Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Dunerbrew Review: Hopslam

It's hyped, hard to get, and photographed & uploaded to Instagram by all who are either skilled enough or lucky to get their hands on one.  This is Hopslam, the seasonal Double (Imperial) Style IPA by Bell's Beers.

With all the hype, one question remains.  Is it good?  The perceived answer is "yes", of course, because it won't stay on the shelves.  And perhaps that is correct.

But I wasn't so sure initially.  I first had it at last year's Deland Craft Beer Festival, and I truly wasn't impressed.  It seemed almost too sweet...which seems strange for a high IBU style beer.  Beer festivals are great, with a lot of opportunities to try many beers.  At the same time, all the flavors can become confusing and often can counter balance one another.  Of course, it was here and gone last year, leaving me without the change to truly check this beer out.

This year too, I had the opportunity to try a Hopslam at the Deland Craft Beer Festival, and this time I rather enjoyed it.  Smooth to drink, clear, flavorful...all around nice.  I took my time drinking it as I casually walked around the festival area.  Of course, this was just with a 3 oz pour.  The opportunity subsequently presented itself to enjoy an entire bottle of this beer.  I truly enjoyed it. 

A nice white head, which lingers and laces the glass nicely.  A ton of hop aroma and flavor were present (as to be expected).  Sip slowly and savor every flavor.  It's a nice blend of bitterness, flavor and aroma.  And yet with 10% ABV, there remains malt enough to keep it rather balanced.  There is nothing boring about this beer.

Is it worth the hype?  Sure.  Why not?  One cool thing about beer (especially seasonal beers) is the anticipation of the release, followed by the thrill of the hunt, and then finally enjoying the spoils of a successful find.  Make the most of it after all.

Cheers!