Bell’s Oarsman

12 oz single from Ale Yeah, Decatur, Atlanta, GA, USA. A very pale, hazy yellow pour with a pretty small head and little retention or lace. Nose and tastes are citrusy and light, but lack any depth for me. It's not complex and beers of this ABV CAN BE! There are a few light (relative) sour notes. It seems to me that Bell's are getting away with a little something here. They are filling a gap in the US market, but they are doing it with a beer that's not very good. However, the gap in the...

Bell’s Christmas Ale

11 oz pour @ Taco Mac, East West Connector, Austell, GA, USA. Firstly, $6.25 for the pour!! Discussed here; http://beeradvocate.com/forum/read/3168840 Pour is an amber color with some nice clarity, good head and some nice lace. Looks tidy in the glass. Nose gives a few notes of toffee and caramel and the tastes reflect that. The beer has a few nutty elements and is obviously and definitely malt based, but as for being a Scotch Ale I just don't get it! If you are looking for some of those...

The Oracle

12 oz single from Hop City, Atlanta, GA, USA. 9901 dot-matrixed at the bottom of the rear label. Typical of the style, there is a clouded, hazy orange body with a very sticky collection of head and lace at the top of the glass. Carbonation is pretty high for the type of beer we are dealing with here. The nose is very strong, with a nice, citrusy based hop smell. However, this is NOT a West Coast, resiny aroma, it's a little gentler than that, The tastes reflect a lot of sugary, sweet light...

Bell’s 25th Anniversary Ale

12 oz single from Hop City, Atlanta, GA, USA. Poured into the DFH signature glass, the beer pours a very attractive color (a copper/garnet body) but has a somewhat disappointing head with only a tiny amount of retention. A small film forms on the surface of the beer with a tiny, white collar. It lacks the richness and noisy pour of the best beers in the style. Nose offers an aroma that I would characterize as a fruity, American DIPA effect. Some alcohol. The tastes reflect the nose, BUT there...

Bell’s Batch 9000

Mass hysteria broke out in Atlanta on the release of this beer with single bottle limits are general geek, pant-wetting. I was given a couple on a recent trip to Kentucky without the general, associated madness - thanks Kevin. 12 oz single. Pour is a dark brown/black Porter like affair. Little lace other than a touch of spotty character on the surface. Obviously the ABV impairs any significant head or retention. It ultimately dies to just about zero carbonation which is OK. Nose is an...

Bell’s Winter White Ale

12 oz single from Hop Cty, Atlanta, GA, USA. Pour is a surprisingly ORANGE color which the requisite hazed body. Color definitely forms a distinct orange (rather than yellow color that is often the case in Wits). Head is surprisingly disappointing and poorly retained for the style. As a result lace is minimal. Normally one can expect a really decent, rocky, white cap on Wit's but this one does not deliver very well in that department. Fruity and lightly acidic nose and tastes rather than spice...

Bell’s Consecrator Doppelbock

12oz bottle from Sam's Blue Light, Durham, NC, USA. Typical dark amber, clear body with a large initial head that fades quickly. No lace. Typical for the style, at least a solid American example. The toasty, liquor based notes; the prominent alcohol; the creamy, sherry like flavor; and the warming, Old Ale feel are all there. Nice, oily, slightly slick mouthfeel. Finishes with an appropriate dry, bitterness. Tasty.

Bell’s Cherry Stout

12 oz single. Sam's Blue Light, Durham, NC, USA. The third time I've had this - first time review. Pour is as black as night with (after the fizzing carbonation of the initial pour) no head or lace to speak of. Dead looking. Thinnish body with an acidic nature to the beer. Definitely more fruit beer than stout, and I don't really care for this much. Sour is the main theme, without much of a fruit note. Finish is tart sweetness. A very tiny lactose character in the finish. All in all, a...

Bell’s Amber Ale

I first drank ths on a trip to Lexington, KY a couple of years ago, and this bottle came from a recent haul from a trip to Greensboro, NC, USA. 12 oz single from Total Wine. 8136 Dot-Matrixed on the rear - Batch # maybe?? Hazy orange pour with good carbonation and a perfectly formed dense, bone-white head. Some lace. Sweet and creamy aroma makes its way out of the glass. Sweet and rich malts dominate, with a slender, dry finish. Very mild English Toffee, perhaps a hint of caramel too, but not...

Bell’s Octoberfest Beer

12oz bottle, thanks to Hoppymeal for the "extra" in a recent trade. Very simple and solid beer. Great clarity with some good carbonation. Orange color, looks good. Small head; some retention and lace. Color is a high-point/strength of this beer. Typical Oktoberfest feel. Sweet malts, with a hoppy finish to balance the beer. Nevertheless, sweet malts are the order of the day. A little drier in the finish than one finds in many similar beers. Solid and simple.

