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Bellís Big Head San Diego Style Ale

Formerly brewed at Bellís 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 thatís made with more attitude than hops. And boy are there a lot of hops.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
lb4lb (2587) - Austin, Texas, USA - MAY 1, 2008
UPDATED: MAY 14, 2008 Sample courtesy of Sliffy. Thanks dude!
Pours golden yellowish and is mostly clear. Smell is bursting out of the glass even with a smallish sample. Smell is piney, citrusy strong fragrant hops. Taste is citrus rind, pineyness and the alcohol didnít make itself known to me from my sample which was a bit surprising. Will definitely rerate when I get a full bottle, but this was very promising and nice.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
pintsize (1042) - Austin, Texas, USA - MAY 14, 2008
UPDATED: JUN 16, 2008 5-13-08 bottle shared with lb4lb thanks to knight84 and hoppymeal!!!
Glowing orange red that is thick and dense but is crisp and cheery with a superb BIG HEAD. Immediate lacing from the fluffy white amazing head. Smell is fruity goodness - apricots and mandarin oranges play nicely with the bright and bold hops in the nose. Flavor is great - hoppy and has a nice citris grassy effect to it. It actually has a bold hop presence which I crave and adore here. However, the part that makes this beer so wonderful for me is the palate - this is what pulls it all together into one magnificent package. It has this bitter and sharp hop bite but has a creamy and smooth mouthfeel that just balances the flavor so well - it leaves me speechless. It leaves a nice citrisy bitter rind flavor on the tongue that leaves me wanting more and more and more. I got to try this at a tasting prior to tonight and this was nothing like I remember it being then. I thought it was average and not a great DIPA by any means. But tonight, I feel very differently. The more I drink, the more the flavor progresses and the more I want to weep because the glass is quickly becoming empty.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
nolankowal (938) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - APR 18, 2008
Bottle. Pours a hazy, copper-orange with a frothy off white head. Aroma certainly hit your nose with hops: big citrus, pine, tropical fruits with some light bready malt, and a bit of caramel. Flavors is another smack of big pine and citrus/grapefruit along with pineapple, bready malt, caramelized sugar...a bit of booze and dry yeast. Pretty big body with a forward carbonation...fresh/fruity/piney/bittersweet/resin with a somewhat dry/bitter/fruity finish. The balance card certainly goes torwards the hops, which I think is perfect...who wants a balanced IIPA!? Hard to tell this one is 11% which I imagine is quite dangerous if you have a lot lying around. Really, I wish this recipe was Hopslam, not to say that Hopslam isnít one of Bells best...itís just that...well...this one lives up to the moniker a bit better.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
thebaldwizard (1206) - Ohio, USA - APR 20, 2008
Bottle from Sliffy, thanks man! This is like Two Hearted on steroids. It does have balance, but the hops and malt are both enormous--thus the 11% I would guess. Fantastic flavor, pine and citrus for sure. Incredibly drinkable for an 11% beer--you donít get the alcohol at all. Dry finish to this one. Great beer from Bells, that beats out most West Coast IIPAís Iíve had to date.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
dukefan (215) - Dallas, Texas, USA - APR 14, 2008
Whoa! Talk about a Hop Slam! This stuff directly looks to overwhelm the "San Diego Style" IPAs and does it. High, citrus, pine and alcohol attack your nose immediately, and then leaves no prisoners on your taste buds. Unlike the HopSlam, this beer is unbalanced - over alcohol, over hops, over attitude. And is darned proud of it.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
dirtdag (1) - kalamazoo, Michigan, USA - APR 14, 2008 does not count
This Beer is not for the WEEK. Dont like Hops? Your going to hate this beer. Hop shortage? Not in this beer. San Diego Look Out, The Bells are ringing. Ding!!!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
hopdog (11629) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 18, 2008
Thanks Derek for the bottles! Wow, the hops hit my nose as soon as I popped the cap. Poured a deeper and slightly hazy orange color with an averaged sized off white head. Aromas of citrus, fresh pine, and green floral hops. All hops there Baby! Tastes of citrus, melons, caramel, and pine. On the balance scale, this one definitely tips to the hoppy side, which is just fine with me! I never would have guess this was over 11% - perfect for cracking this one open on our first 80 degree weather day ;) Some lacing left on the glass. Nice hoppy burps...

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
afterglow (1047) - Florida, USA - APR 26, 2008
Bottle courtesy tpd975, thank you so much for sharing this wonderfull beer with me. Pours golden with a one finger lasting white head that leaves good lacing. Aroma of citrus, pine, honey, caramel, and sweet alcohol. Taste is in you face citrus, pine, caramel, and honey with just a hint of alcohol. Medium full mouthfeel with a strong but well balanced amount of bitterness and almost non existent alcohol. Damn good and IMO beter than Hopslam.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Eyedrinkale (3213) - Astoria, New York, USA - APR 27, 2008
12 oz bottle. Appropriate named beer. The stuff stinks like most good SD IPAís. Sticky palate, piney and citrus hops and quality malts pack a punch. A great beer.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Ughsmash (7508) - Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA - MAY 1, 2008
Many thanks to BarrelAged for bringing this to the Flossmoor Pre-DLD party (and to Dan and Steve for bottles)! Poured transparent coppery-amber with a short cap of white head. The aroma was very juicy with pears, grapefruit, and pine well represented.. sweet, very fragrant, and dangerously approachable. The flavor was also strong with juicy pineapple, grapefruit, and a little bubblegum.. finished with more pine and citrus bitterness.. stuck around for quite a while after the drink. Huge, but somehow well-balanced on the palate.. warm and juicy. Fantastic!

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