Riiiiiiiiing. Ring my Bell's. Ba-dum. Bell's hails from Kalamazoo and began with a modest soup kettle in 1985. I've tried several of their beers over the years, and regularly enjoy their 2-Hearted Ale, an IPA commonly served on draught around here. I picked up a couple of their winter seasonals to check out. Check it!:
One of their super hyped seasonal offerings is Hopslam. This is a double IPA brewed with honey. When my friend told me about its release, I rushed to the store posthaste. Posthaste! I mean, look at the label. A lucky sonofabitch is getting body-slammed by a giant hop nugget. What a way to go. Hops + Honey...That's just smart.
The hopslam poured a beautiful orange-amber-honey color with a small fizzy white head and slow-moving carbonation, enjoying their journey through the liquid ambrosia. The smell was strong citrus hops with an underlying malt presence. And the taste - just like the picture. A bountiful hop nugget body slammed on my tongue which puckered in the delightful combination of bitterness, citrus, and honey. Sorry if that's TMI, but I'm just saying. A little bit of floral notes too, and very little noticeable alcohol for 10% ABV. It was smooth sailing, a little bit of alcohol warmth, medium bodied, and very good drinkability for such a high level of alcohol.
Also sampled was the winter seasonal Cherry Stout. If you've been paying any attention to me at all (geez), you know that fruit in beer usually tastes plastic-y to me. However, this was delicious. It poured a beautiful black with ruby/cherry higlights and a dark brown sudsy head. Very nice looking. The smell was strong with malts, cherry, and a little alcohol (7% ABV) all standing out. And the taste - wow. The cherry is not subtle. And it is real cherry flavor, as this bad boy is brewed with cherries from Traverse City. Loud and Proud. Also coffee notes, overall a sweet stout with a tart real cherry flavor. It was smooth and medium-bodied, and great drinkability.
2 fantastic winter seasonals from a super local brewery.
Well done, Bell's. Aces all around.
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