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Beer Reviews

Two Hearted Ale

Other reviews for this beer:
Nigel Tanner one beerone beerone beerone beerone beer read it ›
Bell’s Brewery, Inc.
Galesburg, MI

Style: India Pale Ale (IPA)
ABV: 7.0%

Eddie’s Rating:
one beerone beerone beerone beerone beer   (World class.)

Although I love IPAs, you might have noticed that I don’t review a lot of them. Mainly that’s because I let Nigel do the honors with his now world famous love-’em-or-love-’em IPA reviews. But, since I should get off my lazy ass and write a review and the only thing I feel like drinking now is an IPA, I might as well tread on Nigel’s territory. With a beer he already reviewed.

Larry Bell named his IPA after the Two Hearted River in some of the remotest country of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Not quite sure why he named it thusly, but perhaps the pics of fish on the bottle label are a clue. Maybe Larry was up angling in the UP and was craving him some IPA. Seems like a logical assumption to me.

Anyway, Two Hearted pours a glowing orange-gold, underneath a sticky, perfect head, with the tiniest dollop of yeast dimpling the foam at the end of the pour. The aroma is big and bountiful: a bold bouquet of grapefruit from those copious quantities of Centennial hops. As the brew warms, the nose gets even citrusier, with oranges and apricots firmly in the sniff.

The first sip is heavy: tons of body, in fact, one of the biggest bodies you’ll come across for an IPA, excepting, of course, Surly Furious. Bitterness is front and center, with some malt on the edges. Mid-sip literally bursts with citrusy fruit notes, at times coming across as almost like extremely fresh orange juice, laid over top a thick malt base. The hops come out one last time right before the end of the sip, and the finish is a bit thick for an IPA, although that’s about the only complaint you’re going to be able to dredge up against this beer.

Two Hearted is about as close as you’re going to get to a perfect IPA. It’s explosively hoppy but at the same time delicately balanced by a big malt backbone. This being an IPA, the Centennial hops are supposed to be the headliner, but for me the show gets stolen by the Bell’s house yeast. The juicy orange notes of the yeast compliment the fruitiness of the Centennial hops damn near perfectly, making this beer extraordinarily drinkable, extraordinarily complex, and extraordinarily delicious.

Reviewed by Eddie Glick on August 5, 2009.
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