Sunday, February 26, 2012

Game Day Beer Review: Bell's Brewery Hopslam Double IPA

(10.00% ABV).  To paraphrase Bono, there's been a lot of talk about this next beer, maybe, maybe too much talk.  I've reviewed it in the past, and given it one of my very highest ratings.  With its annual late winter release timed to get people in the mood for Spring, I sought it out once again, to determine if the Hopslam reality would live up to the hype....

Hopslam was poured on draft at Tap 42, at an official Bells' Brewery event. Poured into a chalice, the beer was a bright, clear golden yellow, with next to no head.  Admittedly, the lights were pretty low, so I'm not certain I got all I could out its color.

The beer smells sweet and hoppy, with just a tiny hint of floral notes. 

This year's Hopslam is much hoppier than I remember it being out of the bottle, and seems to be missing the tropical fruit sweetness that I remember so vividly and loved so much when I last tasted it.  It didn't taste nearly as well balanced as the 2011 edition.  The beer I drank also had a ever-so-slightly sour aftertaste, another thing I'm not sure I recall from the bottle. I wonder if it could be down to a transportation or storage issue, or just a variation in style from one year to the next...?

I will say that the 10% ABV in this baby is extremely well hidden. You have one too many of these, and you'll remember it for awhile....

While Hopslam didn't live up to my expectations this year, it's still worth seeking out: Hopslam is a much better than average beer. B+

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