One Beer, Three Cups: Bell's Two Hearted

Josh Augustine, September 11, 2013 -   

In our previous edition I sipped on a Founders Porter from three different glasses and rated each one based on the BeerAdvocate rating system. In this edition I’ve done the same, this time using Bell’s Two-Hearted Ale as the subject. The competing glassware in this edition are a pint glass, a snifter, and instead of the mason jar, I used a hefe glass.

There were a couple of reasons for the change: 1) I think the mason jar is pretty similar to the pint glass, and I wanted to get a little weird by using something shaped quite a bit differently from the other two competitors, and 2) The hefe glass is a very recent acquisition, and I want it to feel accepted among the rest of my glassware. I chose the beer because: 1) I had three of them handy, and 2) I thought that this style might lend some interesting observations where aroma is concerned. Without further adieu, the numbers:

Bell's Two-Hearted Pint Snifter Hefe
Appearance 4.5 3.8 3.6
Smell 4.2 4 3.6
Taste 4.5 4.5 4.2
Mouthfeel 4.5 3.8 4.1
Overall 4.5 4.3 4
Weighted Average 4.44 4.255 4

And the notes:
Appearance: Pint glass poured with a dense, creamy head that lasted awhile, snifter poured with a thinner more bubbly head that gave way quickly with a little lacing, hefe poured with an extreme amount of head that disappeared slowly but didn't lace much. Also notable that the beer is a dark amber in the pint and snifter, but noticably lighter, closer to gold in the hefe glass (and pardon my terrible photography skills.)

Aroma: Very pleasant piney aroma with some citrusy notes. The aroma is most prominent in the pint glass, followed closely by the snifter, and then the hefe glass. I was hoping that there would be some differences in the aromatic notes I picked up, but I didn’t notice much if any, just a difference in the intensity of such.

Taste: As the nose might suggest there’s piney hop flavor throughout with some grapefruity bitterness. The bitterness is a bit more focused and the taste was a little bit drier in the hefe glass in a way that's less pleasant than the other two.

Mouthfeel: There was a sticky sort of oiliness throughout all three, but not oppressively so. Full bodied and a bit creamy from the pint glass, it coated my tongue pleasantly. There was a bit more bubbly feel from the snifter, and the hefe glass split the difference.

Overall: The pint glass won out in every category here and is the clear victor. The snifter was a fine alternative, and while the beer was still very good from the hefe glass, it was clearly not as good as it could have been.

Again, the pint glass wins out, and again this result agrees with BeerAdvocate’s glassware suggestion for an American IPA. It’s almost as though somebody much smarter than myself has already figured all of these things out to save the rest of us the time and effort of drinking three beers at once. It never hurts to double check, though, and that’s what I’m here for: to make sure that you, dear readers, are able to get as much information as possible.

Josh Augustine sometimes mentions beer and baseball in between whimsical musings on Twitter, and somewhat reliably informs the world what he's drinking on untappd.

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