black note, bells, midwest and then girlscouts arent holding their liquor
black note, bells, midwest and then girlscouts arent holding their liquor
I have been waiting and waiting for this beer for the longest time. I just anticipated it would show up some day as an extra or somehow land on my doorstep and a year later, nothing. There was something about this beer that apparently people want to drink it and not ship it across the country for free, weird I know. This is the final beer on the top 100 popular beers, so that’s also a milestone for me too. Anyway, randomly RatedZ just packed up two and shipped them to me, FOR NO REASON. The beer community’s generosity is getting out of hand.
Bottled on 1/31/12, DRANKEN ON 2/23/12, the freshmaker.
Bell’s Two Hearted IPA 7% abv
A: This is a beautiful beer and is certainly worth the hype in the old looks department, this dame is a looker. Not sure about the trout on the bottle, but the carbonation is NOT FISHY AT ALL.
S: Hoppy citrus notes that feel like a westcoast throwback, super grapefruity, it hits the switches and lets the 5th wheel fall, mild pine scraper bikes are all up in the cut and supported by a mild honey but not balls out like Hopslam. The whole thing is a wonderful hop ghetto and I feel right at home.
T: The taste is very muted and gentle and imparts a slight orange rind and chinook or simcoe sort of vibe to it. It tastes bright and cheerful like an amiable old barber that happens to smell like delicious Pine Sol. The whole experience is very mild and has that balance and coercion I have come to expect from Bell’s. The hops are integrated incredibly well and doesn’t assault the palate but instead goes for a classy Oscar de la Renta tux and a modest cumberbun.
M: The wash of this beer is incredibly foamy and light, it begs for sessionability. The coating is very crisp like tongue kissing a cold pinecone covered in apricot juice. Don’t front, you’ve done it. Anyway, a very solid IPA and ranks among the best, no question. It isn’t the most offensive or gauche, but its strength is in its amiability and gentle repose. A nice hop hammock to fritter the days away.
D: If you didn’t catch the clear notes above, this is likely the most drinkable IPA out there, Hill Farmstead notwithstanding. But I ride the HF jock like a 2 Live Crew video so let’s set them aside for now. This beer is a muted lupulin ninja that strikes and disappears in an herbal cloud. It’s a classy IPA that you can take to a play, give a smooch and not try and go all the way with. Also, this beer is not of age.
I have had this beer twice. Once I raped myself (beersturbation) bought one for $20 off ebay and it was 6 months old. That was hardly a fair tick, so I decided to trade for a new one, 2 weeks old and compare. The result is an ultra legit review.
Bells’ Hopslam DIPA, 10% abv
A: Mildly opaque golden hues, brighter and more apricot than most DIPAs and it doesn’t look exceptionally malty. Nice thick white cumulus head with huge thick lacing. It has a great look to it and you just want to bump some Ronettes and ask this beer why it wont be your little hop baby.
S: Huge sweet hoppy character that comes off extremely saccharine and herbal. The hop cloud is like an olfactory bomb you can smell 18” away. It is vegetal in the end and a bit too herbal for my citrusy nose, but to each his own I guess.
T: There is an initial huge sweetness that isn’t exactly citrus, it tastes more funnel cake/cinnabon, then the herbal and lime flavors initiate into a great bouquet. The finish is a huge spinach and pine blast that just pangs of salad and fresh greens. It isn’t what I am seeking in a DIPA, but it is by no means offputting, again just different. I am not being a homer on this, my favorite IPAs are made in Vermont, it just isn’t for me.
M: For a beer this big it is incredibly drinkable. The mouthfeel isn’t overly coating or exceptionally filling, but the flavors are relentless. I want to drain my glass with increasing celerity ::pushes glasses up nose:: The coating is a sweet little mixed greens salad ninja. Staying on the greenest greens call this beer a vegetarian. All you smell is strange clouds.
D: This is incredibly drinkable and I would say that the ABV places it in leagues with several different classes of beers. This will warm you in the winter or cool you off with awesome refreshing sweet notes in the summer. Just fantastic all around; even with a bit of age it is still an impressor. It is much better fresh but again the lack of juicy childlike citrus puts it down a notch in my esteem but I can see why people who dont have access to fresh Pliny all the time would be all jazzed up about this.
