overall
49
30
style
Serve in Thistle

bottled
common

on tap
available

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 681   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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ClarkVV's rating

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
ClarkVV (6757) - Boston, 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.


3.7
Hopper8 (197) - Holland, Michigan, USA - AUG 7, 2017
UPDATED: AUG 7, 2017 It’s maybe not as bad as it’s been rated before. It’s got great drinkability and it’s a decent scotch Ale. The malts are nice and the Hops give a fun piney character to a Christmas beer. Overall though it just lacks complexity and a real incredible flavor. Utterly drinkable, but falls a little short.

3.2
bwy (89) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAY 19, 2017
Nothing Christmas stands out. Extremely misleading. In terms of a Scotch Ale, it works. Reviewed - A Brew With You, Ep. 63

3.1
MBlessing (1349) - Württemberg, GERMANY - MAY 6, 2017
Helles leicht trübes braun schöner schaum, im Geruch viel Getreide malzig süß würzig, im Geschmack würzig malzig süsslich aber auch herb saurer Abgang , ok aber nichts so tolles

2.6
DrNosha (2407) - Württemberg, Germany, GERMANY - MAY 6, 2017
12oz Flasche. Hellbraunes Bier mit flüchtigem Schaum. Laut Edikett ein Scottish Ale. Es riecht nach geschrotetem Korn. Antrunk Körner und Malz. Recht schlicht.

3.5
DocJitsu (2002) - Pensacola, Florida, USA - MAY 6, 2017
Pours a copper color with a very light khaki head. Caramel and toffee nose with a hop note or two. Heavy mouthfeel. Rich caramel flavor. Finishes with a bit of hoppiness.

3.2
voyageurmike (446) - Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 23, 2017
12 oz bottle from liquor store in Macon. No way this is a legit Scottish ale. Copper colored with spicy caramel sweet taste, and mildly cloying finish. Not awful but surprisingly not up to the standard of this brewery.

2.8
HuskerTan (2212) - Ravenna, Nebraska, USA - MAR 6, 2017
Draft. A- Caramel, malty, spices. A- Copper color, clear liquid, off white head. T- Malty, caramel, spice. P- Medium body, average texture, average carbonation, boring finish. O- More like a scottish ale than a scotch ale for sure. Pretty boring and maybe one of the least exciting beers I’ve had from Bells.

2.9
crajun (1250) - , Texas, USA - FEB 27, 2017
maybe my least favorite Bells. not much spice. not quite a Scottish ale either. some toffee, some bitter; over carbonated. not much flavor

3.6
sinfull (1675) - Brooklyn, New York, USA - FEB 20, 2017
Copper color. Average, yellowish head. Aroma of malt , toasted bread and caramel. Malty taste. Bread in aftertaste. An unusual beer for winter seasonal . Very drinkable. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

3.5
bigtaster (991) - Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA - JAN 22, 2017
From a bottle, copper color with light tan head. Nose is bread, caramel. Body is medium with adequate carbonation, slight sweetness. Surprisingly easy to drink.


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