overall
48
29
style
Serve in Thistle

bottled
common

on tap
available

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 683   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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4.1
orville (160) - Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, USA - JAN 18, 2009
I loved this beer and I can’t give you tasting notes because i didn’t take notes and around the time i had it, this website was under construction. Anyway, Fantastic retraint and very true. This is real beeer and one for those who love those balanced beers from the British iles. Nice light sipper with nice grain complexity and pure flavors. This is not fruity tuity and over the top like all the west cost stuff. This is a great session ale. At first it seems to light, but be patient because theres alot of intrigue here fot patient people.

3.2
surffisher (198) - Raleigh, North Carolina, USA - JAN 18, 2009
Pours cloudy amber (think apple cider) with some floaters and a big foamy light tan head with good retention and lacing. Mostly a clean, malty aroma, but there is some sweet caramel and light spice back there too. Simple malt flavor profile with spice and citrusy hops is strange stylistically and not totally successful. Medium bodied, with moderate carbonation. Not bad, but pretty unspectacular overall.

3.5
Cornfield (5569) - Oak Forest, Illinois, USA - JAN 17, 2009
Bottle from Liquor Stop in Highland, Indiana. This pours a slightly hazed light brown body with an ample eggshell head that laces profusely. It’s got a rich malty aroma with a touch of dark berries and a bit of butterscotch. Very smooth drinking, the flavor being pretty much what one would expect from the flavor. A light citric bitterness comes in at the finish, out of place for style, but not a bad thing. A bit thin, but not bad.

3.3
maniac (3800) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - JAN 16, 2009
Bottle at Capital Ale House - Downtown on 11/24/2008. Hazy caramel amber body wtih a small creamy off-white head. Sweet caramel and spice aroma. Sweet spice flavor with a caramel background. Medium full body with moderate carbonation.

3
Butters (4176) - Richmond, Virginia, USA - JAN 13, 2009
Hazy, tiny particulate suspended, reddish plum body with big tan head. Sweet malty aroma. Malty and toasty, biscuit, peat, flavors. Medium creamy body with moderate carbonation and a semi-bitter malty finish.

3.3
Barrios (1243) - Nashville, Tennessee, USA - JAN 11, 2009
12 oz. bottle. Pours an off white head with an amber honey colored body. There are particulates in the beer. Smells roasted, hopped, and metallic. Tastes roasted and bitter with a medium finish.

3.4
pj1855 (160) - Eagan, Minnesota, USA - JAN 11, 2009
Pours a hazy golden color. Particles in body. Aroma or malt, spice and some citrus. Flavor - Good blend of sweet malt/spice and has a moderate bitter finish that lingers a bit

3.8
Travlr (26075) - Charlotte, North Carolina, USA - JAN 10, 2009
On draught at Birreria Paradiso. Hazy orange. Aroma of connamon, taste of malt, yeast, allspice and cinnamon. Dryish slightly bitter finish.

3
pnista (1007) - Bloomington, Indiana, USA - JAN 9, 2009
Pours a warm pinkish orange with a slight haze and a healthy enough creamy white head. The nose is sweet and toasty. Big caramel malt and that fruity scotch ale maltiness. Round but light. Slightly creamy. Light but creamy mouthfeel, without a ton of heft. Strong toasty astringency and nuttiness over the sweet malt, which doesn’t seem as rich as I would have guessed. Not as sweet either. A bit fruity. Clearly a scotch ale in terms of the fruitiness, but not a ton of malt like I anticipated, and mostly fruity and toasty astringency.

3.1
jgb9348 (6478) - Arlington (Pentagon City), Virginia, USA - JAN 9, 2009
Deep rich amber coloured body with a strong ruby highlight and a perfectly sized dense tan head. Aroma of fresh hops, caramel malt, a bit of light spices and some light fruity sweetness. Medium-bodied; Strong hops up front with a potent nuttiness following behind, all followed off by a period of prolonged malt bitterness. Aftertaste shows a lot of malt, some hop bitterness (pine & flowers) and a light nuttiness. Overall, a good beer, I felt this was more of an English Pale ale rather than a Scotch - but I’ve been wrong before. Regardless, it’s a good beer, but not great. I sampled this twelve ounce bottle purchased from Norm’s in Vienna, Virginia on 25-November-2008, sampled on 09-January-2009 from home in Washington.


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