Bell’s Porter

12 oz single, $1.25 Liquor Barn, Lexington, KY, USA. Batch #7316. Dark brown, nearly black pour with a small, tan head. Ruby red highlighs at the bottom of the glass. Good, strong and balanced aroma with malts prominent. Slight bitter chocolate taste with a fairly dry finish. A touch of alcohol, all together a nice balance. More chocolate in the aftertaste. A very mild roasted taste, nothing very strong. Simple, quality product. Lacks a little body, perhaps a little too much carbonation but...

Bell’s Special Double Cream Stout

12 oz single from Liquor Barn, Lexington, KY, USA. Batch #7684. Jet black pour with some orange highlights at the extremeties. Nice milk chocolate head froms which provides good lace. A mild funk in the aroma that I suppose is the lactose/cream element but it smells a little odd - slightly sour. Taste reflects the style but lacks any serious sweetness and the lactos element seems to have turned to mild cheese in my sample! Doesn't really do it for me, the beer lacks a certain depth and taste....

Bell’s Best Brown

12 oz bottle bought as a single from Liquor Barn, Lexington, KY, USA. Very lively and loud pour produces great lacing and a lovely, deep, pillow like ivory head. Body color is a cloudy orange amber, but perhaps not quite as dark as I would like to see. Very nice sweet, malty and nutty aroma. Tastes are true to the style with plenty of malt and noticeable sweetness and tangy nut taste. Very easy to drink and rather tasty. If you like Brown Ales (as I do) I think you will probably enjoy this...

Hell Hath No Fury Ale

12 oz bottle, batch 7673, purchased as a single from Liquor Barn, Lexington, KY, USA. Basically a black pour with a very coffee/tan colored light, spotty head. Very little lacing, almost a stout like appearance. A bit too dark for the style I think. Quite a lot of very fine sediment suspended in the body of the beer as it sits in the Duvel tulip. Aroma is light Belgian candy sweetness and some alcohol. Aroma carries through to the taste with some alcohol but rather a lot of roasted bitterness...

Two Hearted Ale

Firstly, thanks to BA flyingbison for the trade - great transaction. Lots of hype about this beer so I have been keen to try it for some time. 12 oz bottle with the # 7398 printed on the rear label. Chill-haze effect on the peach colored pour with a nice fluffy head. Unfortunately the head is lost quickly and the lacing is almost non-existent - a shame and I'm slightly disappointed for such a great *tasting* beer. Aroma is very good with a sweet, and more importantly a balanced hop profile...

Bell’s Kalamazoo Stout

Jet black, inky pour with some very small red highlights at the bottom of the glass when held up to strong light. Small but perfectly formed, mocha coffee head and some decent lacing. Creamy mouthfeel and a classic lactose, sweet stout nose and taste. A very, very mild smokiness lightly touches the senses, but there is no roastiness at all. Very mild. A tiny bit of bitterness in the finish but its insignificant and the drinkability is exceptional. Perfect balance. Delicious.

Twentieth Anniversary Ale

Batch 7040. Nice looking pale orange pour with some chill haze. Small, but perfectly formed head, not much lacing, what there is, is fairly watery. Malt acidic sweetness in the nose. Not a strong smell at all. Tastes are sweet malts. It's much sweeter than I was anticipating, and it drinks fairly sweet too. Small bitter finish with a tinge of hops, but not much to speak of. Smooth, nice mouthfeel. Yes, this is an above average brew, and it IS a drinkable beer, but at the same time it seems...

Bell’s Batch 7000

OK, another American double stout. The pour is exactly as one would expect and looks good. Opaque, jet black body and a small tan and dense head. Some lacing but not extensive. Aroma is good, with lots of deep alcoholic chocolate. The first few seconds of the taste reflect the deep chocolate sweetness, but then comes the bitterness and it's BIG! The bitter finish overwhelms things a little bit for me, and as a result I cannot imagine ever drinking much more than 12 oz of this in any one...

Bell’s Java Stout

Well, I love coffee and I love beer, so I thought this would probably work out OK, but not so. Another example of a beer that is simply taken to an extreme which overwhelms any possible subtlety or finess. Don't get me wrong, I love a big beer, but this isn't really big, it's just cold, sweet, incredibly strong alcoholic black coffee. The coffee taste totally takes over any hop bitterness to such an extent that the sweetness that I assume is coming from the malt backbone, just tastes like...

Third Coast Old Ale

Typical Barleywine/Old Ale appearance, with a dense, dark brown body and virtually no head (what little that there was disapates quickly to leave a ring around the circumference). Yeast floaties hang around the whole body of the beer. The aromas start attacking the second that the cap is prised off. The nose is all sugary caramels. Very, very sweet and that's coming from someone who likes malty, sugary beers. A good hop finish that is a nice one for me since it mellows out and is not too...

Bell’s Expedition Stout

Inky blackness characterizes this stout and it comes with that classic coffee colored head. It's very "coffeeish" with the usual coating in the mouth and sweetness associated with a stout of this quality. I had absolutely NO idea that the ABV was as high as reported here. It disguises that magnificently. There was no hint to me that this was anything other than just a strong beer, I would never have guessed the 11.5%. Tasty, sweet and a nice stout. Stouts are not my favorite style, but this...