Since I didn’t have to work today, I decided to head to Waldo Pizza for a heavy lunch and a beer. I decided on the Hopslam. Big mistake for a lunch beer. Somehow I didn’t realize it was a double IPA, so it wasn’t really geared to be an early day beer, but c’est la vie. Anyway, I had it in the 12 oz bottle. It was listed as 10% ABV. I’m pretty familiar with Bell’s beers as I lived about an hour and a half away from the brewery when I lived in Michigan. I like pretty much everything they make!
The beer poured a honey/orange/amber color with a small head. I detected lots of floral hops notes in the aroma. The flavor is, well, a hopslam! It is very hops forward, very bitter, but with a lot of the same floral notes that are on the aroma. There is also a LOT of alcohol on this beer, to me. It was quite hot on the alcohol, actually, and it really carried the hops forward, I think.
Some sort of flavor played on the edge of my palette toward the end of a swallow and the beginning of the aftertaste. For the life of me I couldn’t put my finger on it, but it was pleasant and enjoyable. Hopslam is brewed with honey, so I wonder if the flavor was coming from honey or the play between hops and honey. In any case, I was frustrated by it because it was familiar, yet I couldn’t quite nail it down.
I found Hopslam to be fairly enjoyable, however the heavy alcohol content turned me off. I like to taste the alcohol when appropriate (Goose Island’s Bourbon County, for example), but it seemed to be overbearing and too hot for this beer. I would like to try Hopslam on tap, and I wouldn’t turn another bottle away, but if this is typical of this beer there are a lot of other double IPA’s I would rather drink. That said, this is one of the few double IPA’s I’ve had that actually have a lot of hops bitterness and flavor that isn’t restrained back by the malt, which I like.