Sound the bells!
Bell’s Brewery has finally listened to me!
My journey to obtain this beer was a rocky one. It all started at a local bottle shop when I spotted the store’s allotment. Excited to finally see Double Two Hearted in person, I took out my phone to take a picture of it. An employee of the store, “Joe”, shooed me away like a pesky fly and told me to stop taking pictures. He peppered me with questions about where I was going to share the picture, who I was going to send it to because he “didn’t want the hype” that came with the beer. I told him, politely, to get over himself; it’s beer. I bought the allotment per customer, two bottles, unsure if I was going to secure anymore, and left.
It was a different story at a large grocery store chain. The beer was not out in the open, so I had to learn who to ask for to retrieve it from the back. I was limited to six times the amount that the small bottle shop allotted, and was told by the head of the beer and wine department to tell all my friends because he “wanted it gone as soon as possible.”
The amount of hype surrounding this beer was insane. Would it measure up?
At first sight, the packaging and label resembles Two Hearted Ale, yet is darker without the greenish hue which made the orange pop more. The style of the beer is a Double IPA, which was alluded to with the second fish on the package.
The ABV of Double Two Hearted is 11%, which is a little over 1.5 times Two Hearted’s 7%. The brewers used two and a half times the amount of Centennial Hops as the original recipe. Ultimately, a Double IPA is merely a novelty beer and does not necessarily mean the beer is going to be double in nature to the original counterpart.
When I poured the beer into a pint glass, it had more of a bronze hue which was a little different than the traditional amber color Two Hearted fans know and love.
The first sip was surprisingly smooth for a Double IPA. There was an overpowering hop presence that turned bitter before finishing with a short but sweet malty backbone. I was disappointed by the loss of grapefruit and floral aromatics/taste that Two Hearted is known for. These complex notes were replaced by a powerful piney taste. As noted above, the ABV is 11%, so despite being smooth, this beer packs a punch as you continue to enjoy it.
Overall, I felt let down by Double Two Hearted. The hype surrounding a beer that bragged about having “everything you love about our classic Two Hearted Ale … now in a double IPA” didn’t deliver. It’s a solid beer, don’t get me wrong, but it didn’t wow me or blow my mind like I thought it would. I think Two Hearted deserves better. I am curious about what the Light Hearted Ale, a sessionable version of Two Hearted, due out in early 2020 will taste like and do for the Bell’s brand.
Did you get your hands on Double Two Hearted Ale? Did it meet or surpass your expectations or leave you disappointed like me?
P.S. What’s up with Bell’s calling out Puerto Rico not to litter on the back of their bottle?
P.P.S. Shout out to Jane Doe from the comments section that said that all bottles and cans for sale in Puerto Rico must state a variation of “Puerto Rico Do Not Litter” due to the large amount of trash on their beaches. If someone is able to find actual legal language, please send it my way – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disclaimer: Ed purchased this beer for this review.