Serve in Thistle


on tap

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RATINGS: 592   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 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
drowland (6134) - Valdosta, Georgia, USA - APR 3, 2010
12oz bottle courtesy StFun. Orange pour with a small white head. The aroma is citrusy and spicy. Yummy!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 9/20
BBB63 (6122) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - DEC 5, 2008
Bottle that poured a bronze hue with a lasting frothy off-white head which very good lacing. The aroma has notes of butterscotch, maple syrup, sweet bread, slight smoked malt, overripened apple and fig, noble spicy hops and an minerally yeast ester. The taste is rather flat with a basic malt driven profile and some twangy fruit but missing much of what your expect from the genre. A mismatched combination of flavors. Some peppery bite on the finish is the highlight to a rather dull beer. The mouth feel does not do this beer any favors either as it is lively but quick to fade. Who in hell brewed this? They should be let go. Utterly underwhelming. Maybe I dump this rest of this upon my dad, it could be a cheap drunk for him.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 3/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 8/20
Glouglouburp (6104) - 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 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."

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
blutt59 (6028) - Dallas, Texas, USA - DEC 19, 2008
bottle, thanks to bu11zeye, orange brown color with no head, aroma of movie popcorn butter, flavor is toffee, buttery with a bitter watery finish

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
AmEricanbrew (5905) - Same Trailer, Different Park, Louisiana, USA - FEB 5, 2010
batch 9431. Clear amber color/ huge beige head. Mild caramel sweet aromas. medium body. Mild spicy caramel flavor with mild floral hops. mild

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 11/20
TheAlum (5833) - Aurora, Illinois, USA - DEC 23, 2008
12 oz bottle courtesy of the Binnys Singles Rack (Orland Park, IL). Pours a very nice copperish ruby red grapefruit juice, highly hazed hue with moderate offwhite head. Aromas are malty, caramel, toffee, cinnamon, and a touch of a hoppy bouquet. Initial taste is malty, but more somber than anticipated. Malty sweetness, caramel on the back end, touches of light spices tucked into a fairly light and watery beer. A tad one dimensional. Hoppy bitterness comes through, but does not stick either. Thin, watery, not really a true Scotch ale. Fair.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 11/20
alexsdad06 (5827) - Ohio, USA - FEB 21, 2009
12 oz. bottle. Pours a slightly hazy amber color with a medium off white head. The aroma had caramel malt, light fruit, but not much else. The flavor was equally underwhelming. Basic caramel maltiness, light fruit, and iced tea. This is thin and lacks a finish. Definitely one of the more disappointing Bells beers I have had.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
mabel (5805) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - MAR 19, 2010
[2812-20100319] 12floz bottle. Old musty malt fruity brew aroma. Murky, dark brown body with a medium-lasting creamy light yellow head and lots of suspended floaties. Old wine-soaked burlap bags flavour mixed with brewery floor and muddy malt grain. Full body. Probably past it’s prime.
(w/ jerc)

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
b3shine (5739) - Indiana, USA - DEC 28, 2012
Bottle to pint. Looks alright; an amberish-orange with off-white lacing and some sediment floating around. Smells solid; semi-sweet, malty, and a little doughy. Tastes like it smells, but not quite as well-balanced. Average on the palate. Decent.

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