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RATINGS: 583   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.17   SEASONAL: Autumn   EST. CALORIES: 174   ABV: 5.8%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
The basic inspiration for Bells 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 doesnt 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.


3.4
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
WabashMan (1012) - Noblesville, Indiana, USA - NOV 26, 2008
I didn’t know what to expect from this "Christmas Ale"...could’ve been a spice beer, a stout...anything, really. A Scots will do nicely, though. Anyway, while enjoyable, this one didn’t quite measure up to the best of the style. Flavor lacked the complexity of the two bastards ("Dirty" and "Backwoods"), and didn’t make up for it with a great malt characteristic that sometimes comes with a Scots Ale. Not bad, by any stretch, and perhaps it’s because my opinion of Bells is fairly high that my review is a little too critical. In fact, I see that, despite my criticism, I’m giving it a reasonably higher rating than it has averaged. Not bad...but Bells can do better and other beers in the style do.

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
hombrepalo (1821) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 26, 2008
Bottle. Pouerd copper color some head. The flavor and aroma are sweet, malty, almost no hop presence. Some wheat and malt taste. Not what I expected from Bell’s.

1.9
   AROMA 3/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 2/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 9/20
fiver29 (1026) - Cleveland, Ohio, USA - NOV 21, 2008
Bottle pours brown color with tan head. Aroma is subtle malt. Not much else. Flavor is subtle malt, toffee, and not much else. Overall this beer was a huge disappointment. Its pretty thin, doesn’t taste much like anything in particular, and stinks!

2.9
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Cobra (1100) - Banned City, - NOV 21, 2008
12 oz. brown, longneck bottle. Batch 8803. Poured out a turbid brown color, with a soapy tan colored head. Aromas are of caramel malts, some biscuit notes as well. Toffee flavors mix with a strong malt backbone to produce an easy drinking beer. Medium mouthfeel, decent body. Finished well balanced.

2.2
   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 7/20
lweiberg (108) - Omaha, Nebraska, USA - NOV 21, 2008
I couldn’t believe how mild this tastes. Subtlety is one thing, and this is subtle, but there’s just not enough taste.

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
DrHomolka (761) - Portland, Oregon, USA - NOV 20, 2008
12oz bottle, batch 8803. Pours a beautiful deep ruby red with a thick, large foamy off-white head with great retention. Aroma is deeply malty, caramel, candy, and vanilla are in there. Taste is smooth, rich, relatively dry for the style. Subtly malty and easy drinking. This is a very drinkable beer. For a Christmas beer and a Scotch ale Id like a little more kick. I like these types of beers and this is a good one. Just not exactly what Id imagine a Christmas and/or Scotch ale to be.

2.4
   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
bdigital (658) - Ft Wayne, Indiana, USA - NOV 20, 2008
<b>Draft:</b> Okay...where do I begin? I might as well say it...this thing tastes like fuckin’ Smarties. If you don’t know what Smarties are then quit reading ’cause you just won’t get it. Everything about this in the traditional scotch ale sense has been abducted and is probably underneath a starewell festering, trying to figure out what the hell happened. I’ve had both recent and "traditional" scotch ales and this is neither. I am thoroughly disappointed in this brew and am still in the process of recovering from the depression it put me in. Just so this doesn’t turn totally in to a random display of non-beer descriptiveness...it has notes of malt and hops. There, done. WTF Bells?

3.1
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Rogueone (506) - I F&ckin hate those guys from, Ohio, USA - NOV 20, 2008
NOT a scotch ale. That being said, once you recover from disappointment, pours a blushing orange with minimal head. Also NOT a Christmas Ale in the traditional sense. More like a winter warmer. Flavor is crisp and sweet with toasted caramel malt. Fades gracefully into a nice spicy hopped bitterness with a floral presence. This one took me awhile to figure out. Almost has a Cremesicle quality to it. It tastes like cosmetics smell, particularly L’Oreal blushes.

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
BeerBunker (709) - Burbank, Illinois, USA - NOV 20, 2008
120z bottle. Pours a murky, redish brown with an off white head. Not heavy on the carbonation. Nice white lacing in the glass. Aroma is of malt, bread, spice, small hints of caramel, and for some reason gingerbread. Taste is of caramel malt, spice, cheap scotch, bread, and that gingerbread again. Very watery, which is surprising. Very drinkable, and definitely worth a second drink.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Magjayran (1379) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - NOV 20, 2008
Bell’s doesn’t really do anything wrong but that doesn’t mean that everything is exceptional. This dark copper colored beer doesn’t have much of a head. It’s a malty creation with hints of caramel and a touch of fruit cake minus those nasty dried oranges. It just seems a little thin for something Bell’s would do. Still drinkable.


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