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And the Valley Drinks: Bell's Two-Hearted Ale

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A fine IPA from one of the nation’s top craft outlets.

Bell's is kind of like Founder's, in that they're out of Michigan and they're one of the brands I've always heard discussed online and considered one of the best year-in and year-out. Sadly, this is their distribution pattern.

Y u no sell beer in Louisiana?

Still, thanks to a now former coworker, I was able to give one of their flagship beers a taste: Two-Hearted Ale.

Bell's Two Hearted Ale is defined by its intense hop aroma and malt balance. Hopped exclusively with the Centennial hop varietal from the Pacific Northwest, massive additions in the kettle and again in the fermenter lend their characteristic grapefruit and pine resin aromas. A significant malt body balances this hop presence; together with the signature fruity aromas of Bell's house yeast, this leads to a remarkably drinkable American-style India Pale Ale.

Review

If you're somebody who hasn't had good experiences with IPAs, this is a good one to give a try. Very similar to NOLA's Hopitoulas. It has a pale blond color and a very floral aroma. The opening is kind of thin, with a light texture. The hops kind of hit you hard early with that piny, spicy flavor, but it fade nicely into the sweetness of the malts in a balanced way that never gives you too much of either. Great, smooth finish that avoids that bitter final kick that many don't like in an IPA. At 7% alcohol by volume it could be trouble. Great oyster bar beer. Strong four out of five stars.