Well there, beer geeks everywhere, are you in for a shock. There I was perusing Kalamazoo, Michigan’s Bell’s Brewery website while sipping a bottle of Bell’s Hopsolution Ale. And there it was, big as life and twice as ugly (to you silly beer geeks anyway):
Shelf Life: 6 Months
WHAT???? Why that can’t be! Surely Bell’s has lost its mind??? Any modern self-respecting beer geek will tell you that IPAs MUST be drunk 5 minutes after they’re bottled, or not at all? IPAs MUST be drunk fresh! IPAs don’t age well! Double IPAs especially!!
You see, I’ve heard all of these crazy statements my friends, and they’ve always driven me nuts, because those of that do our homework know that India Pale Ale is a style that was designed specifically to be aged. Nonetheless, I do get that today’s namby pamby tropical fruit loopy modern hops offer delicate flavors that may not age as well as other hops. But don’t blame IPAs for that; blame your namby pamby tropical fruit loopy modern hops.
And, thanks to Bell’s for setting you people straight.
From the label:
This remarkably drinkable Double IPA pays tribute to one of Mother Nature’s finest creations, as several hop varietals combine for massive aromas of tropical fruit, citrus and pine.
Bell’s Hopsolution Ale has an alcohol content of 8% by volume and runs $11.99 a six-pack here in Georgia. Bell’s says it is available in May and June, which would put their suggested best by date out to early November or so. I drank a bottle and took notes on August 14th and suspect it could go well beyond November 1st.
Bell’s Hopsolution Ale pours to a bright orange color with a huge head of rocky cauliflower foam and a vibrant tropical fruity nose of citrus, pineapples and passion fruit. Taking a sip, there’s a light to medium caramel maltiness up front for the style followed by more of those tropical fruity notes and pronounced bitter grapefruit flesh and rind. The whole affair is wrapped up with leafy, herbal hop notes and a very long, very dry, very bitter finish.
Bell’s seems to always get it right, and with this, their first fruit loopy DIPA (that I’ve run across anyway) I’ll admit I like it a lot. I’d give it 4.5 stars for style and overall, with a half star deducted because I think it’s $1 to $2 overpriced.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.