Reviews, Commentary and Opinions on Midwest Craft Beer and Microbreweries


Beer Reviews

Hell Hath No Fury … Ale

Bell’s Brewery, Inc.
Galesburg, MI

Style: Abbey Dubbel
ABV: 7.7%

Nigel’s Rating:
one beerone beerone beerone beerone beer   (Outstanding within its style.)

Pair With:
By now we all know that I am a bonafide Hophead. I’ve sung the praises of many finely hopped craft brews in this space, and many of you probably believe that I break my beer down like so: hoppy=good, everything else=bad. Not true, my friends. First of all, I’m terrible at math, so I have no idea what “=” means. Second of all, Nigel respects each and every type of well crafted beer, as long as it is made with care and attention to detail and it tastes great. That having been said, yes, I do tend to prefer heavily hopped brews, but what you may not know is that Nigel is also an honorary citizen of Belgium. That’s right. I’m an English-American with an affinity for Belgian culture (at least Belgian beer culture — waffles too). The greatest beer in the world, in my humble opinion, comes from that wacky country stuck between Amsterdam’s red light district, the home of modern brewing (Ze Germans), and the foul stench better known as France. Thus, the latest in my series of incredibly lame beer reviews: Bell’s Hell Hath No Fury Ale, a beer inspired by, but not limited to, the great brews created by our Belgian friends.

First of all, not only is this an excellent name for what turns out to be a very complex brew, the quote on the bottle is great: “A brew that gives you either sympathy for the devil or the courage to face him. Goes especially well with your favorite lost my girl/truck/dog/trailer song.” Nigel can appreciate that despite having neither a dog nor a truck, still having (fingers crossed) a girl, and preferring life in a cardboard box over that in a trailer. As for the beer, well, wow … where do I begin? Bell’s describes this as an “American Dubbel Dark Ale”, so apparently we can just randomly create beer categories to fit our needs as we see fit. I’ll label it as such: a strong, very dark, tasty beer that is far too complex to fall into any one category. The beer pours thick—it kind of eases down the side of the glass, leaving a dark brown trail as it goes. This is a lightly carbonated brew with a very slight tan head, and it’s extremely dark, almost black in color (picture the darkest stout you’ve ever seen). The smell is hard to categorize. Definitely not an overwhelming aroma, but distinct nonetheless. A light smoky smell is most noticeable, with dark malty and mild fruit undertones. The taste is almost too complex to describe. The initial jolt is that of dark roasted malt, somewhat similar to a strong doppelbock. A distinct Belgian tartness comes through after a few seconds, an interesting counterbalance to the initial taste. The beer is so thick it coats the tongue, and there are so many different flavors coming at you (tart fruit, sugary molasses, bitter hops, roasted malt) you can only have one or two before your head explodes. Man, this is a different brew. The aftertaste lingers due to the thickness but is not overly offensive. All in all, I have to say Hell Hath No Fury is a step or two below some of Bell’s finest brews, but it is an excellent brew nonetheless—definitely a challenge and quite puzzling to say the least. My only quibble would be that perhaps the folks at Bell’s tried to do a little too much with this beer, thus preventing it from being another 5-mug classic in the always important Beer Dorks archives.

Reviewed by Nigel Tanner on December 22, 2006.
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