Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Bell's Hopslam Ale

Brewery: Bell's Brewery
Style: Imperial IPA
ABV: 10%
Country: USA, Michigan

This might qualify as the first "whale" that has been reviewed on this site. Hopslam is only released once a year and in limited supply. Supposedly, only 600 cases of this made it to Virgina. Of those cases, most had been sold in the course of a week. There are plenty of beer geeks out there with the release date for this beer marked on their calendar. I was treated to some at Ashburn Wine after which I was told that they had some in stock but it was sold by request only and with a two bottle limit. Without hesitation, I bought my two bottles and proceeded to fantasize to when I could sit down and savor this brew some more.

I broke out the tulip for this one. It poured a bright orange color. Big white fluffy head lingers a long time. The clarity of this was perfect as well. An impressive sight to behold for sure.

BIG aroma. Plenty of piney, earthy resin notes up front. Behind that lays a combination of sweet, honey malts and citrus grapefruit. I'd be content with smelling this all night long. My head started to get dizzy from inhaling this after a while.

The taste was absolutely divine! Like the aroma, a pine-tree resin is present up front. The honey shows up second which not only provides a wonderful sweetness, but also provides an incredibly rich mouthfeel. More grapefruit hop flavors show up which give way to a dry bitterness. The only presence that the 10% ABV makes is a pleasant warming sensation at the end. All the flavors of the alcohol are concealed with the hefty malts and hops.

Mouthfeel is rich and thick, bordering on syrupy. Lower levels of carbonation make this a delight to savor a long time. Like the 90 Minute IPA, this ale is beautifully balanced. Plenty of malts serve to check the generous hoping. I'll admit that this replaces the 90 Minute as my favorite beer for now. Its a shame that this only comes out once a year. I have my calendar marked for future releases already. A+


  1. I want...I want...I want.

    I need to find this one. Sounds great!


  2. Ahhh Hopslam. That's all they talk about on www.reddit.com/r/Beer these days.