Sunday, August 30, 2009

Bell's Two Hearted Ale review

Bells Two Hearted AleI recently had the golden opportunity to visit Southwestern Michigan for a week and sought out several local brews. One of the beers that I sampled was from a well known brewery that's located around the Kalamazoo area, Bell's Brewery. Bell's is known for their wide variety of craft beers. I had previously sampled their Amber Ale and their Porter a year ago and this time I chose to taste their Bell's Two Hearted Ale, an India Pale Ale that's available year round.

Bell's Two Hearted Ale might be a strange name for an IPA but the experience was not strange at all. Two Hearted Ale poured a dark copper orange color and yielded a small white head. The light lacing clung nicely to the side of the glass. The beer was very cold and appeared slightly hazy. There was a bit of noticeable carbonation in the glass.

The aroma was very citrusy with a slight pine after thought. I could also pick out a hint of the floral bouquet as well. It was a very pleasant, clean and inviting smell. I could tell that this IPA was going to be a wonderful experience even before I tasted it.

Upon the first couple of sips, Two Hearted Ale felt creamy yet crisp. It coated my tongue slightly and left a pleasant bitter finish in the mid-palette. The beer was nice and hoppy. There was just enough sweet caramel malt to blend well with the hops. Neither the hops or the malt were overly dominant.

Bells Two Hearted AleTwo Hearted Ale became more tasty as it warmed up. Be sure to let this beer warm up to about 50 degrees before sampling. It becomes much more flavorful. The taste reminded me of a Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA. It was nicely bitter but one I could have another one of easily. It had just enough alcohol in it that I had to give it some respect: 7% ABV.

Bell's Brewery has made a remarkable IPA. It begged to be paired with food but still tasted good all by itself. I certainly wish this beer was available out here in Colorado. I'll have to seek out more of this at the upcoming Great American Beer Festival in Denver (luckily Bell's will be at the GABF this year).

Related articles:
- Travels with Barley (featuring Bell's beers).
- Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA review.
- Green Flash West Coast IPA review.
- New Holland Dragon's Milk Ale (Michigan beers).
- A taste of The Livery (Benton Harbor, MI).

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