Serve in Thistle


on tap

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RATINGS: 633   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 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
CaptainCougar (7133) - 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 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
b3shine (7133) - 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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
drowland (7112) - Georgia, USA - APR 3, 2010
12oz bottle courtesy StFun. Orange pour with a small white head. The aroma is citrusy and spicy. Yummy!

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 1/5   OVERALL 10/20
Ernest (6906) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - JAN 20, 2015
Bottle. Head is initially small, frothy, off-white to light brown, mostly diminishing. Body is medium amber. Aroma is lightly malty (toasted grain), moderately hoppy (orange, apricot, grapefruit), with a note of metal. Flavor is moderately sweet, lightly to moderately acidic, lightly bitter. Finish is lightly sweet, lightly to moderately acidic, moderately bitter. Light to medium body, watery texture, lively carbonation, lightly alcoholic, metallic. What the heck does this have to do with xmas? Bupkis, as far as I can tell. Thin, watery, and metallic mouthfeel leaves an awful lot to be desired in that department, and the nose is basically a pale ale sorta thing with a tinny note there as well. Rather sourish too. Ugh. Poor by any measure.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
blankboy (6787) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - DEC 23, 2011
Bottle [12oz] courtesy of jerc & mabel. Pours a hazy orange-amber with lots of tiny floaties and a large lasting fluffy off-white head. Decent lacing on the glass. Aroma is vegetal, spicy and quite floral along with caramel malt and what I call "bottle" -- it’s a bit of an odd duck. Flavour’s a bit better with caramel malt, light spices, fruit, light hops and a light bitter finish. Average to medium bodied. It doesn’t seem like a Scotch Ale to me and I didn’t love it, just O.K.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
jredmond (6670) - New York, New York, USA - DEC 11, 2010
Draft at St. Stephens with pat. Poursdark amber body with slight lacing. Aroma is sweet malt. Mouthfeel is nice with notes of sweet malts and slight hops.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
5000 (6600) - Hardened Liver, Washington, USA - NOV 26, 2011
Bottle:   Dark orangish straw, hazy, huge frothy off-white head, clumpy lacing.   Pale hoppy nose, some aspect of malts but not very strong.   This is a Scotch Ale?   While malty, even a little mealy, it doesn’t seem all that complex.   Certainly clean, tasty, just a little simple I think.   Body and mouthfeel are moderate.   Seems mealy and a little wheaty on the finish.   Well, perhaps this is like a strong Pale Ale, but while clean and tasty seems rather simple and ordinary.   Thanks Tyler!

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
PorterPounder (6536) - Tallahassee, Florida, USA - NOV 21, 2012
Tallahassee, Fl - ABC Fine Wine & Spirits - Betton - 12 oz bottle. Murky, dark orange pour, sticky off-white head that leaves plenty of lacing. Sweet aroma with hints of toffee, some rhubarb-like fruitiness. Flavor is relatively mild, some Christmas-like spices, some ripening vegetable notes, some passion fruit, Mouthfeel is velvety smooth. Enjoyable - not one of Bell’s bests though.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 9/20
BBB63 (6507) - 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 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 11/20
TheAlum (6487) - 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.

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