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Bells Big Head San Diego Style Ale

Formerly brewed at Bells Brewery
Style: Imperial IPA
Galesburg, Michigan USA
Serve in Shaker, Snifter


on tap


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RATINGS: 152   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.91/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 332   ABV: 11.07%
What is San Diego Style Ale? It is an ale that’s made with more attitude than hops. And boy are there a lot of hops.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
yespr (40140) - Copenhagen O, DENMARK - AUG 7, 2008
From bottle at Stone Bistro, thanks to Greg Koch. Pours hazy orange with a tan head. Mild spiced hoppy aroma. Grapefruity and dense yet also smooth fruity and nicely balanced with caramel malt. Lingering fruity hops finish.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Ungstrup (34226) - Citizen of the universe, DENMARK - JUN 13, 2009
Bottled. Thanks Greg Koch for this treat. An amber beer with an orangey head. The aroma is sweet with strong notes of grass and hops. The flavor has notes of grapefruit, bread, and grass, leading to a dry and bitter finish.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
madmitch76 (21720) - , Essex, ENGLAND - MAY 29, 2011
UPDATED: JUL 28, 2013 31st May 2009
Hazy amber beer. Soft and slightly syrupy palate. Creamy but bitter hops with a brief pineapple sweet note. Quite a bit of aniseedy alcohol comes to the fore in the finish. 3.2

10th October 2012
Cloudy amber - brown beer. Food cream coloured head. Palate is smooth and slightly viscous with nice fine carbonation. Rich creamy malt with traces of caramel and toffee. Lovely fresh orange, orange marmalade and orange liqueur. Bringing it all together is a good barley wine like salty streak. Finishes smooth and semi dry. Some bitter linger. Great barley wine but DIPA?

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
cgarvieuk (21076) - Edinburgh, SCOTLAND - JUL 20, 2008
Bottle at home ...with the wife, Doppelganger and his wife ... Deem amber ... big american hop nose ... again big powerful flavour ... loads of tart american hops ... nice enough but didnt hit the spot with me.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Oakes (15490) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - MAY 14, 2008
Fiery amber. Simcoey nose, very bright with some papaya accents. Chewy, slightly resiny hops. Decent amount of crystal malt and a dry finish.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
argo0 (13069) - Washington DC, USA - MAY 30, 2008
(12oz bottle, thanks ryan) Medium off-white head atop lightly hazed, light amber body. Aroma is moderately sweet, juicy grapefruit, mango, some hay, bread, yeasty. Taste is moderately sweet, pine/hay, grapefruit, yeast. Very bitter. Sticky full body. Not as "bright" as Hopslam, and not nearly as enjoyable.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
bu11zeye (12684) - Frisco (Dallas), Texas, USA - OCT 28, 2008
(Bottle, courtesy of BMan1113VR) Pours a clear orange body with a small white head. Aroma of toasted bread, orange, floral, light cocoa, some pine, and noticeable alcohol burn. Flavor of caramel and toasted malts, hops (orange, resiny, floral), chocolate, and alcohol with a bitter finish.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
BeerandBlues2 (12048) - Escondido, California, USA - JUN 19, 2008
Bottle shared by Crosling, thanks Nick. Pours clear orange with an average, fizzy, white head, somewhat lasting with excellent lacing. Aroma is heavy malt (hay, straw, cereal, meal), heavy hops (pine, resin, grapefruit), average yeast (dough, sweat) with notes of alcohol, apple, and pear. Medium bodied, oily texture, average carbonation, and a bitter finish. Long duration, moderate sweetness, heavy acidity and bitterness.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Drake (11576) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 18, 2008
12 oz. bottle from cdumler. Slightly hazy light bronze with a big slightly off white head. Good retention and great lacing. Very fruity aroma with strawberry and tropical notes, along with resiny and citrus notes imparted by the huge hop presence. Big malt backbone. Huge, very bitter hop taste with pineapple, citrus, vegetal and plum notes. Somewhat dry. Medium bodied with a slightly sticky texture. Thanks Chris!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Dogbrick (11327) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - AUG 18, 2008
Thanks to sliffy for sharing a bottle with me. This brew pours a mostly clear amber color with a medium white head that dissipates steadily. Rings of lacing on the glass. Floral hops aroma with some woody characteristics, as well as some bready malt. Medium-bodied and somewhat dry with floral hops, pine and sweet malt flavors. Tropical fruit here and there as well. The finish is hoppy and fruity with a lingering citrus hops aftertaste. Having been lucky enough to try beers like Ruination, Pliny the Elder and Hop 15 I can say this is a worthy tribute to the region.

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