Two Hearted Ale | Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store

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Two Hearted AleTwo Hearted Ale
14,808 Ratings
Two Hearted AleTwo Hearted Ale

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Michigan, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed with 100% Centennial hops from the Pacific Northwest and named after the Two Hearted River in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, this IPA is bursting with hop aromas ranging from pine to grapefruit from massive hop additions in both the kettle and the fermenter.

Perfectly balanced with a malt backbone and combined with the signature fruity aromas of Bell's house yeast, this beer is remarkably drinkable and well suited for adventures everywhere.

Added by Todd on 12-11-2001

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Ratings: 14,808 |  Reviews: 3,664
Photo of studentofbeer
4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Today I pulled out a Bell's Two Hearted Ale, which is labeled an "India Pale Ale style well suited for Hemingway-esque trips to the Upper Peninsula" in the description on the back of the label. The beer is apparently a reference to Hemingway's "Big Two-Hearted River"—a story I've never read.

Still, I had the beer, and that might be enough.

The pour produced a giant foamy white head, flat and dense, that made its way most of the way to the top of the imperial pint glass. The nose is all Centennial (I orginially thought Cascade) and has grapefruity, citrus scents. You get a hint of bready malt, but whew, those hops knock you out.

As for color, it's a hazy, dirty yellow when you look straight through the glass, and a light, nice burnished brass color when you look down through more liquid.

A sip reveals a substantial but relatively relaxed bitterness, with some lemon, fruit and bread providing a backbone. Nonetheless, the hops are the star of the show, and leave a lasting hop-flavor bitterness in the aftertaste that doesn't go away. The beer laces beautifully.

The beer weighs in at 6 percent, but the body feels rather light. The beer seems to just slide happily down my throat, a tribute to its superb balance of hop flavor, bitterness and malt, as well as a soft carbonation and lasting creamy head that keep the beer very smooth.

The body of the beer and the seductive creaminess are what set this beer apart. The flavors and aromas are rather straightforward—strong hop flavor and bitterness with a bready malt background and a burst of fruit sweetness. That direct appeal and the subtle, creamy texture make this a great choice for a warm day.

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Photo of nortmand
4.37/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Fluffy, "marshmallow" head on top of a cloudy yellow-orange body.
The scent is dominated by grapefruit hoppiness, but a hint of malt is there too.
Very hoppy in the start of the drink, but a malt presence becomes more pronounced on the back of the tongue.
Definitely very smooth and drinkable, one of the gems in the Bell's line of beers.

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Photo of ngandhi
4.31/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pretty much exactly what a pale ale should look like. Like holding a glass of solid amber covered in snow. Great lacing.

The smell is hoppy and tropical. Hints of mango, cotton candy, and a lot of pine.

Obviously hoppy and remarkably comlex with a wonderfully rich malt profile to back it up while never taking the focus away from the hops. It seems that only one hop was used, but its use, in different stages of brewing, is first-rate and really shows how far you can push the most basic of things. The bittering is perfect, just barely smoky at the end, and quite calm on the back of the tongue for an IPA. The flavors are endlessly developing, Cascadey, but far, far more refined. Sugary, floral, and delicious. There's faint rose in the background on the tongue and palette. I really love the rose finish. Candied lemon. If you compare it to something like HopDevil, this is in a league of its own. HD has similar qualities, but nothing in terms of balance. Here, the multitude of hop and yeast fruitiness combine to make a new flavor unto itself.

I appreciate the maltiness of this brew. It mellows out the flavors and gives us all the bitterness and aromatics an IPA should have, without the pain. Two Hearted goes down the way really fresh apple juice does and has, indeed, many juice-like qualities including its body.

Relax, relax.

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Photo of Soybomb
4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

appearance: Pours a nice gold color with a 1.5" fluffy head that drop but sticks around for a while and leaves a nice lacing. I did expect it to be a bit darker given its an IPA.

smell: Hops, hops, and hops. I kinda wish other aroma's jumped out at me here.

taste and mouthfeel: Delicious. Starts out with a bit of sweetness then you're hit with hops and citrus flavors. Medium-high carbonation makes a nice crisp finish with lingering cirtusey after taste. Probably just getting into the medium bodied catagory.

notes: My first IPA was Samuel Smiths and I thought I liked it. Since then I've tried others but the blend of flavors in this just really won me over. I love it and so far its my first choice in IPAs.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dang near a perfect pour into my English Beamish pint glass. A hazy golden orange pour with a perfect 3” inch head that is so high and tight that it made a cone shape when I poured the beer through it to fill the glass. This deserves a 5/5 pour, leaving a total lattice head coating.

