Hopslam Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.
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Ratings: 9,534 | Reviews: 3,109 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by nhindian:
4.15/5 rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5
12oz bottle poured into a Dogfish Head Signature glass.
I called my distributor earlier this week about this beer, as for Bell's last seasonal (Expedition Stout), the local Wegmans didn't stock any 6-packs, and the only good to-go bottle shop around me was selling them for $24. They expected to get cases in later in the week, but wasn't sure how many, if any, they could allot to people just walking in. He asked for my name, and on Friday I got a call saying they have a case with my name on it!
Batch 10115, bottled on January 11, 2011. According to Bell's Batch Finder at this time, this is the newest batch of anything to come out of Bell's! Hard to get much fresher than this!
A - Pours a tangerine color in the glass, pretty clear throughout with a modest stream of carbonation rising from the etched bottom. A relatively hard pour unleashes 2.5-fingers of white head, bubbling and rocky before leaving the faintest of caps several minutes later. Lacing is scattered but twirls sporadically down the edge of the glass.
S - The cap flies off and the kitchen starts to swell with the aroma of a citrus playground. Overwhelming amounts of grapefruit, orange, mango and even some pineapple flood the nose and make themselves right at home. For a beer called 'Hopslam', however, there was also a very pronounced malt backbone here that adds some caramel as well.
T - The flavors give new life to the nose and it certainly does slam you. The hops are alive and kicking, assaulting the palate with a barrage of bitterness and fruitiness, clenching your mouth with no intentions of letting go. It's citrus lasts well after the sip is done, but along the way the malts do help in taming the hops while adding a bit of smoothness. As it warms it melds better, but the alcohol noticeable pops as well. Actually, the alcohol comes through a bit too much on the back end for my liking, but this seems to be varied. The first one I had last night didn't have as much heat, but I really notice it more in tonight's. Hard to make a judging on that, but this specific bottle has a scathing alcohol bite.
M - Mouthfeel is moderately heavy with good carbonation. This beer takes coating the palate to an entirely new level, and my tongue feels seriously heavier after drinking this beer. A new, but welcome experience.
D - Drinkability is moderately high. I absolutely love the nose and initial flavors on this one, but the alcohol presence just kind of detracted from the back-end a bit too much for my liking.
In terms of the Pliny v. Hopslam debate, I'm probably going to have to pick Pliny. I appreciate the balance Hopslam tries to bring, but for me personally, I really like the pine/hopbomb aspect that Pliny brings to the table. Hopslam is great and I'm happy I have a few sixers, but I'm hoping more bottles are like my first where the alcohol is a bit more tamed.
Serving type: bottle
01-23-2011 03:58:25 | More by nhindian
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Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
99 out of 100 based on 9,534 ratings.