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style
Serve in Thistle

bottled
common

on tap
common

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 592   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.18   SEASONAL: Autumn   EST. CALORIES: 174   ABV: 5.8%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
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.


bigben873's rating

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
bigben873 (133) - Virginia, USA - DEC 18, 2011
Aroma - Light malty Appearance - dark clear amber, light long-lasting head Taste - Palate - Light Overall - I wasn’t overwhelmed by this Bell’s beer, but I wasn’t disappointed as I usually am. I would not have guessed that this was a Scotch Ale however.


3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
markas101 (1883) - Calgary, Alberta, CANADA - NOV 24, 2014
33 cl bottle, Ann Arbor, MI, USA. Hazy brown iced tea colour. Malty without overpowering clove and cinnamon which is nice. Hops come through on the first sip, some sweetness, and caramel. Medium malty hop finish.

2.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
johnnymusky (275) - Minnesota, USA - NOV 24, 2014
Its ok.... I don’t care much for this style....drinkable but not great...lots of caramel and malt.

3.6
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Nejhleader (1261) - Lemoyne, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 15, 2014
has a bit of a sweet caramel aroma. Taste is a nice blend of hops with the toasted malt. Not bad.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
superspak (2778) - Michigan, USA - NOV 14, 2014
12 ounce bottle into signature pint glass, bottled on 10/22/2014. Pours lightly hazy/cloudy deep orange/amber color with a 2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of lemon, orange zest, pear, apple, plum, caramel, toasted bread, light honey, herbal, floral, grass, light nuttiness, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance of bready malt, earthy hops, and fruity yeast ester notes; with solid strength. Taste of lemon, orange zest, pear, apple, plum, caramel, toasted bread, light honey, herbal, floral, grass, light nuttiness, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Minimal earthy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon, orange zest, pear, apple, plum, caramel, toasted bread, light honey, herbal, floral, grass, light nuttiness, and herbal/yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Good balance and robustness of bready malt, earthy hops, and fruity yeast ester flavors; with a good malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with smooth, fairly crisp, and lightly creamy/bready mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a nice and pleasant Scottish ale style. All around good robustness and balance of bready malt, earthy hops, and fruity yeast ester flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

2.8
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 13/20
NikkTwist (1708) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 10, 2014
Draft at Moriartys. Mostly clear dark orange pour with off-white foam. Juicy medium to medium-dark malts. Dark amber fruit and red stone fruit. Blood orange peels. Apricot pits. Has an unfortunate ascetic note in the middle that groes worse as it warms. Could be this pour. Also has an artificial black cherry gummy beer feeling to it. Not awful but cannot recommend based on this pour.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
aumentm (100) - North Carolina, USA - OCT 19, 2014
Really like this beer, especially around Christmas. Not over powering but compliments food really well. Thought the appearance was nice and aroma was very appealing.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
slowrunner77 (6031) - Reno, Nevada, USA - OCT 4, 2014
"my bottle has the above brewer’s description minus the "scotch" before ale. no hint of peat malt here. a nice, full bodied and flavored chestnut ale...lots of roasted malt, vanilla, caramel, and a touch of hops to balance. a very solid no frills holiday brew. thanks John for another tasty brew."

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
chinchill (2056) - South Carolina, USA - SEP 22, 2014
12 oz undated bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a nice clear medium amber with less than 1 finger of bone head. Head has good retention and lacing. Somewhat sweet aroma featuring caramel (?) malts.. More toasted malt than hops, but hops are detectable. Taste is good but quite mild, although the finish is a little bolder and more toasted than anticipated. M - smooth with good carbonation level. O - rather blase offering, particularly for something called a "Christmas Ale", but should appeal to many people, especially fans of amber ales. {from April 2011 notes}

3.8
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Darkmagus82 (1785) - - AUG 19, 2014
Transfer from BA review on 12-15-12- Served on tap in a 10 oz pint glass Appearance – The beer is served a reddish amber color with a nice one finger off white head. The head has a good level of retention giving a quite nice level of lacing. Smell – The nose is overall quite light. It consists of a light bready smell mixed with some light citrus and brown sugar. Taste – A bready and malty flavor greets the tongue. A decent sweetness is upfront being of a caramel and brown sugar flavor. Dark fruit flavors then come to the taste more toward the middle. While the dark fruit comes to the taste, the sugary tastes dwindling a bit. Some flavors of a smoky nature soon come to the tongue more toward the end and are accompanied by a light spice as well as some bitter citrus. These flavors, in the end, leave a malty but hop and sweet balanced flavor to linger on the tongue. Mouthfeel –The body of the brew was on the thicker and creamier side for a brew of only 5.5 % abv. The carbonation level was on the slightly lower side, but very close to average. The combo of the thicker body and medium carbonation made it a bit of a slower drinker, but not too slow where it wasn’t still refreshing and to where all the spice and sweet flavors lost their draw. Quite nicely done. Overall – A great drinking Christmas ale with a good flavor and mouthfeel.

3.2
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Mark_Eck (763) - - AUG 3, 2014
Pours a clear amber color. Aroma and taste are light spices, bready malts, and caramel.


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