RSS

Review of Bell’s Hopslam

30 Jan
Hello again guys.  For today’s craft beer review I have one of the most talked about beers in craft beer”dom”…. or at least in my part of the country anyway.  I’m gonna be trying the Bell’s Hopslam produced by the Bell’s Brewery, Inc. located in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

This is another one of those brews that really needs no introduction, so let’s just get to the website, bellsbeer.com, and see what it has to say about this very special beverage.   

Starting with six different hop varietals added to the brew kettle & culminating with a massive dry-hop addition of Simcoe hops, Bell’s Hopslam Ale possesses the most complex hopping schedule in the Bell’s repertoire. Selected specifically because of their aromatic qualities, these Pacific Northwest varieties contribute a pungent blend of grapefruit, stone fruit, and floral notes. A generous malt bill and a solid dollop of honey provide just enough body to keep the balance in check, resulting in a remarkably drinkable rendition of the Double India Pale Ale style.

I can’t wait.  Let’s drink up.

The Hopslam comes in a 12 oz. bottle and has an ABV of 10.0%.

The beer poured a clear, gold to orange color with some burnt orange highlights showing at the bottom of the glass.  The white collar was kind of small, but it was smooth, creamy and soft by way of texture.  It consisted of small, tight and compact bubbles that held a decent retention time and left behind some pretty darn good lacing as I tilted the glass from side to side. 

The nose brought about a huge burst of citrus notes.  Very potent grapefruit and orange citrus along with other assorted tropical fruits.  It smelled very floral, fresh and bright.  Solid hints of pine mixed with a light sweetness from the honey and minuscule tones of caramel.  With deep whiffs I could ascertain a slight “clear” alcohol redolence, although it was nothing that got in the way or ever became a dominating fragrance.  Overall, the nose was a big, tropical fruit juice bomb. 

The taste let loose a ton of hops and bitterness.  Almost an overload of tropical fruit juices.  Grapefruit, orange and pineapple.  Very clean and fresh flavors congruently meshed with pine needles, light touches of honey and candied sugars.  It was rather sweet I must say.  The alcohol was noticed somewhat, however it became obsolete after about the first three sips.  There is no denying that Bell’s wants you to concentrate on the hops with this one. 

The mouthfeel was a very sturdy medium.  It produced a slight bite, but otherwise it was chewy, sticky, very dry, crisp, snappy and refreshing.  The carbonation was fine and it contributed a noticeable amount of warmth at the back end in conjunction with more than enough flavor left on the palate between sips. 

Well.  What else do I need to say?  If you love big, hoppy beers, you need to get your hands on a bottle of this.  I think you would find yourself in hop heaven.  It presents enough aroma and flavor to satisfy any hophead that’s for sure.  Not to mention the fact that it is super easy to drink.  Watch out though!!!  10.0% ABV will sneak up on you in a hurry if you are not careful.  I was taking huge gulps and had to continually remind myself to slow down and take it easy.  This is definitely a beer that I look forward to every year and will continue to pick some up each time a fresh batch rolls around.  Personally, I think it ranks up there with some of the better IPA’s that are on the market.  Now, I’m not saying it’s better or more satisfying than say… Three Floyds Dreadnaught, Founders Double Trouble or Stone Ruination (I’ve never had Pliny, so I can’t speak on that one), but it definitely needs to be mentioned in the same breath as those brews.  Obviously, I would recommend this beer to anyone, so if you are lucky enough to get your mitts on a bottle of Bell’s Hopslam, give it a try and see what you think.  I doubt that you will be disappointed.

Thanks for reading and commenting folks.  I appreciate all of you guys.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  4.4 out of 5
Grade:  A 

Advertisements
 
12 Comments

Posted by on January 30, 2012 in Bell's, Country: USA

 

12 responses to “Review of Bell’s Hopslam

  1. Sud Savant

    January 31, 2012 at 12:10 am

    You pic does a great job at capturing the range of colors in this beer! Very pretty. Like a hoppy sunset. 🙂

     
  2. Sud Savant

    January 31, 2012 at 12:10 am

    You pic does a great job at capturing the range of colors in this beer! Very pretty. Like a hoppy sunset. 🙂

     
  3. Scott Shrewsberry

    January 31, 2012 at 1:01 am

    Thanks Sud!!!

    It was a very nice looking beer. I'm sure the recipe is the same this year as in years past, but this bottle seemed to be a bit more robust in the nose than what I remember. It was superb in that regard. Truly a great beer that everyone should try at least once.

    Cheers,
    Scott

     
  4. Scott Shrewsberry

    January 31, 2012 at 1:01 am

    Thanks Sud!!!

    It was a very nice looking beer. I'm sure the recipe is the same this year as in years past, but this bottle seemed to be a bit more robust in the nose than what I remember. It was superb in that regard. Truly a great beer that everyone should try at least once.

    Cheers,
    Scott

     
  5. clueless_brewer

    January 31, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    Might have had something to do with the age of the bottles. Big hoppy beers like these tend to lose freshness rather quickly compared to their less hoppy counterparts.

     
  6. clueless_brewer

    January 31, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    Might have had something to do with the age of the bottles. Big hoppy beers like these tend to lose freshness rather quickly compared to their less hoppy counterparts.

     
  7. Scott Shrewsberry

    January 31, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    clueless_brewery,

    Actually, this bottle was pretty fresh. It was bottled on 1/09/12. I had just picked up the case the day before I sampled it. It was mighty tasty I must say.

    Thanks for reading and commenting.

    Cheers,
    Scott

     
  8. Scott Shrewsberry

    January 31, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    clueless_brewery,

    Actually, this bottle was pretty fresh. It was bottled on 1/09/12. I had just picked up the case the day before I sampled it. It was mighty tasty I must say.

    Thanks for reading and commenting.

    Cheers,
    Scott

     
  9. Unknown

    February 18, 2012 at 5:08 am

    There was a shortage of Simcoe Hops, so the recipes of Hopslam and Pliny the Younger were slightly different this year.

     
  10. Unknown

    February 18, 2012 at 5:08 am

    There was a shortage of Simcoe Hops, so the recipes of Hopslam and Pliny the Younger were slightly different this year.

     
  11. Scott Shrewsberry

    February 19, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    Unknown,

    That's makes sense. I hadn't heard that, but it's good to know that they can still produce a great (and similar) product by using different ingredients.

    Thanks for reading and commenting. I appreciate it.

    Cheers,
    Scott

     
  12. Scott Shrewsberry

    February 19, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    Unknown,

    That's makes sense. I hadn't heard that, but it's good to know that they can still produce a great (and similar) product by using different ingredients.

    Thanks for reading and commenting. I appreciate it.

    Cheers,
    Scott

     

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: