“Hopeslam” beer is nothing short of a slam dunk

With a brand new year comes brand new things and what can be better than starting of the year by enjoying new craft beer?

The answer: nothing. Well, I shouldn’t say nothing; life gives us plenty of amazing things that satisfy our needs and it just so happens that beer is one of those things. It just so happens that Michigan is regarded as one of the top states for craft beer.

Bell’s Brewery starts off the new year with a widely anticipated release: Hopslam Ale, a highly coveted double IPA [India Pale Ale] released just last week.

And with a name like “Hopslam,” the expectation is high and clear and Bell’s new beer delivers an immediate hit. Having a 10 percent ABV [alcohol by volume], Hopslam is what an IPA should be.

Brewed once per year, its release is highly anticipated and special to all craft beer enthusiasts. Having an estimated shelf life of about three months, it is one that beer enthusiasts should enjoy while it lasts.

According to Bell’s website, they only brew Hopslam once a year “to make sure that when it goes out, it is absolutely fresh and everybody knows where it is in that life cycle.”

As a personal preference, I like to drink my craft beer out of a snifter, but drinking it out of the can is just as good.

The graphic on the can is simple yet creative and, in a way, genuine to what the beer is like. It pours a rather light, orange, amber color with a bit of a foamy white head.

Hopslam has six different hop varietals that derive from the Pacific Northwest, giving it grapefruit and floral notes to the aroma and taste.

IPAs have a tendency to be bitter and hoppy. Since Hopslam is a double IPA, it means that the bitterness and hoppyness to the beer is heightened.  

At first taste, it’s as hoppy as any regular IPA should be, but particularly bitter as well, having a kick to it as it passes through the mouth. However, neither the bitterness nor the hoppyness overwhelm the overall taste of the ale.

It has a citrusy and grapefruit flavor as well as a bit of a piney taste to it that is apparent. The aftertaste is smooth and easy with some hints of honey, making it a sweet and malty finish. I also noticed a bit of an oak flavor in the finish, but nothing that would change the overall complexity of the beer itself.  

Hopslam was voted as the fourth best beer of 2018 in America according to Zymurgy Magazine. It’s to no surprise that it lives up to its hype.

Overall, Hopslam is a slam dunk. It has a bitter and sweet taste, yet it has a precise smooth finish. It’s an outstanding double IPA that can be enjoyed by anyone, especially someone who may not have a strong appeal to bitter beers.

My overall rating for Bell’s “Hopslam Ale” is a 4.5/5 stars. As mentioned on Bell’s website, this is a beer that “when you see it, grab it, drink it, enjoy it and wait for next year.”