Monday, January 17, 2011
Bell Ringer is what the brewery calls an "IPA barley wine," but it's really not so much a new style as a hop-forward take on barley wine.
It pours a deep amber with a modest off-white head that quickly recedes in the face of the strong alcohol content. The hops come in strong, stronger than most barley wines. It doesn't quite have that very well-rounded caramel malt character and deep complexity seen in the best barley wines.
Bell Ringer might be a little bit one-dimensional, but it's still a very good beer. It's definitely one you want to split with others. It might also be a good idea, as the brewery advises, to lay one down for a while to see how it ages. B+