Hopslam Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.
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Ratings: 9,512 | Reviews: 3,109 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Pahn:
4.63/5 rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
12oz bottle into Duvel tulip. Batch 10101, bottled on 1/4/11 (17 days ago). Thanks to extremely generous BA mob2332 for letting me try this!
Appearance: Free pour yields a one and a half inch, fluffy white head that dissipates slowly leaving a few swatches of lacing. Pours a semi-translucent light orange and leaves tight and sparse but long-lasting strands of lacing.
Smell: Grapefruit, along with apricot and pear, mild apple. Dank. Some biscuity malt underneath. As the beer warms, the fruit smells only get fresher and riper, and the malt expands a bit, providing a nice cookie/biscuit background. Has that trademark "top notch IPA" hop potency that keeps IPA lovers reaching for the glass.
Taste: First sip: piny hops up front, followed by a semi-strong hit of bitterness, leading to a mildly boozy finish, with the citrus from the smell returning in a big way for the long aftertaste. The second and subsequent sips have a more balanced hop flavor up front (pine, citrus, apricot), and a cookie malt background that fits the creamy feel perfectly.
This beer is excellently balanced. It's like the best possible combination of east and west coast DIPAs; huge, limited but potent and fresh hop flavor, deliciously contrasted with just-prominent-enough soft malty flavors.
All that keeps this beer from a 5.0 is the (very) mild solvent booziness and the somewhat limited complexity relative to, say, Pliny the Elder or Squall IPA (the pillars of each coast, for me). These are nitpicking criticisms though; the beer tastes excellent.
Mouthfeel: Full side of medium bodied, creamy and soft despite the heavy bitterness. Just enough carbonation. As a delivery system for these flavors, the mouthfeel could not be better. Apparently the honey advertised on the bottle is responsible for the body of this beer. Its usage is brilliant, as the feel is perfect.
Drinkability: At first I thought I'd give this a 4.5 since I would perhaps prefer a straight ahead west coast DIPA or a complexity bomb like Squall. Really though, this beer kills it for "ease of consumption". I would buy this with regularity, at the bottleshop or the bar, and could drink it all night. It would be disingenuous for me to give this beer below a 5 for drinkability, because I can't imagine saying no to a glass of this, or ever having even the slightest problem finishing that glass.
Hopslam is an easy beer to "get"; huge west coast caliber hops with a full-ish body and a strong (but soft) malt counterpoint. An excellent idea, executed beautifully.
Serving type: bottle
01-21-2011 22:14:02 | More by Pahn
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Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
99 out of 100 based on 9,512 ratings.