Serve in Thistle


on tap

Broad Distribution

Add Distribution Data
RATINGS: 588   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.18   SEASONAL: Autumn   EST. CALORIES: 174   ABV: 5.8%
Share this beer with friends!
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.

strattonspeaks' rating

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
strattonspeaks (113) - Springfield, Missouri, USA - NOV 8, 2013
Murky rust pour with nice off-white head. Pretty to look at. Understated sweet malt nose with hints of spice. Taste of sweet malt, caramel, grain. Lacks the spice I anticipated. Dry. Mildly bitter. Really just so-so for a Bell’s offering.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
aumentm (44) - 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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
slowrunner77 (5804) - 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 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
chinchill (1954) - 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}

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Darkmagus82 (1728) - - 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.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Mark_Eck (711) - - AUG 3, 2014
Pours a clear amber color. Aroma and taste are light spices, bready malts, and caramel.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
Weevo (35) - Indiana, USA - JUL 27, 2014
Bottle. Pours mahogany, light tan head. Slight spice, thin for a dark beer. Overall not bad. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
jrodooo5 (1034) - Wilmington, Delaware, USA - JUN 6, 2014
Pours dark red w/ no head or lacing. The aroma is dominated by the cherries. The taste hits hard w/ the cherries upfront w/ the caramel flavor being the undertone. Pretty unique for a scotch!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
BrownALEx (272) - Portland, Michigan, USA - APR 20, 2014
Rating a Christmas ale on Easter, huh? Aromas of caramel and toffee. Nice spice taste, very smooth. Palate lingers a bit, very balanced. You would be able to drink a few of these. I almost wish it was that time of the season, no I don’t. No more snow!

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 13/20
deaconmike (391) - Roswell, Georgia, USA - APR 10, 2014
Bottle. Pours a beautiful amber with tan head. Grainy malt aroma. Taste brings a bit more caramel. Not much spice for a winter ale. Slightly on the thin side. Ok, but probably not a repeater for me.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Nekronos (3633) - Xalapa, MEXICO - MAR 29, 2014
NIce to drink but a ltitle thin. Not so special. Quite aromatic but not much else to say.

We Want To Hear From You

Join us! RateBeer is made by beer enthusiasts for the craft beer community. Your basic membership is free and allows you to read all beer ratings. Click here to create your account... and give your opinion!

Join Us »

Page    1  2 3 4 » 59

Tick this beer

for your profile
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Copyright © 2000-2014,
RateBeer LLC. All rights
about us
About RateBeer
New Beers
Advanced Search
Add A Beer
Add A Brewer
Add A Place
Log In
Edit Personal Info
Buy Premium Membership
Your Messages
the best
RateBeer Best
100 Beer Club
The Top 50