release, on draft at The Michigan House. I didnít particularly care for it then. This time around, Iím not sure I feel any different. Itís still got a muddled soapy spice flavor that drowns out any malt nuance. The yeast seems too up front. And, now, itís a bit oxidized and light-struck. Better Christmas beers have been had. Itís just too thin and weak for my kind of Scotch Ale.

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