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RATINGS: 627   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.19   SEASONAL: Autumn   EST. CALORIES: 165   ABV: 5.5%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
The basic inspiration for Bellís 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 doesnít 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.


ClarkVV's rating

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
ClarkVV (4164) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - DEC 5, 2008
Bottles drunk over Thanksgiving 2008 Wasnt sure what to expect, noting that Bells dosent brew special releases to any particular style guidelines, yet scotch ale was mentioned on the label. Im not a big fan of scotch ales, as they generally combine many qualities that I dislike in beer relatively high sweetness, lots of different dark malts, caramelization in the boil, lots of stickines and/or syrupiness in the mouthfeel, but I was very, very pleasantly surprised to find a very dry, even crisply finishing, balanced beer upon first sip. The malts are lightly grainy, with only a hint of caramel flavor and restrained, yet obvious PNW hop aromatics and bitterness. The lean body makes it extremely drinkable and I was finished with my glass in a shockingly short amount of time. I suppose I can see some of the low scores from people who are expecting a traditional scotch ale, but since when was Bells, or most any brewer, for that reason, held to style guidelines on this site? Excellent, drinkable, beer with a very fresh, wholesome, malt flavor that really lets the barley shine through and downplays the yeast character or any obtrusive hoppiness, though the bitterness and hop flavor is just enough to balance the finish. Great stuff, incredibly sessionable.


3.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
BOSSbrewer (2685) - Arkansas, USA - JUN 17, 2015
Bottle at Guinnís house thanks to Casey. Pours brown with a tan head. Toffee, caramel and slightly sweet. Nice beer.

3.4
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
twindadplus2 (627) - Wisconsin, USA - APR 13, 2015
Copper amber color with a small beige head. Aroma is yeasty spiciness with a fruity sweetness. Flavor is spicy hops bitterness with a light banana sweetness that finishes up with a dry herbal bitterness. Medium bodied with a syrupy palate and light carbonation. Itís a good ale but not at all what I think of when I hear Scotch ale. Definitely worth trying/

3.1
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
Couch0508 (107) - Flat rock, Michigan, USA - MAR 31, 2015
Gave it a try. Not much flavor but wasnt overpowering either. It is ok if you need something in a pinch.

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
mikedR (1555) - Gilbert, Arizona, USA - MAR 22, 2015
Iím impressed with this one due to the brewing of it -- Iím getting some spice notes, but interestingly, no spices in it! An unusual Scottish ale, insofar as usually thereís more maltiness. Donít think of this one as a Scottish, but as a different kind of Christmas ale.

3.1
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
MaltOne (268) - Wisconsin, USA - FEB 15, 2015
Pours red amber, brief head. Yeast, breast aroma. Flavor is the same - lightly roast flavor, a liitle caramel, initially slightly sweet, mild hop finish. Overall, OK session Scottish but nothing special.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
ordybill (604) - Douglasville, Georgia, USA - FEB 6, 2015
Poured from a 12OZ bottle into a pint glass. Aroma- Has a nice aroma of malt and yeast. Appearance- An amber colored brew with an off white head Taste- Toasted malt flavor, not bad at all Palate- A medium bodied beer with medium carbonation Overall- A really good ale. I would definitely drink this again.

2.8
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
iceman15658 (135) - Acme, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 2, 2015
12oz bottle pours a light amber with a very thin head. Nose is. Very faint bready aroma. The taste is actually a bit bland and nothing really jumps out as a dominant trait.

2.9
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
bennetporter (318) - East Falmouth, Massachusetts, USA - JAN 20, 2015
Pours a nice copper from a bottle. Very good sweet toffee maltiness with a slight bitter end on the tongue.

2.4
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 1/5   OVERALL 10/20
Ernest (6699) - 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.

2.8
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
sturmthis (875) - Ohio, USA - JAN 4, 2015
Sample. Light copper color with white head. Malty aroma. Likewise taste, really isnít anything special.


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