Review: Two Hearted Ale, Bell's Brewery

Two Hearted Ale
Bell's Brewery, Inc. — Comstock, MI

  • Style:  IPA
  • Bitterness:  Not specified
  • ABV:  7.0%  
  • Malts:  Not specified
  • Hops:  Centennial
  • Sampled:  12 oz. bottle 

Description:  "Two Hearted Ale is defined by its intense hop aroma and malt balance. Hopped exclusively with the Centennial hop varietal from the Pacific Northwest, massive additions in the kettle and again in the fermenter lend their characteristic grapefruit and pine resin aromas. A significant malt body balances this hop presence; together with the signature fruity aromas of Bell's house yeast, this leads to a remarkably drinkable American-style India Pale Ale.— Bell's Brewery

Random thoughts:  Bell's doesn't distribute in Oregon. I found Two Hearted Ale while I was visiting Phoenix, Arizona. There's a lot of good buzz about this beer, so I was glad to find and include it as part of my IPA Diversity series.

The tasting:  Bright golden orange in color, clear, with a head of fine white bubbles that dissipates very slowly. Aroma starts with grapefruit, pine, and floral hops. There's also some notes of  bready malt and sweet caramel. Overall, the aroma is very nice! Flavor of bitter grapefruit on a bready malt backbone. Most of the elements that smelled so great in the aroma do not exist in flavor. It's bitter throughout and alcohol is noticeable in the middle. Two Hearted Ale is light to medium bodied, moderately carbonated, and finishes dry with bitter grapefruit hops.

Rating:  3 star.  Good. I would drink this again if someone gives it to me.  Two Hearted Ale is a nice IPA. I loved absolutely loved the aroma, but was let down by the flavor which lacked many of the elements that teased in the aroma. If you're an IPA fan and live where Bell's beer is distributed, it's worth a try.

Have you tasted Two Hearted Ale or any other Bell's beers?

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  1. What was the bottling date on the sample you tried? Should be on the back side. Like all IPA's, this flavor will fade over time and I'm wondering if you got an older batch. In my experience the Centennial flavors pretty much dominate. Although since I live 45 minutes from Bells I know I am a bit spoiled with fresh bottles.

  2. Hey Dino. I tossed the bottle out without checking the date. I bough it about two months ago, so hopefully it wasn't too old. So area you a big fan of Hopslam? How does it compare with this? Never tasted it.

  3. As a midwest transplant I've had plenty of Bell's beers (in fact they make 12 stouts) and Two Hearted is a solid stand by beer. I would have to agree with Dino that either you got an old bottle or it was not handled properly before you bought it. Don't give up on it just yet.
    As far as comparing to Hopslam it doesn't. They are in two completely different categories and well worth getting your hands on (might want to look into finding a beer trading buddy in the midwest; mine put a 6-pack in my fridge).

  4. Regarding Hopslam:

    This is a tough one to find in the Midwest, much less in your neck of the woods!! It was just released a few weeks ago, they don't make a huge batch (this year they didn't even produce the small "kegs" in an attempt to "spread it out" to more drinkers), and it sells out VERY quickly.

    And for good reason. It is one of the most aromatic IPAs I have ever tasted. It literally smells like flowers. It is an absolutely, wonderfully smooth beer with a wonderful color. Sorry I'm no beer expert, or I'd provide a bit more terminology in my remarks, but it's one of a precious few beers I would pay $7.50 a pint for more than once.


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