This One Goes To 11 Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.
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Ratings: 652 | Reviews: 157 | Display Reviews Only:
4.15/5 rDev -0.2%
Straight pour from 12oz pry-off bottle to an oversized wineglass (HF stemware); bottling date of September 13, 2012 printed in black ink near the bottom-right corner of the back label (“11000 PKGD 09/13/12 A”), making this bottle six weeks old on the date of consumption. I’d rather have it fresher, but this is the first I’ve seen it at all and figured it wouldn’t suffer much, given the ABV strength and malt character of the body.
Appearance (4.0): Pours a finger and a half of good, sandy-colored head that sits atop a hazy, garnet-amber body. The head recedes to a thin film, leaving a few fat spots of lace on the sides and some nice legs. Appearance-wise, this is really more in league with a barleywine, which makes sense. Given the strength (so, not a lot of head or lace), this is a good looker.
Smell (4.5): Very nice, fragrant mix of juicy, citrusy hops with a thick, chewy caramel body that has the richness and sweetness of gingerbread or bananabread (but without the spice or fruit of those). Kind of like a fruitcake, complete with dark fruit—raisins, dates, and the like. Some alcohol vapor, not in a bad way. Very, very nice nose, actually.
Taste (4.0): There’s a good bit of alcohol heat behind this, but not disproportionate to the malt richness. Rich, sweet quickbreads and dark fruit show in the malt body, with some rye spiciness and a hefty dose of barley, but not as heavy-handed as a barleywine in that regard. Some moderate bitterness, a mix of vegetal tones and citrus peel that help offset the chewy body but don’t stand above it. The alcohol heat doesn’t burn but it adds a peppery, vaporous lift for the body towards the end. Really like the rye notes here.
Mouthfeel (4.5): Full-bodied but not heavy, oily but not quite viscous, tingly but not overactive. It foams softly but fully on the way down, and the alcohol heat drags it toward a dryer finish. A very nice mouthfeel.
Overall (4.0): This is a big beer. A very big beer, but done tastefully and with a good sense of balance. Does it taste and feel like it’s 11% ABV? Yes. Is it off-putting? No. The hops are hanging on just enough to complement the malt and not leave it a one-note beer, though the malt’s got enough going on that it wouldn’t be so bad if it WERE just a malt story. I really enjoy this, it’s a good sipper—I’d wager this will age well, if I enjoyed most aged beers. This one has character, and worth picking up if you see it.
10-26-2012 00:45:28 | More by fmccormi
4.13/5 rDev -0.7%
11000 PKGD 09/13/12
A- pours a copper tinged red/amber with two fingers of off white almost khaki head. Solid head retention with a good amount of lacing.
S- toasty caramel toned malt envelope the nose at first. Peppery spice and citrus rind from the hops intertwine with an apricot jam like quality on the finish.
T- sweet caramel and toasted malt blanket the palate at first. Resiny hop oil with a peppery quality bring some balance and much needed relief from the initial sweetness. Citrus hop characteristics of ruby red grapefruit and orange peel gives off a juicy quality mid palate. Finishes with toasted bread smothered in apricot jam and powdered sugar with the faintest hint of alcohol burn in the aftertaste.
MF- velvity sticky mouthfeel that borders on being syrupy. Full body with low medium carbonation.
D- great drinkability for the sheer mass of the brew.
Overall a delicious concoction Bell's! Sweet yet hoppy then both at the same time. My only qualm is the nose. I wish there was a bit more hop punch but that could be from the age of the brew.
10-25-2012 03:54:30 | More by Viciousknishs
4.2/5 rDev +1%
Found a single bottle for sale at Puerto Rico Food & Liquor in Chicago. Poured into a tulip, forms a 2 finger head. Color is deep gold with sharp red hue. Aroma is very sweet, with citrus tones. Taste follows the nose, which is surprising for this one since it's bottled at 11%. I certainly would not have guessed this one to be anywhere close to 11%, as the citrusy taste masks the alcohol quite well. Overall a great beer, wish I could find some more of it!
10-25-2012 01:58:01 | More by bengore
4.13/5 rDev -0.7%
Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz bottle.
Pours a gorgeous deep golden color with some amber hues. Nice white head forms to about half an inch. Dense and sticky head.
Aroma is resinous and slightly sweet. Citrus notes of grapefruit rind with some tangerine notes mixed in with some nice sweet malt notes. A bit of caramel is present.
Flavor follows the nose. Stars o with resinous piney punch with some citrus grapefruit notes following. Sweet chewy malt notes mingle with the hops providing some balance. Some caramel notes mixed with the resinous notes and the beer finishes malty and sticky but slightly hoppy and grassy. Mouthfeel is nice and slick with some sitckyness to it and a slightly bitter and citrusy hop finish.
Pretty good brew. Nice take on the American Red style. Rich malt flavors mixed in with some resinous and dank pine hop notes. The 11% is well hidden.
