Beer Review: Bell’s Hopslam Ale
It’s that time of year again-can’t you feel it in the air? No, I’m not talking about the impending Hallmark Holiday, but rather the anticipation surrounding this year’s release of Bell’s Hopslam in bottles. For diehard hop fans this comes as no news, but for the uninitiated, prepare to be wowed by this tasty double IPA. Hopslam is brewed with six different hop varieties in the kettle along with a healthy portion of honey, and is later dry-hopped extensively with Simcoe hops. Contrary to popular belief, honey does not actually sweeten a beer, but actually dries out the brew and serves to boost alcohol content due to honey’s high fermentability. As such, Hopslam comes in at a smooth 10 percent alcohol, though you wouldn’t know it just by tasting it.
As Hopslam pours, you can’t help but notice the incredible hop aromas that burst from the glass-citrus, pine, pineapple, and grapefruit are a few that come to mind. The palate is smooth with piney-resiny flavors up front and citrus hops folded into light, bready, caramelly malt sweetness in the center. The finish is pretty bitter as you would expect from a double IPA, but exceptionally smooth and pleasant.
This beer is always highly anticipated and sells through quickly each year, so if you want to get some, make sure to keep your eyes peeled in the next week or so. The $15-$20 price tag per 6-pack may seem hefty, but I promise you that if you get it within a month of it hitting shelves, it’s more than worth it. I never intended to bookend this review with quips about Valentine’s Day, but hey-if that special someone in your life happens to be a hardcore hophead, you may have just found the perfect gift!
- Pat Fahey – Certified Cicerone
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