Its another fine Sunday here in Iowa, winter has decided to return again. Seriously? I’m over it, but you just learn to deal with it, the forecast for next weekend is looking pretty awesome, so I’m hoping that spring really will be here to stay after that. Jackie and I spent some time up in Minneapolis last weekend, so I’m sorry I missed out on giving you guys a beer to try. To make up for it, I’m giving you two today. I’m not sure you’re going to thank me for it though. 😉
The first beer that I’m reviewing comes from Bell’s Brewery out of Michigan. I’ve reviewed a few of their beers on here before. They’re the makers of one of my favorite beers ever, the Two Hearted Ale. Just typing that in here makes me want one. Its seriously that good. As I was rummaging through the single serve bottles trying to find a new drink or two to sample for the blog and myself I saw this one. I was immediately intrigued. It’s been awhile since I’ve had a good stout, and it spoke of tart cherries being in there. Sounded like a nice dessert brew. I’ve just immediately thought of some ideas I should try there, how about a cheery stout brownie…. hmmmm, I’ll have to come back to that.
The first thing I want you to try to notice, though I sort of blame my picture quality here is the color of this beer. It was simply amazing. It was a really deep brown almost black, with with a super dark red hue to it. It was really a great beer to look at. Immediately I’m sitting there thinking to myself, I’ve got real cherry juice in this thing. The head left a little to be desired as there just wasn’t much to it, but I’m not complaining. The nose had caramels, and chocolate and of course some cherry. As far as the taste this did not let me down in the slightest, it was a really good stout on its own merits, as it had lots of smokey malts, hints of chocolate and coffee and it finished with the tartness of the cherry. They put in just enough hops to balance it out so it wasn’t overly sweet. It really was rather delicious. At 7.0% ABV, I wouldn’t be crushing these back too quickly, but I can tell you that I finished my bottle rather fast. I was really happy with it. I give this beer a very solid 4.5 out of 5.
Now I told you all I’d give you a bonus beer, but you might not be happy with me for doing it… So I also found another beer that intrigued me as being something a little different. This one was a Sticky Toffee Pudding Ale by Wells and Young’s Brewery out of England. Normally I don’t go for the flavored beers, but I was smitten by the idea and figured why the heck not. I’ll tell you why not… Because most flavored beers just don’t work. 🙂
It had a nice pour, for an ale it didn’t have much lacing or head to it, the color was definitely a nice burnt caramel. This is where my compliments end. The beer was an average ale at best in that it had some nice malt balance, but no bitterness to it really, so it was all sweet. Additionally the fake caramel flavoring was not very good at all. At least in my opinion it felt too forced and artificial. I don’t even really know how to describe it. It gets a 1 out of 5 from me. I poured it out. Don’t fall into the same trap I did. Stay away.
Have a great week guys. We’re working on some new blog ideas, so please keep coming back.