A review of Hopslam from Bells Brewery
I don’t chase down Hopslam, it comes to me. Here in Michigan the annual release of Hopslam is a crazy time where thousands scramble to find this hoppy elixir in select grocery and beer stores. At times, the pursuit of Hopslam hits a level of hysteria that I am not comfortable with. No matter, there’s enough attention on the subject that my beer mules always seem to track down a six pack for me.
The year, 2017, Hopslam is fantastic.
I say this because, as fantastic as Bell’s Brewery is, it is a fact that some of their beers vary from year to year. The brewery, for example, has protested this assertion about their Oberon (a rich wheat beer that heralds the start of spring). They claimed in a note to me last year that their Oberon recipe has not changed since it was first introduced. I don’t believe they are lying but I do believe my taste buds and the feedback from the Sommbeer community that believes Oberon does indeed change every year. In fact, I have a buddy that claims the beer tastes different in various locations of the Detroit Tigers ballpark!
Ok, so it’s good this year. Here’s why;
The 2017 Hopslam is rich and hoppy but is balanced with just the amount of honey. I’m a hophead that has rarely had a beer too bitter so I always offer a glass of Hopslam to Mrs. Sommbeer for her honest feedback. She is no hophead and yet she loves Hopslam. It is a testament to the brewing skills at Bell’s that an Imperial IPA with so much infused hops is approachable by beer fans that wouldn’t even consider a standard IPA.
What makes 2017 different? This year's Hopslam, is more focused on flavor less on the "nose". Does this make it better? Not sure, but it is certainly more approachable than prior years and will appeal to a broader base (not just hopheads). This is a well balanced beer.
This beer is hoppy, has a slightly dark amber color and has an above average weight or mouthfeel. The nose isn’t overwhelming like some Imperials. It is the taste that pulls you in. The fact that it’s balanced keeps you wanting more. Grab another can? Careful kids, this beer packs a punch with an abv of 10.0%. To be honest I’m glad this beer can be hard to find. If I had a case of it I’d never go back to work.
We’ve reviewed this beer a few times on Sommbeer.
HOPSLAM VS. BROTHER BENJAMIN: HONEY FLAVORED HEAD TO HEAD