This One Goes To 11 Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.
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Ratings: 652 | Reviews: 157 | Display Reviews Only:
4/5 rDev -3.8%
Bottle from Steve in Warren, he acquired about 4 months ago. Did not realize this bottle was at 11%. A presentable strong ale, with a good hop and toast aroma inviting me in. This reddish tinged and very heady and lacey offering had a sooth creamy mouthfeel. The hops are there in abundance, but not overally assertive. They linger on the palate. Sizable malt bill backing a big IBU. Good drinkability, the colder weather was appropriate to savor this one.
01-01-2013 20:09:15 | More by Sammy
3.73/5 rDev -10.3%
I find a great deal of amusement in the same back-and-forth dialogue in Spinaltap about the "...goes to ten. No, goes to 11" is very much the same argument that Bell's put up when they said that there may not be a celebratory beer for their thousand-batch series past 10,000. ...and now this!
This imperial red ale pours just as expected: Deep brownish red tint with a mahogany backdrop. Brilliant clarity further enhances the red appearance. The high octane beer releases a dense foam cap that retains and laces nicely, but does eventually succumb to the gravity of its alcohol underneath.
Hop character dominates the nose with aromas of citrus fruit, tropical fruit, fragrant herbs and grasses, and sprucy pines. Not to be completely over shadowed, the formidable malt rise to balance the hops with the scent of toffee, brittle, roasted peanuts, bread crust, and freshly toasted barley. Cherry-like esters emit from the acetone scented alcohols and further the complexity and balance.
Strong flavors of malt wash the mouth with a semi-sweet toffee and caramel blend. Toast, nuts, and biscotti works in complement to the sweeter taste and gives a moderate creamy starch taste that also supports the hops to come. The middle palate is a balance of malt and hop flavor as the taste of grapefruit pulp and pith, orange zest, apricot, mango, and freshly muddled cannabis-like grasses and chives rise to challenge the taste of sweeter and more bready malts. As the beer paces deep into taste, it develops a dry malt taste as the hops turn deeply resinous with the flavor of pine sap and pungent earth. It's this latter taste that invites the alcohol flavor of super glue and cherries that extends well past the finish.
Medium bodied, the beer's carbonation, dry-toast character, and hop dryness that keeps the beer from pushing further into fullness and heightens the sense of drinkability. But despite it's relatively high sweetness and full flavor, the beer retains a semi-dry texture throughout. But the late palate ushers in a deeply resinous bitterness with low-lying astringency, high alcohol warmth, and strong bite in the throat.
Although this one goes to 11, it definitely pushes the ranges of where red ales meet American barleywine but becomes a bit bullyish with its strong alcohols that are exposed by its attempt to dryness and drinkability.
10-12-2012 19:14:08 | More by BEERchitect
4.2/5 rDev +1%
Thick single finger head with excellent lacing and retention on a murky deep orange with an odd sea foam green hue body. Aroma is fairly boozy alerting you to the flavor with notes of apricot, molasses, brown sugar and wood. Flavor is initially fairly boozy but lightens up as enjoyed and as it warmed a bit with notes of apricot, pine, cherry, candied orange on an earthy and woody caramel malt base. A very nice memorable and complex beer.
11-03-2013 20:06:39 | More by kylehay2004
3.98/5 rDev -4.3%
This poured out as a deep amber color with very little head on top. For as little of a head on top there was a decent amount of lacing. Pretty impressive. The smell of the beer is hoppy, it's got a light amount of bold malt and hops on the nose. The taste of the beer is hoppy, it's got a solid bitterness to it with a decent toasted malt backbone. The mouthfeel was thick, heavy body and gently carbonated. Overall this beer was pretty damn good, glad I was able to finally try it after reading all the hype about it.
11-04-2012 20:50:07 | More by Knapp85
3.88/5 rDev -6.7%
Served in a Walter Payton shaker pint glass.
