This column reviews a beer based on aroma, appearance, taste, and palate (mouthfeel). At the end of each review, we score the beer based on a five-star system (one star meaning you will likely regret ever drinking such a horrible concoction, five stars meaning it’s your new favorite beer, with two, three, and four stars falling somewhere in between). If any of you wonderful brewers would like to send me beer to review, I would happily accept your offer.
Bell’s Hopslam isn’t easy to find. To do so, you have to do things like follow the Kalamazoo brewery’s social media accounts for confirmation of shipping, calculate the estimated time it then takes to arrive at your local store, incessantly pester that store every week to find out when they’ll receive it, and probably leave work on your lunch break in order to pick up a six pack because it might already be gone by 5 p.m. on the same day that it arrived. All of which to say that it’s a hell of a lot to go through for a beer.
Hopslam also isn’t cheap. A six pack — if your local store will even let you buy that much (many places will often limit the amount a customer can buy for particularly rare beers) — will run you about $24.
When there’s so much hype around a beer, these are the unfortunate things you have to deal with. The fact that you are willing to go through all of this for a beer may lead you to question all of your life decisions up to that point. Despite all this, you should buy this beer if you can find it. It’s worth it, especially if you’ve never had it before.
Although Hopslam’s aroma has some floral and grapefruit notes, there is a really distinct and pleasant bread smell in the nose. As you can see in the picture, it’s a deep orange color with a small head that dissipates to almost nothing. Since it’s brewed with six different types of hops (and called Hopslam), there is plenty of bitterness in the taste. However, there’s also more malt present in the taste than you’d expect, and there are also hints of honey (which is added in the brewing process) and pine. Although many double IPAs aren’t necessarily the easiest to have several of in a single sitting, Hopslam’s medium body and carbonation make it surprisingly drinkable.
Overall, this is a very, very good double IPA, although it’s probably not what you’d expect. With a name like Hopslam, you wouldn’t be wrong to expect a beer that’s almost overwhelmingly hoppy. But that’s not what Hopslam really is all about.
Is it worthy of all the hype? Probably not. Still, you should definitely get your hands on it, at least once.
Little Utopia Rating: Four and a half out of Five
Charlie Crespo (@Little_Utopia) is the editor-in-chief of Little Utopia.
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