Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Drinking, again! Bell's Christmas Ale.

Christmas Ale, by the light of the NFL

This was the scene on a recent late Sunday afternoon: watching football on the tube and drinking —from a lantern tankardChristmas Ale, a 'specialty Scotch ale,' brewed by Bell's Brewery (Comstock, Michigan)

The brewery's take (on the beer):
This traditional Scotch Ale is rich and malty with notes of caramel and a warm finish. Certain to make any occasion festive, or at least a bit more bearable. Enjoy with the company of friends and family. Alcohol-by-volume (abv): 7.5%.

YFGF's take:
It's a translucent ruddy reddish-brown, on the fuller side of medium-bodied, malty in flavor (toffee, nuts, caramel) without being treacly, hinting at grape jelly, and finishing with a gentle hop presence that helps to dry the finish.

Final observations:
Not for hopheads, Christmas Ale is quite the enjoyable beer and strong (not so, the NFL product). But warning! It's a far different beer than the Bell's Winter White Ale. Rather, it's like an American take on a trad beer that, I would surmise, Bell's Director of Ops John Mallet might want to drink. I did.

A series of occasional reviews of beer (and wine and spirits).
No scores; only descriptions.

  • In this case Scotch Ale refers to what Americans think it is, as in this description from the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP):
    Light copper to dark brown color, often with deep ruby highlights. Clear. Usually has a large tan head, which may not persist in stronger versions. Legs may be evident in stronger versions. Richly malty with kettle caramelization often apparent (particularly in stronger versions). Hints of roasted malt or smoky flavor may be present, as may some nutty character, all of which may last into the finish. Hop flavors and bitterness are low to medium-low, so malt impression should dominate. Diacetyl is low to none, although caramelization may sometimes be mistaken for it. Low to moderate esters and alcohol are usually present. Esters may suggest plums, raisins or dried fruit. The palate is usually full and sweet, but the finish may be sweet to medium-dry (from light use of roasted barley).
  • This post originally appeared (in shorter form) at YFGF's Facebook page.

  • Prior reviews of other beers: here.
  • Graphic created by Mike Licht at NotionsCapital.

  • For more from YFGF:

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