It will be worth your wait
A Review of Hopslam by Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Posted on 8/24/2011 by Brew's Your Daddy
I have joked before about how I would like to write a review on a beer by Bell's Brewery, and just put ''It's brewed by Bell's. 'Nuff said.'' If you have had any offering from Bell's, you can understand why I could justify writing a review that short, and still be 100% right. They are one of those breweries who just seem to get it. I would put any of their offerings against ANY other breweries version of ANY style. You want a good lager? They have one. You want a good stout? They have several. You want a good seasonal? They have you covered. And that is what brings me to the Hopslam Ale. The Hopslam Ale is a winter seasonal, double IPA brewed with six different types of hops that is then dry-hopped with Simcoe hops. Then somewhere in that process they had the brilliant idea to add honey to it just for good measure. Now let's not dwell on how I managed to get my hands on one of these in perhaps the hottest part of summer. You are better off not knowing. Instead, lets dive in and let me share with you what is truly one of the jewels of the craft beer world crown.

When you pour it, the Hopslam looks like a glass of melted butterscotch with whipped cream on top. I think the helpful pic really is worth a thousand words here. This beer is really an eye catcher. You can smell the floral hops jumping out of the glass before you even get a chance to lean towards it. Once you do manage to get close to it, the citrus hops start to come through. Grapefruit and passion fruits are easily detected. And about the time you start to really get into those citrus notes, the Simcoe hops make themselves known. They really are one of the only types of hops that are unquestionably detectable and distinguishable when they are used in a beer. Once you get past the abundant layers of hops, you can start to pick out a nice malty layer, and then the honey comes in. Oh the sweet honey. It just gives an added layer of sweetness to this beer that, as it turns out, is one of the most balanced imperial IPA's that you will ever get your hands on.

I would suggest you take a seat before you take the first sip. The Hopslam Ale is one of those beers that will make you weak in the knees with satisfaction. The hops, as with most imperial IPAs, are right up front and give you a nice little bite from the word go. Not from aggression, but more so with the grapefruit flavor. Not to worry though. Before your brain can even register that this one is loaded with hops, the honey jumps in and coats your mouth with a nice, calming layer of sweetness that balances out the hops perfectly. The malt that was noticed in the nose makes an appearance on the back end, and does a good job in finishing up the flavor train. There isn't really any sign of hops bitterness in the aftertaste, and all you really end up with is a nice, sweet, flavorful hoppy finish.

And as if the aroma and taste descriptions aren't enough to make you willing to offer your first born for one of these right now, the mouthfeel just shoves it above and beyond any and all of its competition. This is one of the smoothest drinking imperial IPAs I have ever had. The amazing balance in the flavors, along with a spot on level of carbonation needed to carry those flavors, give the Hopslam a level of drinkability that is dangerous. Why do I say dangerous? Maybe I failed to mention that this beer clocks in at a whopping 10% ABV, and you can barely even tell that it's an alcoholic beverage. Now you can consider yourself warned.

I have stated numerous times that there are a few breweries that seemingly can't miss. Bell's Brewery sits right at the very top of that list. I don't care which of their offerings you have in your hand, you have a hard time not saying ''This is the best (insert beer style here) I think I have ever had.'' I have no problem telling all the more experienced drinkers out there to grab up a couple of six packs of these as soon as you can find them on the shelves. This one is really a treat for those of you who can appreciate the amazing job that Bell's has done here. Hopslam is a great example of the perfect balance of flavors, aromas, and drinkability all in one bottle. I would tell those new to the better beer world to proceed with caution on this one. The great flavors, combined with the amazing smoothness, and magical hiding alcohol could provide a troublesome situation for you. And just for a parting word for everyone, while you all have to read this and wait until they are released closer to winter, I think I'm going to go pour myself another and enjoy it on my deck right now. Why? Because...I...can.

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Hopslam by Bell's Brewery, Inc.
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