Saturday, February 9, 2013


It's been a little while since our last post, but sometimes life happens. Don't worry though, we haven't stopped trying new beers! Hopefully you've been keeping up with us on Facebook, Twitter, Untappd, and Instagram!

Image courtesy of
As we've rolled into February, a few things have happened. Of course, it's been cold - like, too cold to be enjoyable cold - but, this cold weather has also ushered in ton of seasonal brews. Many brewers are releasing hoppy beers from the hops that they picked and brewed at the end of summer. Bell's Brewery of Kalamazoo, Michigan is no exception. The yearly mid-winter release of their Hopslam Ale, a 10% ABV Double and Imperial IPA, is one of the American craft beer communities most sought-after brews.

Having tried Bell's Hopslam in 2012 out of a bottle (yes, I didn't even give Bell's the courtesy of drinking out of a glass), I knew it was good, but I really didn't know how good it could be. Luckily, my favorite watering hole, having recently updated their taps, manged to snag a keg of this year's Hopslam. Suffice it to say, I was stoked to get a fresh glass of the suds.

This beer is strikingly beautiful. It had a translucent, penny-colored body with minimal carbonation and a spectacular white head sat at about 1 finger width in the small goblet glass it was served to me in. The lacing would not budge. The aroma was extraordinary too. Fruitiness, floral tones, a faint sweetness (surely from the honey brewed into it), and the slightest hint of peaches and citrus came through for me. With a beer as strong as this one in the style it was brewed in, I expected it to have a more piney smell that I've been accustomed to with IPA's, but I could barely detect one. Maybe it's because I was coming off a cold, but I'll have to try it again to see if it's there.

The taste is what really makes Hopslam stand out. First off, the name is a dead giveaway as to what's to come. Your taste buds get slammed with hops. Although, not overwhelmingly bitter, it's immediately apparent that you're drinking a hoppy beer. As the smell dictated, fruity and floral tastes were right alongside the bitterness. I tasted a little bit of malt too and I was surprised that for being 10%, I could barely detect a boozy taste. Bell's also made some serious magic in their brewery, because this beer drank super smooth. These stronger beers are usually good for sipping, but I really could have pounded the Hopslam if I wanted to. I had to cut myself short every sip so that I wouldn't go through it too fast.

Bell's set the 2013 bar high with their Hopslam. I'm glad I was able to find it on tap, so I could truly experience a beer that has received so much praise. Between it's looks, taste, and drinkability, this brew is nearly perfect in every way. If you can, snag yourself a glass and try it. Don't be afraid to squirrel away a bottle too, as it can age for a few months!


  1. I found out the hard way that I don't necessarily recommend cellaring a bottle of Hopslam. Sure, give it a try. Why not experiment? See how the hops change. May I kindly suggest only squirreling away a single bottle? I wish I had drank more of last year's when it was fresh, instead of experimenting. Just a friendly suggestion. :)

  2. I know many beer pros avoid aging hop-laden beers, but I find any DIPA or higher can withstand a few months of storage for the better. There's a small window when you can truly enjoy it before the beer begins to lose its flavor. Unless I can somehow find a few bottles to store for a bit, I won't be able to know with this year's Hopslam. Thanks for the advice though!