Bells Christmas Ale:
Bells Christmas Ale is described as “A malt driven ale made with 100% Michigan grown 2-row barley malt and a mix of Michigan and NW Pacific hops’ on its label.
The beer itself has little going for it. Details follow below:
Lovely head retention, at least a good 1/4 “ inch that lasts throughout the pour and duration of the beer’s existence in my glass.
The aroma is rather mute and easily missed. What does register in my nostrils is presumed to be the Michigan 2-row, and it does not smell good.
Personally, I am all for supporting local industry (whether it be malt, ice cream, or fishing), but 2-row did not come out well.
As for the taste, it is rather ho-hum. The lone taste that stands out is the aforementioned malt. Yes, it is an unorthodox Christmas ale in that is not spiced or seasoned, and that may be a hindrance for some to purchase this beer. I do not like this beer because it has no quality that makes it stand out from other beers. Being a Bells product I had thought it would be fantastic (based on opinion of their lineup). Unfortunately, this beer left me disappointed. I would not recommend it.
What may be the most troubling bit of this beer is that I cannot determine its style. If anyone is aware, please let me know. Perhaps if I knew the style, my opinion above would not be so negative. Instead, I may not like the style.
Anyway, until that information comes in, it is safe to say that I would not recommend this beer.
2 brothers Northwind Imperial Stout
After the first sip, a smoky taste is made immediately evident. A hint of chocolate, a wee bit of pep finish it off. There is a sense that the beer flowing over your tongue is wrapped in a film that breaks & releases the aforementioned flavor characteristics upon closure of your mouth. I mention this because typically, for me, the flavor characteristics hit the tongue and make themselves evident at different times during ingestion. The aforementioned film is not a bad thing, merely unorthodox.
The head retention is minimal, and can be ignored.
The aroma is enjoyable with chocolate and roasted malt qualities. The imperial stouts I have had in the past have a smoother mouth feel to them, and a bourbon/brandy aroma to them. This imperial stout places more emphasis on its dark malt than running the line with other imperials.
All in all, it is an alright imperial stout but not one I would be quick to purchase again.