Every season brings a new offering for craft beer lovers to obsess over, sometimes more than one. In the early part of each year, an unarguable favorite is released by Bell’s Brewery of Michigan: the highly regarded, honey-infused, double IPA called Hopslam Ale. I was happy to get my hands on a bottle of Hopslam just five days off the bottling line for this tasting and review.
Poured into a tulip glass, Hopslam appears a cloudy golden color. Unfiltered proteins stay suspended in the beer, and they carry bursts of hop flavor unrivaled in bite and freshness. Although biting, the brew is also nicely balanced by its sweet honey flavor, which counteracts the bitterness without becoming cloying.
All of these tastes combine for a very dry and refreshing finish, and with a 10 percent ABV, Hopslam’s ease of drinking can be quite dangerous. Despite the evenness and refreshing qualities of the brew, this is definitely a beer for hopheads (it may be a bit too much for newbies or the faint of heart).
Considering the hype that now surrounds this label, the fact that it doesn’t disappoint is a very nice surprise. Quite the contrary. Hopslam carries a strong, refreshing, powerful blast of hops balanced by a perfect amount of honey, making it a beer that should satisfy every hophead’s dream. As with all IPAs, Hopslam is best enjoyed fresh. When you find it, drink it — don’t sit on this one!
— Mike Lorenz, The Drink Nation
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