Narrative: Sure, it wasn’t the WWE, but the triple title, welter weight tristate professional wrestling competition was nothing to sneeze at. The competitions behind the Tastee Freeze lacked the ambiance of a pure demonstrative environment for the masses, but the hum of the generator provided a mild lull for the public lacking dental insurance. A dim spotlight, spotlight loosely being referred to as a Belkin floodlight, shined furiously on the center of the canvas ring. A 9 year old girl swayed gently on the ropes awaiting the entrances. The smell of cut grass and grapefruit began to fill the baleful air, the mist of sticky herbal sweetness lingering within each patrons’ nose: Hopundertakehopper had arrived. He burst through the back bus room door and performed his classic flying maneuver, whose name needs no recitation at this juncture.
Oh shit, Black Note strip tease:
I can’t hype this beer anymore than the beer community already has so I will let the brewery tell you what this little asshole is:
“One of the most sought-after stouts in Bell’s history, Black Note Stout blends the complex aromatics of Expedition Stout with the velvety smooth texture of Double Cream Stout and ages the combination in freshly retired oak bourbon barrels for months. The resulting harmony of flavors captures the finest features of all three components: malty notes of dark chocolate, espresso & dried fruits, all buoyed by the warmth and fragrance of the bourbon barrel. Aimed squarely at the stout and bourbon aficionados, Black Note makes a grand statement about the art of the dark. ”
So yeah, I had to pull some tawdry Craigslist endeavors to land that tiny 8oz bottle. Dont ask.
A: Deep, jet black motor oil with low viscosity. This has some mild carbonation, but, I obtained this bottle from less than official means, so that carbonation might be lacking due to transit and/or transfer, notwithstanding the bubbles are a deep coffee brown with nice Yuban coating.
S: There are fantastic notes of coffee, light whiskey, bourbon, oak, huge chocolate, a mild vanilla that fades into toffee. Overall there is a mild heat that is wrapped in a great sweetness. The end of the nose is almost like a bourbon quad with deep pitted fruits and figs. The whole bouquet is one of the best that I have ever come across, no punchlines here.
T: This is a world-class stout. The heat is present and comes first with a warming dryness to the sweet zones, it subsides into a light hoppiness that is hand and hand with the coffee and sweet milk chocolate notes. It is incredibly pleasant throughout and doesn’t overpower on any one aspect and the coating is such that the taste lingers but doesn’t aggressively overstay its welcome. It’s really difficult to come across jokes to describe what is clearly such an incredible stout, BUT I WILL TRY.
M: The mouthfeel is impressive and doesn’t wipe out your palate on either an alcohol basis or sweetening basis. The balance is like those dubious 13 year old chinese gymnasts. While the carbonation was lacking, it didn’t detract from the overall experience because the beer is simply meant to be sipped and savored so the minimal crackling on the lips is forgiveable, like Jehova’s Witness pamphlets during the last two minutes of your NFL game.
D: This is dangerously drinkable for 11.5% abv stout, and not just for my jaded ass palate. I am sure the average Tri-Delt could put away a few of these if cajoled with enough peer pressures (read: cocaine.) But seriously, getting murdered for just 8oz is particularly cruel when the end product is not a let down. The whole beer is a libation that lives and dies in the winter realm, just warms me up and lights a fire in the hearth of my heart. It’s a little chocolate Lord Byron for me to caress and whisper pre-enlightenment phrases to. SHIT IS BOMB.
Narrative: To the rest of the world, Max Davidoff was a mild mannered high school chemist. Sure his Ford Focus was nothing to look at, and his wry stoiciometry humor was nothing to write home about, but his basement held wonders that would suspend all disbelief. After years and years of testing, he had finally identified what could only be identified as the Chocoromeda Strain in his tattered notebooks. The neighbors stared in disbelief as the hazmat crews cleared the home and brandished geiger counters with solemn reverence. It was simply not man’s place to tamper with the substrata of the chocolate world. The makeup of chocolate was too dear to be trifled with, but Mr. Davidoff would not listen. The chocolate detonation took place at 11:51 p.m. on Wednesday April 24, 2010. The neighbors ran from their KB track homes to find a murky current of liquid mahogany bubbling from the foundation of the home. The air was redolent of chocolate not unlike a single 42 year old secretary’s home while watching the latest Kutcher offering. The chocomatrix had torn Mr. Davidoff’s frame limb from limb, but leaving him in conscious control of the deep heat and bubbly stratum. A series of unsolved bank robberies evidenced that the perpetrator clearly liked chocolate, but would the local police every believe that the robber HIMSELF WAS CHOCOLATE. “Say cheese and die motherfucker,” Mr. Davidoff quipped a dusty R.L. Stein reference just before he claimed his final victim, the school superintendent. Those new microscopes were pretty fucking important and summarily denied. But revenge is a dish best served like chocolate fondue.