Saturday, January 26, 2013

Bells Hopslam - 2013

From Bell's:

"Starting with six different hop varietals added to the brew kettle & culminating with a massive dry-hop addition of Simcoe hops, Bell's Hopslam Ale possesses the most complex hopping schedule in the Bell's repertoire. Selected specifically because of their aromatic qualities, these Pacific Northwest varieties contribute a pungent blend of grapefruit, stone fruit, and floral notes. A generous malt bill and a solid dollop of honey provide just enough body to keep the balance in check, resulting in a remarkably drinkable rendition of the Double India Pale Ale style."

Hopslam is definitely one of my favorite seasonal beers during this time of year and something I will always try to grab some of when it comes out.  However, I am done with the back story of why I love this beer so much because I can smell it in my glass and I don't want to wait on my review any longer!

Golden orange in the glass with a 1 finger head on it made up of white, soapy bubbles..  Head didn't last long at all and leaves a very small ring around the sides of the glass.  For being such a hop forward beer I am actually surprised at the clarity of this.  I probably would have never paid attention to something like that if I didn't do reviews but I think that is something nice given how extensive the hopping schedule is and yet there is hardly a haze to it.  

I am not sure if the honey adds anything to aroma but I swear I can smell it in there.   At least the sweetness I am getting on the nose I'm attributing that to the honey.  Sweet honey like smell with nice grapefruit and citrus as well as a nice sweetness from like a peach, I also get a small amount of pine as well.  This has to be one of my best smelling beers I have had.  The sweetness is really nice and isn't overpowering.  The citrus mixed with that fruity peach and the pine is great but with a nice sweet aroma to it as well it kind of seems like a fruit salad with a drizzle of honey over the top of it.  In a word, though? Balanced.

Sweet bready malt that immediately turns to a nice citrus flavor and a bit of pine on the finish with a very, very subtle lingering bitterness.  This is such a balanced beer.  The alcohol is pretty much non-existent on the palate but does leave a slight warming in the chest.  Front of the palate I get a little bit of orange as well which is exciting and something that I really enjoy in my IPA and Imperial IPAs.  Being a hop head this is weird for me to say but I actually enjoy the sweet bready malt on the palate the most of everything.  It really seems to bring everything together at the beginning and then hold it together at the end.  There are a lot of flavors going on in the beer but they are all incorporated well and that is the sign, in my opinion, of what a great (D)IPA is.  

This will remain as one of my favorite seasonals for a long time.  Balanced in every way and nothing about this beer is a disappointment.  While I enjoyed how balanced Hopslam was, I have to say I enjoy Oracle from Bell's more.  It isn't as balanced as Hopslam is but I like the hop variety far more.  That was a bit off topic but Oracle popped into my head after having this.  In short, just go get yourself some.  It is delicious and has everything you want in a great imperial india pale ale and it is pretty to look at too.

Cheers ladies and gentlemen!

...p.s I just got this glass in the mail today and I will be using it for reviews for the foreseeable future. I love this glass. 

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