Bell's Hopslam Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.
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Ratings: 8,476 | Reviews: 3,058 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by Arbitrator:
4.15/5 rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
EDIT: Updated for the 2013 batch. The bottle is about 10 days old, courtesy of pokgye. Thanks, Jason.
I stand by all my notes for the 2011 vintage except the aroma: it's much less billowing and aromatic than I remember from 2011. The 2012 batch was the same way for me; I'll attribute this to a nasal Lupulin Threshold Shift, if you like, but it's just not as expressive as it used to be. Still tastes great though!
2011 vintage. Chilled bottle into a glass, courtesy of Steamhead.
A: Pours a clear, mildly hazy orange/copper color with reddish tints when held to the light. The head is a generous 2 fingers when poured, but it recedes into a light film on the top. It leaves significant lacing down the glass as I drink. For the ABV, it's exceptional.
S: Pineapple, grapefruit, lemon, tangerine, and -- of all things -- a strong guava smell dominate the nose. Some lesser notes of pine hop cones and flowers. I had to search a bit for the malt, but detected delicate biscuit notes. Exquisite. It's a hop bouquet and a total delight to sniff. The aroma falls off very fast, though; even refrigerated bottles consumed over a week tracked downward.
T: As the nose predicts, citrus hops (pineapple, grapefruit, lemon, mango) dominate the taste. Biscuit malt and honey flavors in the mid-palate. The finish is a flavorful combination of grapefruit and pine. The aftertaste is all citrus bite. Very clean flavors. It's not very sweet at all. Note I'm differentiating between honey sweetness and honey flavors here; the former is fermented out, leaving a beer that is quite dry, but the latter imparts a floral taste.
M: Medium-bodied, with perfect carbonation for the style. The 10% alcohol is well-masked, although there is just the lightest burn at the end of a sip. It's a fairly dry beer. I rather like that. Just the little burn makes it lower than a perfect 5, here.
D: It's fantastic, but it lacks the pungency I remember from last year. I had this immediately upon receipt and again later next to Pliny the Younger; it doesn't measure up like it used to. I won't say it's bad, but I rearranged my top 5 a bit. I don't think I'll track down a case next year, maybe just one six-pack.
Serving type: bottle
01-24-2013 05:25:02 | More by Arbitrator
More User Reviews:
4.05/5 rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
12 oz. bottle poured into a NB snifter.
A - Beer pours a brilliant, glittering yellow-golden. A two-finger head of very tight, thick eggshell-white foam with a crown of loose bubbles falls at a moderate pace, leaving a thick ring of pocketed lace around the glass. Eventually, all that is left is a solid, thin blanket of sheen across the surface. Held to a full-spectrum light, the beer is a soft, muted sunset orange and somewhat opaque, with a thick column of bubbles rising slowly up the middle. Traces of residual sugars on the sides of the glass linger, but not enough to call them legs.
S - Fresh pine backed by ruby red grapefruit and hints of mandarin orange. Nicely toasted malts and Jolly Rancher sugars push up through the hops on the ABV, which is present without being hot. As it warms, slightly acrid floral notes appear, followed by tropical notes opening up, such as mango.
T - Hop profile shifts to a noticeably more bitter one, featuring dry floral, herbal, a bit of resin, and hints of lemon rind. Toasted malts with notes of light caramels and hints of orange sugars provide a foundation in the background and somewhat of counter-balance, but make no mistake - the hops are the featured act here. The ABV is remarkably well-hidden. Bittering hops dominate the finish.
M - Fizzy, with mouth-filling carbonation. Body is on the light side, but solid. Components are well-integrated and rich with quality. The hops really take hold in the finish, creeping into the back of the nostrils and lingering on the tongue.
O - Better balanced than an all-out hop bomb, this is a big beer that's all about celebrating a variety of nuances various hops will produce, both in the nose as well as on the palette. It's expensive, but worth it if you're a fan of big and bitter. Watch out for the ABV, though; it will sneak up on you!
Serving type: bottle
03-15-2014 15:58:57 | More by BuckeyeSlim
Bell's Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
100 out of 100 based on 8,476 ratings.