10-23-2012 23:07:09 | More by JoEBoBpr
4.3/5 rDev +3.4%
On-tap at Shakespeare's in k-zoo
A: copper and gold surrounded by a reddish hue. No head or lace to speak of. Simple in appearance
S: juicy fruits in the nose. Tropical fruits mingle with soft peppery notes. Plenty of toasted malts wafting about. Slight booze
T: each sip unlocks hops ranging from sharp and peppery to leafy and fresh. Backed with sticky robust candied malts. A delicate and smooth burn follows each sip. Hands down, this beer is massive. It started with a fairly good balance and as it warmed it slowly crept into the cloyingly sweet category. But with each sip my faith is renewed with razor sharp hops cleaning and cutting to refresh my weary tongue . The dichotomy continues...
M: mouthfeel is teetering between sticky and smooth. Carbonation is low-medium.
O: this is dynamite. This is a personal favorite style of mine. Not many breweries seem to tackle red ales, let alone an imperial red and do it right. Bells has got it right as with most everything else they brew. Get it if you can
10-23-2012 21:14:19 | More by Magpie14
4.7/5 rDev +13%
A- Pours a medium amber color and about a 1 finger, frothy head. Head retains pretty well, and lacing is good.
S- Huge, semisweet caramel malts smack you in the nose with this one. Those malts are followed quickly by a fair helping of what I believe are cascade hops. The hops provide a balance to the sweet malt scents with some very piney scents and slight hints of floral notes. Very small hints of a brown sugary-like sweetness hide under the caramel and hops.
T- Just like the scent, essentially. Big caramel flavors up front that are a little sweet. Then a nice transition into the hops. (I just checked, apparently the hops are a complex blend, but to me the simulate cascades nicely) Hops dominate the remainder of the drink, but are terrifically balanced. End of the drink is succinct, with a small amount of lingering malty sweetness and hops bite.
M- For the alcohol content, this one is tremendously drinkable. Watch out, it'll sneak up on you! The carbonation levels are slightly lower than most reds, but that can be expected with a slightly heavier beer. The body itself is fairly thick and creamy. Easy to drink with the only hint of the high ABV being in the back of the throat on the way down.
Overall, I love this beer. This reminds me of the reds and slightly darker beers that got me into craft a while ago (read Bud American Ale). The difference is that this one is miles ahead of the rest. Going to have to get more of this one.
10-23-2012 21:09:08 | More by boilermakerbrew
3.83/5 rDev -7.9%
Appearance - Deep amber in color, hazy, not a large head.
Smell - Both sweet and sour with a hint of brown sugar.
Taste - Bitter fruitiness. Somewhat reminiscent of grapefruit. Hint of dough. The high ABV is not immediately apparent but quickly catches up.
Mouth-feel - Medium feel. Reasonable amount of carbonation.
Overall - Definitely not a traditional beer. Very unique.
10-23-2012 04:56:19 | More by jbierling
4.3/5 rDev +3.4%
Bottle into chalice:
A: Transparent golden-brown color. Not quite as red as I expected. Modest, but lasting head.
S: Grapefruit and booze on its face, but funkified by some very bready yeast and some cherry sweetness. Something of a piney hop note/cocoa nib subtlety in the background.
T/M: Quite boozy up front, and with a lasting burn. It keeps going and going. Taste is much like the smell profile: grapefruit, bread, cherry, but the grapefruit hop is much more pronounced, as the cherry takes more of a backseat. Impressive body for a beer so high in the alcohol, even as it sits. Still somewhat slick, though, but reasonable given the ABV. Gets me wondering how this one could play out if there was some rye in the mix, since that bready note is already so pronounced. Perhaps at the next 10K mark.
O: This is a big one. I think calling it a Red is a bit misleading. On a blind taste/smell, I would easily call it an American Barleywine. Big, potent hops, but well balanced by the malt. A quality high-ABV offering from Bell's.
10-23-2012 03:42:34 | More by dudecandle
4/5 rDev -3.8%
Reviewing the This One Goes To 11 Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.This beer was brewed in honor of Bell's 11,000th batch of beer. It is technically not a part of their now-retired Batch X,000 series.
"Packaged 09/13/12." Served in a Surly Darkness snifter and enjoyed on 10/22/12.
Appearance: Pours a gorgeous amber color that reminds me of the mosquito-containing fossils of Jurassic Park. One-plus fingers of tan head off the pour settles to a thin layer. Good lacing and retention. 4/5
Smell: Lots of bready malt, caramel, slightly stale resinous hops, earthy spice and grapefruit. 4/5
Taste:Lots of bready malt and earthy, dank hops upfront. Light onion on midpalate mixed with a "dirty" citrus hoppiness. Tastes a lot like it smells, but with more hoppiness present. Virtually no alcohol flavor whatsoever, which is surprising given it is 11% ABV. 4/5
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, light carbonation. Oily mouthfeel with a slightly sticky and bitter finish. 4/5
Overall: A really solid and tasty hoppy red ale with zero trace of its ABV. It's a shame that Bells took over a month to distribute this beer to Green Bay because I have a feeling this one may have been something special fresh.
Recommendation: Worth buying, but consume this one sooner than later -- the hoppiness is already noticeably falling off. Casual beer drinkers will probably not enjoy this one.
Pairings: Spicy chicken fajitas.
Cost: $18.99 for a six pack.
10-23-2012 02:09:51 | More by jegross2
This One Goes To 11 Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
93 out of 100 based on 652 ratings.