Review: Smitten Golden Rye Ale, Bell's Brewing

Smitten Golden Rye Ale
Bell's Brewery — Kalamazoo, MI

  • Style:  Golden Rye Ale
  • Bitterness:   Not specified
  • ABV:  6%
  • Malts:   Not specified
  • Hops:   Not specified
  • Sampled:  12 oz. bottle

Description:  "This is the perfect beer to help brighten those gray winterdays and help warm your heart." — Bell's Brewery

Random thoughts:  Smitten is Bell's new spring seasonal and the first new regular bottle release from the brewery since 2010.  Bell's doesn't distribute in Oregon. I bought a bottle during a trip to Arizona

The tasting:  Golden in color, slightly hazy, with small particulates floating evenly in suspension. It has a white head that dissipates fairly slowly. Aroma of toasted grain, grapefruit, and spicy rye. Taste starts with a solid dose of grapefruit hop bitterness. In the middle, a bready malt backbone and spicy notes from the rye come through. Hop bitterness is is moderate and alcohol is not noticeable in aroma or flavor. Smitten is light bodied, moderately carbonated, and finishes with a grapefruit hop bitterness.

Rating: 4 star. Really Good!  I want this again!  Black IPAs (or CDAs) were the all the rage in craft beer for the last two years. This year, it's all about rye. Smitten does a great job of balancing the bright citrus hop flavors with spicy rye. Although it's a spring beer, I think Smitten is a great option for summer.

Have you tasted Bell's Smitten? What's your favorite rye beer? 

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