Indulgent Beer Series | Three Taverns Brewery Heavy Bell
Whether it’s that fourth cookie, bonus day of vacation or third barrel-aged beer of the night, life is too short to not indulge every once in a while. This time of year always seems to bring more chaos. Luckily, Decatur, GA’s Three Taverns Brewery has the perfect beer to slow you down during this indulgent holiday season.
No, it is not a pastry-loaded adjunct Stout. It’s not a hopped-to-the-brim Triple IPA, either. What is it? It’s Heavy Bell (2020)–a Belgian Quadrupel Ale aged in bourbon barrels.
Heavy Bell (2020) takes indulgence to a new level as it expands on the base recipe of Quasimodo, a 10% Belgian-style Quadrupel, and ages it on eight-year-old bourbon barrels.
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The end result has a complexity in flavor that makes Heavy Bell an experience beyond many other Belgian Quads, due in part to the barrel-aging. Heavy-handed notes of dark berries, figs and cherries are all part of the initial flavors that flood your palate. The wood and vanilla presence of the bourbon barrel sweetness brings forth a slight acidity.
Flavors aren’t the only complexity in Heavy Bell. Once the bottle is popped and Heavy Bell is poured, black liquid fills the glass. The color constantly shifts from a deep brown to ruby red as it sits out.
The aromatics of Heavy Bell showcase the aging as notes of wood, dark fruits and vanilla dominate your senses. Cherries, raisins, candy and figs all dance with the malts to create a parade of savory and sweet.
Don’t be afraid to let Heavy Bell warm up a little bit as you indulge. As it does, you’ll see how different fruits’ flavors and aromas pop throughout.
Heavy Bell’s deep, dark colors seem to change each time your glass is lifted and sloshed around. What starts as a black opaque pour turns into a honey-brown red hue of pure bliss that serves as a wonderful reminder of the time Heavy Bell spent in bourbon barrels.
Despite their ever-growing popularity, hops take a backseat in Heavy Bell as the maltiness carries the wood and fruit flavor throughout. The richness of flavors makes for a decadent treat that complements the full-bodied Ale.
Each sip finishes dry and savory without a hint of booze, even though Heavy Bell rings in at 11% ABV. On second thought, we deserve indulgence more than ever after everything that was 2020. Heavy Bell can become a tradition, as you’ll certainly look forward to it every year.
Feature Image from Three Taverns Brewery.