“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.”
This is our first entry for this American brewery. The daily meal rated it the 6th best brewery in the United States (just to put it in perspective, Russian River were rated 7th) so we have high hopes for this IPA. Served in an IPA glass. Pouring a hazy amber with an orange tint and a finger and a half of pillowy white foam settling on top. Head retention is good, persisting stubbornly and releasing a healthy amount of wavy lace trails as it ebbs. A vigorous twirl of the glass awakens the heavy handed use of high-alpha and highly aromatic Centennial hops which provide the olfactory’s with wafts of ruby grapefruit, mandarin, pine resins, apricot, peach and a solid backing of syrupy/honeyed malts. It may just be our bottle but we are detecting a subtle funky citrus character too. Nice depth to this aroma. Feels nice and creamy in the mouth, maybe a little frothy too with a developing dryness as it progresses. Only 50 IBU so the bitterness levels are mild, lending a smoother overall feel. The 7% ABV is also very nicely disguised. Initially we thought the flavours were a little restrained but it’s the impeccable balance that’s struck on the palate. Literally a 50/50 split of sweet caramelly/honey malts are laced with a delicious infusion of citrus and tropical fruits, pine resins and a mildly assertive hop bitterness that cascades through the mid and on to a dry, crisp finish. To sum it up would be too easy – this is one of the best higher ABV session IPA’s we’ve ever tried. Full flavoured but super smooth. Very approachable. The perfect IPA for novice IPA drinkers that want to step it up. Solid offering.