Serve in Thistle


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RATINGS: 660   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.19/5   SEASONAL: Autumn   EST. CALORIES: 165   ABV: 5.5%
The basic inspiration for Bell’s 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 doesn’t 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 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
reggiedunlop (3657) - The dub c, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 3, 2009
pours a pale amber-honey color with a huge foamy light tan head. very miniscule sediment throughout. outstanding lacing and retention. aroma is very mild but has notes of sweet malts, spicyness, and a faint metallic scent. flavor has some cinnamon, spicy hops and some sweet caramel. mouthfeel is a bit thick and oily and finish lingers with spicy hops and cinnamon. not a bad beer but lacks balance and has some off flavors.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
tennisjoel (1361) - Rochester, Minnesota, USA - FEB 2, 2009
Vegetal aroma. Flavor is a little plain, with some light fruitiness, biscuit flavors, and gentle hop presence. Good session like qualities, however, a little boing for a Bells creation. Scotch Ale? More like an amber ale.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 3/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 8/20
Glouglouburp (6103) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - FEB 1, 2009
In short: A messy amber ale of no specific style. Annoying.
How: Bottle 12oz. Consumed fresh a few months after its release. Sent to me by oakbluff, thanks Scott.
The look: Cloudy dark orange topped by a medium off-white head
In long: Faint nose of hard-candy and light spiciness. Taste is a mess. Extra light fluffy body, candied caramel, light smokiness that doesn’t fit in, metallic notes, orange zest, butterscotch, cinnamon, ginger (!?), more... Basically just a bunch of random flavours that do not work together. Hopping is very reminiscent of the leafy/floral hops of true English ESB. I usually like that hopping profile but here it just doesn’t work with the beer. On the positive, this was batch 8802, and even a wasted batch like this is taking us one step closer to Bells Batch 9000.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 9/20
Crosling (1864) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - JAN 31, 2009
Amber colored brew. Balanced but unpleasant nose, with hints of biscuit from the malt as well as some grapefruit and lemon from the hops. Flavor is very light, lacking complexity and depth. Nothing even close to a wee heavy. How is this beer not an amber ale?

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
inkubus27 (269) - highland, Indiana, USA - JAN 29, 2009
Decent attempt at a scotch ale from Bell’s. Has a beautiful pour with large pillowy head. Not much in the way of aroma, just some faint hints of malt. Flavor is malty, slight yeasty flavor, low bitterness. Very drinkable, but nothing that WOW’s you.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
DukeBrewDevil (732) - Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA - JAN 27, 2009
Bottle. Very hazy, even a few floaters in an orange/amber liquid. Poured with a really big, soft white head that slims down to thin layer. Not a lot of smell, just a distant maltiness. Nice yeasty, malty flavors. Some caramel. spice, and a hint of whiskey balanced with a touch of bitterness. Not my favorite style, and really didn’t taste that much like a Scotch, which for me is a good thing.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 10/20
BeerandBlues2 (12100) - Escondido, California, USA - JAN 26, 2009
12-oz bottle, batch 8803. Pours clear amber with an average, foamy, off-white head, somewhat lasting with good lacing. Aroma is heavy malt (bread, grain, straw), average hops (grass, herbs), heavy yeast (soap, sweat) with notes of cardboard, light brown sugar, and apple. Light bodied, thin texture, lively carbonation, and a metallic finish. Average duration, light sweetness, acidity, and bitterness. Surely Bells can do better than this.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
kraemer420 (14) - Terre Haute, Indiana, USA - JAN 26, 2009
Bottle...First time ive tried a Christmas beer and was pleased with what i got....very hazy pour..could definatly taste cinnamon and some spice in this beer and ejoyed it alot...enjoy

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Skyview (5696) - Papoose Jct, Minnesota, USA - JAN 25, 2009
Purchased a single 12-oz bottle at Cellars Wine & Spirits in St. Paul, MN. Pours a semi-hazy copper amber brew with a thin off-white head that quickly dissipates to a thin white ring. Aroma of sweet caramel malt, some light butterscotch, allspice, and dark pitted fruits. Taste is medium bodied, with flavors of light-smoked caramel malt, some floral hops, light cinnamon, and a hint of spice. Finish is semi-sweet with a light spice aftertaste.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Ughsmash (7508) - Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA - JAN 24, 2009
Bottle, Batch 8802. Poured hazy medium orange with a short-lived off-white head. The aroma was sweet and lightly-smoked with aged caramel supporting orange zest and a fine array of warm mulling spices.. very nice. Candied caramel joined darker fruits in the flavor department with spices and moderate herbal and lemony bitter accents.. touch sharper on the finish (but well-controlled) with more spices and warmth. Medium-bodied and dry on the palate with moderate carbonation.. I really dug the warm finish. Nice one.

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