Smells of a grand IPA. Lush floral bouquet erupts to my nose delivering various juicy fruits and spicy cloves interspersed. You could even say that there is a strong lemon in the nose.

Flavor flows quite freely with fruity hoppiness and spices. Rich mature full spices and zesty acidic feel. This has a top quality IPA candy like aftertaste similar to a nice Sweet Tart (in a good way) The finish is dry, tart and lasting, reminding me to have some more. A great tasting IPA, retaining a solid foamy coating that looks good enough to eat with a spoon. This offering lasts in the glass with zip and zest to the hoppy bitter end.

Last swigs: Reminds me of STONE Ruination IPA most of all. Orangey hoppy zest and looks tastey too. Built like a champ.I finally snagged a mixed case of BELLS thanks to Beeryard, for a reasonable $58. The mixed case had 4 x 6 different strong BELLS beers. Awesome deal. Two Hearted ranks up there with VICTORY Hop Devil and 3FLOYDS Alpha King. Nice!

Wow! this is tasty! And a well hidden ABV ta boot.

*** UPDATE ***
Thanks to SkinnyElvis for the offering. Second pour in a pilsner is just as good. I mean Goood! Standing by my prior review.

Beer is good. Happy & hoppy beering.

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Photo of soilguy
4.92/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

WOW. This beer pours a beautiful cyrstal clear orange hue. Immediately one is struck by the strong, floral hop aroma. It is but a sweet segue into the awesome taste experience. Initial hop bite, followed by a citrusy hop flavor, backed up with just enough malty sweetness to be noticed but not enough to intrude on your hop experience. I could drink way too many of these at one sitting. This ale has displaced the Hopdevil as my new favorite IPA.

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Photo of Trentonator
4.06/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber/orange with a nice white head, and a long lasting lacing that coats the glass nicely. I give a perfect 5 for the appearance of this unique brew. It's fascinating, it has hues of gold, orange, copper and white, it's almost like looking at a sunrise-beautiful! Smell is very fruity, lots of hops, maybe some floral undertones. Taste has a definite IPA bite to it, coppery, bitter, but yet still a nice mouthfeel. I could knock back a few of these, I think this is my new fave IPA.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.4/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle obtained via trade with CRJMellor. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 3/4" bright white head above a slightly (but only slightly) copperish golden brew. Head had reasonable staying power, and laced excellently. Aroma is about spicy hops, and there's probably some malt in there, but that's not the point. Smells like what I would imagine something out of the DFH Randall would. The taste is as well all about the hops, but there is enough pale malts to round the corners and keep the taste buds alive. Also slight citrus notes are present. It impresses me that such a hop monster remains quite smooth and imminently drinkable.

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Photo of Redrover
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this beer at the Matchbox in Chicago. This has got to be one of the smallest bars I have ever seen. I’m guessing the “official” capacity must be about 20 people.

Beer poured a lighter than expected gold with a thick head and great lacing. I was expecting a slightly darker beer given that it is an IPA.

Nice pine & citrus aroma. Clear use of quality ingredients.

The taste was fine, but seemed a little on the light side for an IPA. Still it is a very tasty beer with a bracing hop bite and nice puckering citrus taste. The beer also seems to posses a nice malt backbone to keep things balanced.

Mouthfeel and drinkability are both fine. I was expecting something different, but was not disappointed by this one. It is a keeper and one I would love to try on tap.

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Photo of koolkat
3.78/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It pours a nice blonde with a minimal head. The Hops are rather noticible, but it isnt all that aromatic more of a nice bitter twinge at the end of the gulp.

here is a very slight DMS smell present but it isnt tastable possibly due to the hops. The hops are very well pronounced, but mostly in the bittering department.

As far as drinkability goes if you're a hophead this would be excellent as it has a nice bitter twinge and isnt heavy but if youre not a hophead I think that the hops might become overpowering after a bunch.

