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This is one I have actually enjoyed several times, but am just now getting around to enjoying.
Bell’s Two Hearted Ale is a big, punishing IPA. Interestingly, the only hops used in this are Centennial. Light orange color with a massive, rocky head. Aroma is overloaded with the Centennial hops. Surprisingly light body. Flavors of orange, grapefruit, and caramel. Super hoppy brew. Almost makes you pucker. Hops stick around for a long time in both flavor and bitterness.
Nothing to hide here. Just a ton of Centennial hops and 7% ABV. Hop heads will love it!
For those pining for the warm summer months, Bell’s offers a crisp Belgian White in winter with Winter White Ale.
Don’t expect this to be a big, spicy winter warmer, it’s more to get you through the cold times and see that spring is not far away. Hazy gold with a fluffy white head and endless carbonation. You’ll notice the familiar banana, clove, coriander, and citrus flavors shining through. Exceptionally light and creamy, and at just 5% ABV, it’s a very tasty session ale.
It doesn’t particularly stand out from other Belgian Whites, but it’s a solid brew from Bell’s.
Bell’s is consistently ranked as one of the best breweries in the country, so I am expecting them to do something unique with my favorite style, so here is Bell’s Porter.
The start is promising with a rocky tan head, black body, and some ruby edges. Coffee and toffee in the nose. Lots of familiar porter flavors here with coffee, chocolate, dry wood. A lot more toffee than most porters. The dry bite really lingers. Body is maybe a little watery and there seems to be a ton of carbonation.
It’s very good, but by no means the best porter I’ve had. I think I’m just getting too much roasted malt and I’d like some deeper flavors.
The run of summer seasonals continues with Bell’s Oberon Ale. Pours a very light and hazy yellow with a sizeable head and great lacing.
The first sip is surprising because there is more body and flavor than expected. There’s some grass, some malt, and a bit of spicy hops. Even though there is some wheat malt in this, it doesn’t taste like most wheat beers. A hint of orange and sour lemon in the finish.
It’s not as light and crisp as most summer seasonals, and it doesn’t have the right flavor for someone looking for a wheat beer.
Oberon isn’t bad, but there’s nothing really happening here that will make me want to have it again.
And if you are the curious sort, like me, here’s who Oberon is.
The first look and whiff of Bell’s Kalamazoo Stout has me wondering what will differentiate it from a porter, but those questions are quickly answered. More roast and some licorice in there. Late kick from the hops, too.
Smooth, yet still big and chewy, it’s a mouthful. Very complex with bitter chocolate, hints of charred wood, and those anise notes. Maybe even some grape in there, too. It all leads to a dry, chalky, woody, lingering finish.
Another very good brew from Bell’s
I have a confession. I don’t consider myself a “hop head”. I mean, I do love craft beer. And I do like IPAs, but I kinda have to be in the mood for them. That said, with all the buzz around Bell’s Hopslam, there was no way I couldn’t try this beer.
Bell’s Hopslam has a huge, white head, but the color was paler than I had expected. The hop aromas hit me as soon as I opened the bottle. The aroma is chock full of the familiar hoppy flavors of grapefruit and pine. The flavor is very interesting. The hops are definitely there, and huge, but the addition to honey adds a sweet finish. It’s dry, the hops linger longer than the honey, and you won’t find better lacing.
Bell’s Hopslam does have a ton of hops, but I wouldn’t say it’s as overpowering as I expected. Despite the 10% ABV, that isn’t overpowering, either. Considering how much is going on, it’s amazingly well balanced.
I get the hype. This is awesome!