Is there anything Spinal Tap can't do (other than find the stage in certain arenas)? This stuff pours a clear orange-russet topped by a finger of dusty off-white foam. The nose comprises bright grapefruit zest (mostly yellow, but there's some ruby red in there, too), mandarin orange flesh, mild pine resin, light caramel, and a kiss of pineapple. The taste holds notes of ruby red grapefruit zest, yellow grapefruit rind, orange rind, light toffee, even lighter biscuit, sharp pine resin, and a touch of banana peel. All of the hops are bright, but the fruit comes across a touch too rind-y, too bitter for full enjoyment to take place. Still pretty damn solid, though. The body is a lithe medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a drying finish. Overall, a very nice imperial red, one that brings the bitterness to a horizon of strength without pushing it over it (a la Palate Wrecker or some other such nonsense). Not bad at all.
11-12-2012 04:13:51 | More by TMoney2591
4.15/5 rDev -0.2%
Deep reddish amber pour into a Bells tulip, creamy offwhite foam that leaves a drippy crowning halo of lacing behind. Lasting retention, slight haze, saturated color.
Tropical aroma, cantaloupe and melon, fruity and hoppy.
Big and smooth, slightly sweet with a building bitter finish. Dank and hoppy, intense as advertised. Slight taste of alcohol, but not too distracting... it's 11% after all. Drinks like a smooth double IPA. Candied fruit sweetness, balanced by a burly malt character and a dry bitterness coupled with some drying alcohol. Overall pretty smooth, though not craving another. It reminds me of some Alpine beers, so West Coast-style indeed.
Thanks for this one Eric!
10-07-2012 01:43:25 | More by emerge077
4.55/5 rDev +9.4%
I love the Spinal Tap reference this beer is deep ruddy mahogany tinted amber with a big tan head forming thick, fine speckled lacing is left behind as the head dwindles. Aroma luscious hops big malt backbone stands tall it's intense in all kind of ways, stored at cellar temp since it's release don't ask me why someone didn't drink this fresh but it's at my fingertips I can't complain. A beautiful expression of hops and malts it's big bad hoppy and fruity all in one note. Flavor is compromised of big hops, citrus, earthiness, and fruity notes collide with a big amber malt body going strong. A perfect cigar beer if there every was one, smoking a Man O War Ruination torpedo with this one as we speak...the hops collide perfectly with the smoke spicy Nicaraguan tobacco from the hands of AJ Fernandez. Big ripened fruit in the malts they called this an Imperial Red I will go on to say that is has barleywine characteristics this would be the one that shines as their standard barleywine release and it should be. Mouthfeel is oily and viscous in the best possible way really full bodied beer at it's best, hops from everywhere big enough malts to produce an 11 percent alcohol by volume beer, it's really great. Overall I want more this can't be the last of this beer, I better see it as an annual release perfect house yeast fermentation produces explicitly great beer in this case it's a strong ale/barleywine that Bell's has been lacking from their regular or rotational lineup.
07-30-2013 21:04:37 | More by WVbeergeek
4.05/5 rDev -2.6%
12oz bottle into a tulip glass. Huge thanks go to Stakem for hooking me up with a bottle of this.
Pours a clear dark copper, with 2 fingers of rich off-white head. This maintains a solid ½ finger or so of robust froth, which leaves back sudsy lacing that sticks to the sides of the glass. The aroma smells of zesty grapefruit, pine and herbs, with maltier backing notes of sweet caramel, some darker roast and then maybe even a smidge of brown sugar character. The high alcohol definitely gives this some power in the nose.
The taste has strong hop bitterness to it, with an equally strong resinous feel along for the ride as well. A sticky burnt sweetness hangs on the edges of the profile, trying its best to balance things and then eventually leaving behind a charred backend that lingers along with some leftover bitterness and pine from the hops. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied, with a pretty lively sharpness to the carbonation that eventually does lessen some along the back and plenty of oiliness from the hops helps keep this on the smoother side as well. That 11% ABV is here and while not overly hot feeling, it does jack the intensity of this up a few levels.
