Thursday, April 3, 2014

Beer Me: Bell's and Black

I have a few offerings for you today thanks to a good number of tastings in the area this past weekend.

Fair warning. This is an IPA.


But, it's a Black IPA. Jukebox Hero from Revolution Brewing Co. was pouring on the tasting bar. Since John's newfound interest in IPA has sparked, he thought he'd give this a shot.

From the site: "Our black IPA is bursting with crisp, clean bitterness and layers of wonderful American hop character. Pale Ale, Munich and Naked Golden Oats give a toasty malt backbone with a smooth mouthfeel. The dark ominous color comes from the Chocolate Malt and the de-husked highly roasted malt. We want the layers of hops to shine against this roasty malt backdrop. Warrior, Citra, Chinook, Centennial and Amarillo lend bitterness as well as a wonderful cornucopia of aromas and flavors of fresh citrus fruit, pine, fresh cut mint and fresh flowers they offer. "

I always try these even though I know I won't like them. Call me a glutton for punishment. I was told that it smelled super hoppy but was actually pretty smooth for an IPA. That description was spot on. Going in, the aroma made me sure I wouldn't be pleased with the outcome. On sipping, it actually went down a lot smoother and I didn't even make an "I just licked a bar of soap" face while swallowing. I still didn't like it but I suppose it was tolerable. I'll attribute that to the fact that it's double dry-hopped. Dry-hopping always mellows things out a tad.

We have been wanting to try the Consecrator Doppelbock from Bell's for awhile but at $15.99/6 pack, we were deterred over and over. As luck would have it, it was on tap at a local brewpub and so John put it in his tasting flight that night.

From the site: "Reddish brown in color with a mild hop profile,Consecrator Doppelbock is a well balanced, full bodied lager with hints of caramel and molasses in its smooth, malty finish. As with our other lager brands, Consecrator undergoes a lengthy lagering period. Unlike the 6 week profile of the other two brands, Consecratorexperiences a full three months in the fermenting vessel, giving it an exceptionally smooth character."

Well, this was delicious! Smooth just like the description says but with lots of flavor depth throughout. Probably one of the best bocks I've ever had. Still, having said that, I would not pay that much for a 6 pack. Try to find it on tap somewhere or in a single bottle if you can. It's worth a lower price.

I saved the best for last.

This is Bell's Sweet Potato Stout. I know what you're thinking. Huh? Sweet potato? I was skeptical at first too. This was on tap with the Consecrator so a pint was ordered. Well, a 10 oz. tulip glass "pint" was ordered.

Bell's doesn't have a write up on their own site for this so I'm guessing it's not an every year brew.

It tasted like a fall beer, almost pumpkin in nature, which I suppose makes sense. Though one is a potato and one is a gourd, both favor the same spices. You definitely get cinnamon and it's certainly a sweeter stout. There is sweet potato on the nose too which was a bit strange. The alcohol content is high and thus, so is the price. But, if you like sweet stouts and pumpkin beers, you'll like this one.

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