overall
49
30
style
Serve in Thistle

bottled
common

on tap
available

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 687   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.19/5   SEASONAL: Autumn   EST. CALORIES: 165   ABV: 5.5%
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.

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3.6
GenDV138 (7285) - Falls Church, Virginia, USA - JAN 10, 2017
4 oz pour on draft at Spacebar. Clear golden orange with off-white head. Aromas of spice, caramel, malt. Tastes of spice, floral, malt, light caramel. Medium body with a dry finish.

3.6
Fujimo2000 (170) - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA - JAN 2, 2017
Pours golden with slight reddish tinge. Lasting carbonation. Aroma is hibiscus and taste is mild.

3.5
VAYankee (353) - Virginia, USA - DEC 30, 2016
Dark copper color with a small tan head. Malty aroma - including a little bit of bread and also earthiness. Malty flavor, not too sweet, with the bread coming through. Palate is medium bodied, average carbonation and slightly oily.

3.3
benpickens (512) - Camarillo, California, USA - DEC 26, 2016
Pours Amber with compact white head that holds well. Aroma of biscuits dipped in honey. Sweet finish.

3
olenickj (114) - Michigan, USA - DEC 23, 2016
Draft. Smells sweet, a little spice. Golden red, not much head. Taste: Very mild. Palate: Moderate body, decent finish. Overall: Is ok, drinkable but not fantastic

1.5
ehaak26 (524) - - DEC 19, 2016
Bottle from Liquor Barn. Aroma was candy and malt. One person said they noticed grape. Way too carbonated.

3.1
unclemike (3124) - Ft. Riley, Kansas, USA - DEC 16, 2016
Copper-brown with a small head that persists. Aroma of spiced candy apple. Flavor is the same, with some wood and toasted nut shell on the finish. Maybe some faint smoky caramel, but then again maybe I only wished it were there. Almost-medium body is a little too fizzy and finishes dryish

3.2
Cimbasso (892) - - DEC 15, 2016
Sampled on draught at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago. A deep copper colour with a thin head that does not last. The taste is of brown bread and toffee and is quite sweet. Some fragrant notes and little bitterness. A pleasant and well-made dunkel beer.

3.2
willisread (3350) - Nashville, Tennessee, USA - DEC 4, 2016
Bottle from West Side. Pours a clear, deep copper color. Big toasted bread malt nose. Light body. Dry on the palate with some light grassy hops. Light bitter finish. Very Oktoberfest like. Simple and drinkable.

3.4
MNAle (189) - Minnesota, USA - NOV 30, 2016
Dark amber, somewhat hazy with solid carbonation visible. 3/4-inch off-white to tan head, receding moderately leaving splotchy lacing. Malty aroma, fruits, a bit of bread, nutty, anticipates a sweet taste. Thick feel. Mild initial taste, sticky, a bit sweet, subtle earthiness. Middle and finish remain as with the initial taste with a finish that clings to the mouth and tongue. Hardly any bittering evident. Moderately sweet finish. A bit simple in all aspects. Easy to drink, pleasant, enjoyable in its own right. If you read the brewer’s web site description of this beer, it is hitting exactly what the brewer intended, so comparing it against spicy holiday beers or high ABV winter warmers in unfair. Their focus on all (or nearly all) local ingredients from malts to hops is laudable. Nonetheless, as pleasant and drinkable as this beer is, I like a bit more complexity in malty beers.


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