Best Pale Ales and IPAs 2010: #3 Bell’s Two Hearted Ale

14 07 2010

It is no secret here that we love Bell’s. The brewery from Kalamazoo has been one of our top favorite beers twice before this one including our #5 Favorite Wheat Beer of 2010 and our #1 Favorite Bock of 2010 and it so it should come to no great surprise that we are in love with Bell’s Two Hearted IPA.

Bell’s Two Hearted doesn’t say IPA on the label. Instead, it has a nice picture of a fish. I always imagine that fish is slippery, wriggly, and not easy to catch. That is exactly like the beer. It is packed with big, hop aroma and flavor but extremely smooth and well balanced–never astringent. It gives a big whallop of hops but very little of the bitterness. In is a kiss on the mouth instead of a punch in the face. It is a beautiful beer in every way and it comes in a little party keg, too!

Bell’s Two Hearted Ale

Photo Credit: edwin.bautista CC

Rate Beer Score: 100 Points (100 for Style)

Aroma: Floral with big notes of berries, citrus, pine and slight soap bubble bitterness. Sweet, bready malts help balance the aroma.

Appearance: Burnished copper with bright, orange highlights. Very clear. Moderate head with excellent, graceful lacing. Moderate to strong carbonation.

Taste: American hop forward with notes of grapefruit, lemonade, and resinous pine. Sweet malts of cookies and bread crust. Followed by soapy bitterness. Very clean, crisp, with lingering bitterness of orange pith.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, clean, astringent. Scrubbing bubbles and fizzy head.

While bitter, it is not over powering. A grilled veggie sandwich would pair really well with this, especially with some fresh, spicy mustard or garlic aioli mayonnaise. A salad of fresh greens and a sharp vinaigrette would match nicely to this, too.

Green Flash West Coast IPA-
Rate Beer Score:
99 Points (99 for Style)

Much like the Stone we reviewed yesterday, I have a hard time with hops for hops sake. While hop bombs can be fun, they can be a bit off putting, too. Why would I want to drink a beer that blows out my palate after the third or forth sip? I like the high I get from a monster of a hop bomb, but I don’t appreciate the lack of nuance. I do appreciate them telling me what hops they use. The beer geek in me gets excited about trying to place hop qualities. They use Simcoe for bitterness and fruitiness. And the 3 C’s (Columbus, Centennial, and Cascade) for bitterness and grassy, citrus notes. But what do they use for those for those waxy notes?

Hop Bombs are fun. But they don’t get you in the top five. At least not in my book.




2 responses

15 07 2010

Guess what?! I’ve been drinking beer and liking it!!! It’s still hard for me to figure out what I like but I am starting to really get a hankering for it. The pale ales are my favorites so far. I need to do a little refresher course via your blog for new ideas. Now that I am actually starting to understand what you mean when you describe a beer. Thanks, friend!

16 07 2010

That is great, Grace! I am so glad to hear that. I am hoping this week gives you lots of inspiration of beers to try, then.

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