Beer 216/365 – Bell’s Expedition Stout

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

ABV: 10.5%

Purchased at: Vintage Estate – Boardman OH

What makes this beer different: One of the few Russian Imperial Stout that I have tasted dark fruits in? They are usually more straight forward.

Will I be drinking this again: Depends what else is in front of me but yes

Grade: B

6/12/2010: Anyone else not really “wowed” by anything that Bell’s makes? I really like Hop Slam, but its not something that I would go out of my way to get. Maybe I am a victim of all the extreme beer variations out there. A lot of breweries are making some pretty off the wall stuff (Three Floyds, Short’s), and I am always down to try something new and crazy. Bell’s kind of stays on the straight and new as far as pushing limits goes.

Expedition Stout smells like most Russian Imperial Stouts; Chocolate and booze. The taste is a bit different though. One of the first things I get is some dark fruits, which isn’t usual for an RIS. There is also a lot of bitter chocolate, and very bitter espresso. The beer isn’t all that complex, but the alcohol punches you a little too much for my taste. I know a lot of RIS’s are known for that, but this is a little too in your face. Took me over an hour to finish the beer. Flavors are right, alcohol balance is not.

Picture of the day: LOL House.

Published in: on June 12, 2010 at 12:34 pm  Comments (1)  
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Beer 146/365 – Bell’s Two Hearted Ale

Style: American IPA

ABV: 7.1%

Purchased at: Vintage Estate – Boardman OH

What makes this beer different: Very crisp, great summer beer.

Will I be drinking this again: Absolutely

Grade: A

4/3/2010: I just recently bought an entire case of Aventinus ($96… yikes) for fishing next weekend, but after I check out I realized that I should have purchased some Two Hearted Ale! Just look at the label damnit! But seriously this is a great summertime beer, but I avoided buying an entire case since some people can be iffy about hoppy beers (as I used to be). Sidenote: Anyone notice Bell’s labels are always crooked on the bottle?

Two hearted ale is one of the strongest smelling IPA’s I have ever run across. Tons of floral/grapefruit hops, and some citrus. The taste is all about hops, but still some decent malt to fall back on. Grapefruit and lemon type flavors, with some pale malts in the background. This is the type of beer I would have HATED about 5-6 months ago, but I have learned to appreciate the bitter punch you get from an IPA. So far this might be my favorite IPA (but like a couple DIPAs better).

Picture of the day: Seth Mcfarland without a doubt has a formula for his cartoons.

Published in: on April 3, 2010 at 8:54 am  Comments (12)  
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Beer 128/365 – Bell’s Consecrator Dopplebock

Style: Dopplebock

ABV: 8.0%

Purchased at: Vintage Estate – Boardman OH

What makes this beer different: A hint of barleywine flavor to this bad boy (strong)

Will I be drinking this again: Maybe? Depends what else I have to choose from that day

Grade: B+

3/16/2010: I am a sucker for a good dopplebock, and have yet to try Bell’s Consecrator. To be honest other than Hopslam, there aren’t any beers that Bell’s makes that I go out of my way to find. I sampled batch 9000 and it was good, but it needs some age to it.

Its weird, Consecrator has little to no smell at all… A little bit of malt and booze, but thats it. This is very sweet, a lot of molasses, dark rum type flavor (where the barleywineishness kicks in, and yes thats a word), with a decent hop profile. I’m also getting a bit of butterscotch flavor the closer I get to the bottom. A good amount of carbonation, which helps mask the alcohol just enough for it to be very drinkable.

Picture of the day: Remember fellas, ladies like a little foreplay.

Published in: on March 16, 2010 at 8:34 am  Comments (1)  
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Beer 109/365 – Bell’s Hopslam

Style: Imperial IPA

Purchased at: Vintage Estate – Boardman Ohio

What makes this beer different: Super hoppy but dangerously drinkable

Will I be drinking this again: Go a 6 pack, so yes.

Grade: A

2/25/2010: So I have never gotten around to trying Hopslam until recently, mostly because I have never been open to trying IPA’s again until I started this website up. All kinds of buzz about this beer so I figured it was a must try. I confess I actually had this on tap as a second beer a few weeks back when I went to Vintage Estate to stock up.

