Bell's "Lampshade Party Ale" Double IPA

Look, I know this isn't the right kind glass for a double IPA. I know this. Thing is, I don't have any other Bell's branded glasses, so I'm just going to go with this one, even though it's a Stout glass. In one of the stranger ways that a brewer has tried to label their beers, I found that these bottles had varying pictures on the front that all appear to have been taken from a 1960's party, assuming the party had only been occupied by a woman and someone wearing a lampshade on their head.

The Amber color has a bit of a coppery mix to it, and the white foamy head has a good mixture of big and teeny-tiny-little bubbles. Coming out from underneath these bubbles is a delicious aroma of citrus and tropical fruits mixed with a sweet caramel malt. The hops are a little prickly, but I suspect they're going to be smooth going down.

First sip is predictably excellent. It has a bit of the hop bite to it, but, much like I've found with these DIPA's, the malt is really the river in which the hops flow, and the river itself is that sweet caramel malt that tamps down any of the bitterness that you would typically expect from this many hops. That said, the sucker's hoppy with those fruity hops.

Tip-in is all kinds of caramel malt with the carbonation tingling everywhere the beverage touches. The hops do not come out right at the beginning. However, when the middle comes, the torrent of caramel malt is imbued with the mangoes, oranges, and grapefruits with even a little prickle of pine. The finish gets a little bitter and a little dry as the hops are no longer restrained by the malt and can let you know why they're here.

Bottom Line: It certainly has a high enough alcohol content to lead to lampshades on the head, but it also has an of flavor for those of us without such tendencies.



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