Hopslam Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 9,528 | Reviews: 3,109 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by TheBrewo:
4.38/5 rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
After living in Michigan for a year now, we FINALLY have our hands on this. It has been a top “want” for a while now, oh yes. So we crack a pair (12/27/13 PKGD, so you KNOW that bad boy is fresh), pouring into our oversized tasting snifters. It appears the color of burning rust. It puts up a solid two finger head of eggnog colored cream that slowly sloshes around the glass and up its sides. This holds well, depositing beads and pinheads of lacing in no real organized or uniform fashion. A chill haze cuts clarity, but no sediment is noted once this dissipates. Carbonation appears to be light. The aroma sings of the fruitiest, most tropical and nectar-laden juicy hops one can find, with sugary twangs of bubblegum esters, clean honey, herbal mint tea, fleshy kiwi, mango, pineapple, pomegranate and guava fruitiness, Muscat grape, lemon rind, and dried apricots. The malt bill is fresh with notes of pales and caramels, otherwise bolstered by singed rye graininess, grappa booziness grape stem, distant earthen mineral, black pepper, pine bitters, and phenolic clove. Our first impression does not necessarily match the line on the back of the bottle, but we do feel that with just a tiny flick in one direction, the bitterness, which is paradoxically held at bay by the sweeter side of the hops, could tumble and roar to the tune of a west coast beat. As we sip, the taste opens up with bitter grapefruity and floral hops, resiny pine, foam packing peanuts and cardboard, splashes of vodka booziness, black pepper and cumin spiciness, raw honey and honeycomb sweetness, chlorine bite and lemony cleanser bite. The middle peaks with lemon zest and wet juiciness, cherry flesh and skin astringency, further bittering thickness of piney, herbal, and soapy hops, potpourri florals, bubblegum esters, cloven and lightly plastic phenols, cornmeal, clean pale malts, and white sugar sweetness. The end washes with dank herbal, floral, and nectary hops, with rumbles of booze and high potency vanilla extract, cocoa butter chemical bite, water soaked rose petals, lavender wax, roasty caramel and sweaty pale malts, apricot, tonic water bitterness, and cottoned soapiness. The aftertaste breathes of orange bitters and blossoms, vanilla bean, steely vegetal greens, mineral, pine sap, green grassiness, mushy graphite, peppered boozy spice, soapy and citric hops, heavily bittered plastic phenols, malted toast, and tiger balm. The body is solidly medium with full fringes, while carbonation is medium to high. Each sip gives nice slurp and smack, with comparably nice froth, cream, and foam. Finishing pop is crisp and sticky. The mouth is left coated, lightly tannic, and astringently chalked along the hard palate and tongue. The abv is appropriate, and the beer drinks nicely, but is slowed due to its warming and thicker qualities.
Overall, the best thing about this beer was its aroma. From the moment you crack that top, the stickiest, sweetest, fruitiest, most tropicaliest hops bombard your senses. Here the hops truly overpower the grain, allowing it to fade into the back and form a true base. Although this isn’t barrel aged, we felt that there was significant inclusion of vanilla bean extract, much in the same sense that Founders’ Doom presented with. It adds a certain softness to the inherent bitter flavors held within. Speaking of bitters, which is a huge advertising point of this beer, we felt that that aspect of it was rather dimmed following our expectations. The hops were gloriously present and diverse, but just weren’t to that palate crinkling extreme that many DIPAs search for. This restraint went appreciated, and ultimately lent towards the final balance. This is a fantastic beer, and although we wouldn’t tag it in the same individualized company as Heady and the Hill Farmstead one-offs, it takes a high rank in the order of the regular fridge sippers.
Serving type: bottle
01-16-2014 00:58:10 | More by TheBrewo
More User Reviews:
Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
99 out of 100 based on 9,528 ratings.