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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jbuzz (830) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 7, 2009
Nice dry beer, not as full bodied as other Scotch ales i have tried. Small fruit and nutmeg.

MrChopin (4304) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - AUG 3, 2009
Hazy amber/nut-brown, small beige head. Sweet, candyish caramel malt rules the nose. Same in the flavor, a little more malt and less candy. Moderate, oddly carbonated body, short finish. Pretty bland stuff.

shigadeyo (3739) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - JUL 30, 2009
UPDATED: NOV 17, 2009
Batch 8803 ~ Packaged on October 27, 2008

12/10/2008 and 12/21/2008: Bell’s Christmas Ale pours a cloudy, orange/copper color (similar to caramelized sugar) with an average off-white to ivory-colored head forming. There really isn’t much aroma at all at first, but as it warms some toast, soft caramel malt, brown sugar, and citrus around the edge starts to come out. The flavor is grainy with some toasty/roasty malt and slight coffee (think cheap and nutty) becoming noticeable. This beer is quite DRY throughout along with some clementine peel bitterness. It has a medium-light body, dry mouthfeel, and is somewhat difficult to get down. Overall the flavor is very weak and disapponting. This beer is nowhere near being a Scotch Ale in any way. It may be able to pass as a Dark Lager or mediocre Amber Ale at best. This is one of the most disappointing Bell’s beers that I have ever had to this point!

12 fl. oz. bottles. Rating #167 for this beer. Score: 5/3/5/2/8 = 2.3
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Batch 8803 ~ Packaged on October 27, 2008

11/17/2009: Bell’s Christmas Ale... Well, it has been nearly a year later now and this beer tastes exactly as it did before. It definitely hasn’t improved any. It is just as disappointing as before. Overall, this is my least favorite Bell’s beer by quite a large margin.

12 fl. oz. bottle. Score: 5/3/6/3/8 = 2.5

FROTHINGSLOSH (7796) - GREENSBURG, Pennsylvania, USA - MAY 17, 2009
Sampled from a 12 oz brown bottle this beer poured a bright orange-amber color with a large tan head. The aroma was malty, sweet, toasty, nutty and fruity. The flavor was sweet with strong notes of caramel and fruity hops. There was a nutty, toasty middle with a touch of sweet nutmeg. The finish was long with caramel and nutmeg lingering. Excellent.

xnoxhatex (1305) - Grand Rapids/Chicago, Michigan, USA - APR 21, 2009
Bottle thanks to 17thfloor. Clear amber with creamy, medium beige head. Aroma is apple juice like, sweeter, yeast, light cinnamon. Sweeter, apple flavor, cinnamon, slight bitterness, some grass and only the slightest peet but I have to search for it. Medium, well carbonated body. Interesting, but different, sweeter.

Birdiebeagle (958) - Perkasie, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 14, 2009
Bottle Pours a hazy amber with a good off white head. The head is creamy and lasting. It looks awesome. Pretty good lacing also. Has a sweet aroma of fruits, caramel, and cinnimon. Has good carbination and mouthfeel. The flavor is good not too sweet and spicy. Very well blended and a medium body. Apretty good finish. This is a tasty beer. A step away from the normal.

illinismitty (2271) - Nashville, Tennessee, USA - APR 7, 2009
Bottle from Ross, in which he charged me $4!!!!. Thanks asshat. Pours copper amber with soda like carbonation bubbles and a retentive off white head. The aroma is nice- bread, caramel, dark sugars, and tobacco. Medium bodied with average carbonation, but slightly thin in the mouthfeel for the style. Flavor of caramel with hints of spice (cinnamon, nutmeg), countered by a moderate piney bitterness. Finish has flavors of wet grains and some odd off flavor that I can’t think of at the moment since it’s 12 am. Does this beer suck? No. But considering the source, I expect better. This is a let down. Sort of like going to a fancy strip club that has gorgeous strippers, but come to find out that it’s NOT all nude- only topless with no lap dances.

00cobraR (1103) - Greensboro, North Carolina, USA - MAR 24, 2009
this certainly wasnt what i was expecting form bells. this was a less than great beer. im speechless and disappointed. I am even a big fan of scotch ales.

Blaze312 (132) - Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA - MAR 22, 2009
Pours a amber/brown with thick head. Smells of hops with a hint of cinnamon. Taste sweet with a mild aftertaste. Slightly pine taste on this one. I quite enjoy it. (6pk bottles, $10) Batch: 8802

jimmack34 (640) - Lancaster, Ohio, USA - MAR 16, 2009
12 oz bottle. Pours hazy copper with a rich thick off white head. Smells of malt, flowers, cinnamin, and orange. Tastes of sweet malt, cinnamin, nutmeg, orange zest, lemon, and slightly piney hops. Nice comination of flavors, but slightly watery. A somewhat candy sweet aftertaste.

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