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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Joseph Bellarmin Double IPA Review

Beers brewed by Microbrasserie d’Orléans have some of the greatest names and labels. This is, honestly, the thing that got me to pick up a few of their beers to bring home and try...and at $5.99 a pop, labels go a long way.

The beer is honey amber in color, a touch hazy, and pours with a thin head, which recedes to an off-white island in no time. As expected, the aroma is very IPA-like, except much stronger. Sweeter, dried fruit notes dominate the hops and everything else. There is a bit of a candy-like sweetness to the aroma which is very inviting. The mouthfeel is heavy and the taste is more bitter than sweet despite the sweeter aroma. There is still quite a bit of sweetness, but it is noticeable for brief moments at the start of each sip, before the hops come in. The sweetness makes a return halfway through the bottle, but be aware that the first half is more bitter than sweet.

Bits of roasted nuts, grapefruit and raisins are present, but are more prominent in the finish, which is hoppy, piny and more bitter and sweet. Spicy notes are also present throughout, but peak right at the start. This is a fairly bold double IPA with its strong hop presence and 8.5% ABV, but it is very drinkable.

Would I buy it again, though? That's a tough question for 2 reasons - first, it is not available in Ontario (at the time of writing this review) and second, it costs $5.99!!!

Cost - $5.99
Taste - 8/10
ABV - 8.5%

Overall - 7.9/10...loses 0.1 for the high price

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