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Photo of Rastacouere
3.64/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

So in my glass is the famous Two Hearted IPA. It looks good, potent dark sun yellow, lightly hazy, with a great very foamy and rocky white head, highly carbonated in appearance. Acute citrusy C-hops nose, very flowery, sweet, sour, hints at lemon pie, lilac (orval anyone?), grapefruit, grass. Solid toasty/cookie malt attack early like a good pils, quickly complemented by the direct floral and citrusy hops. Great flavor development for an IPA, but you know where they're from, hophead's neck of the wood and always lacking a touch of "multidimensionality". Tremendous velvety texture, less carbonated than anticipated. Clean and long oily bitter finish. Quite good, but top 100 in the world? I think not. Maybe a top 10 IPA though. Thanks Jeff.

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Photo of Crosling
4.77/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear Light peach. The head is dense, creamy and rocky but subsides to a thin layer of cream floating on the top.

Huge vibrant and bursting aroma of candy sweetness, kettle popcorn, cotton candy, wet oak, bright fruitiness, vacumm cleaner mustyness, pine oil, grapefruit, caramel and tangerine. Quite simply, an astonishing aroma.

After an aroma like this I am a little skeptical when I first sip the beer. "How could the flavor outdue the aroma, it's impossible," I say to myself while putting the glass up to my mouth. I taste it. Then a look of complete shock consumes my facial muscles and I look straight down in awe at the beer sitting in my Duvel tulip. I stare at the beer, not momentarily, but attentively, like a pre-teen boy examining his first vision of female breasts. “Wow,” I whisper to myself.

The hops are sharp, pungent, bitter and very powerful. Sweet fruitiness first, slighty tart with lemons, grapefruit and other citrus notes. Caramel corn, tangerine and a hint of the alcohol come through on the finish.

What makes this beer even more appealing is the fact that they mention Hemingway on the label. He is one of my authors and was a brilliant brilliant man.

Did you know that Hemingway killed himself with the same shotgun that his father killed himself with and guess who has the shotgun now? Hemingway's son. Weird huh?

This beer blew me away.

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Photo of garymuchow
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

New bottle as compared to the picture. Current one has a fish on it. Looks like a lake trout maybe.
A really nice mix of malt and hops with a pleasing sweetness of fruity peach combined with a flowery grassy hops.
Orangish amber slightly cloudy. Head settles to a white layer that leaves plenty of lacing.
Starts with a bitingly strong hop bitterness, but moves very quickly to a softer bitterness with more citrus and just before finish a very light sweetness appears that lasts just for a moment before finishing with a long somewhat sour and slightly citrus conclusion.
Feel is nice and soft throughout.
Masala Mama has strong similarities to this. The hops here are more grassy and a little more biting, and the malt isn't as prominent and not quite as tasty. However, this is a beer deserving of its ranking.

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Photo of soper2000
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Notes from my Bell's tasting:
Poured a nice golden orange with a medium sized white head. Aroma is very interesting. Hops are abundant, plus there is a hint of some spice maybe. Taste is very well balanced. I half expected a massive hop hit, but the hops were well constrained by a nice malty base. The finish shows off the IBU's of this baby. It's a very well crafted brew and super drinkable as well.

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Photo of cerevisiaephilus
3.97/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is certainly an interesting beer. I liked it a lot better on draught, here I'm having it from the bottle. Maybe its an older bottle?? I have no idea. I'm not getting any of the centennial hops that people claim are in here.

Anyway, little disapointed with the appearance of this beer. Its bottle conditioned and the yeast isn't very flocculant...pretty powedery actually. There was definately a ton of very fine particles in the beer even after careful transportation and pouring. The nose is nice...quite spicy, can't put my finger on the type of hops used, but nice and spicy. Taste is nice as well. A little something weird going on, not quite sure what it is. The hops are quite spicy and bitterness seems quite high, but there might be something else in there as well...can't put my finger on it...wheat maybe?? I doubt it.

Pretty drinkable beer all in all.

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Photo of RedDiamond
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a fantastic beer, a creation of unique balances and style. The only unanswered question this beer suggests is whether or not it should be defined as an IPA. Some of its properties are inconsistent with a strict interpretation of the style. While I have a lot of respect for defined beer styles, I also just like a well proportioned beer of any design. I drank this beer on tap and never saw a bottle, so I can't say whether or not this beer chooses to define itself as an IPA. Regardless, this review will emphasize content over category.

