I know that in the past few editions of the Afternoon Beer Break, Iâ€™ve been focusing in on some lower ABV beers, generally carrying the â€œsessionâ€ label. Thatâ€™s a good mix to have for the summer, but sometimes, you might be on the search for something a bit stronger. Well, in that case, something like Bellâ€™s Hopslam Ale may be what youâ€™re looking for.
Iâ€™ve been familiar with Bellâ€™s, but it was not a brand that I really searched for when I stopped in at the shop. One day, I had a buddy recommend the Bellâ€™s Hopslam Ale to me, and it so happened that I ran across it later that day. So, one bit of sticker shock later (spoiler: pricing runs closer to $20 for a six-pack), I had it in my fridge cooling.
When youâ€™re getting into an IPA that has an ABV at 10% (thatâ€™s what we have here) , you can be all-but-sure that the beer is a double IPA. And, voila, thatâ€™s precisely what the Bellâ€™s Hopslam Ale is. Poured into a glass, you will be greeted with a rich honey color (funnily enough, honey is in the ingredient list). On the nose, you have some mild fruity notes, and when the first sip passes your lips, youâ€™ll note a slightly thicker mouthfeel than you might otherwise expect for a beer. While the overall flavor profile was one I found to be quite pleasant, there were a couple of oddities I ended up noting. For all the sweeter fruit notes, I did pick up a mild sour one, or a tartness, further back on my tongue. Additionally, I noted a sharpness to it as it hit the back of my throat. Not unpleasant, either of those, just another dimension to the pour.
While the Bellâ€™s Hopslam Ale is perhaps not one I would pick up with any regularity (mainly due to the higher pricing) this is one that could be a welcome change-of-pace to have hanging out in your fridge for a calmer evening where youâ€™re looking to have â€œjust oneâ€ of a slow-sipping variety. bellsbeer.com
- Honey color
- Thicker mouthfeel
- Decent head
- Mild fruity nose
- A mild sour note – or perhaps tartness – further back on the tongue
- Sharpness at back of throat
Details from Bellâ€™s
- Alcohol By Volume: 10.00%
- Original Gravity: 1.087
- Shelf Life: 3 Months
- NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (PER 12 OZ. SERVING)
- Calories: 294
- Carbs: 22
- Starting with six different hop varietals added to the brew kettle & culminating with a massive dry-hop addition of Simcoe hops,Â Bellâ€™s Hopslam Ale possesses the most complex hopping schedule in the Bellâ€™sÂ repertoire.
- Selected specifically because of their aromatic qualities, these Pacific Northwest varieties contribute a pungent blend of grapefruit, stone fruitÂ and floral notes. A generous malt bill and a solid dollop of honey provide just enough body to keep the balance in check, resulting in a remarkably drinkable rendition of the Double India Pale AleÂ style.
- Hopslam is best enjoyed as fresh asÂ possible.