I like me a good Imperial Red Ale and this one didn’t disappoint. Lots of aggressive flavors to this and the alcohol, while high, never did become overly intrusive here but instead really cranked things up to a solidly assertive degree. Nicely done.
11-26-2012 18:05:29 | More by Kegatron
3.9/5 rDev -6.3%
Six-pack purchased from Vas Foremost on Milwaukee. Served in a Kuhnhenn tulip.
A - A finger of white foam settles to a thick collar, leaving a few splotches on top, but minimal lace on the sides of the glass. Dark ruby body that's semi-transparent when held to the light. Lots of glass-coating bubbles.
S - It's a imperial red ale, so the Crystal malt is front and center. Brown sugar, caramel, toasted bread, cotton candy, and red fruits mingle with citrus, tropical fruit, and mildly spicy hop flavors. There's a bit of alcohol present as it warms up.
T - The taste is a bit more mellow, with a nice mix of sweet malts, and fruity hops. Citrus zest, tropical fruits, and caramel dominate, with surprisingly low bitterness. Alcohol is significantly better hidden here as well.
M - Surprisingly spry carbonation, with a medium-full body that adequately supports the listed 11%. Fairly dry texture initially before yielding to a mildly sticky finish. There's some definite alcohol warmth after a few ounces.
D - It's a solid beer, albeit not one of which I could consume multiple servings. Still, it may be the strongest Batch X,000 since x=7, at least out of the gate. Even though the malt bill is hefty, it thankfully doesn't get excessively cloying. Still, I wish Bell's would just bring back the Big Head if they want to use a truckload of hops.
10-18-2012 04:50:35 | More by MasterSki
3.8/5 rDev -8.7%
Served in the new Bell's stemmed tulip. Beer is brownish and mostly clear with a thin tan head of small bubbles, some lacing, low carbonation, low retention.
Aroma is mildly hoppy (wasn't expecting that) and sort of brown sugar / malty.
People have been telling me for a few weeks how bad this beer is and that's just not true. It isn't great but for an 11% beer is sure hides it well. Medium in body and sweet throughout, an interesting beer with a decent finish. Not great but decent. One was probably enough but I wouldn't turn down another one.
11-12-2012 19:52:52 | More by drabmuh
4/5 rDev -3.8%
Thanks to the BAer who brought this to the Nov. '12 Philly 'burbs bottle share.
Nice reference. (It's Spinal Tap, for you damn kids who don't know anything.) Rusty brown color, pretty clear, with a foamy white head that receded to a ringlet, leaving a bit of lacing behind on my Stone sampler glass. Good mix in the aroma of bready crystal malts and fruity hops. Taste is similar, toasted bread, sweet malts, caramel, citrus and a bit of tropical fruit, slightly herbal and not too bitter. The hops take control ultimately. Medium body, and quite drinkable, with the higher ABV pretty well-hidden. I'd like to try this one again when it's not surrounded by stouts and sours, but it was a good one nonetheless.
11-06-2012 08:49:03 | More by Rifugium
3.98/5 rDev -4.3%
Poured from the bottle into a standard pint glass.
The beer pours a reddish amber color with just a little off white head. The head fades to a thin ring around the pour. The smell is sweet and malty but there is a fruity hop undertone. I'm getting mild caramel, cherry, and some citrus fruit. The taste is sweet, but there is a lot more bitterness to balance things out. Right off the bat I got some pineapple. The sweetness really shows up in the end. I'm getting a bunch of citrus peel bitterness in the finish as well. The body is on the thicker side with a good amount of carbonation and a finish that isn't as dry as you would expect it to be.
04-13-2013 02:44:44 | More by oline73
This One Goes To 11 Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
93 out of 100 based on 652 ratings.