Bell's Two Hearted is pale and clear, almost lager-like with its sunny gold color and nice thready lace. The pint I drank had a thin head with sustained carbonation and good head retention. But the standout feature is a creaminess, not so much to the mouthfeel, but to the taste. This, combined with a fruity malt profile, creates an ale with an abundance of character. There is a tremendous amount of flavor here, an unusual measure for a brew this pale.

This is a highly drinkable beer with a soft mouthfeel and a bright citrus-hop aroma. I'd call it a pale ale and not an IPA, but no matter. I'm told the creaminess is derived from a unique strain of yeast.

Special thanks to Felonius for pouring me this one when I visited Minneapolis.

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Photo of LuckySevens82
4.52/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First, thanks to Feloniusmonk for hooking me up with this among several other Kalamazoo brews.
12 oz bottle with a fish on the label.
Pours a fairly clear (I've seen much clearer IPAs), light golden orange. At first glance I thought this was an odd color for an IPA, but the more I think about it the better it looks. THe head was nice and thick, leaving good lacing along the glass.
The smell is just fantastic. Piney, citrusy, and floral. The smell just screams IPA--Drink me!
The taste is mellow, very smooth, but you can certainly tell that this is no ordinary brew. Huge hops from beginning to end, there is some residual bitterness, but the sweetness from the malt undercuts it nicely without overpowering it.
There isn't much carbonation in this one, there is some but not enough to make it really pop for me.
I could see myself having more than one of these in a night and probably would if it were available around where I live. THis is a great IPA. I would very much like to have another...and another...and....

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Photo of Bierguy5
4.39/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a gold clear liquid with a white foamy, fluffy head. Smell is one of the best ever, strong flowery, grassy smell. Slight grainy smell also. You know what is about to happen. On the taste, you get a quick sweetness and then you are bombarded by bitter flowery goodness. Somehow this is a crisp and refreshing beer. Medium body, but this bottle had too much carbonation, as it felt a bit prickly. Very drinkable, I would certainly enjoy this again. I believe that this is the best IPA I have sampled yet.

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Photo of freed
4.23/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yet another Bill Import. Bell's has classy labels, and this is yet another example. Poured from a 12oz bottle, yielding a gorgeously clear straw colored ale with active carbonation and a wonderful crown of pristine white foam.

The aroma is a pleasing mix of grass fields and flowers, and does not overpower in any sense. In fact, its a bit of a job just getting a full whiff.

The taste is crisp with bitterness and carbonation, sweet with maltiness, and satisfying in its balanced delivery. The bitterness accumulates on the palate, demanding your mouth have more. Who am I to argue?

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Photo of HopHeadKen
4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle offered a lot of 'Fsss-s-t' when the cap came off.

Clear golden color with thick creamy white head;
A definate clean hop aroma when poured into the glass.

First flavor was citrus hop, with a smooth lingering clean hop aftertaste. Not overly hopped, easily drinkable.

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Photo of 99bottles
4.77/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I can't believe I found this in PA ! Let's see what ya'll midwesterners are hooting and hollering about. One note here - this bottle is covered in dust, and I have no idea how long it was sitting on the shelf. Really, start a petition out there or something to get Bell's to start labeling dates. If it's of any relevance, it has what looks like the first half of a brook trout on the label; it's not the same one on the website.

This thing essentially exploded out of the bottle. Its a very pretty orange gold hue with HUGE white head that rises quicker than anything I've ever seen. Oh wow. I can smell it already.

This is the best smelling nose I've ever had. I don't even want to drink it. I just wanna sit here and sniff. When you say floral hops, this is what you should compare it to. Really though. If this were a perfume, I'd make my girl wear it everyday for ever.

Taste. Oh wow. That's awesome. It's so smooth and approachable. This is why I think it might be aged. It's not the hop monster I expected. Or if it is, the hops are so sweet and delicate that I am going insane. This is good because it lacks the heavy maltfeel every other IPA has. It's not an amber bombed with hops, its lighter in color and lighter in mouthfeel. I can't believe the balance. There's great carbonation, but it's so smooth I would have missed it if I didn't hold it up to the light. Erotic magazines....erotic tangerines.... (sorry but I just watched the funniest movie ever--Run Ronnie Run-- go rent it and pop a sixer--hilarious) Holy crap. Strange and delicious fruit. This beer is AWESOME ! It's like drinking your prom date's floral arrangement.

