Beer Review: Bells Brewery Bell’s Hopslam Ale

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Brewery: Bell’s Brewery, Inc.
Beer: Bell’s Hopslam Ale
Style: American Double/Imperial IPA
ABV: 10%
Character: Brewed with six different hops in the brew kettle and a massive dry-hop addition of Simcoe hops
Metal Connection: INTERNAL BLEEDING – Anointed In Servitude

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Ever since I was just a regular customer to Big Hops Growler Station (Broadway location) in San Antonio, I would be part of some amazing bottle shares every now and hopslamthen when I would be there. In December 2013, I joined the team at Big Hops and became a Tap Master at the 2nd location (Huebner Rd) for the company. At this point, I was involved in a lot more bottle shares, and met some really cool craft beer drinkers who are now considered friends of mine! I am now comfortably at home at the 3rd location for Big Hops, which is a gastropub (Bulverde Rd). During one of these bottle share events, I was given a bottle of Bell’s Hopslam to take home, so I could enjoy it all on my own, and give it a proper review here on my site! I want to thank my friend, Jeremy Peck for this bottle! Cheers, man!

Bell’s Brewery, from Kalamazoo, Michigan, has been a subject of rumors for the past few years that they will be distributing to the Texas craft beer market, but with no final true result other than the fact that they are still not here! Of course, through beer trades, a beer such as Bell’s Hopslam will make it across the state line. This particular beer is one of the most sought out beers from Bell’s Brewery, and is loved by many craft beer drinkers. I was really excited to have this bottle in my possession, as this beer has a 100 rating on both beeradvocate.com and ratebeer.com.

For this session I went with my Real Ale Brewing Company’s 17th Anniversary snifter glass. Bell’s Hopslam poured a slightly hazy light copper color. It was crowned with an inch wide foamy head, which dwindled down to a thin layer atop the beer, eventually vanishing all together about half way down, but not before leaving a good amount of sticky lacing around the glass.

The quality of the nose on this beer was nothing less than amazing, in my opinion. This beer has the aroma quality of a perfect American India Pale Ale. I was hit by an abundance of hop aroma. In this case, it was like a bouquet of hops due to the variety used in this beer.  I picked up scents of citrus, pine, tropical fruit, earthy/grassy aromas, and a little bit of a funky/danky resin smell. The citrus, tropical fruit is definitely more dominant, followed very close by the resiny smell. There is a slight following aroma of honey, malts, and biscuit. These mostly show up on the tail end, as the nose is mostly dominated by the hops.

The taste is just what I expected this to be based on everything I read about this beer before actually trying it. Some might say they expected this beer to be more hoppy than what it is, but I believe this beer is right where it needs to be as far as hop flavor is concerned. The hop flavor follows the nose, as there is a variety of flavors hitting my palate all at once up front. Citrus and tropical fruit once again lead the charge with a good mix of pine, slight resin, and earthy/grassy hop flavors. There is a very mild showing of the malts and a bread/biscuit flavor. This beer isn’t a “hop bomb” as some might say, but the hops definitely overshadow everything else.

Bell’s Hopslam has a medium bodied beer with a nice mild carbonation, and a good bitter bite to the finish. The mouthfeel while drinking the beer is smooth, and oily. The bitter bite with a slight dry finish with a boozy burn is a very nice way for an American Double or Imperail IPA to drink.

My overall take on Bell’s Hopslam is obvious! I really love this beer. I wish t was always available for me to get locally. For now, I will have to settle on beer trades and such to get my hands on this beer again. One of the main reasons why I decided to drink and review this beer so soon after receiving it was because the bottle says “packaged on 1/11/14.” It’s a pretty fresh beer, and we all know the fresher, the better the IPA will be. Please go out and buy you a bottle, 6-pack, or trade for it, whatever you have to do, just get it. Don’t read the trolls on the beer review sites or any other social media page. They obviously have no taste!

Metal Connection: Being a part of the underground Metal scene for several years, I have seen the trends of different style Metal come and go. The latest, and internalVoraciousprobably one of the worst ones is the overabundance of Slam Death Metal. The music is boring, repetitive, and frankly, just buried into the ground by the number of shitty bands with shitty band names and shitty emo kids trying to be brutal. The original “Slam” Death Metal bands will still get my respect for their originality at the time, and for still being able to stand out above the rest. I speak of bands like Suffocation, Internal Bleeding, Dying Fetus, Pyrexia as a few examples. For you reading this review of Bell’s Hopslam, I present to you “Anointed In Servitude” by the New York Death Metal band, Internal Bleeding. This song comes to us from their 1995 debut full length album, Voracious Contempt. This is “Slam Death Metal” at it’s best. Listen to this song loudly! This is the second time I have used a song from Internal Bleeding on this website, see here.

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