Serve in Thistle


on tap

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RATINGS: 607   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.18   SEASONAL: Autumn   EST. CALORIES: 174   ABV: 5.8%
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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 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
bubslang (438) - Kentwood, Michigan, USA - DEC 2, 2008
poured a nice burnt copper color with a medium sized off white head. pleasant malty aroma with hints of caramel. fairly light mouthfeel for a scotch ale. Taste is of mild caramel malt, with hints of pine, and some mild spiciness in the finish. Decent

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
CaptainCougar (7132) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - NOV 30, 2008
Pours a transparent copper amber with a thin, wispy-lacing light tan head. Aroma of sweet toasty caramel and some mild piny hops. Body starts with decent fullness and some earthy caramel sweetness with some drier hoppy notes before a bland finish. Doesn’t have of the smoky peaty notes I like in Scotch ales and seems more like an amber ale. Still, not that bad and pretty drinkable.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
DavidP (1747) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - NOV 30, 2008
A rasiny, earthy, brew with a leafy-bitter finish. Pretty light mouthfeel and dry.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
thehoff (596) - Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA - NOV 30, 2008
OK Nice beer. I for one am not the biggest Bells fan in the world but have to try new ones when I can. I put this on tap at the Union and when I tried it proclaimed it the best Bells beer I’ve had in a long time. Great flavor, slight sweetness, not like most Scotches and pretty hoppy. I was told by the distributor that this was an ESB but I was also told Scotch Ale. Larry Bell was in the day before Thanksgiving and I forgot to ask him. Overall nice drink, perfect for these cold months. Million times better than the Winter White.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
tjthresh (1866) - Greenfield, Indiana, USA - NOV 30, 2008
12 ounce bottle. Pours amber orange with a dense lasting white head. Some decent lace. The nose is full of toasted malts. A little bit of toffee, grain dust, and a hint of smoke. Flavor is an even keeled malt with a mild bitter finish. Full body with average carbonation. Dry finish. I wonder why this is listed as a Scotch Ale. Its not a Scotch Ale.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
SpudClampDawg (1029) - Jasper, Indiana, USA - NOV 30, 2008
A well made, interesting take on the holiday style. Pours a ruddy brown with a frothy head. The nose offers a sugary sweetness that is hard to pin down, layered with some more recoginizable caramel notes. The body is medium, not too heavy, and opens up with some esthery fruits, followed by a firm biscuit and bread base. Finishes with a whisper of yeast spiciness and is really easy to drink. A sessioniable Chrismas beer? Sure, why not?

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
esjaygee (3903) - Oak Creek, Wisconsin, USA - NOV 29, 2008
As a lover of all things Bells, even an average beer becomes a let down, and that’s what this one is. Orange in appearance with a large off-white head that’s slowly dissipating. Aroma of mild toffee, cereal grain and bread. Taste of toasted malt and light toffee. Light bitter grainy finish with some corny undertones.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Suttree (5266) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - NOV 29, 2008
Orangey gold, faint aroma - pine? citrus? Hard to tell. Woody flavor at first, then an odd sweetness - like grape juice or something. Some cinnamon and other spices in the finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
badgerben (4502) - Blaine, Minnesota, USA - NOV 28, 2008
Gold color with a medium head. Orange and pine hop aroma. Very astringent pine taste. Lots of sweet malt and barley with a bit of heather. That part gives the indication of maybe a heavier Scottish ale, but the strong hops definitely kills the Scotch Ale possibilities.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
jcr (2221) - Jasper, Indiana, USA - NOV 28, 2008
Bottle. Cloudy amber body. Frothy, lasting off-white head. Sweet aroma with notes of grain. Fruit, biscuit, caramel. Hints of flowers. The flavor is moderately sweet and lightly bitter. Finish is lightly to moderately bitter and lightly sweet. Medium body with a watery texture. A Scotch ale? This lacks the maltiness of that style. None of the smoke or peat that is often associated with scotch ales. Outside of that, an OK beer, but nothing to make it stand out.

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