Mouthfeel: heaven.

What is it with new strange beers from across the country usurping my hometown hero, Victory? This is better than Hop Devil. Different for sure. My new favorite IPA.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Light orange in color and hazy with a big, beautiful head that showed excellent retention and left tons of lacing alongside my Ruination glass. The frothing foam just oozed along the glass like The Blob chasing turtles over an ice rink.

Smell – This one has a very balanced nose. The complex hops (predominantly floral, I think) are soft yet clearly steer this conga line. The malt base is just right and complimented with some light, grainy sugars. The lovely fruiting is here as well. I especially enjoyed the tangerine/grapefruit combination.

Taste – Don’t rate this one too quickly or you’ll miss it. In taking my time with this (it is my first rating of the night) and I find the balance to be almost seamless.

The citrus hops lead things off and, again, steer more than dominate. There’s a slight bitter pine note at the very end, like the final strike of a piano key at the end of a well-played symphony. In the middle are the time-keeping malty drums, ensuring that the flavors come out in the right sequence and the proper strength. The fruity chorus pleases the pallet, bringing purpose to the other flavors.

Mouthfeel – Bell’s could have chosen to make this a bit heavier, but they opted for session over sensationalism. I like the heavy-hitters just as much as the next hophead, but the body here was right on target. It’s medium at best with a very slight bittering at the end.

Drinkability – Not only was this a pleasure to consume but, believe it or not, it was quite the educational experience. They took a very interesting angle in putting this one together and, like TheBum alluded to, it must have been like constructing the Eiffel Tower. Great job – a true work of art!


When you live out West,
and you only want the best,
who ya gonna call?

When you’re thirst is in need of quenchin’,
who ya gonna mention?

He takes care with his selection,
and pays particular attention,
to all your style faves.

He’s known from coast to coast,
as the man who gives the most,
when you trade with him . . it always pays!

Give it up for the man. OFS is in da’ house!

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Photo of Tballz420
4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Looks like i got a new version of the bottle, mine has a fish on it.

This one poured out a cloudy orange body, with lots of little bubbles. Big bubbly white head topping it off. The scent is sticky hop sap and some citrus notes as well. The taste is a big whack of oily hop blast. Good aftertaste. A pretty good beer, a hopheads delight.

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Photo of BeerResearcher
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle. No freshness date.
It pours a wonderful honey amber color with a medium-sized white head and a fair amount of trailing and sticky lace.
A big blast of floral hops is noticed upon opening the bottle and increases in intensity during the pour. Citrusy hops and a faint malt smell emerge briefly, then fade. The floral hop aroma remains.
A lightly sweet biscuity malt flavor meekly sets the table for the abundance of hop flavors. Grapefruit, lemons, orange zest and limes make up a jowl clinching citrusy hit. A mild metallic bite and some peppery spices act as seasonings for this potently charged IPA.
Had the Brits invented this stuff during their colonization of India, they'd be flying the Union Jack in Bombay today.
Thanks to Feloniousmonk!

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Photo of elmocoso
4.65/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This one is a cloudy gold drink with a very pale head that soon subsides to a thin lacy blanket on the top.

The interesting think about this one, to me, is the smell. At first whiff i got a floral hop aroma but upon closer examination I am getting a really strong movie popcorn butter smell. This is very interesting and i don't know if this is supposed to be present. I will now drink, minding the unpoped kernels.

Yeah, its there. There is the usual malt taste and the bitterness of the hops, but in the for-ground is a taste of movie popcorn butter. It is not exactly unpleasant, but it is very present and kind of grabs all the tasters attention. I am not sure i appreciate it in there.

I will have to give this one another try. Although it is a decent beer, I wonder how the butter taste works into it. I think the drinkability suffers from it.


Having acquired a new bottle of this from the famous FM, I am re-reviewing it with more positive results.

A bloomy could of bulbous head on a Dusty gold liquid. Head recedes leaving a moon like surface. Hops are very apparent and makes the mouth water.

There is an odd background smell that reminds me of drywall mud. The head is clinging and very attractive.

Mouth is amazingly smooth. Perfect balance. Sweet and tangy and reminds me a lot of Arrogant Bastard. Mouth waters after first drink and mouth-feel is great. Drinkability is A-one!


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Two Hearted Ale from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 4.27 out of 5 with 14,808 ratings