Thursday, January 12, 2012

Beer Review: Hop Slam

Reviewing the infamous Hop Slam, an imperial IPA from Bells Brewery, Inc.
Score: 97

Bottled 12/29/11, served in a Duvel tulip glass, and enjoyed 01/12/12.

Appearance: Pours a hazy golden orange color that fades from a light honey color at the bottom to darker orange at the top when held up to light. Three full fingers of white, soapy head at pour gradually settles into a very thin layer of head. Superior lacing. 4.5/5

Smell: Fresh, zesty lemons and grapefruit, fresh piney citrus hops, honey, and a little vanilla. Some earthy pine sap and freshly cut grass too. Slight floral aromas too. As it warms, the aromas get much more intense. 5/5

Taste: First sip is a sharply bitter honey-and-resiny-pine flavor. Really bitter. The flavor of this beer is like a roller coaster. It starts off low key, but quickly crescendo's into a bitter climax, and then mellow outs crisply, leaving a lightly bitter finish. Mostly an earthy pine hoppiness, with some light citrus and sweet honey. A little tropical fruitiness comes out as the beer layers. There is little, if any, maltiness to balance out the bitter characteristics of the beer. Total hop bomb here. 5/5

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with light carbonation. Light carbonation accentuates the earthy bitterness of the beer. Oily mouthfeel. Incredibly drinkable for a 10% ABV IIPA. Finish is bitter, acidic and savory. 4.5/5

Overall: While not the best imperial IPA that I have tasted, this is one of the best hop bombs that I have ever had. Absolutely delicious. Consume this one fresh. Hops heads unite!

Recommendation: Bitter hops haters should absolutely avoid this brew, but all others will enjoy. Not the best beer for casual beer drinkers, but beer geeks need to get their hands on this one.

Pairings: Kuma's Corner's hamburgers.

Cost: $17.99 for a six pack.

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