There are a number of beers that define classic American beer styles and without a doubt Bell’s Two Hearted is one that showcases the American IPA. Some years ago they went double-down on it and for the first time, they just packaged it. Bell’s Brewery Double Two Hearted Ale is more of everything that made this beer famous.
Double Two Hearted Ale
Taking a successful beer and making a double-version of it is nothing new for countless brewers, but they tend to lean heavily on the key character of the original and turn out to be a bit one-sided. Not true with Bell’s Double Two Hearted Ale.
Two Hearted IPA has alway been about balance. While hops certainly take center-stage, there’s more than enough malt body to balance the abundance of hops present. Double Two Hearted keeps that true too.
A rich aroma of caramel malt with a touch of sweetness is first to hit the nose, before citrus hops hit.
New-school hops are all the rage in the hazy IPAs these days but people often forget the wonderful character of more classic American-styles. The standard version showcases 100% Centennial hops and they’re the star here too. Double Two Hearted has big citrus hop flavor, with sticky pine resin. Some seem to forget (or more-so, weren’t aware) that was a hugely desirable flavor in DIPAs for years.
The malt is built-up too, and helps does a wonderful job supporting the big hop profile with notes of rich caramel and just a tiny hint of toffee.
It’s a really wonderful double India pale ale, that speaks to what the style was all about back before the haze craze hit the craft beer world.
A lot of breweries are taking their flagship IPAs and doubling them, for the sake of sales. They know people will buy a bigger, amped-up version of their hop hit. But something seems different about this one. You know that Bell’s isn’t a brewery that would risk their classic American-style IPA just for a couple case sales.
Double Two Hearted Ale is a double-down version that’s done right. Not just a f*ck you of f*ck-ton hops, it brings all the ingredients up and does them in a way that’s divinely drinkable and a definitive double-version of their style-defining drinker.