Serve in Thistle


on tap

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RATINGS: 679   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.19/5   SEASONAL: Autumn   EST. CALORIES: 165   ABV: 5.5%
The basic inspiration for Bellís 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 doesnít 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

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
ClarkVV (6090) - 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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Blairgus (4341) - California, USA - JAN 11, 2017
11 Jan 2017, bottle. dark amber, clear, no bubbles. nose is malty, toffee, some grassy hops. med body and mildly fizzy. sweet, lightly toasty, some cherries, tea leaves, mild grassy hops. nice enough.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
GenDV138 (6445) - 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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Fujimo2000 (131) - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA - JAN 2, 2017
Pours golden with slight reddish tinge. Lasting carbonation. Aroma is hibiscus and taste is mild.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
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.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
benpickens (491) - Camarillo, California, USA - DEC 26, 2016
Pours Amber with compact white head that holds well. Aroma of biscuits dipped in honey. Sweet finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
olenickj (86) - 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

   AROMA 3/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 3/20
ehaak26 (255) - - DEC 19, 2016
Bottle from Liquor Barn. Aroma was candy and malt. One person said they noticed grape. Way too carbonated.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
unclemike (2983) - 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

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Cimbasso (840) - - 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.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
willisread (2940) - Owensboro, Kentucky, 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.

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