Bell’s Hopslam is probably the hoppiest smelling beer ever. The taste is a complete enigma to me. Even though there is a ton of hop flavor, it is amazingly easy to drink. A decent bit of malt backbone for all the hops to lean on, and I am getting some honey also. If I had to guess the ABV I would guess 7%, but its actually 10%. Alcohol is hidden very well. If this beer wasn’t so pricey I could easily drink a few in a row without blinking.

Picture of the day: So this is how pacman was born.

Published in: on February 25, 2010 at 3:24 pm  Comments (3)  
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Beer 87/365 – Bell’s Kalamazoo Stout

Style: American Stout

Purchased at: Vintage Estate – Boardman OH

What makes this beer different: Roasty, sweet, and smooth

Will I be drinking this again: Yes

Grade: B+

2/03/2010: Going back to my comfort zone.. Stouts. I spent the last month on a mission trying to be open to more styles of beer, and it has been successful, but time to return to my stronghold. I also notice my grading is becoming a bit more strict as a result.

Kalamazoo stout smells mostly like chocolate to me, which is odd because I don’t get a lot of chocolate in the taste. The taste is mostly roasted malts, then some nice bitter coffee flavor, and a bit of chocolate at the end. It all transitions very smoothly. Pretty creamy for a medium mouthfeel. Overall very solid for a regular old American Stout.

Funny Picture of the day: I know a couple Skier’s/Snowboarders like this.

Published in: on February 3, 2010 at 8:39 am  Leave a Comment  
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Bonus Beer – Bell’s Apple Ale

Style: Fruit/Vegetable beer

Purchased at: Bells Eccentric Cafe

What makes this beer different: Tastes Like Apple Cider mixed with beer

Will I be drinking this again: No because you can only get it at Bell’s

Grade: B+

1/02/2010: Don’t mind the lipstick on the lip of the glass, its not mine haha (girlfriend snagged a taste before I could snap a picture). Had this one on tap at Eccentric Cafe; Bell’s tap-room. I like to try stuff you otherwise could not get unless you are at the brewpub. Apple Ale sounded pretty different so I figured why not give it a shot. If you go here just be sure to avoid the female bartender with the lip ring, she sucks at life.

The smell right off the bat is fresh apple juice with a mild vinegar smell. At first taste the vinegar comes through, it almost tastes like apple vinegar to me. Apparently Apple Vinegar is supposed to be really good for you so hey what the heck. Little to no carbonation, and mouthfeel was light to medium. The more you drink it the more it comes through like a sour cider, which might be what knocked this down a couple notches for me. I have never been a huge cider fan, so my grade might be a bit slanted. Halfway through the beer I was kind of over it. I guess for the style though it was probably more in the A- range.

Published in: on January 2, 2010 at 7:06 pm  Comments (1)  
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Beer 42 – Bell’s Special Double Cream Stout

Style: Milk Stout

Purchased at: Vintage Estate

What makes this beer different: Smoothest Milk Stout ever

Will I be drinking this again: For sure

Grade: A

12/20/2009: Special Double Cream might be the most accurate beer description ever. This beer is amazingly creamy. I poured this beer pretty slow and as you can see the head overflowed and I made a little bit of a mess.

Hops are nowhere to be found in this stout (pretty typical for milk stouts). The taste is just perfect. I mostly taste the chocolate, and the milk (lactose) in this one, followed by a little bit of a roasty flavor. It all blends together perfectly. It also is not nearly as “heavy” as it looks in the picture. This might have just jumped up to the top of my Milk Stout list right next to Lancaster Milk stout.

Published in: on December 20, 2009 at 11:02 am  Comments (1)  
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Beer 26 – Bell’s Java Stout

Style: American Stout

Purchased at: Vintage Estate

What makes this beer different: Burnt Coffee Taste

Will I be drinking this again: Possibly

Grade: B+

12/4/2009: Gotta say this is a really cool looking label. Makes you feel bad for the little coffee mug dude when you crack open the beer. It’s like you are pouring out his guts.

Anywho I know a lot of people really like this stout, but this one was just slightly above average for me. The taste is pretty decent, but my knocks on it would be that its very under carbonated, and the coffee flavor almost tastes “burnt.” Ever had a plain old coffee from starbucks and didn’t sweeten it enough? If so then you know exactly the taste im talking about. Overall though it was pretty tasty, and I think I would have enjoyed it more if I was really in the mood for coffee.

Published in: on December 4, 2009 at 10:28 pm  Comments (2)  
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