Bell’s Christmas Ale
Brewed by: Bell’s Brewery, Inc.
Beer Classification and Specs
- Style: Ale
- Variation: Scotch
- Seasonal: Winter
- ABV: 5.5%
- IBU: N/A
Brewer’s Notes and Ingredients
A sessionable alternative to traditional spiced winter warmers, this Scottish Ale features Michigan grown malt from the Bell’s Farm in Shepherd, Michigan to impart dry, toasted notes along with subtle toffee flavors. A blend of hops from Michigan and the Pacific Northwest lend an earthy, herbal aroma to compliment your holiday menu, not overpower it.
Hops: A blend of hops from Michigan and the Pacific Northwest
Malts: Grown in Michigan
More Bell’s Christmas Ale Images
Artwork: Beautiful blue sky scenery of Christmas tree decorated in a field of barley.
Color: Murky, reddish brown.
Aroma: Mild maltiness.
Arrived in: 12oz. Bottle
Served in: Bell’s Hopslam Goblet
Bell’s Brewery releases not one, but two winter seasonals. Their Winter White Ale, a Belgian inspired wheat, and this Christmas Ale, which is a Scottish ale. That’s not a style we drink very often, so we were looking forward to taking a closer look at this beer.
We also found it pretty cool that Christmas Ale was brewed with (almost) all ingredients sourced from Michigan. The malt was harvested from Bell’s Farm in Shepherd, along with hops from their home state. Some additional hops were imported from the Pacific Northwest.
Christmas Ale poured a murky reddish hue, with a cream colored head. Its topper was not overly tall, but delivered a sea foam fluffiness you’d find in a thick stout. That covering eventually subsided, leaving behind a thin layer of froth.
The aroma to this Scotch Ale was bready, with a little sweetness like dried fruit and mild caramel. The aromatics weren’t huge, but definitely got the idea across that Christmas Ale would be a malt forward beer on the palate.
Christmas Ale was malty up front, with a subtle bitterness. From there it got sweeter, with toffee and caramel flavors in the end. We loved the smoothness to this medium bodied beer, as well as its clean finish for being on the sweeter side. In other words, the caramel wasn’t too sticky or linger on.
As Bell’s explained, Christmas Ale was brewed as an alternative to spiced winter warmers, but it still managed to warm us up. Its 5.5% ABV was on the lower side for a winter ale, but very satisfying nonetheless thanks to its added maltiness.
Final Score: 3.5/5
We found this beer to be a real treat, since we don’t get exposed to Scotch Ales all the time. We’re also looking forward to having a few more of these on New Year’s Day paired with our feast of smoked ribs.