In the visual realm, Bell’s Double Two Hearted Ale exhibits a crystal-clear amber hue, generously crowned with a towering, yellowish-beige foam. This presentation, however, bears an uncanny resemblance to its regular-strength counterpart, despite the promised amplification in the recipe. The identical appearance could be a nod to consistency, or perhaps, a missed opportunity to visually distinguish this high-octane creation.


Upon cracking open a 12oz bottle, the initial olfactory encounter with Double Two Hearted Ale unfolds a somewhat volatile symphony. Soapy notes, reminiscent of a cheap detergent, make an abrupt entrance, eventually making way for a more harmonious ensemble of orange gummy slices, candied citrus, pound cake, and buttery pie crust. However, the crescendo leads to an unexpected twist – a minty aroma, akin to that found in barleywines. This aromatic journey, though intriguing, seems to flirt with complexity at the expense of coherence.


Embarking on the tasting expedition, Double Two Hearted Ale thrusts forth a cacophony of booze, sugar, and bitterness, colliding with a graceless demeanor. The rough tannic flavors interject, muddling the experience and challenging palates to find enjoyment. The high alcohol content, at 11%, dominates the narrative, leaving little room for a balanced interplay with maltiness. The beer’s intense bitterness, if left unchecked, creates an unappealing wicking effect, overshadowing any redeeming qualities.


In the realm of mouthfeel, Double Two Hearted Ale straddles between rough and tannic, and at times, ventures into dull and uninviting territories. The elevated ABV contributes to a thin body, minimizing the potential for malty equilibrium. Although it avoids the pitfalls of stickiness or cloying characteristics often associated with high-gravity ales, the 11% ABV makes its presence known with a swift and forceful impact, perhaps too quickly for a fully immersive experience.


Double Two Hearted Ale emerges as a formidable contender in the Triple IPA category, courtesy of its robust 11% ABV. However, the nagging question persists – why not christen it “Four Hearted Ale”? Despite sharing exterior properties and visual similarities with the beloved Two Hearted Ale, the imperial sibling falters in achieving a harmonious and enjoyable drinking experience. Its intensity, while a novelty, feels forced and gimmicky, lacking the finesse found in Bell’s well-established Hopslam or Oracle recipes. For those seeking a potent homage to Two Hearted Ale, the end result may prove too overwhelming for discerning tastes.

Similar Beers

Within the realm of Triple IPAs, Double Two Hearted Ale encounters competition from Stone RuinTen Triple IPA, Knee Deep Simtra, Lagunitas The Waldos’ Special, and Founders Devil Dancer, all boasting substantial ABV percentages. As the landscape of high-impact beers unfolds, the discerning consumer may find solace in exploring these alternatives.

In conclusion, Bell’s Double Two Hearted Ale, though an intriguing experiment, treads a fine line between novelty and overwhelming intensity. Its sensory journey, while commendable in parts, leaves much to be desired for those seeking a refined and well-balanced imperial experience. As the craft beer world continues to evolve, this ambitious creation invites scrutiny, challenging enthusiasts to ponder whether the pursuit of intensity sometimes overshadows the essence of a well-crafted brew. Cheers to the adventure, but beware of the formidable ABV that awaits within the confines of the 12oz bottle.