Serve in Thistle


on tap

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RATINGS: 687   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.

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beernovice39 (3270) - Idaho, USA - DEC 7, 2009
Got this for the wife. Tasted and its ok. Kinda tame in taste. Looks good in the glass. She liked it alot.

mcmd (315) - Louisville, Kentucky, USA - DEC 7, 2009
Pours an amber orange with small off-white head. Aroma is all malt. Taste is the same slightly sweet malt, caramel, minimal hops, malt in the finish as well. Not much complexity.

beernbourbon (1592) - Iowa City, Iowa, USA - DEC 7, 2009
Draft. Pour is clear brown with medium white head. Aroma is malt, faint pine hop, juniper berries, and light caramel. Flavor is mostly malty with a mild hop backbone and a nice malty finish. Solid, but not out of the ordinary.

DrnkMcDermott (3099) - Downers Grove, Illinois, USA - DEC 6, 2009
12 oz. bottle. Appropriate brewer’s name to have a Christmas beer. Nice, malty smell when opened and poured. An edge of alcohol is noted only when I take a deep sniff in the glass. Fine brown body with the usual haze of Bell’s "floaties" in it. Head almost stands up straight before settling down. Taste is again nicely malt-forward, but seems a little light. Probably the grain is a little less than for a regular Scotch ale to keep the alcohol down. Hops offer a sort of spiciness, rather than the usual spices of a Christmas beer. Light notes of pepper and herb in the hop taste. I suspect this beer’s real relation to Christmas is the "gift" to Michigan growers they sourced for the ingredients. I do like it, and will probably drink more to cleanse my palate of all the wassailed Christmas beers this season.

beersearcher (2382) - Glendale, California, USA - DEC 6, 2009
If this is a Scotch ale, I will eat my hat. Very thin. Solid but somewhat boring taste. It certainly would not warm you on Christmas day. Aroma and color are really ordinary. Good just not inspiring.

Teege (375) - Orlando, Florida, USA - DEC 6, 2009
12 oz. bottle thanks to my good friend George. Pours a really lovely bright amber. The nose is weak. Not bad, just not much to smell. Not that sure what makes this a Christmas ale. It is fairly light, but refreshing as far as a good session beer may go. All the spice and complexity that should be present in a Christmas ale is not there. I would happily drink this in the summertime.

satan165 (1020) - River Grove, Illinois, USA - DEC 5, 2009
straw colored body reddish hue and good carb. aroma is wet, grainy. some fruits possibly lingering in the background amongst weighty malt that eventually gives way to warm biscuit notes. flavor is a bit bland/metallic up front but ends nicely on strong biscuit note. as a beer this is certainly drinkable and not devoid of complexity. as a scotch ale its a total failure.

fraternie (1011) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - DEC 5, 2009
UPDATED: NOV 30, 2010 Medium-bodied with flavors of baked bread and roasted caramel malt presence. Undertones of cinnamon and nutmeg spice and subtle hops, pretty easy drinking for a Christmas Ale, but finishes on a bit of a stale note.

Syd (921) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - DEC 5, 2009
Bottle pours amber with a big sustained head. Aroma is bready, perhaps sour dough. The flavor is mostly bready and slightly spiced. The palate is pretty full. Overall, middle of the road.

ruskiimperial (308) - Richmond, Virginia, USA - DEC 5, 2009
A very tasty and sessionable ale. Its somewhat sweet and has hints of the spices associated with Christmas but its not too strong. Really, its a decent balance between the malty sweetness of a scotch ale, subtle hop characteristics and some spiciness on the aftertaste.

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