Bell's Christmas Ale Scotch Ale

Another Bell's beer. I like them, and I like the fact that I didn't have to pay for it (thanks again to my brother). No, it doesn't normally come with the Rudolph-style nose, eyes, and antlers, but it comes with the usual beer in it all the same, so my review shouldn't be swayed by the cuteness of the bottle.

With a dropper of deep brown added to an amber color for the body, the head is eventually pretty much nothing but the thin skin of bubbles floating on top. More important is the spices and heavy malt that hit me as soon as I started to pour this sucker. So, this is a spicy Christmas beer, and that's fine by me.

First sip has a lot more raisin than I expected. This really tastes more like a Belgian Ale than a Scotch Ale. I'm not sure I taste any Scotch beyond a vague impression of wood somewhere in the background of the plum-raisin that is infused with the ginger and other spices.

Tip-in is dark carbonation burn with the raisin and plum mixing with caramel and bread. This is a lot of malt right from the get-go for an ale, but I'm into it. The middle spices things up with the ginger, some vanilla, some paprika, and maybe a bit of cinnamon. The finish brings that wood flavor back up, and it's a lot stronger than the sip. The hops kind of dash out, say hi, and then dash away again.

Bottom Line: A stronger Christmas Ale for the night. I like it just fine.



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