Brew Review: Hopslam

26 Sep

Brew: Hopslam

Brewed by:  Bells Brewery, Inc. (Kalamazoo, MI)

Style: Double IPA (10.0% ABV)


One of everybody’s favorite releases in the late winter from Bell’s.  Hopslam causes a rush at the liquor store and an absence of cash from your pocket as a 6-pack of this runs you about 16 bucks.  This is a double IPA that is brewed with honey that has captured America’s hop-loving hearts anywhere Bells is distributed.

Hopslam pours out a yellow or light orange color.  It looks more like a pilsner or lager than a double IPA which can sometimes tend to more of a dark orange or copper color.  A decent half inch head rises up from the beer.  Not super impressive. Either way, the look of this beer isn’t really what concerns me, it’s what’s next that really counts. 

Oh boy, the aroma that comes off of this beer is inspiring.  Hops that literally slam your nose with fruit and floral notes.  Grapefruit, mango, peaches everything.  There is also some earthy hop notes as well that I think might be both from the hops as well as the honey.  The hops don’t let anything else shine through but in my opinion that really doesn’t matter as the hops smell marvelous.  There is a hint of sweet honey but very faint.  A great smelling beer.

After smelling this brew I was really excited to taste this liquid slice of hop. There is bitterness up front mixed with sweet honey for a decent first taste.  The amazing tropical fruit onslaught that hit me in the nose didn’t immediately follow in the taste.  It was dominantly bitter to begin with.  After a minute the fruit and floral notes did come back but not as aggressively as I was hoping for.  With the massive additions of hops to this brew it would have been hard to subdue the bitterness and with 10.0% Bells definitely tried but they didn’t really come super close.  The honey didn’t really set anything off for me but it did add a hint of sweetness that otherwise wouldn’t have been there.

With a touch booze on the back this was a decently balanced brew of which I preferred smelling a bit more than actually drinking the beer.  It was a huge, it really slammed me, with the massive hop additions and the high ABV this isn’t a beer to take lightly but for all you hop-heads out there this is something you will need to find once it comes out next year.  Drink it fast since the hops will only fade over time and this is a tremendous brew fresh.


Final Grade: A-


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