Food, Beer, and Travel

a dump from the mind of Jon Piper


Posted by jwpiper on January 26, 2009

Bell’s Hopslam is one of the best big IPA’s offered by a brewer east of the Mississippi. I remember it as a rare treat last year, and while I’m pained by the price increase, I’ve got to pick up at least a sixer this year. Poured into a snifter at about 50 degrees. Since my last experience with this beer, I’ve had Pliny the Elder and Dreadnaught IPA. It’ll be interesting to see how this stacks up.
Golden with orange tinge. 3cm off-white head.
Lots of citrus on the nose and some pine. Not as much floral notes as many west coasters, but very nice. Well, perhaps it is floral… But not in the same way. Light, bright, citrus fruits. Sweet grass.
Coats the palate nicely. Some malt backbone and a bit of a grainy taste, but the citrus hops dominate with a little bitterness at the end. Much less than expected. There is sweetness, even beyond what’s suggested from the malts. Not a super clean flavor as with Pliny the Elder, but still very nice.
A bit sticky. Medium-bodied. Well-carbonated with medium-sized bubbles.
This is rather drinkable. Very inviting hop profile, but the lack of a clean palate limits its refreshing qualities. The sweetness and lack of a bitter bite make it even more drinkable.
An impressive brew. I think I like it more than the Dreadnaught IPA from Three Floyds, but there is likely to be a side-by-side (maybe with Buckeye ’76) in the future. Plenty of interesting hop character, but I think the slight over-reliance on sweetness detracts from the beer – makes it a bit too accessible at the expense of excellence. Nonetheless, it is a great beer.
$18/6pk ($3/12oz). A very good value for such a good hoppy beer. The price is made a bit painful by the fact that it was $2-3 less last year and that for the same price per ounce, you could have a Pliny the Elder if you lived in California. Alas I do not… but I’ll be there soon enough to curtail purchasing too many more of these.

One Response to “Hopslam”

  1. […] MI brewery. Double Trouble is brewed to target palates more friendly to West Coast style IPAs. Bell’s Hopslam, of course, was recently released and brings its own unique take on an Imperial IPA. An impressive […]

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