25 September 2007

Bell's Batch 8,000 Ale

Commemorating - surprise, surprise - the 8,000th batch of beer they've brewed, Bell's uses the opportunity to serve up what I think can be best described as a newish category of beer - the American Strong Ale. The Batch 8,000 (to be brewed only once) is "a wheat ale spiced with Coriander, Orange Peel, and Paradise Seed," but its taste is not to be confused with Wolaver's Wit Bier, despite the overlap in ingredients. It clocks in at 9% ABV and while the booze isn't overpowering, the syrupy character is more consistent with other American Strong Ales (e.g., Dogfish Head Raison D'etre) than with wheat beers. A good beer but, I think, not playing particularly to Bell's strongest suit - the dark beers. A not-even-that-cold Bell's Porter later in the evening was more satisfying, though I am looking forward to the Sparkling Ale.

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