Monday, October 4, 2010

Gulf Shores / Orange Beach - Part 2

One of my favorite things to do when traveling is to hit up local beer & liquor stores and see what's available that I can't find in BR, or the semi-regular beer runs to Houston.  After breakfast Jay and I found one that was open in Gulf Shores, and decided to check out the selection.  

We knew we didn't have a whole lot of time to spend hanging out drinking at the suite, but still we figured a couple of six-packs was a good idea, right? 

Jay and I decided on some Tommyknocker Imperial Nut Brown Ale, and Bell's Two Hearted Ale.  We had both tried another Tommyknocker beer the day before and enjoyed it, and I've been hearing great things about the Bell's Two Hearted for years.  

First for the Tommyknocker Imperial Nut Brown Ale... I poured it from a 12 oz. bottle into a straight glass. Not ideal but it's the best option here! Has a cola appearance, small head but I'll give it some leeway.

I really like the smell. Delicious malt flavor and the alcohol is mild. The taste is good but a little thin on the mouth. Same malt flavors but nothing else happening. Again, can't pick up the high abv.

All in all I'm happy with this one. Definitely worth a try and better than the average nut brown ale.
My rating: B

Now for the Bell's Two Hearted Ale!  Just like the Tommyknocker brew, I had to use a straight glass, as that was the best option at the condo in Gulf Shores. Next time I'm bringing my own glassware, especially when I have all sorts of room to pack stuff and I know I'll be looking to try some different brews. 

The beer poured a deep yellow color with a big fizzy head... definitely a good looking beer!  There is a great nose to it, full of mild hoppiness with a malt balance. The taste is more of the same blend of hops and malt. I really like the balance this beer displays and would recommend it whole heartedly to anyone trying to get into hoppy beers.

If anything, it reminded me a lot of Parish Brewing's En Vie APA that I was able to taste a while back.  It's the same style, and really had the balance between hops and malts nailed.

My rating: A-

Two good choices, in my opinion, and next time I'm over there, I'm definitely going to try some other new ones, and stock up on some Bell's!

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