Wednesday, February 4, 2004

Search for deliciously unique Bell's Ale

Sips: Beer

By Ed Westemeier
Enquirer contributor

If you were caught in a recent snowstorm, you may have looked for a nice barleywine to take the chill off a frigid evening. I decided to try Bell's Batch 6,000 Ale, and was rewarded beyond expectations.

Michigan's Kalamazoo Brewing Co. is well known for producing unique and wonderful beers, but this barleywine (an ale higher in alcohol) is extraordinary. Commemorating the brewery's 6,000th batch of beer, it was brewed only one time, but I can promise it's worth the search.

The ale is dark amber or garnet in color with a rich tan head. You'll be greeted by a clean, refreshing hop aroma when you open the bottle. The flavor is a complex blend of malt and hops; be sure to sip slowly. I recommend sharing a bottle since it has a deeply warming effect at more than 10 percent alcohol.

The bitterness is moderate, and the body is medium to full, as you would expect from a barleywine. We'll have plenty more chill this winter, so track down this treat before the next storm.

Look for Bell's Batch 6,000 at Hyde Park Wine & Spirits, Dilly Deli in Mariemont, Jungle Jim's Market in Fairfield.

Contact Ed Westemeier by e-mail:

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